Can You Put Chlorine in an Inflatable Pool?

Have you ever wondered if you can put chlorine in an inflatable pool? Well, the answer is yes, you can. However, it’s usually unnecessary and may even be harmful if you add too much. Inflatable pools are typically quite small and it may be a better option to completely drain it and refill it daily.

Can You Put Chlorine in an Inflatable Pool
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While chlorine is commonly used in larger pools to kill harmful bacteria and germs, it’s often not advised for smaller inflatable pools since it’s easy to miscalculate the required amount. Over-chlorinating your inflatable pool can lead to water becoming uncomfortable to use, potentially causing skin and eye irritation.

Therefore, it’s essential to know the alternatives and best practices for keeping your inflatable pool clean and safe without relying solely on chlorine.

The Impact of Chlorine on Inflatable Pools

While it is possible to put chlorine in your inflatable pool, it is generally unnecessary and may even be harmful if too much is added. In this section, we’ll discuss the effects of chlorine on the materials and structural integrity of the pool, as well as safety concerns for swimmers.

Materials and Structural Integrity

Chlorine is a powerful chemical that can have a negative impact on materials if used in excessive amounts. Typically, the materials used to make inflatable pools can withstand some exposure to chlorine, it’s important to avoid adding an excessive amount.

Adding too much chlorine may cause the pool material to become brittle or discolored over time. You need to use water test kits so ensure that you add the right amount of chlorine, especially in larger inflatable pools, to help maintain the pool’s structural integrity and appearance.

Safety Concerns

One of the primary purposes of using chlorine in pools is to keep the water clean and free of harmful bacteria. However, in smaller inflatable pools, you can just drain the old water and refill it with fresh water, making the use of chlorine and other chemicals less necessary.

Another reason that adding chlorine to a small pool is not advised is because you need such a small amount and you could easily add too high a dose, causing the water to become uncomfortable to use.

When that happens, swimmers may experience skin and eye irritation, respiratory issues, and potentially more significant health problems. Therefore, it’s essential to monitor the chlorine levels in your inflatable pool and maintain them within safe limits, if you choose to use it.

Putting Chlorine in an Inflatable Pool

Due to the risks mentioned above, when adding chlorine to your inflatable pool, you must vigilantly monitor and maintain proper concentration levels as it can be harmful if too much is added.

Balancing Your Water

Once you decide you need to add chlorine into your inflatable pool, you’ll also need to add other chemicals before to balance the water. Chlorine is most effective when the water is balanced.

As mentioned, you need to use a water test kit to determine things like the pH, alkalinity, and free chlorine in the water.

The optimal range you’re looking for is:

  • pH: Between 7.4 and 7.6
  • Alkalinity: Between 80 and 120 PPM
  • Free Chlorine: Between 1 and 3 PPM

These are the numbers you must aim for, and to do that, you will need pH increasers or reducers, alkalinity increasers, and cyanuric acid to help stabilize the chlorine.

Start by determining the pool’s capacity, typically measured in gallons. Then read the instructions on the products to know how much product needs to be added for the size of your pool.

After adding these chemicals, test the water to ensure the pH and alkalinity are within the optimal ranges, and adjust as necessary.

Adding Chlorine

Once you’ve figured that out, it’s just a simple math calculation to determine how much chlorine to add.

Typically, you would add 0.13 oz of chlorine per 1,000 gallons of water in your pool to raise the chlorine concentration by 1.0 ppm (parts per million). Remember, you want to keep the free chlorine concentration between 1-3 ppm.

So for a small inflatable pool that holds around 250 gallons of water, you’d only need about 0.0325 oz of chlorine to reach 1 ppm.

Keep in mind, experts recommend shocking the pool the first time you add chlorine to it. That means adding a high concentration of chlorine, typically reaching up to 10 ppm, then letting it drop down into the safe range of 3 ppm before using it.

Shocking the pool will kill all the bacteria and algae in the water. You should also shock the pool once a week or whenever you notice the water turning green or cloudy.

Once you’ve determined the right chlorine concentration, mix the chlorine in a bucket of water before adding it to your pool, ensuring it’s evenly distributed.

By following these steps and keeping an eye on chlorine levels and pH balance, you’ll ensure a safe and enjoyable swimming experience in your inflatable pool.

Covering Up Your Inflatable Pool

Once you start adding chemicals in your pool, you also need to think about covering it up. A pool cover keeps debris, bugs, and even small animals out of your pool.

More importantly, it protects your pool from the elements, particularly sunlight, rain, and wind. Sunlight can burn up the chlorine and other chemicals in your pool quickly, forcing you to go through your supply quickly.

Rainwater is acidic and will greatly decrease the pH levels, causing the water balance to be out of whack and drastically reducing the chlorine’s effectiveness.

Lastly, both wind and sunlight will cause the pool water (and pool chemicals) to evaporate quickly, forcing you to refill the water constantly and having to rebalance the water.

Covering the inflatable pool when you aren’t using it will greatly extend how long your chemicals last and will make your life a whole lot easier in general.

Keep in mind that you should specifically buy a pool cover, not a tarp. Rain water can seep through the tarp and still enter the pool. Use the right product for the job!

Alternatives to Chlorine in Inflatable Pools

Regular Cleaning and Water Changes

For smaller inflatable pools, your best option might simply be regular cleaning and water changes. It’s important to empty and clean the pool periodically, removing debris and scrubbing the pool walls to prevent mildew growth.

Make sure to replace the water frequently, especially during heavy use or after rainfall, to maintain a safe and enjoyable swimming environment.


Yet again for small inflatable pools, a small amount of bleach can be used instead of chlorine, adding about 1/4 tsp for every 10 gallons of water. For medium-sized inflatable pools, add approximately 2 1/2 tsp for every 100 gallons of water.

Saltwater Systems

One option if you have a larger inflatable pool is installing a saltwater system. These systems convert salt into chlorine, offering a gentle and effective way to sanitize your pool water.

So instead of directly adding chlorine, you would put salt in the water instead and the salt chlorine generator will convert the salt into chlorine.

By using a saltwater system, you’ll experience less skin and eye irritation compared to traditional chlorinated water, which is a significant advantage, especially for those with sensitive skin.

UV or Ozone Systems

Another alternative is using UV or ozone systems to keep your inflatable pool clean. UV systems work by passing the water through a chamber with ultraviolet light, killing bacteria, viruses, and other harmful contaminants.

Ozone systems, on the other hand, use an ozone generator to produce ozone gas that effectively eliminates microorganisms while also reducing the need for chemicals. Both UV and ozone systems can significantly improve your pool water quality, making it safer for you and your family to enjoy.

Non-Chlorine Pool Chemicals

You might also consider using non-chlorine pool chemicals, like bromine, as an alternative to chlorine. Bromine, a halogen element like chlorine, is a powerful sanitizer that works well in hot tubs and pools.

While many find it gentler on skin and eyes than chlorine, know that bromine dissolves slower and may need to be replenished more frequently.

By considering these alternatives to chlorine, you can maintain a healthy and enjoyable inflatable pool experience for you and your family while minimizing exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.