Using Clorox Bleach in Your Swimming Pool (2023)



YouTube Video Index -- A list of all of my videos:

Bleach is at the center of those who follow the BBB Method of Swimming Pool Care. There are several forums that preach Bleach, Borax and Baking Soda as the primary chemicals you will need to balance and maintain a sparkling blue pool. I fully endorse this as being true.

The most popular forum preaches this method religiously - this is the site I would recommend to go to if you want to just use the BBB method for your pool (using household products only). offers many great tips and advice. They banned me at one time but I have been reinstated so I frequently will post on this forum.

Other notable sites are:

If you want to read more about the BBB Method here is my Blog article:

For a video on the BBB Method:

Can you use a modified version and use other sanitizers rather than Clorox bleach. You can but you need to know about the pros and cons of the other chemicals which are many and varied. Here are some videos to get you started on learning about the other chlorine types:

How Much Chlorine do I Add to My Pool?:
Available Chlorine % - How Much Chlorine is in the Product?:
How to Test for and Treat Combined Chlorine:

You also must have the right level of Conditioner/Stabilizer/Cyanuric Acid all used interchangeably to describe the same thing. Here is some more information about that:
How to Check the Cyanuric Acid (Conditioner) Level :
To learn about Conditioner granular:
Instant Pool Conditioner:

Here are some more detailed videos on the
Taylor Test Kit (K-1006 - K-2150):
Aquachek & HTH Test Strips:
Pool Test Kit: Chlorine, PH and Acid Demand:

Most people will need a little help before they can get there so I have included in the write up a description of some Algaecides (which don't fit in to the BBB method but are needed nonetheless).
If your pool has been neglected for some time and has green or yellow (mustard algae) you will need the aid of an algaecide -- I use this term loosely as only one on this list is an actual pesticide. The other three are algaecides in that they destroy algae but with a different method than a poison.

Sodium Bromide NaBr:
A salt of Bromine that kills algae by creating a Bromine bank in your pool. When added to the pool it changes it to a Bromine pool. You must keep the chlorine level high to be effective.

Yellowtrine Algae Treatment:
For GREEN pool clean-up:
For removing Yellow & Mustard Algae:

Yellow Out:
Is a monochlotamine which is produced by using ammonia - so you need to keep the
chlorine level really high or you will have bad results

Clean a Green Pool Updated Version -YELLOW OUT:

Copper Based Algaecides:
Uses copper to kill the algae --the amount of copper actually in the product is vague. I called and talked to a chemist myself and I still couldn't tell you what he said. Use only if you have aggressive Mustard Algae that seems to be painted on your pool walls (brushing with a steel brush and adding Yellow Out, YellowTrine, Yellow Treat are ineffective). This stuff will work, I guarantee it -- but it is copper based so use sparingly if at all:

Swimtrine Plus Algaecide (Copper based):

Poly quat:
poly[oxyethylene(dimethyliminio)ethylene(dimethyliminio) ethylene dichloride]

Playlist that may help:
Balancing your pool water:

Chlorine, Sanitizers & conditioner:

Algae Removal & Pool Chemistry:

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I'm gonna cover briefly using Clorox bleach or other household.

Bleach brands as your primary disinfectant for your pool water.

Basically, the Clorox bleach is about half the strength of your liquid chlorine that you would find in your local pool store I.

This hosta brand is actually 12.5 percent.

The Clorox bleach comes in around five point, seven percent.

So it's about half the strength, ester, chlorine like usual with the OTO tester, whatever test kit.

You have and see what level it's at depending on your pool size.

And depending on how high you want to raise the chlorine level, there's, how much of the Clorox bleach you want to add to your pool and I have a video on my channel.

That shows you how to calculate the amount of chemical you're going to need to raise it up.

So if I want to raise this three parts per million I would add a specific amount of the Clorox bleach to do that.

If you add liquid chlorine, you want to pour it around the perimeter of your pool.

So if you're gonna use the Clorox bleach as your primary sanitizer, make sure you have thirty to fifty parts-per-million of the sign area in your pool, otherwise the Sun will destroy the chlorine out of the pool, pretty quickly with UV rays.

You don't have the proper conditioner level, those be basically wasting your money by throwing in the product, and they will have no protection from the sun's UV rays, y'all want to keep your pH in the ideal range.

When you do this you're gonna use this for ox week to sanitize your pool.

It makes it going much more effective when the pH is balanced.


One key is you need to have a good test kit.

If you're gonna maintain your pool at home with the Clorox bleach I like the OTO tester for the chlorine, because it gives you a nice, bright, yellow color.

When you insert the background, you really see the chlorine level, really clearly and the pH.

And these five way test gets also give you an acid Amman test I would also invest in a good handling kid, I used to ke 205 or 206.

This one has also the cyanuric acid, tester, calcium hardness.

The alkalinity, of course, was when also those alkalinity, and it also has the acid demand.

And it also has a base demand.

This is an excellent test to invest and just make sure that these solutions are fresh they're dye based.

So they do go bad.

So the use of a good test kit and the test strips highly recommend that if you didn't do this properly, if not there's, no way, you're gonna get your water balance properly without your right testing.

And you want to do this, at least once a week two or three times if needed depending on your pool size.

This is a relatively small pool here actually have to tree that fell into it.

So that's a little bit of an issue right now.

So the problem with 3-inch tablets is that if you're overusing, you can actually over condition your pool.

The three inch tablets about half the weight of these are sine Eric acid.

So they'll add conditioner to the water as they met your pool.

You just want to use Clorox bleach sanitize your pool.

It was highly effective, it's got to be done in the correct way again.

You want to keep the pH in balance.

We want to check your chemicals more often than if you were using the track or tablets or the dial, or since the bleach and liquid chlorine have no conditioner or stabilizer in them.

You also have to have the right stabilizer level of 30 to 50 parts per million or to be effective in your pool.


Can you add Clorox bleach to a swimming pool? ›

Answer. There's a protocol when using Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach for swimming pool disinfection to prevent algae growth when a pool is in use: on an ongoing basis, if you super-chlorinate the pool with 6-12 cups bleach per 5,000 gallons of water, in addition to regular chlorination, algae growth can be prevented.

How much Clorox bleach do I put in my pool? ›

Clorox itself recommends using between 100 and 200 ounces of regular-strength bleach per 10,000 gallons of pool water -- one gallon is 128 ounces, and many bottles of bleach are available in one-gallon or half-gallon sizes. Pool professionals tend to recommend more conservative amounts of bleach.

What happens if you put bleach in a swimming pool? ›

Pool water that is too concentrated in bleach can become toxic, irritating the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract of swimmers.

How long after putting bleach in pool can you swim? ›

Answer: Generally you will want to wait at least 4 hours, but ideal is waiting for one complete turnover of the water (the time it takes all the water to go through the filter).

Can I use Clorox bleach instead of pool shock? ›

“Can I Shock My Pool with Bleach?” Yes, you can use.

Which is stronger Clorox bleach or pool chlorine? ›

Answer: It is true that pool chlorine is stronger than bleach. For bleach and water to be the same strength as pool chlorine and water, you would have to adjust the ratio, increasing the bleach and reducing the water. But no matter which chlorine you use, make sure to test a small area before doing the job.

Is Clorox bleach the same as pool chlorine? ›

Household bleach, Clorox and liquid chlorine can all be used to sanitize a pool. They are all types of chlorine. Household bleaches such as Clorox usually contain about 5-6% available chlorine, about half that of pool liquid chlorine. Household bleaches often have unwanted fragrances and colors.

Is Clorox bleach the same as pool bleach? ›

They are identical in every way, with the exception of strength. Household bleach is usually a 6% concentration (although some of the cheaper stuff is 3%), while pool chlorine can typically be found in strength between 10% and 12%. All of this is sodium hypochlorite, and works the same in sanitizing your water.

What concentration of bleach should be in pool water? ›

If used properly, free chlorine* can kill most germs within a few minutes. CDC recommends pH 7.2–7.8 and a free chlorine concentration of at least 1 ppm in pools and at least 3 ppm in hot tubs/spas.

What is the cheapest way to shock a pool? ›

Calcium Hypochlorite: Also referred to as cal hypo, this chemical is one of the least costly and most convenient ways to shock your pool. It's usually sold in granular form. Needs to be dissolved before you add it to the pool. Must be used after dusk.

Is bleach as good as pool shock? ›

The main difference between pool shock and Clorox bleach is their purpose and strength. Pool shock is specifically designed for use in pools and is much stronger than Clorox bleach. It is also available in different strengths and forms to meet the specific needs of your pool.

Will bleach clear up a cloudy pool? ›

Bleach can potentially help clear up a cloudy pool – to an extent. Sodium hypochlorite, the active ingredient in bleach, acts as a biocide and can kill algae and bacteria that contribute to cloudiness.

What happens if you don't wash off chlorine after swimming? ›

Not removing chlorine can make your skin (and hair) dry out, stripping the natural, protective oils from your skin and leaving you itchy and dry, particularly if you're already prone to sensitive skin.

How long does chlorine bleach stay active in water? ›

Make a new diluted bleach solution daily. Bleach solutions will not be as effective after being mixed with water for over 24 hours.

How long does pool bleach last? ›

When properly stored, pool chemicals generally have shelf lives of 3-5 years. Pool chlorine is no different, though certain forms of it are more stable and last longer than others. Keeping chlorine in environments that are consistently cool, dry and dark will extend the time they remain usable.

What is the difference between pool shock and Clorox bleach? ›

Swimming pool shock contains 12.5% sodium hypochlorite (bleach) vs. 6-8.5% for Clorox (bleach). Some Clorox products go as high as 8.5%. At a 12.5% concentrate, liquid pool shock is approximately 2x's stronger than Clorox bleach.

Can you put shock and bleach in a pool at the same time? ›

It Should Not Be Done Together

This is because when you mix chlorine and algaecide together, it renders both of them useless. Hence, you should first shock the pool and wait for the chlorine levels to fall below 5 PPM.

How much bleach equals a chlorine tablet? ›

Chlorinating tablets and chlorinating liquid are both suitable sanitizers for your swimming pool when applied according to label directions. Choose the sanitizer that best suits your individual preferences. *1 gallon of chlorinating liquid delivers the same amount of chlorine as 2 chlorinating tablets.

What is the disadvantage of chlorine bleach? ›

Bleach can irritate the skin and eyes. Breathing in bleach over a long period of time can increase your risk of cancer. A dangerous gas can be formed when bleach is combined with certain chemicals (like ammonia). Bleach causes the buildup of chloroform in the air.

How much Clorox bleach for 1000 gallon pool? ›

A general rule of thumb to shock chlorinate and disinfect a storage tank is to mix non-scented NSF-approved household bleach (5.25% chlorine) in the reservoir at the ratio of 1 gallon of bleach for every 1,000 gallons of water (i.e., 1 quart for every 250 gallons of water).

How many gallons of bleach does it take to shock a pool? ›

If you need to calculate how much bleach or Clorox you need to shock your pool, you will have to use 1/2 gallon of bleach per 10,000 gallons of water to raise the chlorine levels by 5 ppm.

Can you put bleach in a vinyl pool? ›

Bleach can definitely damage a vinyl pool, so it's best to avoid using it on the surface. It can also cause staining and fading in the plastic material.

Why do you put baking soda in pools? ›

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate is naturally alkaline, with a pH of 8. When you add baking soda to your pool water, you will raise both the pH and the alkalinity, improving stability and clarity. Many commercial pool products for raising alkalinity utilize baking soda as their main active ingredient.

How do you make homemade chlorine for pools? ›

Common unscented household bleach (sodium hypochlorite) works well to shock a pool. To increase the chlorine level by 5ppm in a 10,000 gallon pool, you would need 1/2 Gallon of basic household bleach.

What is the strongest pool bleach? ›

Calcium hypochlorite shock, or cal-hypo shock, is the most powerful shock treatment for both regular pool maintenance and problematic pool water.

How much bleach do I put in 500 gallons of water? ›

In a clean quart container about half full of water, put 1 to 1 1/2 fluid ounces (2-3 tablespoons) of a standard unscented, non-detergent household chlorine bleach (5.25% concentration) for every 500 gallons of water to be treated.

What can I use instead of shock for my pool? ›

Top 3 Alternative Pool Sanitizers
  • UV Light. A UV light filter is a great addition to chlorine-based sanitization. UV light is used as a disinfectant in many situations, not just pools. ...
  • PHMB. If cost is not an issue, you can try Polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB). ...
  • Salt Water Pools. Salt is nature's original pool cleaner.

What is the difference between chlorine and shock? ›

1) What is the difference between chlorine and shock? Do I need to use both? Chlorine is a sanitizer, and (unless you use Baquacil products) is necessary for maintaining a clear and healthy pool. Shock is chlorine, in a high dose, meant to shock your pool and raise the chlorine level quickly.

How many bags of shock do I need for a 10000 gallon pool? ›

One pound of shock treats up to 10,000 gallons of pool water. Also, keep the pool filter and pump running for at least 10 hours during and after you shock.

Will baking soda clear a cloudy pool? ›

Baking soda can work wonders in a pool. Baking soda can: Help to clear cloudy water and restore the sparkle. Spot-treat algae.

Is Clorox pool chemicals good? ›

The quality and consistency of Clorox pool salt makes it a product that all pool owners can trust. Clorox® Pool&Spa™ Chlorinating Tablets are weekly-use, long-lasting tablets that work hard to keep your water clean from both bacteria and unsightly algae, saving you both time and money.

Is it OK to swim in chlorine everyday? ›

The more time spent in contact with it, the more irritating it can be. Add to that the fact that chlorinated water opens the pores, hypochlorous acid in essence strips the natural oils from the skin, causing dry, itchy, and irritated skin. This drying effect may even be a contributing factor to premature aging.

Should you shower right after chlorine? ›

Showering After Exiting the Pool

Showering will get rid of the chlorine and any foreign agents you may have picked up from the pool. Make sure to rinse your hair and wash your swimsuit after you swim. Showering after you swim will keep your skin from becoming dry.

Why you should shower after swimming? ›

Showering after swimming is just as important. Showering after swimming in a natural waterbody will help reduce your risk of contracting infections and rashes. This is because showering with warm water and soap immediately after recreational water activities helps remove bacteria from your skin's surface and your hair.

What happens if you don't dilute bleach? ›

You might damage what you're trying to clean, according to Johnson. Full-strength (non-diluted) bleach can be damaging to the surface and be harsh on your skin. And using undiluted chlorine bleach on fabric can lead to permanent staining and damage to fibers, so always follow the instructions on the product's package.

Do you need to rinse bleach off? ›

5. After disinfection with bleach solutions, surfaces should be rinsed and dried. Bleach can be irritating to skin and mucous membranes, so any residue should be removed prior to returning animals to the environment.

Does bleach deactivate in water? ›

Put on protective gear when diluting or using bleach as it irritates mucous membranes, the skin and the airway. Cold water should be used for dilution as hot water decomposes the active ingredient of bleach and renders it ineffective.

Will too much bleach turn a pool green? ›

When the levels are properly balanced, chlorine will keep the algae at bay, but the water will slowly begin to turn green as the algae take over if there's not enough. But be careful—adding too much chlorine in pool water can cause those metals to oxidize and turn the pool a different shade of green.

Why is my pool still green after adding bleach? ›

Pools can immediately turn green after shocking when they have metals like copper in the water. These metals oxidise when exposed to high levels of chlorine which makes the pool water turn green. Adding a metal control product such as Zodiac Metal Remover will help to restore the pool water.

Can you use bleach vs chlorine in swimming pools? ›

They are identical in every way, with the exception of strength. Household bleach is usually a 6% concentration (although some of the cheaper stuff is 3%), while pool chlorine can typically be found in strength between 10% and 12%. All of this is sodium hypochlorite, and works the same in sanitizing your water.

What can I use instead of pool shock? ›

Top 3 Alternative Pool Sanitizers
  • UV Light. A UV light filter is a great addition to chlorine-based sanitization. UV light is used as a disinfectant in many situations, not just pools. ...
  • PHMB. If cost is not an issue, you can try Polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB). ...
  • Salt Water Pools. Salt is nature's original pool cleaner.

Does chlorine bleach work better in hot or cold water? ›

Chlorine bleach works most effectively in hot water. It can be used in warm and cold water but you may not see the results you expect.

How often should I put bleach in my pool? ›

After your cyanuric acid level is set, add the bleach. Then proceed with daily testing until you understand how much chlorine your pool uses. At this point, chlorine maintenance can be as simple as adding a little bleach to your pool every day to keep it within the target levels.

Is one chlorine tablet enough? ›

Chlorine tablets should only be a helping hand. Instead of filling your chlorinator or floater to the top with tablets, use one three-inch tablet for every 10,000 gallons of water in your pool. If you are shocking your water weekly, this amount of tablets should be perfect to maintain a good chlorine level.

What do you mix with bleach to make chlorine? ›

When bleach is mixed with ammonia, toxic gases called chloramines are produced. Mixing bleach and acids: When chlorine bleach is mixed with an acid, chlorine gas is produced. Chlorine gas and water combine to make hydrochloric or hypochlorous acids.

Can hydrogen peroxide be used in swimming pools? ›

How Much Hydrogen Peroxide is Needed for a Pool? Hydrogen peroxide disinfection requires a high dosage. Although it varies depending on bather load, the typical concentration of hydrogen peroxide is 30 to 40 ppm in a typical swimming pool or spa. Some high-use pools and spas may require up to 100 ppm.

What can I use in my pool if I don't have chlorine? ›

Bromine — considered a safe substitute for chlorine. Looks for BCDMH tablets, which are typically 66% bromine and 27% chlorine. If unable to find, you can use just bromine but it may leave the water a dull green color.

What is the best ingredient for pool shock? ›

There are three primary types of chemicals that are used for pool shock purposes, which include calcium hypochlorite, sodium di-chlor, and potassium monopersulfate. Calcium hypochlorite is likely the most effective pool shock available because of how strong the chemical is compared to the two other options.

How many bags of shock should I put in my pool? ›

In general, add one pound of shock to your pool for every 10,000 gallons of water. But if you're experiencing an algae problem, you'll need to add double, triple, or quadruple the amount of shock.

How many bags of shock can you put in a pool? ›

If the water looks good and you simply want to boost the chlorine level a bit, add 1 bag per 20,000 gallons. If the water is hazy or cloudy, use a full bag per 10,000 gallons. Or, if there is algae, use 2–6 lbs per 10,000 gallons, depending on the extent of the algae bloom.

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