Depending on where you live, we’re still in the middle of self-quarantine. Now, we’ve written quite a bit about staying safe by the water during this time. It is doubly important to stress these safety guidelines because May is National Water Safety Month
. Today, let’s discuss how to disinfect your pool toys and supplies.
COVID-19 and Swimming Pools
By this point, our regular readers will be aware that swimming in your own pool during the coronavirus
is completely safe. For the most part, the virus is not transmittable through water. The chlorine and other chemicals in a well-maintained pool are simply too powerful for the virus to survive. COVID-19 simply cannot survive in conditions that are properly maintained.
Outside the Pool
So that settles the pool end of things. Unfortunately, the battle against the coronavirus doesn’t end in the water. There are a great many items outside your pool that may be carrying the infection as well. These can include pool toys, lounge chairs, the filter, and even your pool fence. Sadly, these items are not constantly bathed in healing chemicals. It requires a bit of extra love and care to disinfect your pool toys and supplies.
How to Disinfect Your Pool Toys and Supplies
Let’s discuss how to disinfect your pool toys, furniture and more. As you’ve probably heard via the news or press conferences, COVID-19 is mainly transmitted via aerosols and droplets. It can exist on surfaces, gear, utensils and other items for days on end. Usually, this disease spreads as people touch contaminated surfaces and then touch their faces. It’s a terrible situation, but fortunately there are ways to limit the danger.
Cleaning Versus Disinfecting
Before we go any further, let’s talk about the difference between disinfecting and cleaning. You see, cleaning tends to mean removing
germs and dirt from your possessions and surfaces. It lowers the number of germs by moving them with a clean paper towel or cloth.
Disinfecting is a far more heavy-duty brand of cleaning. When you disinfect your pool toys and supplies, you’re not just shifting germs around. You are killing them. Using powerful chemicals, such as bleach and other EPA-registered disinfectants
, you’ll drastically remove the amount of germs on a surface. You will also make that surface far less hospitable for new germs that might like to take up residence.
Ideally, a true cleansing will require both of these skills. First you’ll clean, then you’ll disinfect. Afterwards, you’ll also want to wash your hands thoroughly. It’s the best chance you have against these pesky and dangerous bugs.
Getting Down to Business
Now let’s talk about how to disinfect your pool toys, gadgets and supplies:
Washing Electronics and Phones
Lots of people keep their phones and tablets by their pool, even though these can be very distracting for anyone practicing active supervision
. Still, people bring these devices everywhere. The fact that they frequently touch both your fingers and
face means that they are prime dangers for spreading germs in your pool area. Most of the time, you should wipe down both your screen and the back of your phone with alcohol-based wipes or sprays. In order to properly disinfect, your wipes or sprays should contain at least 70% rubbing alcohol. Afterwards, dry the devices thoroughly. Otherwise the chemicals may irritate your skin or damage the hardware.
Supplies, Furniture and Fences
Next, consider everything you touch anytime you enter your pool area. This includes your pool fence
, your deck chairs and even your filter. In this case, everything must be properly cleaned and then sanitized. For best results, use an all-purpose disinfecting household cleaner. Most of these items are hardy and can take a bit of bleach and other harsh chemicals. Be sure to rinse them down after a thorough scrubbing. Do this as frequently as possible to eliminate risk.
Pool Toys and More
Finally, let’s disinfect those toys. This can include pool noodles, floats, you name it! Just like the items above, most of these should be wiped down with alcohol-based wipes or sprays. If a toy is small enough, you can bring it inside to wash it in your dishwasher. Above all, be sure to let the surfaces dry completely before letting kids play with them. Try not to use particularly harsh chemicals here, as children love to put toys in their mouths. At last, bring the toys in the house or stow them away between uses. There’s no point in leaving them outside to collect bacteria in between cleanings.