The best ways to clean an inflatable pool or hot tub

how to clean hot tub
How to clean a hot tubGetty Images

During the pandemic, sales of inflatable hot tubs and paddling pools surged – and they're still just as common a sight these days in back gardens up and down the country. Inflatable pools can be a great way to keep kids entertained throughout the school summer holidays, and what could be more relaxing than unwinding in a hot tub on a sunny summer evening?

The downside – as anyone who owns one will know – is that inflatable pools and hot tubs can get grimy pretty fast. So whether you're packing yours away for the summer or still hoping to get some enjoyment out of it, we've rounded up these expert tips to make cleaning and storing inflatable hot tubs and pools a cinch.

How to clean your inflatable hot tub or pool

Once drained, the inside can be cleaned with a soft cloth or sponge and warm, slightly soapy water. Alternatively, use a specialist cleaning spray like this one. It’s best to do this while it’s still inflated so you can easily reach around the inside. Pay close attention to the water line where grease and grime can build up.

Don’t use anything abrasive like scrubbing brushes as these can damage the surface. Always rinse thoroughly so there are no detergent residues left when you re-fill, otherwise you’ll end up with a bubble bath!

how to clean hot tub
Steve Prezant - Getty Images

How to store your inflatable hot tub or pool

After cleaning, it's essential to make sure your inflatable pool or hot tub is completely dry before you store it away until next year. This will stop mildew and mould from growing on it when it's packed away.

Take off any removable valves, lay it out flat and carefully fold it, checking for any damp spots and drying them as you go. It can be kept in a garage or shed over winter provided it’s dry and protected from anything that might puncture it. We recommend placing it on a high shelf, either in a sturdy bag or storage crate.

Top tips for keeping the water in your hot tub or pool fresh

Keeping the water clean for as long as you can will save you some elbow grease further down the line.

  • For hot tubs and pools with a filter pump, be sure to change the filter regularly for maximum efficiency (check the manufacturer's instructions for how frequently to change yours).

  • Always shower before taking a dip as much of the grime that builds up on hot tubs and inflatable pools comes from oils on our bodies, as well as creams and make-up.

  • Always cover hot tubs and pools when not in use to prevent leaves and bugs from getting in.

  • Invest in a net (or just use a household sieve) to remove debris regularly.

  • If you don’t use chlorine tablets to keep the water fresh, you’ll need to drain it regularly and refill.

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