By Mae Araneta, B.Eng in Chemical Engineering
More people are becoming aware of how blow-up pools are becoming an essential feature in outdoor living spaces these days. Inflatable pools are enjoyed not only by kids but whole families as well. Big blow-up pools are easy to set up and disassemble compared to their in-ground and above-ground counterparts. So, more families now choose to install them in their backyards for everyone to enjoy.
Despite being easier and faster to put up than those installed in-ground or above-ground, blow-up pools need cleaning and sanitation as much as you would give the permanent ones. You would be confident to let your kids wade in as much as they like if you are confident that it is safe and clean.
A small inflatable pool is very easy to clean, but one huge enough for the whole family will be such a big bother to set up and keep then put up again the following day. Cleaning and disassembling it is easy, but maintaining the water clean is a bigger challenge.
If you want to keep your blow-up pool clean for a longer period and not worry so much about ingesting germs and bacteria or cause skin infection, here are a few things you can do.
Use a net to remove visible debris
Use a skimmer net to remove fallen leaves, branches, bugs or whatever debris that may float on the surface. Kids always like to know the flotsam so having a skimmer net on hand is not just great for cleaning but for enjoyment as well. Keeping your pool free from any floating matter can keep it clean and fresh longer for more swim time.
Cover when not in use
If you plan on swimming more times than one, you must cover it to prevent dust, bacteria, and other harmful microorganisms that may dwell on your pool. Dirty water can be a good breeding ground for bacteria which can cause diarrhea and other harmful diseases. Covering it when not in use also means less cleaning time for you.
There are two ways you can cover your pool when not in use. You can use a screen canopy to protect it from any kind of debris and provide some shade from the sun’s harmful rays. The usual method used to cover is by using a tarp. Some inflated pools come with tarp covers fitted to size making it a breeze to cover every swimming downtime.
Vacuum the bottom
If you make sure that the water’s surface is clean, you would also want the bottom to be filth-free. The skimmer net may be able to remove visible dirt from the bottom but the quality of cleaning may not be enough. You need a pool vacuum to draw out the dirt and grit that may accumulate at the bottom if you are not planning to drain out after each use.
It is recommended to vacuum weekly if the pool is covered and more frequently if it is exposed to outside elements.
Use chlorine to sanitize
Adding chlorine is the easiest way to sanitize. Chlorine keeps the bacteria, germs and viruses from thriving in the water, so you will not have to replace it every day. To know the right amount of chlorine you need to use, check your inflatable pool size and refer to your chlorine tablets’ product information to determine the right amount.
Chlorine will keep your pool sanitized, but the water should have the right pH to make the chlorine work more efficiently. It would be best to get yourself some water-testing strips to check the chlorine level, pH, and alkalinity. For well-balanced water, a pH of 7.4 to 7.6 is ideal. You may need an alkalinity increaser to raise the pH (if too acidic) or a pH reducer (if too basic). Always check for instructions on the packaging on how many of these chemicals to add per gallon of water to reach the necessary pH.
Drain as necessary
The simplest way to keep your blow-up pools clean is to drain as needed. Grime and dirt may build up inside if you keep the water stagnant for a long time. When it looks murky, you absolutely need to drain the water. You have probably maximized the use of water to outweigh the huge amount that will be drained.
Clean then sanitize the surfaces using a solution of bleach and water. After cleaning, wipe the inflatable sides and bottom to dry and expose them to the sun for four hours to disinfect further.
Keeping your blow-up pool clean may take a few pinches from your precious time, but making sure that it is always safe and fresh can ensure you and your family endless hours of fun. You can also sit back and relax knowing that the risk of getting recreational water illnesses is kept low to give your kids a happy and healthy swim time.