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How to Clean and Store Pool Floats

In our opinion, summer doesn't officially start until the pool floats come out! Nothing adds more fun to your summer days than splashing around on a fabulous pool float. Taking care of pool floats is somewhat similar to taking care of your pool. Proper maintenance, cleaning, and storage are key factors to extending the life of both your pool and pool floats. No matter how durable your float may be, it's important to take good care of it so it will last you all season long. And once swim season is over, storing your pool float correctly will ensure the use of it next year.

How to Maintain Pool Floats

Don't let a flat, dirty, or busted pool float ruin your fun in the sun! There are simple ways to take care of your pool float and get the most out of it. With a little TLC, your float will not only look great, but it will last a long time.

protect pool floats from sun

Protect Floats from the Sun

You would never spend a day out in the sun without SPF on, right? Good, just checking! While you know too much sun is bad for your skin, it can also damage your pool float. Unfortunately, you can't slather sunscreen on your favorite float, but you can still protect it from harsh UV rays. Whenever your pool floats are not being used, we suggest putting them in the shade. Keeping your floats out of the glaring sun as much as possible will prevent them from drying and cracking.

Clean Your Pool Floats

If you find your floats are dirtier than normal, or maybe they developed mold during their winter hibernation, they may require more than just a quick rinse. Here are some simple tips on how to clean pool floats:

clean pool floats

  • Soap and Water: Fill a bucket with dish soap and warm water. Using a soft sponge, gently scrub all over your pool float. Once it's nice and clean, rinse it off, then let it dry outside in a shaded area.
  • Vinegar and Water: Mix one part white vinegar to two parts water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture all over your float, and scrub gently with a sponge. Rise, and set outside to dry.
  • Baking Soda and Water: Add 1/4 cup of baking soda to about a quart of water, and apply to the float. Scrub gently, rinse, and let the float outside to dry.
  • Bleach and Water: Combine a tablespoon of bleach with a gallon of water. With a pair of gloves on, scrub the solution onto your float. Rinse, and let dry outside. If you opt to use bleach, do so carefully and sparingly. Too much bleach can damage your float, and it is not healthy for you to inhale.

Chlorine, as well as other chemicals in your pool, can be both a benefit and a detriment to your pool floats. On one hand, these chemicals can help clean and sanitize your floats. But on the other hand, too much exposure to the chemicals can break down the materials of your pool float. It's a good idea to rinse off your floats with a hose after each use.

Don't Over-Inflate Floats

If you have an inflatable pool float, it can be tempting to inflate it all the way, so it's nice and firm. But doing so can actually damage your float, especially on a hot day. As air gets warm, it expands. And if the air trapped inside your pool float starts to expand and build pressure...kaboom! OK, your float won't actually explode, but it could easily spring a leak if the pressure inside is great enough. When inflating your float, play it safe and don't fill it up all the way. There should always be a bit of give when you sit or lay on the float.

protect pool floats from wind

Protect Floats During a Storm

We know weather can be unpredictable. But if the forecast is looking questionable, we recommend you store your floats somewhere safe. Especially if strong winds are on the horizon. To safely store your floats, deflate them and put them in outside storage, or bring them inside if need be. Pool floats belong in the pool, not up in a tree, or worse, on a cactus.

How to Store Pool Floats

Storing a float correctly will guarantee its longevity for years to come. When pool floats are not in use, rinse them off, and store them somewhere out of the sun. This might be in a shed, deck storage box, or something similar. If you're feeling creative, we have a few inexpensive DIY storage ideas for your pool floats.

When the time comes to say goodbye to summer, you may be wondering how to store pool floats for winter. Follow the steps below to ensure your pool float is nicely tucked away, so it will be ready for next year.

Step 1: Clean Your Pool Floats

If you followed the cleaning tips listed above, your pool float should already be in tip-top shape. But if it's looking a bit disheveled, refer back to those cleaning suggestions to give it a good once over. After you've cleaned it, let it dry thoroughly outside. Putting away a pool float when it is wet guarantees the development of mold and mildew. Gross!

Step 2: Deflate and Fold Floats

Once your pool float is clean and dry, deflate it entirely. Unless you have a handy deflation pump, this process may take a bit of time, especially if you have a larger float. When all the air is out, gently fold it so it's easy to stack.

sumatra pool float storage box

Step 3: Store Floats in a Shaded, Airtight Container

It's important to check that your pool float storage container is airtight and weather resistant. This will prevent any moisture from getting in and damaging your floats. If you're unsure what kind of container to get, we recommend the Sumatra deck box. This attractive storage box, which doubles as a comfy bench, will keep your floats safe and dry during their hiatus. Place your storage box in an area where it won't be in direct sunlight or exposed to the elements.


Pool floats can take your summer swimming pool experience from good to fantastic. Whether you prefer giant, exciting inflatables, or you enjoy a relaxing lounger, the key to getting the most out of your floats is taking good care of them. With the right cleaning and storage, you can spend your entire summer floating in style and comfort. Come by your neighborhood Leslie's to see our great selection of pool floats, or shop online!

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