What do you do with an inflatable pool when not in use?

Storing an Inflatable Pool

When your inflatable pool is not in use, proper storage is essential to keep it in good condition. Here are some tips for storing an inflatable pool:

Deflate Completely

Before storing, make sure to deflate the pool completely. Remove all air so the pool can be folded or rolled up compactly. Use the included pump to suck the remaining air out. Make sure valves are closed tightly so no air gets back in.

Dry Thoroughly

It’s important that the pool is completely dry before storing. Allow it to air dry fully in the sun after emptying the water. Turn it inside out to dry the underside. Residual water can cause mold and mildew.

Use Pool Cover

For extra protection, use the cover that came with your inflatable pool while storing it. This prevents dust and debris from getting inside. Make sure the pool is dry before putting the cover on.

Avoid Damp Areas

Do not store the deflated pool in damp places like basements or garages. The moisture can cause damage over time. Keep it in a dry indoor area like a closet or under a bed.

Fold and Roll

Fold the pool neatly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Remove any air pockets while folding. Then roll it tightly to remove excess air and save space. Do not roll too tightly as that can cause cracks.

Use Storage Bag

Place the deflated and folded pool into the storage bag it came with. This keeps it clean and protected. If you don’t have the bag, use a large plastic storage bin or garbage bag.

Cleaning an Inflatable Pool

Before storing your inflatable pool for an extended time, give it a good cleaning:

Remove Debris

Make sure to clear any leaves, dirt or other debris from the pool before deflating it. Give the sides and bottom a wipe down. Check under the cover too if your pool has one.

Scrub Sides

Use a soft brush and mild soap to scrub the pool sides. This removes any built up dirt, oil and residue. Pay extra attention to areas that are discolored. Rinse thoroughly.

Clean with Vinegar

For hard water stains, spray with undiluted white vinegar and wipe clean. The vinegar will help dissolve any mineral deposits. Rinse after so the vinegar smell goes away.


Using pool sanitizer, fill the pool with a sanitizing solution. Let it sit 10-15 minutes, then drain. This kills bacteria so it doesn’t grow when stored.

Dry Fully

Be sure to let the pool dry completely before storage. Air dry in the sun then use a towel to dry any damp spots. Residual moisture can allow mold.

Where to Store an Inflatable Pool

The ideal place to store your inflatable pool depends on your available space. Here are some good options:

Garage or Shed

If you have room in your garage or shed, this is a good spot as it will keep the pool protected from the elements. Ensure it is fully dry first and place on shelves or racks to keep it off the potentially damp floor.


Many people opt to store their deflated pool in a closet indoors. Choose a closet out of direct sunlight. Just be sure to fully dry the pool first since closed closets can trap moisture.

Under Bed

Storing the pool under a bed gets it up off the floor. This works well if you have high clearance and can easily access the space. Just be sure to rotate occasionally.


If you have an attic space, this makes an ideal spot provided the pool is completely dry before storing. The attic is out of the way and keeps it protected.


A dry basement can work well too, especially if it’s heated in winter. Be sure to keep it elevated off the floor and watch for any moisture issues.

Storage Unit

For those short on space, a climate controlled storage unit is another option. Just ensure the pool is very dry before transporting it to avoid condensation.

Tips for Storing an Inflatable Pool

Follow these extra tips when preparing your inflatable pool for storage:

Check for Damage

Before storing, inspect the pool closely for any leaks, holes or cracks. Patch any small holes with an adhesive repair kit. Toss if it is irreparably damaged.

Clean Accessories

Give all accessories like pumps, filters, hoses, ladders, etc. a good cleaning before storing as well. Let parts dry fully before placing in the storage bag.

Avoid Plastic Touching Vinyl

Do not let any plastic parts like hoses come in contact with the vinyl pool surface when storing. The reaction can damage the vinyl over time.

Sprinkle with Talcum Powder

Some people recommend lightly dusting the dry pool with talcum powder before rolling up. This can prevent vinyl from sticking together.

Use Mothballs

Place mothballs in the storage bag or bin to keep mice and insects away from the stored pool. Just be sure to air it out before using again.

Hang Hoses

Store hoses by hanging on a wall mount or coiling and hanging from a hook. Letting hoses lie on the ground can deform them over time.

Taking Apart an Inflatable Pool

When it’s time to put away your inflatable pool, follow these steps to take it apart properly:

Deflate Completely

Use the included pump or a shop vac to remove all the air from the top ring and sides of the pool. Make sure no air remains inside before continuing.

Remove Filter Pump

If your pool has a separate filter pump, disconnect the hoses and wiring and remove it from the pool first. Set aside to dry fully.

Take Out Ladder

If your pool has an inflatable ladder or attached steps, detach those completely and let them air dry before storage.

Remove Liner

Many pools have a removable liner that comes out for storage. Take this out and let it dry before folding. Check for damage before storing.

Separate Rings

For pools with an inflatable top ring, detach this from the side walls and fold separately according to instructions.

Fold Side Walls

Once the pool is fully deflated, start folding the side walls inward to remove air pockets. Fold according to the manufacturer directions.

Roll Up

Continue rolling the deflated pool tightly but not too tight. Remove remaining air pockets as you roll. Use straps to hold in place.

Pack in Bag

Place the rolled up pool and any parts into the storage bag, bin or container. Make sure everything is dry before sealing the bag.

Setting Up a Stored Inflatable Pool

When you’re ready to use your inflatable pool again, set it up properly:

Check for Leaks

Fully inflate the top ring first and spray a soapy water solution on seams to check for leaks before inserting the liner. Patch any leaks.

Insert Liner

With the top ring fully inflated, insert the pool liner, aligning the top opening with the ring. Inflate liner partially.

Inflate All Sections

Follow instructions to fully inflate each section of the pool in sequence – top ring, side walls, base inflation tube.

Smooth Wrinkles

Walk around the pool gently pressing out any wrinkles in the liner. This prevents strains and tears.

Attach Filter Pump

If your pool has a separate pump, attach it now according to instructions. Start filling the pool 1/4 full before turning on.

Add Accessories

With the pool inflated and filling, insert ladder, attach hoses and clamps, and add any other accessories like chlorinators.

Fill Completely

Continue filling the pool, removing creases in the liner as it fills. Fill all the way to the recommended level.

Treat Water

Before swimming, treat pool water with chemicals like chlorine. Run the filter for 24 hours ensuring proper circulation.

Winterizing an Inflatable Pool

In colder climates, special steps must be taken to winterize an inflatable pool for storage:

Clean and Dry

Clean the pool walls thoroughly and allow to dry completely before storage. This prevents algae and mold growth.

Use Antifreeze

If your pool has a filter pump, use RV antifreeze to winterize it – pump through system then remove.

Check for Critters

Check the dry pool for insects, spiders or rodents before storing for the winter. Remove any invaders you find.

Remove Ladder

Detach and store the pool ladder separately. Freezing temperatures can damage the structure.

Press out Air

Fold pool flat and place a heavy object on top before storing to press out any remaining air. Condensation can form if stored inflated.

Seal in Airtight Bag

Place the deflated pool in an airtight plastic bin or storage bag. This prevents critters from invading.

Store Indoors

For cold climates, store the properly winterized pool in a heated indoor area like a basement or closet to prevent damage.

Troubleshooting Inflatable Pool Problems

Here are some common problems with inflatable pools and how to resolve them:

Problem Solution
Pool losing air Locate leaks and patch with repair kit, check valves for tight seal
Rips or holes in liner Use PVC patch glue and patches to mend small holes
Pump not filtering Check pump intake for clogs, clean filter cartridge
Low water flow Make sure hoses are not kinked, clean filter regularly
Pool not level Check ground for dips, flatten and use floor leveler if needed
Water not clear Test and adjust chlorine levels, run filter regularly

FAQs about Storing Inflatable Pools

How long can an inflatable pool last?

With proper maintenance and storage, a good quality inflatable pool should last 5-10 years. Cheaper models may start showing wear and tear after 1-3 years.

What is the best way to clean an inflatable pool?

Use a soft brush and mild detergent to hand wash the pool after emptying the water. For tough stains, use diluted bleach or vinegar. Rinse thoroughly.

Should you take down an inflatable pool for winter?

In cold climates, it’s best to take down and properly winterize the pool for indoor storage over winter to prevent weather damage.

How do you repair small holes in an inflatable pool?

Use the patch kit that came with your pool, following instructions carefully. For small punctures, liquid PVC repair glue and patches work well.

Can I fold my inflatable pool to store it?

It’s best not to fold the pool for storage but rather roll it up tightly to prevent creasing and damage to the inflatable chambers.

How do I find air leaks in my inflatable pool?

Inflate fully then brush soapy water over seams. Bubbles will appear where leaks are present. Mark these and patch once deflated.

Should I use a tarp under my inflatable pool?

Yes, a ground tarp helps protect the pool floor from punctures and tears. It also smooths any bumps or rough areas.


Properly maintaining your inflatable pool when not in use ensures it stays in top shape for years of enjoyment. Deflate, thoroughly dry, and store it in a clean, dry place out of direct sunlight. For winter, take special care to winterize and store the pool indoors. Perform repairs as needed and clean before storage to prevent issues like mold. With the right care, your inflatable pool will provide endless summer fun for the whole family season after season.

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