Now that the warm summer months have passed, many of us find ourselves faced with the challenge of storing those water and pool toys for the winter. If you find yourself replacing pool and water toys every year or throughout the summer months because they get worn or damaged-you may find that a little care and some storage considerations can help to preserve the toys longer and allow for more use and less waste. Having a practical plan for storage can save time and money.
In order to make plastic pool and water toys last, it is important to allow them to dry thoroughly and to keep them away from areas where they may get pierced, punctured or torn. If possible, deflate toys after each use and lay out flat in a safe place to dry. They definitely need to be deflated for winter storage and dried completely before being packed away. Animals and pets can be hazardous for pool toys as they may try to chase, bite and claw at them in an attempt to play. One swipe from a cat’s paws and an inflatable toy is useless. Additionally, plastic pool and water toys left out in the pool, patio, garage or backyard can blow around and get punctured by sticks, thorns, rocks, etc. Too much heat or sun can also wear or melt plastic pool and water toys. Allow them to dry after deflating in a garage, pool house, storage shed or other safe location before storing away.
If the pool toys are in good condition at the end of the season and you would like to try to store them over for the winter, consider storing them in an airtight plastic storage container or an airtight plastic bag. It may seem like putting plastic toys or items into plastic would be redundant but the extra protection is important. This will keep them from being exposed to changes in temperature and climate, as well as protect them from any pests that might decide to gnaw on them or make a nest in their vicinity. Remember to make sure they are completely dry (air drying is fine as long as there is not too much moisture in the air) before removing all the air and storing them as flat as possible (being stored with wrinkles and creases can create weak spots or brittle areas that will break or puncture easily.)