Is Chlorine The Same as Bleach and Pool Shock?

If you don’t want dirty water and algae in your pool, you need to take care of your pool. Otherwise, the pool water will get green immediately.

Chlorine disinfection is the most time-tested method recommended by experts, and large stationary pools are usually treated with chlorine.

Another method of disinfection is using bleach and pool shock. But is chlorine the same as bleach and pool shock? Let’s get into it.

What is chlorine good for in the pool?

Chlorine in the form of calcium hypochlorite is produced specifically for water disinfection, especially in swimming pools. This pool chemical disinfects well and effectively fights various kinds of microorganisms.

The chlorine can be injected into the pool in powder, liquid, or tablet form.

Chlorine tablets are frequently used in a floater or skimmer to produce free chlorine. Still, you have to use also chlorine granules for your pool maintenance.

I have to mention, dosing the calcium hypochlorite wrong is a mistake beginners often make and can be costly.

As support, algaecides are combined with chlorine in the water to stop the algae growth and help chlorine kill them faster.

In the presence of significant dirty pool water, a pool shock is recommended. In my blog post, you will find complete instructions on how to shock a pool.

When using any pool chemical, it is important to correctly choose the dosage depending on the volume of your swimming pool. In any case, before use, you must carefully read the annotation to the chemicals.

What is bleach good for in the pool?

Bleaches break down chromophores, which are groups of atoms that absorb certain waves of light and reflect others. These reflected wavelengths are the colors we see in pigments.

Bleach breaks down these compounds through oxidation, a chemical reaction that involves removing electrons from nearby molecules.

These processes also kill microbes by breaking down cellular proteins and destroying the inner cellular structures.

So there is a benefit to using bleach in your pool.

You can simply pour the bleach straight from the bottle into your pool skimmer.

Bleach is also inexpensive compared to standard pool chlorine. In 2017, a gallon of bleach can be bought for 1$ if bought in bulk.

If there is a drawback to using bleach in your swimming pool, it is comparatively weak compared to pool chlorine.

So you need more bleach to clean your pool.

For a typical 20 by 40 feet (30,000 gallons) pool, you need two gallons of bleach to equalize the pool’s 1.5-pound chlorine, although this will be significantly cheaper.

Is Chlorine The Same As Bleach?

Bleach refers to many products in a variety of fields, from bleaching laundry to killing germs and making paper.

Bleaches work by changing chemical compounds, either by adding oxygen through a process called oxidation or by removing the oxygen through a process called reduction.

Chlorine is a component of some types of bleach, although not all.

The total chlorine in calcium hypochlorite consists of a concentration of about 65 percent. The form of calcium hypochlorite is a solid that is easy to inject into the pool water.

In addition to chlorine itself, calcium and other ingredients make up the remainder of the chemical. So you have to know, using calcium hypochlorite can increase the calcium level in your pool.

Household bleach is a liquid containing sodium hypochlorite, which in liquid form is just chlorine.

Bleach, however, usually contains only 5-6 percent chlorine. In addition to chlorine, bleach consists mainly of water and a minimal amount of salt, which is necessary to keep the chlorine liquid.

Chlorine vs. bleach: Which one is better for pool care?

In the end, choosing the type of chlorine, you will use in your pool depends on what matters most to you.

If cost control is important, bleach may be slightly cheaper to use.

One gallon a week in your pool will cost you about 1$, and chlorine in the pool about 2.85$ a pound.

But chlorine is stronger than bleach and works faster to get rid of algae or cloudy pool water.

On the other hand, chlorine is a strong irritant to your skin and eyes. In contrast, chlorine bleach contains only a small amount of chlorine.

Therefore, bleach could be easier to use for many people.

FAQ about chlorine and bleach for pool maintenance

Here you will find more questions and answers to clear up any confusion.

Is bleach and pool chlorine the same?

No, bleach and chlorine are not the same.

In truth, bleach contains a similar base compound as pool chlorine. That synthetic is, obviously, chlorine, and the main significant distinction between the two items is the oxidation strength.

Bleach is usually a 6% fixation, while pool chlorine can regularly be found in strength somewhere in the range of 10% and 12%.

All of this is sodium hypochlorite and works similarly in disinfecting your pool water.

Does chlorine have bleach in it?

Bleach and chlorine are similar substances, and both will keep your pool shining.

But does chlorine have bleach in it?

No, pool chlorine doesn’t contain any bleach. In fact, chlorine is chlorine.

The chlorine routinely presents in chlorine tablets is sodium hypochlorite.

This consists of around 65 percent chlorine, so the chlorine that lies in your pool water is just chlorine itself.

Does pool shock have bleach?

I know the term chlorine bleach can be confusing.

You might find that chlorine bleach and regular chlorine are two different things, but both works to clean your pool.

As I said, pool chlorine doesn’t contain any bleach.

In fact, pool shock is simply chlorine. The term shock just means to increase chlorine levels.

Shock instead of chlorine: Does that work?

Yes, you can use pool shock instead of chlorine. In a high portion, shock is chlorine intended to stun your pool and raise the chlorine level rapidly.

But the chlorine shock is only used when you have a significant problem with dirty pool water or a low chlorine level in your pool.

Using chlorine shock while your chlorine level is already high can damage your equipment or harm your health.

Add chlorine, and wait some days before adding more chlorine. The chlorine level should be between 0.3 – 1.5 ppm.

Tip: Read my blog post how to lower a high chlorine level with baking soda. Follow the link to read the instructions.

How often should you shock your pool?

Shock treatment of the pool routinely will assist with keeping the water perfect and liberated from impurities.

You should not shock your pool about one time each week, like many other blogs force you to do it.

Take care of your swimming pool with my tips and use chlorine tablets in a floater, so your pool water stays clean, and an extra pool shock will be unnecessary.

Conclusion on chlorine and bleach for pool care

Chlorine and bleach have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to water treatment.

But these are not the only chemicals you need for pool maintenance. Pool care is also possible with other chemicals.

Gentle purification like active oxygen allows you to obtain absolutely pure water, which does not have a specific odor and does not foam.

You can read more about the alternatives to chlorine in my blog. Just follow the link.

But also, every week, you have to check the pH level with a water tester. The optimum levels ​​are 7.2-7.6 units, and in case of a significant deviation, special balancing chemicals will need to be added.

To prevent the appearance of algae, an algaecide preparation should be added to the water.

A flocculant is necessary to fight the smallest fat particles, protein particles, dirt, and microorganisms. High-quality and correctly used flocculants can bind microparticles into flakes, which are retained by the filtering system.

Do you have further questions about chlorine and bleach?

Contact me on Twitter at @contactswimfool. I am happy to help you.

Have fun cleaning your swimming pool!

Photo of author
Hi. I'm Max Berg. I've been in the pool industry since 2015 and have always felt drawn to water. I'm the author behind swimfool.com, where I share my years of experience in pool maintenance and give helpful tips on keeping a swimming pool or hot tub clean. My tips reduce the costs of water treatment and protect the environment.

Keep Reading