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Kiddie Pools are getting dirty sooner or later. Numerous weather conditions, and also the paddling itself, cause the kiddie pool and the water to be contaminated in various ways.

If you don’t clean the kiddie pool regularly, you should be thinking of disposing it, since the contamination could lead to many problems, including not to be underestimated possible diseases.

6 Causes of cloudy or green paddling pool water

The reasons for a greenish discoloration or cloudiness of the water are as varied as the children who regularly frolic in the cool water during the hot months. In the following sections, you’ll find the most common causes of contaminants in your wading pool water.

Cause 1: Leaves and pollen

The wind, as well as young and old bathers, can cause the pool to become contaminated with leaves as well as pollen. Depending on the location, the exposure of the water to flying plant matter varies. In the vicinity of bushes and trees it is in principle much higher.

Cause 2: Lawn, soil or sand

Due to the fact that especially children often run barefoot, another reason for contamination of the paddling pool is obvious: sand or finest earth particles, which stick to the feet, are carried into the water. In addition, small blades of grass from the lawn often stick to water toys.

Cause 3: Insects

Occasionally, dead insects may be found in the wading pool water. In many cases, smaller wading pools serve as a water source for them to accidentally fall into and die.

Cause 4: Body fluids

Paddling pools offer maximum bathing fun and serve as refreshment, especially in summer. Body fluids, especially sweat due to the season, can get into the paddling pool water. If small children use the paddling pool, urine may also be involved.

Cause 5: Sun milk

Skin care products, especially suntan lotion, which is indispensable as protection against UV radiation during the warm season, often leave residues in the water. This can often be seen as an oil film on the surface of the water.

Cause 6: Algae

The main reason for a green color of the water is algae. They spread quickly with the help of sunlight, polluting the paddling pool water.

7 Tips for keeping paddling pool clean

Fortunately, there are a variety of methods on how to rid the paddling pool of impurities. Also, some preventative measures should be taken so that the amount of debris in the water is kept low. In the following sections, we will explain some options in this regard.

Tip 1: Clean the surface from impurities

With the help of a pool scraper, larger debris such as leaves or insects can be removed from the paddling pool. If necessary, a finely perforated pasta strainer can also be used to clean the water surface.

Tip 2: Use a pool cover

By using a pool cover, many dirt particles will not get into your paddling pool in the first place. The use is especially recommended at night or for longer periods during which the paddling pool is not used.

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Tip 3: Take pool care products to help

If the material of the wading pool is not damaged by the addition of pool care products, they can be quite helpful, especially for larger pools. When using algaecide, chlorine and agents that influence the pH value, you should always follow the dosage instructions in the package insert, otherwise irritation of the mucous membranes or other reactions can occur.

Tip 4: Change water regularly

Often the purchase of a pool vacuum cleaner or a filter system for a small paddling pool is not profitable. During the pool season, it is therefore advisable to change the water in the paddling pool regularly. The intervals should be comparatively short and no more than two to three days.

Tip 5: Use a sponge or cloth

As soon as the water has been drained from the paddling pool, it is worth cleaning it by hand using a sponge or cloth. This will remove any protective residue that may appear, especially in the corners and around the edges. Before the paddling pool is filled with water again, it is recommended to rinse it and let it dry.

Tip 6: Only enter the pool with clean feet

To avoid additional dirt in the water, it is advisable to enter the paddling pool only with clean feet. Since children can forget this maxim in the heat of the moment, a water bowl placed in front of the pool is a good reminder to clean their feet in it.

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Tip 7: Choose the right location

There are some locations that can contribute to water contamination. Under trees, the wading pool is exposed to falling leaves and there is also an increased exposure to flying debris near bushes. Therefore, these places are to be avoided accordingly.

FAQ: Frequently asked questions about paddling pool cleaning answered

Can I clean paddling pools with home remedies?

Basically, cleaning the paddling pool with household remedies is not recommended. There is a risk of damaging the material with household cleaners.

Vitamin C, for example, is frequently advertised as a cleaning agent that is supposed to eliminate cloudiness caused by algae infestation and bacterial contamination. We strongly advise against its use, as the clarification of the water is purely cosmetic in nature. However, untreated water used to clean the wading pool is safe.

Do you need chlorine if you want to keep the paddling pool water clean?

The answer to this question depends largely on the size and use of the paddling pool: for a smaller pool that is only occasionally used for refreshment in the summer, the use of chlorine is not necessary at all.

A larger paddling pool can benefit from the addition of chlorine, but you should find out about the adequate dosage beforehand. Chlorine tablets are among the most popular products used in this regard. In addition, it should be clarified whether the material of your paddling pool is designed for the use of chlorine: paddling pools made of rubberized plastics, for example, can even be damaged by the addition of chlorine.

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Where does the dirty wading pool water go?

There are a few ways you can use the dirty water from your wading pool: If it is safe in terms of chemical composition, for example, it is suitable for watering your flower beds or for use in sprinkler systems.

Also, an option, if you observe the local guideline values and this alternative is legal in your area, would be to dispose of the water via the sewer connection of your private household. If you want to be handy, you could also create a septic tank to drain the dirty wading pool water. The last option, which however requires hiring a professional, is to install a dry well.

How does wading pool water maintenance differ from that of a large pool?

In the case of a smaller paddling pool, which is also used only irregularly in the summer months, the use of chemical agents for pool maintenance is usually not necessary. In addition, paddling pools can be cleaned appropriately in most cases without the purchase and use of a pool vacuum or filter system.

How to keep bees and wasps away from the paddling pool?

Especially when smaller children are frolicking in the wading pool, bees and wasps should not be present. For example, you can keep bees away from the paddling pool as well as the children by offering them an additional source of water, for example in the form of a shallow bowl.

Wasps, on the other hand, are most effectively deterred with dummy wasp nests. Due to the fact that these insects compete strongly for territories, they will rarely, if ever, visit your paddling pool after the dummies have been set up.


Paddling pools invite you to refresh, play and romp in the hot season. In order to obtain hygienically clean water with beautiful visual characteristics, it is necessary to take a few steps to prevent or clean up contamination.

The measures depend not only on general necessities, such as the right choice of location, but also on the size of your paddling pool. For larger pools, the use of pool chemicals is helpful, while smaller versions of a wading pool, for example, do not need this aspect.

Larry has been a true water rat since childhood. Pure pleasure turned into a passion. That's why he is the first point of contact for friends and acquaintances when it comes to pool-related problems. He is an integral part of the PoolHandbook editorial team.