Can You Use Bleach in the Swimming Pool? (And Is It Okay to Swim?)

Owning a private pool is one of the best things that can happen to you. It gets more fun until you have to maintain the sanitary of the pool. It’s only easy to use and maintain when you watch it on TV.

However, we know there are ways to go about this, even with your laundry bleach. However, you will have loads of questions when it comes to bleach. Let us tell you all you need to know.

Can You Use Bleach in the Swimming Pool?

Many people use chlorine to maintain their pools. However, this can cost quite a lot. As such, people are getting more interested in using laundry bleach. 

However, you’re most likely wondering if it’s okay. Well, the answer is yes.

It’s SAFE to use bleach in your swimming pool. Even more, it has almost the same concentration as chlorine. And it comes cheaper. So, you don’t have to break the bank before maintaining your swimming pool.

Is It Okay to Swim in a Pool with Bleach? 

You’re probably confused. How do you put bleach you use in the laundry in your pool and still jump into it? There’s nothing terrible about it. It’s just a matter of knowing when it’s right to do this.

YES, it’s okay to swim in a pool with bleach. But you have to ensure that the bleach level is at the recommended level safe for swimmers. 

You may have to get a chlorine testing kit to help you determine the chlorine level in your pool. And, don’t worry, you can always do it yourself. 

Can You Use Bleach in the Pool Instead of Chlorine?

OF COURSE, you can always make use of bleach in the pool instead of chlorine. The reason for this is because bleach contains similar chemical components as chlorine. And can perform almost the same task in the pool as chlorine.

The only difference is the concentration of chlorine. Chlorine has between 8% and 12% of calcium hypochlorite chlorine. On the other hand, bleach has between 5.25% and 8.25% of calcium hypochlorite chlorine. 

So, you would need to use more bleach than chlorine. However, aside from this, you’re good to go. With the right levels, you will get a similar effect.  

How Much Bleach Should I Add to My Pool?

Now that we’re talking bleach in the swimming pool, you wonder how to get the right quantity in your pool. It’s a problem many people nag about.

However, it’s not a problem. If it has been for you, well, now that you’re here, we’ll simplify everything.

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To know how much bleach to add to your pool, you need first to know your pool’s chlorine level. Now the question is, how do you go about this?

To determine your pool’s chlorine level, you can get a chlorine testing kit and follow the producers’ instructions. 

Your water is safe for swimming and free from contamination if the chlorine level is around 1 – 3 ppm. Always ensure that your pool has the recommended chlorine level before you jump in to swim.

Alternatively, if your pool falls outside these levels, you need to clean it up.

Now, for a bleach with 5.7% calcium hypochlorite chlorine concentration, you would only need 24 quarts or three cups of it to raise the chlorine levels of a pool of 5000 gallons of water.

Despite this, the problem still arises in determining how much gallons of water your pool holds. Well, let’s get to it.

It’s simple mathematics. You only have to multiply your pool’s length by the width and, finally, by the pool’s relative depth. There you have an answer. This way, you will have an estimated volume of your pool.

If you own a round pool, you have to multiply the volume by 5.9. For an oval pool, you have to multiply the volume by 6.7. For a rectangular pool, you have to multiply the volume by 7.5. 

You can use free apps like PoolPal or PoolMath to find out how much bleach should you use in your pool.

The final result for the individual pool shapes you have will estimate how much water your pool holds.

So, you’re clear, here’s a recap of what you must do.

  • Determine your chlorine level 
  • Determine the amount of water your pool needs
  • Then use this to determine the amount of bleach you need.
  • Afterward, you can add the bleach to your pool.

How Much Bleach Does It Take to Shock a Pool? 

Shocking your pool means raising the concentration of chlorine available in it. The thing is that you can use bleach to do this. 

But first, you need to know how much beach it takes to shock your pool. 

Doing this, you will have to use 0.5 gallons of bleach for a pool of 10 000 gallons of water to raise the chlorine level by five ppm.

To shock your pools with bleach, you should follow these necessary steps: 

  • Sample the water pH and add sodium bisulfate or muriatic acid to reduce it if it’s too high. It should be between 7.2 and 7.8.
  • Review the level of cyanuric acid in your pool. This should also be between 20 and 50 ppm.
  • Calculate the volume of water in your pool.
  • Add bleach to your swimming pool.

There’s one more hack you have to learn. You have to wait till the evening before you add the bleach to the pool. And this is to give the bleach adequate time to work in the dark. More, it ensures that the afternoon sun doesn’t degrade the bleach and render it ineffective. 

Source: Canva

How Long After Putting Bleach in the Pool Can You Swim? 

This is a safety measure for all of us. You wouldn’t want to add bleach or any other chemicals to your water and jump in immediately. It would be best if you waited for some time. So, how long should you wait.

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If you add bleach or chemicals with calcium hypochlorite chlorine to your pool, you should wait for a minimum of four hours before going in. However, if you use bleach to shock your pool, it’s better to wait for 24 hours or when your pool chlorine level is around five ppm. 

Now that you know better, ensure you abide by the recommended time. Relax till it’s safe to jump in and have a swim.

How Much Bleach Does It Take to Kill Algae in a Pool?

If you went on an extended vacation or didn’t use your pool for a long time, you’re almost certain that algae would welcome you back. This is no magic; it’s how stuff works.

You would most times come back to a green pool, and that’s algae starring at you. Of course, you can’t jump in this way. 

So, you’re thinking of killing it. But then, you don’t know how much bleach you need to do that. Well, here’s what you need to know.

You can’t just add bleach; there are other things to do. First, you have to adjust the pH and alkalinity levels. This is to ensure that the chlorine in the bleach is effective. For good effect, it’s great to leave the pH between 7.2 and 7.8.

Next, you have to brush the algae off the sides and any other surfaces in the pool. You may also have to vacuum to remove sentiments that would prevent chlorine from working on algae. 

After this, you can add your bleach. You would need about two gallons or 24 quarts of bleach for a pool of 10 000 gallons to kill the algae. 

Remember to do this in the evening or at night. This is to avoid the sun degrading the bleach in the pool. Also, always wait for the chlorine level to drop to the recommended level before taking a swim.

How Often Should I Put Bleach In My Pool? 

It will help if you put bleach in your pool as often as your chlorine testing kit shows that the chlorine ppm level is low.

However, beyond this, you will need bleach when: 

  • Your pool has been in use for a very long time without any maintenance
  • You have not used you used your pool in a really long time
  • After throwing a pool party with tons of people swimming in the pool

Is Pool Chlorine and Bleach the Same Thing? 

For the better part of it, pool chlorine and bleach may be called the same thing. The truth is that they perform almost the same functions. The only difference is the chlorine strength in each product.

Pool chlorine has more chlorine strength than bleach. So, based on the fact that they perform the same job in your pools, you may interchange their usage.

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However, on other grounds, they are not the same thing.

Source: Canva

What’s the Difference Between Chlorine and Bleach?

When it comes to adding chlorine and bleach to your pool, they perform the same job. However, if you look closely, you would discover that not all things similar are the same. There are some differences between the two products. 

Let’s take a look at what makes them different.

Affordability

You shouldn’t expect both products to come at the same price. There must be some disparity. 

Bleach is a more affordable product. The only thing about using bleach is that you would have to use more to get your desired result. So, at an affordable rate, you’re buying more.

Even if you’re buying more, it’s still more affordable than purchasing and using chlorine for your pool.

Convenience

If you love not getting too far away from your comfort zone, you may want to consider going for bleach. First, you can easily find bleach at the local stores nearby. This is not the same for chlorine.

To use bleach, you only have to mix the recommended quantity and start using it. That’s pretty much an easy thing to do.

However, when it comes to adding chlorine to your pool, you do more than just mix. You have to get tabs and powders, create a solution, ensure everything is mixed correctly and in the right quantity. It’s then you can now begin to think about adding it to your pool.

Besides, you don’t get chlorine as easy as you would be able to get bleach.

Efficiency

Of course, this seems to be where the big problem is. Many people will tell you that bleach and chlorine contain the same ingredients. Hence, they would want to suggest that both have the same efficiency rate in pools. However, both are quite different. 

While they can both kill bacteria in pools, chlorine is more effective in doing this. 

Both chlorine and bleach appear to have come with a disinfecting material called calcium hypochlorite chlorine. However, while bleach only has about 5.25% chlorine content, chlorine contains about 65% of calcium hypochlorite chlorine and more inert ingredients to make it more effective.

From this, you can see that the rest is history. When it comes to effectiveness in pools, chlorine beats bleach hands down. 

However, this does not mean you should throw away your bleach or start saving up to buy chlorine. There’s a way also to make bleach have the same disinfecting result as chlorine.

This is simply by adding more bleach to your pool. However, you have to be careful so that you won’t add too much.

Conclusion

Since you derive satisfaction from swimming pools, you should give the best treatment back to your pool to ensure a safe swim continually.

One way you can do this is by evaluating your pool to know the best form of maintenance to give at a particular point in time. In this article, we have discussed all that. 

So, get right to it and stay safe.

References:

https://www.pooldone.com/bleach-vs-chlorine-pool-whats-difference/

https://www.h2ouse.org/how-much-bleach-to-add-to-a-pool/

https://www.intheswim.com/eGuides/when-to-swim-after-adding-pool-chemicals

https://www.hunker.com/12002479/home-remedy-for-a-green-pool

About Sarah Walker

Sarah is a homemaker and is passionate about fixing little things in and around her house. She loves to do DIY hacks and keeps on writing about those things on her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her twins Cathy and Mickey.