How To Clean Pool Floats?

You have been watching a number of flamingos and swans floating in pools on your Instagram feed. Indeed, it’s time to get your pool toy out for a little show. However, we can sense your disappointment upon finding your summer toy soiled and grimy. Are you ready to find out how to clean pool floats?

To clean pool floats, start by deflating them. Then, prepare a cleaning solution using dish soap or baking soda dissolved in warm water. Next, use a sponge to scrub the floats with this solution, removing any dirt or stains. Rinse the floats thoroughly with clean water and allow them to dry completely before using.

Viola! Your favorite floaties are ready to go into sparkling pool water. While replacing pool floats is always an option, putting in a little effort is worth the enjoyment. It keeps them looking fresh for many summers to come. Without ado, let’s dive into the details to keep your pool floats clean and ready for endless summer fun.

Cleaning Methods of Pool Floats 

Depending on the extent of dirt, you can opt for one of the following cleaning methods:

MethodsMethod 1
Cleaning with Vinegar
Method 2
Cleaning with Baking Soda
Method 3
Cleaning with Bleach
You need Vinegar
Spray bottle or bucket
Baking Soda
Sponge and bucket
Household bleach
To prepareAdd 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water and fill it in a spray bottle.Dissolve ¼ cup of baking soda in a quart of warm water to prepare a viscous solution. Mix 1 tablespoon of the household bleach in a gallon of water.
How to useSquirt some amount of solution on your pool floats or soak them in a bucket filled with vinegar solution for an hour.  Same as method 1Same as method 1
Best forGrease, grime, and mineral deposits from the pool water and bacterial growthFoul odors and dirt stainsMold and mildew growth and overall sanitization
InstructionsIt must be used in diluted form.Wear gloves and masks when working with bleach.

While a variety of household items can be used for cleaning pool floats, the steps we’ve discussed below remain consistent.

Steps To Clean Pool Floats 

Follow these steps to clean your pool floats:

Step 1: Deflate and Inspect

An inflated pool toy can’t possibly be clean at its best. So, deflate your pool floats and lay them flat on the ground. Take this opportunity to inspect them thoroughly for any signs of damage or punctures. If you notice any irreparable issues, it may be time to replace the float. Otherwise, proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Scrub With Soft Hands

Use 1 part dish soap with 3 parts warm water to prepare a cleaning solution. Take a sponge or soft cloth soaked in this solution and gently scrub the surface of your floats. 

Step 3: Rinse and Dry  

Once they’re cleaned, pour a bucket of fresh water or wash away with a hose. Then, place the floats in a well-ventilated area to air-dry completely.

How To Clean Mildew off Pool Floats?

Dilute 1 part vinegar with 2 parts water and spray it on the growth areas of inflatables. Gentle scrubbing will do fine to remove mildew if you clean them every week. Ideally, rinsing and drying after every use prevents these growths for a long time.

Besides, addressing algae growth in your pool is crucial, as it can also affect the cleanliness of your pool floats. By implementing tips to prevent algae buildup you can extend the lifespan of your floaties.

Cleaning Pool Floats of Different Materials

Pool floats come in various materials, with foam and PVC being the most common options chosen for their durability and versatility. Find the cleaning technique for each material below:

How To Clean Foam Pool Floats?

To clean foam pool floats, start by rinsing them with clean water to remove any surface debris. Next, use a mild detergent solution and a soft brush to gently scrub the surface of the floats. Then rinse thoroughly with water. 

Foam pool floats are relatively easy to clean due to their non-porous surface. However, avoid harsh cleaning supplies and household chemicals as they aren’t safe and can damage the foam material over time. With regular rinsing, foam pool floats can maintain their durability and comfort for many seasons.

How Do You Clean Sticky Vinyl Pool Floats?

To clean sticky vinyl pool floats, mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the sticky areas and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, use a sponge or soft brush to scrub the surface and rinse thoroughly. 

The stickiness often occurs due to the breakdown of plasticizers in the vinyl, making it essential to clean with a vinegar solution. To maintain the integrity of vinyl floats, store them away from direct sunlight and harsh weather conditions. 

How To Take Care of Your Pool Floats: Essential Guidelines

Follow these tips and ensure your floaties remain viable for seasons to come:

  • Rinse the pool floats thoroughly with clean water after each use to remove chlorine, salt, and other pool chemicals.
  • Avoid dragging pool floats on rough surfaces to prevent punctures or tears, and promptly repair any small holes or leaks.
  • Never leave your pool floats sitting in the sun for long hours as UV radiation is extremely harmful to them.
  • When not in use, hang inflatable pool floats or store them flat to maintain their shape and prevent creases.
  • Store pool floats in indoor spaces to protect them from extreme weather conditions.
  • Ensure pool floats are completely dry before wrapping them in storage bags to prevent mold and mildew development.


How often should you clean your pool floats?

Pool floats should be cleaned at least once a week because of their frequent use during summer. Once the season ends, it’s essential to thoroughly wash and dry them properly before storing to ensure they remain squeaky clean for the next season.

How do you store pool floats?

Deflate your pool floats, clean them, and then store in a plastic bag. Ensure they are completely dry to prevent the development of mold and mildew. Remember, these pool floats are a small luxury of your pool time and should be treasured. 

Can I leave toys and floats in the pool?

Yes, you can leave the toys and floats in the pool for some time but it’s generally not recommended to keep them in water overnight, especially when not in use. It’s not considered safe because their plasticizer breakdown causes issues like clogged filters and water contamination, incurring significant repair costs. 

Final Words

After skimming through these handy tips, you must have realized cleaning pool floats is much easier than you think. Since these pool rafts add a fun element to your summer joy, washing and preparing them is crucial before throwing them into the pool. Let’s spend a few minutes on their maintenance and you won’t regret it.