Summertime is around the corner! Have your kids badgered you to prepare their kiddie pools?
Most pool owners turn to chemicals like chlorine to easily fight algae and keep their pools clean –however, maybe you have concerns about the effects of chemicals on your kids?
If anyone suffers from allergies, using chlorine may pose more problems than solutions. So, why not use natural cleaning agents instead?
Dive in to learn more about how to keep kiddie pool water clean naturally.
What is a Kiddie Pool?
As the name implies, a kiddie pool is generally a small pool often intended for use by kids. However, don’t let that stop you from hopping on in as well! There are also some simple methods to heat the kiddie pool for maximum enjoyment.
Kiddie pool sizes can vary greatly, holding anywhere from 20 to 300 gallons. Some are a simple hard-shell plastic pool, while others are larger inflatables.
Kiddie pools are often placed on top of the lawn. If placing your pool on the grass, there are steps you can take to prevent the grass from being harmed.
Some of the larger kiddie pools may have a pump and filter to help maintain cleanliness. Depending on the type of kiddie pool you have, natural cleaning methods may vary.
How to Keep Kiddie Pool Clean Without Chlorine
Keeping your hands off of chlorine might be hard since this has been one of the most common ways to keep a pool clean. But, don’t fret; there are ways to maintain your pool without using this chemical.
Replace Water Regularly
The most effective way to keep your kiddie pool clean is to replace the water regularly. This is particularly effective for small pools without a pump or filter.
Replacing the water regularly will help clear out both organic and inorganic materials that have accumulated. For water that is not being circulated, it may only take a few days to start seeing growth in the water which will be more challenging to clean later.
Daily replacement of the water may be most practical for small kiddie pools of 30 gallons or less. Once the water is dumped, you can allow the pool to air dry.
Make Sure Kids are Clean Before Entering the Pool
Kids are generally not aware of cleanliness. So, when they enter the pool without cleaning up, dirt from their bodies accumulates in the water.
Next time, before your kid jumps into the pool, make sure they’re clean. Pay extra attention to their feet since that’s where most dirt comes from.
A towel at the entrance of the pool can serve as a simple foot wipe.
The garden hose is also a great way to perform a quick rinse of the kids before they hop into the pool. Rinsing off before the pool will also help prevent skin oils, soaps, and lotions from entering the water.
Physically Remove Debris Often
This one’s obvious. With a sturdy handheld net, floating debris like leaves or branches can easily be removed.
A small battery-powered pool vacuum is also an easy way to remove debris out of the water. Unlike a wet/dry vac, a pool vacuum will collect the debris without causing your pool to lose water.
Take note that removing debris from the pool should be done as soon as you see it. If left for a long time, it can sink to the bottom of the pool, making it harder to clean.
Keep Animals Out of the Pool
Unless you’re planning the pool for use with your pets in mind, it’s best to keep animals out of the water. Dirt, fur, and dander from animals will quickly turn the pool grubby.
If you’re little one does find enjoyment in having a canine friend splash around, it’s recommended that you dump the water afterwards.
Use Distilled White Vinegar
Distilled white vinegar, or just white vinegar, is a kitchen staple. Aside from being a cooking ingredient, most use this as a cleaning agent.
Vinegar contains acetic acid, which makes it a potent cleaner. Adding a half cup of vinegar per 100 gallons of water has the same effect as adding chlorine to your pool.
By using vinegar, you can also change your pool water less often. When discarding the water, try to aim for concrete ground instead of grassy areas since vinegar kills weeds and grass.
Cover Your Pool
One way to keep dirt from your pool is to cover it when it’s not being used. You can keep falling leaves, debris, and dust at bay when covers are used.
Covers are also great at keep unwanted guest, such as birds, from dirtying the water.
Covering the pool will also help prevent evaporation, which will provide warmer temperature in the water.
For kiddie pools, there are several different style of covers you can choose from: solid, solar, mesh, tarp.
Solid Pool Cover
Solid pool covers are usually customized to fit your pool. Because debris or sunlight cannot penetrate, you can easily avoid algae growth.
A solar cover can be trimmed to fit the surface of the pool. Bubbles in the cover allow for sunlight to transfer into the water while also preventing evaporation.
For larger pools, you may want to consider a solar reel to help place the cover on an off.
Mesh Pool Cover
Mesh pool covers allow sunlight to pass through. But, because of this, your pool can be more prone to algae growth.
The material of this cover is lightweight, so you can easily store and pack it away when not in use. It’s also the easiest to install.
It doesn’t come without a downside, though. The mesh material allows dust to accumulate in the water, making it dirty and in need of filtering.
Overall, if the water temperature is the main concern for you, a mesh pool cover works best.
If you’d rather not spend the money on a traditional pool cover for the kiddie pool, a tarp can also work just fine.
Similar to a solid pool cover, a tarp will prevent sunlight and debris from entering the water, which will help prevent algae growth.
Ensure the tarp is clean before placing it onto the pool. If the tarp hangs over the sides of the pool, you may want to consider weighing it down with large objects to prevent it from blowing away.
How to Keep Kiddie Pool Clean With Baking Soda
Baking soda is another cupboard staple that’s mainly used for cleaning. It’s naturally alkaline, so it helps in raising the pH level and alkalinity that make the water clear.
You can follow these steps to keep your kiddie pool clean with baking soda:
1 – Run a pH test
First, run a pH test to determine the initial pH of your pool.
Ideally, pool water should have a pH level between 7.2 to 7.8. If it’s lower than 7.2, your pool water needs baking soda to avoid acidity.
2 – Know the Right Amount of Baking Soda to Use
You should be aiming for an alkalinity level of 100 ppm for a pH level between 7.2 and 7.8.
A good rule of thumb is to add 1.25 lbs of baking soda for every 10,000 gallons of water to raise the alkalinity by 10 ppm. So, for 100 ppm, you’d need 12.5 lbs of baking soda per 100,000 gallons of water.
If this math seems a little complicated, you can also use online calculators to determine how much baking soda to use.
3 – Buy Baking Soda in Bulk
To be on the safe side, buying baking soda in bulk is easier and probably much cheaper than buying packs in supermarkets. Try to check your local suppliers or consult online stores for bulk buying of baking soda.
4 – Add Baking Soda
When adding the baking soda, remember not to add it all at once, especially if you’ve calculated that you’ll need a lot.
For starters, you can add the required amount of baking soda to raise the alkalinity by 10 ppm. Generally, this shouldn’t exceed 2.5 lbs.
Add the baking soda by sprinkling it around the pool, followed by constant stirring. This motion ensures that the baking soda dissolves properly and quickly.
5 – Continue Mixing into the Water
Continue mixing the baking soda into the water until it is fully dissolved. You can use your hand or other object to do this.
If your kiddie pool has a small pump, you can use this to help mix the baking soda into water. Recirculating the water for several hours will help ensure proper mixing. The actual time to run your pump will depend on how big or small your pool is.
6 – Repeat the Process if Needed
After some time, retest the pH level of your pool water to see if it’s achieved the desired alkalinity. If not, repeat the same process until you get to a pH level of 7.2 to 7.8.
How to Keep Kiddie Pool Clean With Salt
One of the cheapest ways to keep your pool clean is by using salt.
Two types of salts generally achieve the same goal of reducing the potential growth of algae and bacteria in water. They’re not drastically different, but slight differences still matter.
If you can’t spare extra cash on pool salt, using table salt is perfectly fine. Not only is this cheap and readily available, but it also seems to be the most obvious salt to use.
When using this, it’s important to remember that you have to use a table salt that has no iodine or other impurities. This can produce iodine in water which could lead to potential health issues.
Pool salt is the safer choice for maintaining your pool water clean. It’s a purer form of table salt, which limits the possible harmful chemical reactions with water.
Pool salts actually come in three different types. So, what’s the right type of pool salt to use?
Mined salt is also known as rock salt, which is much larger granules than regular salt. Because of this, it’s a common pool salt that takes longer to dissolve in water.
This type of salt is collected from underground salt mines and has purity levels between 95% to 99%. Its purity depends on how many trace minerals it contains.
Since this salt is essentially in its purest form, it’s totally safe to use for pools.
Simply put, solar salt is sundried saltwater. From seawater, the sun helps in the evaporation process, which leaves organic salt.
Because solar salt comes from a natural process, there may be organic contaminants included in the salt. It may not be as pure as mined salt, but it’s a great source of pool water that is both cheap and natural.
Mechanically Evaporated Salt
Instead of using natural methods, mechanically evaporated salts are created with the help of heat generators to speed up the process. Much like solar salt, this salt is dried from seawater.
One advantage of mechanically evaporated salt is that it’s free from organic contaminants. But unlike mined salt, this type of pool salt is known to dissolve quickly in water.
Mechanically evaporated salt is also generally more expensive than mined salt or solar salt because of how it’s made.
Knowing the right kind and how much salt to use for your pool is critical for safe swimming. If you don’t know how much salt to use, there are many pool salt calculators available online to help you, like this one.
With different health concerns attached to using chemicals, we need to put our kids’ health and safety first.
Whether you choose to clean your pool water with salt, vinegar, physical maintenance, or baking soda, you can still maintain a healthy pool without chlorine.
Now that you know how to keep kiddie pool water clean naturally, it’s time to put this knowledge to use and let your kids enjoy summer!
Husband and father of three (actually, four if you include the pool). I’m an avid DIY-er and weekend warrior that enjoys taking up new projects around the house to help us maximize leisure right at home. I enjoy researching and sharing various tips, tricks and knowledge to help others make their home an oasis.