Hey, kiddie pools are important in the summer heat. As an expert in this arena, I thought I'd share some tips and tricks to getting the most out of your kiddie pool in Montana. Keeping those plastic saviors clean and fun to use takes a little maintenance. 

Odd, as a grown adult, I've become so well-versed in the choosing, enjoying, and maintenance of kiddie pools but we like to enjoy our yard in the hot weather. Those inexpensive, inflatable pools of fun have been a life saver when the mercury rises - even if it's for a quick splash when you get home from work.

We have a different kiddie pool every year - picking one out early in the season, or even ordering one in the winter, makes me happy. It's something to look forward to. Simple pleasure, but a pleasure none the less. Some are fancier than others, but every year there's going to be one out front. Here are a few simple tips to get the most out of your inflatable fun.

KEEP IT INFLATED PROPERLY: Most of these kiddie pools aren't terribly well made, especially the inflatable ones. No matter if you blew it up yourself or used an air compressor, keeping it properly inflated not only KEEPS it strong and less prone to getting torn, but it also keeps the water IN it and makes it way easier to clean.

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CLEAN IT WITH A HAND STRAINER: This really is no different that a full sized pool, it just looks a little silly. But it's AMAZINGLY effective in keeping your kiddie pool clean. I have a hand strainer that I keep in the garage all year so it doesn't get mixed up with any real kitchen tools. (EW.) As soon as the pool is set up, that strainer lives on the front porch so it's always handy. A few minutes a day is a lot easier than neglecting it for a week. Leaves and bugs decompose quicker than you think.

Michelle Wolfe
Michelle Wolfe

SET IT UP SO IT GETS SHADE: If you're able, let your kiddie pool get some shade during the day. Yes, trees might create a little more debris for you to clean out but when it's REALLY hot, it's nice to be in the shade and enjoy the pool. You'll still be plenty warm enough. Plus it keeps the kiddos out of direct sun a little while they're playing.

FILL YOUR WATERING CAN WITH WATER FROM THE POOL: This is the best tip if you're not already doing it. If you've got plants or flowers that you water with a watering can, fill that puppy up with the pool water. Your flowers don't care. (Take the sprinkle tip off so it doesn't get clogged.) You'll be killing two birds with one stone - watering the plants and getting some 'old' water out of the pool. The more you can use the better. Then fill your kiddie pool back up with some fresh water from the hose.

WIPE IT DOWN WITH A HAND TOWEL OR LYSOL WIPES WHEN IT'S LOW: It's easiest to clean when the water level is low, but it doesn't really matter. Slick stuff will build up on the floor and the sides whether you like it or not. Get that outta there, especially the bottom of the pool. If it doesn't get used in a few days, it can get VERY slick and frankly dangerous. Slipping and falling in a little kiddie pool can HURT.

Michelle Wolfe
Michelle Wolfe

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