Having a pool is wonderful, but it also comes with big responsibilities. These include encouraging a safe environment, keeping the pool clean, and keeping pool equipment clean. For the purposes of this article, we'll cover cleaning pool toys and storing pool supplies correctly.
In the summer, you’ll use your pool often. When swim time ends, make sure all toys get removed from the pool. That goes for innertubes, pool noodles, and the everything else. Dry them off with an absorbent towel and put them away until next time. If the sun is still out, you may want to leave them by the side of the pool to dry under the heat as well, but be sure to put them away when the sun goes down.
As long as the toys are dry, you may want to simply put them in your home or garage. However, we'll go over some other options shortly.
When winter comes, and you're ready to cover your pool for the season, make sure your pool equipment is clean and very dry before storing it. Depending on the weather where you live, you may spend some time swimming during the winter, or the pool may be frozen over. One option for storing your pool gear over winter is to put it into your self storage unit.
Cleaning Pool Toys
Periodically over the warmer seasons, and once at the start of winter, clean and dry your pool toys well. Mold and mildew like to grow on damp pool equipment, as well as in dark spaces.
Fortunately, cleaning pool toys is easy. You'll need liquid bleach, a cleaning bucket, sponges with one rough side, and baking soda.
To make a cleaning solution, mix one tablespoon of bleach per one gallon of water. Let smaller items, like arm floaties, pool weights, and the like float or sink into the cleaning solution for a few minutes. Next, remove them, dunk a sponge into the bucket, and rub down the toys well. This should kill any mold or mildew. For larger items, such as pool noodles or inner tubes, wet a sponge and rub the item down. Next, dry them thoroughly with a dry, absorbent towel.
For items with already visible mildew or mold, or that are especially dirty, apply baking soda to a moist sponge and vigorously scrub the affected areas. Then, clean them with the bleach/water solution and dry them completely.
One great way to store your pool toys is in an outdoor storage bench. These benches are nice for relaxing poolside and they have space inside for storing outdoor items. What’s more, they’re generally made to breathe, so any moisture you didn’t manage to get off items has a chance to evaporate and escape. A storage bench isn’t ideal for pool cleaning machines and supplies, so you would need to store those elsewhere, such as the garage, to take out when you need them.
If you want to store many pool toys, pool cleaning equipment, and even some extra towels in one place, consider getting a garden shed. These come in many sizes, but for pool storage needs, look at those on the small side. You can set one up against the side of your house by the pool, and this will make it easy to grab whatever pool toys you want to play with before hopping in for a swim.
These are great if you plan to simply bring your dried pool toys into the house, garage, or to put them in a self storage unit over the winter. Equipment carriers for pool toys are essentially cages on wheels. They’ll keep your pool toys together and safe, so they won’t get scattered about a storage unit. The toys will also be able to breathe and lose any extra moisture that may be left on them.
Finally, if you do decide to store your pool toys in a self storage unit, consider getting one with climate control. Both freezing, dry weather, and hot, humid weather, can cause damage to pool supplies. If you happen to have your items in storage over the summer, even if you cleaned and dried them well, in a non-climate controlled unit, they can become damp from the humidity and grow mold. Many pool toys will likely be all right in freezing weather, but those made of rubber can crack. Climate control keeps the temperature and humidity in a unit at moderate, safe levels.
Following these instructions will help you, your kids, and your guests, have safe, literally clean, fun in your pool all summer long!