How to Clean a Kiddie Pool

Nothing helps beat the heat like jumping in nice cool water. While larger pools have their own cleaning systems, small backyard kiddie pools do not. They require some cleaning from time to time to keep bacteria and algae growth away. Here’s how to keep your kiddie pool clean and safe for your little ones. 

You Will Need:

  • Bucket
  • Bleach
  • Old rags or towels 


Steps to Clean Your Kiddie Pool:

  1. Unless your pool has a pump and filter, you will need to drain and refill it each week. Chemicals are only to be used with the proper system. Larger kiddie pools may be equipped with these features. In this case, follow the instructions carefully or consult a pool supply company for treatment instructions. Taking a water sample will allow them to identify any high/low levels in the water and offer proper remedies.
  2. For small, kiddie splash pools, drain the water before you begin cleaning.
  3. Once drained, use a wet rag or towel to wipe around inside. This will remove much of the algae growth that may be beginning.
  4. Use a mixture of bleach and water (one part bleach to 5 parts water) to clean the interior. Scrub any dirty areas or areas with growth until they are removed.
  5. Rinse and refill with clean water.
  6. Once the pool is refilled, it’s ready for use.
  7. To maintain the sanitary water, regular household bleach can be added. Use ¼ teaspoon for every 10 gallons of water. This equals 2 ½ teaspoons for every 100 gallons of water. Mix the bleach into the water and
  8. Repeat cleanings each week. 

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Regular cleanings will keep germs and harmful bacteria away, so your little swimmers can keep safe and healthy in the water.
  • If pools are not cleaned, the germs and bacteria can lead to colds, ear infections, and other illnesses.
  • Keep a cover on your pool to prevent leaves, bird droppings and insects from entering the water.
  • If small children have “accidents” while swimming, the pool water will need to be shocked using the bleach mentioned above or drained, cleaned and refilled. Human waste can carry bacteria and the pool may be unsafe to swim in after the water has been contaminated.
  • Adding bleach to the water also keeps mosquito from laying eggs in the water.
  • Keep pools emptied or blocked off when not in use to prevent accidental drowning. Always supervise children whenever they are in the pool.



  1. Heather K. says:

    This seems a bit of an overkill. For years, we’ve just emptied our kiddie pools when the kids are done playing and scrubbed them out once in a while with some Simple Green spray when the algae starts to grow. One of the things I love about these simple summer play things is that there is no chlorine! The water doesn’t sting eyes and doesn’t wreck havoc on my soil’s buggies either, when I dump it all out. Skip the bleach.

  2. Not in Florida; must have the bleach to keep the mosquitoes out.

  3. Our pool holds almost 500 gallons – not really feasible to empty it every time our son uses it, unfortunately.

  4. There is actually a vacuum that attaches to your water hose that has a small bag to get the bugs & whatever else out. We never had that large of a pool for our kids, but put a little chlorine in it after we vacuumed it at night. It took about 4 gallons of chlorine per summer…we live in Michigan. You can get the vacuum at a local pool store for about 20-25 dollars…well worth it!

  5. I put a tarp under our 10 foot wide above ground pool. When I took the pool up, the tarp smells like poop. I have washed and washed it and it is still in it. How can I get rid of that smell?

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