Why is My Inflatable Pool Slimy? Top Causes and Solutions

Why is My Inflatable Pool Slimy

Have you ever wondered why your inflatable pool feels slimy? The sensation of touching a slimy pool’s walls or floor can be quite unpleasant and it’s a sign that something has gone wrong. In most cases, the sliminess is due to a lack of proper pool maintenance, which can result in bacterial growth and algae forming along the surfaces.

There are steps you can take to tackle this issue and enjoy your inflatable pool without the undesirable slippery sensation. In this article, we’ll discuss the primary causes of the sliminess in inflatable pools and guide you through effective methods to clean it off, as well as to prevent it from coming back.

Why Does My Inflatable Pool Feel Slimy?

Algae Growth

green algae growth in inflatable pool
Brian Leon CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

One of the primary reasons for a slimy above-ground pool is algae growth. Algae thrive in warm, stagnant water and feed on nutrients that can accumulate in the pool. By the time you notice algae, it has already been there feeding for days.

These microscopic plants can make your pool walls and floor feel slippery, and if left unchecked, can turn your water green or cloudy in addition to the slimy pool walls and floor. To prevent algae growth, you need to clean your pool often and be on top of water chemistry and filtration.

Bacteria and Microorganisms

Besides algae, bacterial and microorganism growth can also cause sliminess in your pool. Poor maintenance can lead to imbalanced water chemistry, creating a breeding ground for bacteria that may leave a slippery film on the surfaces of your pool. Some symptoms of bacterial growth include cloudy or off-colored water and an unpleasant smell.

Keep in mind that harmful bacteria, such as E. coli, can make swimmers sick if the pool is not properly maintained. For larger pools, the standard advice is to take care of your pool’s water chemistry and clean the filters to keep the water quality high.

For smaller inflatable pools, it may not be worth the effort to balance the water chemistry or add a pool filter. It may be easier to just completely drain the pool, scrub the walls with soapy water to get rid of any algae and bacteria, and refill the water daily.

Preventing Sliminess

Proper Pool Maintenance

The key to preventing sliminess in your inflatable pool is regular and thorough maintenance. Start by draining the pool periodically to eliminate any buildup of algae and bacteria.

For smaller inflatable pools, such as kiddie pools, you can completely drain the pool and refill it the next day.

After draining, dry the pool using a towel or rag to prevent mold growth. Remember to clean the pool’s outer surfaces as well, as dirt and debris can be easily transferred to the water.

It’s also a good idea to cover your pool when it’s not in use to keep it protected from debris and excessive sunlight, which can promote algae growth.

Additionally, removing any organic materials, such as leaves and grass clippings, from the water will help prevent bacteria and algae growth.

Water Circulation and Filtration

Another important aspect of preventing sliminess is ensuring proper water circulation and filtration.

Consider investing in a small pool filter specifically designed for inflatable pools to help remove impurities and maintain proper water circulation. This will help prevent the accumulation of bacteria and algae that can cause sliminess.

Make sure to clean your filter regularly and replace it as needed to ensure its continued effectiveness.

It’s also a good idea to periodically stir the water to improve circulation, helping to distribute essential chemicals evenly and aerate the water, which can help inhibit algae and bacteria growth.

Balancing Chemical Levels

To keep bacteria and algae at bay, you’ll need to maintain proper water chemistry in your inflatable pool.

Test your pool’s water regularly to ensure that it has the correct pH levels and appropriate levels of sanitizing chemicals. A pH level between 7.2 and 7.8 is ideal, while chlorine or bromine should be used as sanitizers to keep the water clean and clear.

  • pH: Test and adjust the pH level, aiming for a range of 7.2 to 7.8.
  • Chlorine: Maintain a chlorine level between 1-3 parts per million (ppm) to effectively kill bacteria and algae.
  • Bromine: If using bromine, aim for a level between 2-4 ppm to keep your water sanitized.

By regularly testing and adjusting chemical levels, you’ll be able to keep algae and bacteria growth under control and prevent the sliminess that comes with it.

How to Clean a Slimy Inflatable Pool

If you already have a slimy inflatable pool, here are the steps you need to take to sanitize it.

Draining and Rinsing

Before you can tackle the slime, you’ll need to get rid of the water. Start by draining your pool using a pool pump or siphon, or open up the drain plug.

Once it’s empty, grab a garden hose or a bucket of water and rinse the entire pool to remove the initial layer of slime. Rinsing helps you get a clearer view of any remaining grime or stains.

Using Pool Cleaning Products

Next, you’ll need to choose the right cleaning products for your pool. A gentle dish detergent mixed with water works well for most surfaces.

For a more thorough cleaning, you can also use bleach mixed with warm water or a commercial pool cleaning product. Wear gloves and use a soft sponge or cloth to scrub the pool’s surfaces, paying extra attention to any slimy or discolored patches.

Removing Stubborn Stains

Some stains might not disappear with regular cleaning, but don’t worry, there are ways to tackle them.

Household items like baking soda and vinegar can help. Make a paste with baking soda and water and apply it to the stubborn stains. Leave the paste on for a few minutes, then scrub gently with a soft brush or sponge. Rinse the area with clean water once the stains have lifted.

Alternatively, try mixing equal parts water and white vinegar, then wipe the stained areas with a soft cloth soaked in the vinegar solution.

Rinse the pool thoroughly after you’ve removed the stains. Remember to dry your pool completely before storing or refilling it to prevent mold and algae growth.

Storage Considerations

When it comes to keeping your inflatable pool in top condition, proper storage plays a key role in preventing the growth of slimy mold and algae.

Thorough Drying

Any remaining moisture could promote mold growth and create a slimy surface when you set up the pool next time. Thus, it’s important to dry the pool thoroughly after draining.

Use a soft towel or cloth to wipe down every surface, paying special attention to the seams and folds, where water may linger.

If possible, allow the pool to air-dry in the sun for a few hours before folding it up. This ensures that the pool is completely dry and helps prevent any mold and mildew growth.

Proper Storage to Prevent Mold

Now that your pool is completely dry, it’s time to focus on proper storage. To prevent the slimy and unpleasant conditions we’d like to avoid, here are some key points to follow for effective storage:

  • Store your pool in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and moisture.
  • Make sure the pool is folded neatly, with minimal creases and folds to reduce the risk of mold growing in hidden areas.
  • Place the pool in a breathable storage bag or container with small holes for air circulation, to prevent any trapped moisture from causing mold.

By following these tips, you’ll be ensuring a slime-free, mold-free inflatable pool when you’re ready to set it up for your next relaxing dip. Remember, proper drying and storage not only prevents the growth of unwanted mold and algae, but also extends the life of your pool, making your investment all the more worthwhile!


Photo Credit: QFamily CC BY 2.0