How to store pool floats so they last year after year

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One of the best things to come out of the past few years is the influx of fun pool floats. Gone are the days of boring blue inner tubes: Pool floats are now shaped like unicorns, pineapples, rainbows; there are floats shaped like Barbie golf carts and comfy cuts – there’s even a pool lounger for pregnant women with a divot with holes in them for tummies. Basically, if you can dream of it, it can become a cool pool float. But if you and your family have amassed the entire collection (or even a few), you might be wondering how best to store pool floats during the summer season and beyond. If you leave them on the edge of the pool they can blow away, and if you leave them in the pool they may not last as long (plus they are more susceptible to mold and other gross things). So what’s a family that loves to float in the pool to do?

How to Store Pool Floats Long Term

If you are going to store pool floats for a long time (eg at the end of the swimming season or if you are going on vacation for long periods of summer), it is best to deflate your floats. Yes, it’s boring, and yes, it’s also the best way to store pool floats.

First, make sure the floats are clean. You can use a mild dish soap on them and hose them down (or have your kids scrub them in a paddling pool, although you probably don’t want soap in an in-ground pool).

“The most important thing when storing floats is that they are dry. If you fold a pool float that is wet, the moisture will have nowhere to go and can develop water spots over time. We recommend that you dry well with a towel and leave your float in the sun to make sure it is completely dry before storing it indoors,” advises Blake Barrett, co-founder of FUNBOY, the float maker of leisure pool.

The best way to store pool floats long term is to deflate them completely, then fold them up and store them in airtight containers or a vacuum sealed bag; this will prevent mold, critters and temperature changes from damaging your precious fleet of floats. “Keep everything out of direct sunlight when not in use. Carefully fold and place indoors, away from sunlight and extreme temperatures. Very cold weather (freezing temperatures) can cause the floats to crack. Once your float is dry, garages are best for pool floats and accessories,” says Barrett.

How to Store Pool Floats Short Term

If you plan to use your pool floats a lot this summer, it makes sense that you don’t want to deflate them and dry them thoroughly after each use. At the very least, try to remove them from the water whenever possible. “If you take your float out of the pool (especially out of the sun) it won’t fade and the material will last much longer. Just like a beach towel, if you leave a float in the sun all summer, the UV will wear it down. Rinsing your float to remove pool chemicals or salt water helps prolong the life of your float,” says Barrett.

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If you’re looking to create a real pool float storage system, there are some clever pool float ideas (like the float organizer seen below), or you can just install ladder hooks in the shape of a L along a fence or deck and hang up the floats – this works for hanging tubes from their center. A mounted pipe hanger serves the same purpose and looks chic on a fence.

A simple DIY idea is to install a hanging rod, place it in a shady spot, and tie the tubes to the rod with a ribbon or tie. Another super easy and affordable way to store floats (especially if they aren’t easy to snag, like pool noodles) is to get a large mesh bag that can be attached to a fence.

How not to store pool floats

As mentioned earlier, it’s never a good idea to store deflated pool floats while they’re still wet. This can cause mold to grow and also erode the material. Keep floats out of the sun as much as possible, as sunlight and persistent heat can damage or discolor floats over time. The heat will also cause the air inside the float to expand, potentially causing the float to burst. And of course, keep them away from any sharp objects or pets (or honestly, children) that might want to bite.

“A pool float will last as long as you take care of it. Jumping or shoving a float, dragging a float across the ground, and leaving it out in the sun all summer long can all reduce the useful life of your float,” says Barrett.

Keep your pool toys and lounge chairs in pristine condition with these pool float storage ideas, and I hope you enjoy them for years to come.

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