15 answers

Need Ideas on Keeping Kiddie Pool Clean

I've got a toddler pool on my deck & I don't know how to keep it clean. It's a collapsable pool about 6 feet in diameter & I'd rather not have to empty & refill it everytime we want to use it. We've got a LOT of iron in our water (we have a well) & the water & pool get a brown film in & around in. Then there's the dirt that collects in it by the end of the day. It did not come with a cover so I suppose I could try covering it with a tarp every night, but I don't know how to secure the tarp, since it gets pretty windy in our yard. Our neighbor mentioned putting bleach in the water, but I'm not comfortable with that. Does anyone else have this problem and/or have any suggestions on how I can keep the pool relatively clean for a week at a time?

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We have a pool for the kids and we use just a little bit of chlorine every few days or so and we have a tarp over the top. We either use big rocks or some big outside toys to hold the tarp down. I don't refill the water everyday, seems like a waste of water. But once the water gets enough dirt that settles down to the bottom I will refill it.

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I know this is'nt what you wrote about, but you maybe shouldn't have a pool on your deck (unless it is one of those super shallow pools or a deck a foot off the ground) . A six foot wide pool has a lot of water in it and that is REALLY heavy. One gallon of water weighs 8 lbs. If you have a full pool, that could be a couple of hundred pounds. I only think of this because my girlfriend had her kids' pool on the deck for a while before she discovered that and then was quite worried about it! You don't want your deck to collapse!

I would tarp it. You can put rocks on the corners of the tap to keep it in place so the wind does not catch it when the pools not in use. They also have products to try to get out rust from the water. Using chlorine wouldn't be a bad idea since they do it in bigger pools. Bleach is a form of chlorine and cheaper too. It's probably why your neighbor suggested it.

Don't ever put bleach in water your kids will swim in! It has really high ph which is a really bad combination with skin and eyes. Regular pool chlorine has a balanced ph level safe for swimming.

You could get a filter that hangs over the side and then invest in some chemicals, a floating chlorine holder, some mineral out, algicide and chlorine and ph testing strips and if you are going to do that much work you should get a pool with a decent filter and a cover.

I have a pool and hot tub and am very comfortable with maintaining chemicals so if you decide to go that route feel free to message me.

Rather than a tarp you can try to cover it with a fitted sheet. This will keep bugs and sticks out. As for the dirty water, the only thing I've heard of doing is using bleach or using hot tub or pool cleaners.

Unless you have a filter pump and are treating the water, it will need to be dumped and refilled every time.

You can get hot tub chemicals and they are safe to use in kid's pools. Best to have a pump and filter, too. Some pools come with them now. You need to get a strip testing kit to check the ph level of the water each day and add the chem as necessary.

It is perfectly safe to put bleach in the pool, that's basically what public swimming pools use. You could go looking in the outdoor activities section at Wal-Mart see if the have a pre-mixed pool cleaner and iron remover for the pool. I would find something that will work for a pool cover also I would use a bucket or similar object to hold a little water so the kids can rinse off their feet after playing in the yard and before getting in the pool.

You just have to dump and refill everyday. Sucks but bleach isn't the key and once they get in it and play it's dirty and needs to be dumped. It's like a bathtub.

I also have a small pool. I use chlorine after the kids are done swimming. As soon as the sun hits the pool it draws out the chlorine. I use a broom to move the water then I use a net made for a pool to collect some of the dirt. I also have a test kit to make sure there isn’t too much chlorine. I keep my pool up all summer and never change the water. So once in awhile I shock the pool. I put in a lot of chlorine to soak over night. By mourning most of the chlorine is out. There are other chemicals you can use. One chemical is if the water gets cloudy. Other one is if the pool has a lot of algae it turn green. This way you might not have to dump the water as often. But that is if you keep the pool up all summer. I found a pool cover that just sits on top of the water. The wind doesn’t take it away and it keeps the other stuff out of the pool.

We have a pool for the kids and we use just a little bit of chlorine every few days or so and we have a tarp over the top. We either use big rocks or some big outside toys to hold the tarp down. I don't refill the water everyday, seems like a waste of water. But once the water gets enough dirt that settles down to the bottom I will refill it.

I am having a problem with the pool and we also have a hot tub that keeps rusting because of the hard well water. I found a filter that you hook to the end of your hose and it filters out the chemicals in the water. I have not tried it yet I just ordered it but I am hoping it helps with the pool and hot tub. I posted the link so you can check it out.


Chlorine (bleach) is what public pools use but do need to be careful. You could buy pool chemicals at walmart or most stores and follow their directions. Could even check at the store for covers as long as you know the exact size or the store may give suggestions. I run a Licensed daycare from my home but don't use a pool cuz I would have to sanitize with bleach water each time I fill it, empty and sanitize each time we are done using it. It is a hassle but probably the best thing to do. Hope you find a good solution for yourself.

To keep dirt out, try keeping a shallow pan filled with water so that the kids can step in the pan and rinse their feet before getting into the pool. I found a rectangular dishpan at Walmart that works perfectly.

If you want to tarp it, just get a tarp with those round holes around the edge, and use bungee cords to attach it to your deck and stretch it taut. (In the yard, use tent stakes -and bungee cords if needed) to anchor the tarp in the ground.

How deep is your kiddie pool?
I have found that a hard plastic pool (ours is about 4 feet diameter) is WAY easier to clean, doesn't puncture like an inflatable and is easy and cheap to replace if it somehow gets broken. We keep ours empty at night most nights to cut down on mosquito breeding, and when it gets dirty, my son loves to scrub it with a hard bristle brush; he calls this a "water game" and it is just as fun as playing in the pool any other way. We only ever have it filled a few inches, so it is easy to dump out and start over fresh. Your 3 year old might enjoy this as much as what you currently have if you decide to switch over. I have found that cleaning our hard plastic pool never takes more than 5 minutes; usually only 2 or less. When we empty it, we put my son's outside toys in it to hold it down on our deck, and then store it under the deck in winter.
Happy water games to you!

Because I work in the water purification field, I feel the need to chime in. Chlorine overnight is probably a great idea for killing anything growing in the pool, and the sun will break down the clorine. It will also probably make the iron in your well water become solid and create a bit of sediment on the bottom of the pool. It's harmless, but may be rather gritty. I'm not an expert at pool chemicals, but these are my 2 cents on water chemistry in general. Good luck, and have fun!

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