How to Keep a Kid Pool Clean Without Filter

Best Selling Pool ProTuff

Are frustrated and looking to know how to keep a kid pool clean without filter?  Having a small inflatable kiddie pool saves you time and is readily available for use.

A smaller-sized kiddie pool under budget and lacks filters due to energy cost, and is easy to drain and refill daily with fresh water whenever you want to use it or after every use compared to a regular swimming pool.

Typically, a swimming pool filtration helps pump the water into the reservoir, thus keeping the pool clean and clear by removing debris, viruses, and bacteria.

How Can You Keep a Pool Clean Without Filter?

Inflatable Kiddie Pool

Keeping your kid pool clean without filters simply requires you to clean it yourself. You may consider the following simple tips to keep it clean and clear;

1. Drain and Refill

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Draining water from a kid pool regularly helps keep it away from bacteria and germs that cause diseases. After draining all the water, clean the pool by thoroughly brushing its liner before refilling it. Exposing the kid pool to direct sunlight naturally kills the germs and bacteria that might have built upon the pool’s surface.

How Do I Drain Inflatable Kiddie Pools?

First, to empty the pool, test the water to ensure you are not emptying a pool with a high chlorine level. If the water is okay to drain, use the drain plug or siphon with a garden hose. Here is a simple step you can use to drain a small inflatable pool.

Step 1: Start by creating a suction on the hose hooking one end of the hose to the water spigot.

Step2: Use your thumb to hold the other end of the hose above the rest of it until water starts coming from the other end such that all the air in the hose comes out so it can sink in the kiddie pool.

Step 3: Unplug the hose off, keeping the other end pointing up so that water cannot come out of the hose.

Step 4:  Drop one end of the hose into the kiddie pool close to the center and let it sink.

Step 5: Put the other end lower than the kiddie pool in a location where you want to pour all the water.

Step 6: Water flow should then reverse, and the kiddie pool will begin to drain.

After the pool is drained completely, put it to sit in the sun for some time to dry to make sure that there is no moisture before storing it.

2. Use a Cover

Small inflatable pool cover

Covering your kid pool when it is not in use using a secure cover helps protect it from nature’s elements such as leaves, bees, among many others. You can use a special kiddie pool cover or tarp when you are not using the pool or set it under a shelter.

Make sure you use a cover that is specifically made for small pools. This reduces the frequency of cleaning. A small plastic pool could require a camping-style tarp.

Ready-made covers are readily available at the pool’s manufacturer store and are the best option if your kiddie pool did not come with any.

Here are some of the best kiddie covers to use;

1. Old Tarpaulin: This cover is the most common kiddie cover, easier to set up and use. Use a tarpaulin with polypropylene mesh tarps to protect your kiddie pool from sunlight and algae build-up.

2. The solar panel covers: These covers are durable and make your kiddie pool last longer. They keep the pool warm, clean, and readily available for use.

3. Canopies: Canopies help cover your kiddie pool and the whole area that the pool is situated. These tents provide you and your kids with shade and protect your pool.

3. Skimming

Using a skimmer net is one of the most effective ways of cleanliness maintenance in a pool. It is something that children can do while they play and have fun in the backyard. Skimming regularly ensures that the grass, hair, and leaves that may cause germs development are kept out of the pool.

 If you have trouble choosing the best skimmer to purchase, you can go for one of the suggested options below.

1. ProTuff: This is a professional medium-fine mesh pool skimmer constructed to easily pick debris from both the pool’s surface and bottom without damaging the net.ProTuff Medium Fine Mesh pool skimmer

2. Milliard: This is a pool leaf skimmer net with a replaceable inner mesh to increase its durability. It is good for nabbing leaves and other debris from the pool’s surface.

Milliard Pool Leaf Skimmer Net

3. Hydro Tools: A 12-inch aluminum handle pool and spa skimmer help clean debris from your kiddie pools.

Hydro Tools

4. FibroPRO: This swimming pool skimmer net is used in pools that require frequent removal of leaves and debris from the surface. It has a metal rim leaf bag, thus lasts longer.

Fibro Pro

4. Use Algaecide

Pools that are close to plants have high chances of algae growth. Algae are plant microorganisms that appear in the pool, spread quickly with a high water temperature, and favor fungi and bacteria development. Algaecide is used for protection if chlorine concentration gets low and to control some bacteria resistant to chlorine. The functional strength of algaecide to be used is 60%.

5. Use White Vinegar

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Adding a reasonable amount of white vinegar into the pool helps eliminate excess calcium buildup, thus preventing it from appearing whiter. White vinegar does not smell and effectively disinfects the pool, so it is preferred to other vinegar.

Mix a quarter of water in a 2-gallon bucket with a quarter of white vinegar. Dip a soft sponge in the solution, and scrub the pool with it. Rinse after every scrubbing until the kiddie pool is clean.

6. Use Baking Soda

Baking soda

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is naturally alkaline with a pH of 8. When added to the pool, it raises both the pool’s alkalinity and pH, resulting in improved clarity and stability. Using baking soda is also a safe way to keep your pool water clean because it is a natural and non-abrasive cleaning agent.

Add the required amount of baking soda, about 1/2 teaspoon, for 26 gallons of water to treat your kiddie pool. Then mix to form a paste. Apply the paste to the kiddie pool using a scrubbing brush and give it time to dry on the pool, and rinse it off with clean water.

7. Rubbing Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol helps remove sticky gunk in the pool and stain removal. Always dilute it to 60% alcohol before using it. Never use 1oo% rubbing alcohol.

8. Vitamin C

It is an ascorbic acid that removes stains from the kiddie pool and not harms your skin like other chemicals.

Squeeze some lemon into a bucket or tin depending on the size of your pool, and then pour the juice into a spray bottle. Use this juice to spray the kiddie pool. Mist the pool several times, scrub and rinse.

10. Borax

A box of borax multipurpose cleaner

Borax is a commonly used household cleaner, especially as a laundry detergent booster, and can be found in a grocery store or supermarket.

The borax paste is a nontoxic chemical that raises the water pH. It can be used to remove stains, sticky substances, and slippery residue from the pool. Use 1/2 teaspoon for 26 gallons of water and mix to form a paste. Use the paste to clean your pool.

11. Use a Soap Sponge

Sometimes your children may accidentally use bubbling agents like soap and shampoo within the pool. If this happens, use a soap sponge that can soak up to 40 times its weight.

Dip the sponge near the soap or shampoo at least 15 times to free the pool from the bubbles. Rinse the sponge as you use it to suck the bubbles out of the pool.

12. Keep the Kid’s Feet Clean Before Entering the Pool

Children bring in debris on their feet every time they enter the pool. Put feet cleaner outside the pool and make the kids step through it before they start swimming.

When the foot is clean, the spread of viruses and bacteria is reduced. It is best when you simply bathe the kids before they enter the swimming pool.

13. Use a Vaccum

Above-Ground Pool Vaccum

If you don’t want to drain your pool, use a vacuum cleaner to eliminate sand and debris from the inflatable kiddie pools since they are not too deep.

Why Should I Keep My Kid Pool Clean

Importance of keeping your kid pool clean

Can you bathe using dirty water that another person had used previously to bathe? No, you can’t. Why? Because your conscience will tell you that it is already dirty. The same thing applies to your backyard pool. It is small in size, thus easy for cleanliness maintenance.

Kiddie pools do not have a filter or pump to circulate the water like the bigger pools, and its water tends to get dirty and cloudy a lot, especially in the hot summer season where it is frequently used. Unless it is treated with chlorine or any other chemicals, cleaning it regularly helps keep dirt, debris, and microorganisms out of your kiddie pool.

Your kids need to enjoy their time in the pool, so do you. It is vital to keep the water safe and clean for both of you, and cleaning is the best way to kill viruses and bacteria.

What Can I Use in My Child’s Pool to Keep it Clean?

What to put in a kid's pool

Your child’s skin is more sensitive compared to adults. This is why you need to monitor what you put into the pool and the quantity. You should consider getting natural products to keep your pool clean. They will serve the same cleaning purpose and are more gentle to the skin too.

You can clean the pool using salt. Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate, which helps get rid of stains, viruses, scum buildup, and bacteria without affecting your child’s skin or environment. They do not smell like chlorine; it is gentle on your child’s skin and boosts their skin after it is left dry from the free available chlorine in the pools. Due to its healing properties, it can detoxify all the bacteria in your skin.

You can also use Chlorox or any other regular bleach that contains 6.0 percent sodium hypochlorite solution with approximately 5.7 chlorine concentration. It is a liquid chemical with no insoluble particles, so it is suitable for use. Your child should not swim in the pool until chlorine remains between 1 to 3 parts per million. Empty your pool regularly.

Can You Chlorinate a Kiddie Pool

How To Keep A Kiddie Pool Clean Using Chlorine

Yes, you can use chlorine treatment in small quantities in kiddie poos. It is a disinfectant with a natural chemical element that helps in destroying fungi, bacteria, and microorganisms. Thus it is a suitable oxidant to use to maintain cleanliness in the kiddie pool.

You can use stable chlorine with an active strength of about 55% to 65% containing dichloroisocyanurate or sodium dichloro-s-triazine trione. One chlorine tablet can clean 100 to 200 gallons per week or two tablets for more than 200 gallons for a kid pool.

You should ensure that you use a chlorine float dispenser when putting the tabs into the pool than just throwing them. The pool should not be in use at that time.

Below is a simple step to follow when adding chlorine to your pool;

Step 1: Use a test kit or test strips to test your pool’s chlorine levels and ph balance. The right pH level is between 7.4 and 7.6, while free chlorine should be between 1 and 3 per million. Use the results to determine what chemicals to add to get the desired levels.

Step 2: Calculate the volume of water in the pool. This can be achieved by multiplying the length by width by depth by 7.5.

Step 3: Adjust the ph levels before adding chlorine. For a small inflatable pool, you don’t necessarily need to worry about ph levels.

Step 4: Add chlorine. Add between 1 to 3 parts per million in your kiddie pool. This is around 0.00013 ounces of chlorine per gallon of water.

Can You Put Bleach in a Small Inflatable Pool

Clorox Regular Bleach

Yes, you can use basic bleach such as Clorox or generic to keep your kiddie pool clean. Add 1/8 cup for every 100 gallons of water.

If you don’t drain your kiddie pool water regularly, it is convenient to use bleach to disinfect and kill algae. Add a recommended amount to a kiddie pool to maintain chlorine levels between 1 and 2 parts per million.

When the pool water appears cloudy, it is a sign that the free chlorine level in the pool is lower to disinfect. This calls for a pool shocking. Bleach contains 5 to 6 percent of sodium hypochlorite and can raise the free chlorine concentration when it is low. You will need 1/2 cup of 8% sodium hypochlorite for 100 gallons.

Dilute 1/2 a cup in 1 gallon of room temperature water and apply the solution to all surfaces following the manufacturer’s application instruction for the amount of time it should remain on the surface. Don’t worry if there is no instruction available on that; you can let the solution stay on the surface for up to 6 minutes. Rinse the pool with clean water and leave it in the sun to dry completely.

When Do You Need to Shock a Pool

You need to shock your pool if the pool water turns green or cloudy. If the level of free available chlorine is too low below the recommended value of 1 part per million, the water in the pool tends to turn green. When the amount of chlorine level is too low, it is unable to provide proper sanitation.

How to Shock the Pool

Step 1: Begin by testing the Ph of the pool water and add sodium bisulfate or muriatic acid if it is very high to lower. Chlorine should have a pH of between 7.2 to 7.8, and it loses its effectiveness when above this.

Step 2: Next, check the cyanuric acid level in the pool water to determine if it ranges between 20 to 50 parts per million. Add stabilizer if it is too low to raise the concentration.

Step 3: Measure your pool’s volume to determine the amount of bleach you need to add. 1 gallon raises the free chlorine level of 30,000 gallons of water by 2 parts per million.

Step 4: The last step is to add bleach to the pool during the late afternoon or early evening when it is not in use. Then circulate the water severally to make sure that it is mixed completely.

Can You Use Pool Water on Plants When draining

Usage of pool water on plants depends on the amount and concentration of chlorine, other chemicals, and the type of plant, but generally, fresh pool water is not good for them.

Chlorine is a component of pool water to help keep it sanitized, and these chemicals used to clean the pool water can be toxic to plants.

However, low chlorine levels aren’t poisonous to plants and help destroy some harmful pests.

Can You Put Essential Oils in Your Kiddie Pool

Yes. Adding a few drops of antibacterial essential oil such as Oregano, Tea Tree, Geranium and Lavender help keep your water and benefit your kid’s skin. Just be cautious as to what oil you use. Citrus oils degrade plastics and may not be recommended.

You can also use peppermint oil to keep bugs away from your pool. Pour half of the small bottles into a spray bottle, fill up some water and spray around your pool. Keep in mind that you can use these essential oils only if the pool water is purified by ozone or electrolysis. The presence of chlorine in water destroys the plant’s aromatic molecule benefit.

How Long Can Water Sit in a Kiddie Pool

Kiddie pool with water

Plastic kiddie pools or small inflatable pools need a change of water every day after use. Unless you add chlorine to the pool to kill germs and bacteria, you can change the water every two weeks. If water is stagnant and does not contain chlorine, it becomes unhealthy within a day or two.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that a kiddie pool should be emptied after every usage. Even after taking all the required precautions, you still need to empty the water after every use, scrub the pool thoroughly, leave it in direct sunlight for at least three to four hours before using it again. This way, you can reduce the spread of germs and infections.

Can You Drown in a Kiddie Pool

Keep toys out of kiddie pool when not in use

Studies have found that over 10% of swimming pool-related deaths occur in kiddie pools such as plastic wading pools and small inflatables. There is a possibility of kids drowning in as little as 2 inches of water. Half of these accidents occur when a child is unsupervised or has had a lapse in supervision.

Therefore, it is essential to follow these prevention measures when setting up the pool to reduce the risk of drowning;

i) Every pool, even above the ground pools, should be fenced at least four feet high. The fencing should have no opening under it and not climbable.

ii) Pool gates should be self-closing and self-latching.  Ladders used for the above-ground pools should be removed or locked when the pool is not in use.

iii) Always empty kiddie pools when they are not in use.

v) Emergency telephone numbers should be available near the pools.

vi) Children should be constantly supervised when around or in the pool.

vii) Learn more about the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and have life preservers by the pool.

viii) Toys are irresistible to kids and should be kept out of the pool when not in use.

How to Safely Manage Your Kiddie Pool

Everyone wants their pool to last longer and in good condition. Follow these simple tips on how to manage your pool, and you will love your kiddie pool.

i) Approximate the number of gallons your pool holds as this will determine the amount of chemical you will add for treatment. However, small pools can be used and emptied daily without adding any treatment.

ii) Choose a pool disinfectant. For a small inflatable pool, use regular bleach to disinfect it—an estimate of 2 ounces of bleach for 150 gallons of water.

iii) Decide on the method to test your pool water. Backyard kiddie pool managers can use color test strips to help keep the water’s right amount of chlorine levels.

iv) Adjust the chemicals depending on your data. Chlorine is more effective compared to other chemicals for destroying recreational water illnesses. The pool water pH should be between 7.2 to 7.8.

v) Periodically shock your pool. This helps remove excess stains and algae. Use either a non-chlorine shock oxidizer or chlorinated products for breaking down combined chlorine in the water. Shocking should be done when the combined chlorine levels exceed 0.5 parts per million.

How Do You Get Slime Out of a Kiddie Pool

Excessive debris in water such as leaves and dirt causes the pool wall to get slimy and grow mildew faster. A slimy pool makes swimming boring, and slime is usually a result of algae and bacteria that makes the water unhealthy. Cleaning slime off the bottom of the pool is vital for pool maintenance.

You can either use vinegar, bleach, or borax for a kiddie pool to get rid of them. Start by emptying the pool. After the pool is completely drained, you will notice that the pool feels slimy and might have grown mildew as well.

Add white vinegar into a bucket and saturate a sponge in it. Scrub the pool down until all the mildew is removed, then rinse with a water hose.

If you prefer to use borax to remove mildew, combine 2 cups of warm water with ½ cup of borax. Saturate a sponge in the mixture, then scrub the pool starting from the sides and work your way downward. Completely rinse the pool with a hose.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Below are more frequently asked questions(FAQs) related to how to keep your kiddie pool clean.

1. Can you swim with Algaecide?

Yes, you can swim with Algaecide depending on the type used. Long life and regular algaecides are safe for swimming immediately after treatment. They typically contain copper. However, swimming immediately after high quantity usage may cause your hair to turn green or blue or eye and skin irritation.

2. How long can it take to fill an Intex kiddie pool?

An Intex Kiddie pool with a size of 58inch diameter and a 13-inch depth has a volume of 73 gallons if filled up to 9.5 inches of its height, can be filled in 6 minutes with a hose that has 12 gallons per minute.

3. How long should you wait after you put on the chlorine to get into the water?

You will wait for about 2-4 hours, depending on the amount of chlorine you added and the size of the pool. It is generally considered safe to swim in a pool once your chlorine levels are 5 parts per million or after 24hours.

4. How do I make my kiddie pool last longer?

Most leaks from a kiddie pool are caused by punctures on the bottom of the pool. Always put something smooth under the pool to protect it from unnecessary punctures brought about by pebbles, stones, or any other thing strapped at the bottom of the pool.

5. How can I heat my inflatable pool?

The best and cheap way to warm a kiddie pool is to install it in a sunny area and cover it every night using a solar cover when it is not used to help retain the heat and warm the water. Alternatively, you can lay the hose in the sun such that it heats the water in it as it travels through to the pool.

6. How do I add chemicals to my kiddie pool?

Start by filling your pool, add bleach and borax. Wait for about an hour, then use the strips to test. Ph levels should be between 7.4 and 7.6, while free chlorine should be between 1 and 3 parts per million. Add the algaecide dose, respectively, and you are ready to swim.

If the chlorine level is low, below 2.0 ppm, add 1 dose of the chlorine tablets and mix. Re-test before swimming.


Swimming is a very enjoyable and a good form of exercise, especially for the kids. Small pools within our yards are likely to get dirty after some time. You can minimize the risk of pool water illnesses and ensure that your kids are healthy and active all summer while swimming.

The tips listed above will help maintain your kid pool clean and clear without a filter for your family’s well-being. Draining and refiling is the safest way to do this. Households products like white vinegar and chemical such as chlorine used in the right amount also help with stain removal and killing germs and bacteria.

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