How to Use Bleach in Your Pool 101

Bleach is a popular chemical for pool maintenance. It is used to cleanse organic wastes, algae, and bacteria build-up in pool water treatment.

Bleach is like chlorine, a disinfectant for pool care to get rid of the algae and other bacteria. If you’re using bleach for pool care, it needs to be applied correctly, not to cause harm to your family. Apply 1/8 cup of bleach per 100 gallons of water and wait at least 2 hours before you go back to the pool.

In this post, you will learn everything about bleach and how to use it for pool maintenance.

Can you use bleach in a pool?

Yes, bleach is a pool additive that you can use. It kills algae, bacteria, and organic wastes in the pool water.

It is mainly used to reduce combined chlorine, chloramines, and organic impurities.

You should only use bleach to reduce or remove chlorine byproducts and not as a replacement for chlorine.

What are the side effects of using bleach?

There are many side effects of using bleach in a pool.

  • Since it is toxic to humans, it should not be used in areas where humans are. If it is accidentally ingested, you should immediately drink water and contact a doctor.
  • It can cause damage to your skin and eyes, so take care when using it. The irritating vapors should not be inhaled.
  • Another drawback for bleach in pools is that it reduces the effectiveness of chlorine-based sanitizers by 30-40%.
  • It also reduces the effectiveness of most bromine-based sanitizers.
  • It is ineffective with ionizers or ozone generators, so it should be used separately from those.
  • If you use too much bleach for your pool, it can damage your hoses and pumps. Overuse can also cause the development of a scum line and cloudy pool water.

Will bleach clear up a cloudy pool?

Bleach is weaker than pure chlorine, but you can use it also to clear up a cloudy pool.

It is not very effective by itself. You should mix it with other chemicals, so the combined effect is enough to clear up the cloudy pool water.

You can use sodium tripolyphosphate together with bleach or Tetra San P+ Shock.

The HP Granular Pool Clarifier also works well when mixed with 6-8 ounces of bleach per 10,000 gallons of pool water.

How to add bleach to your pool?

The exciting part of this post is how to add bleach to your pool the right way?

There are several methods of adding bleach to a pool.

The simplest method is to add the bleach to the skimmer, but this method doesn’t provide consistent results all the time. And a skimmer reduces the effect by 40 %.

You can also use different automatic chlorine feeders, which are more precise, but they are also more expensive.

Another method is to dilute the bleach with water before adding it to your swimming pool – you should use sanitized pails or containers for this procedure.

Tip: Take care of splashes because bleach can damage your clothes.

Can you pour directly bleach in a pool?

If you want to use bleach in a pool, you should follow the instructions on the label.

But can you pour the bleach directly into your pool?

No, this is not a good idea.

Bleach reacts quickly with the water. It also produces irritating fumes that you should not inhale or get in touch with your skin or eyes.

Mixing it directly to pool water can cause damage to your pool equipment and liners.

How much bleach to use in the pool?

How much bleach to use depends on the size of your pool and the water temperature.

Generally, you should use 2-3 gallons of 5% sodium hypochlorite for every 10,000 gallons of pool water.

If it is a large pool or you want a more substantial effect, you can increase the amount up to 5 gallons per 10,000 gallons of pool water.

Remember that it is essential to check the pH level outside and inside your pool after adding bleach.

The ideal pH levels for pools are 7.2-7.6. If you add too much bleach or not enough, your chlorine won’t work properly, and the pH level will be out of range.

You can add sodium bisulfate or muriatic acid to lower the pH level and sodium bicarbonate or baking soda to raise it.

Tip: The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung – BfR) recommends a maximum concentration of 0.5 mg/l Chlorine in swimming pools.

How much bleach for a 1000 gallon pool?

If you want to use bleach in your 1000 gallon pool, take these measurements:

Keep in mind that it is a 5 percent sodium hypochlorite solution. So 0.5 gallons of this solution will remove 1 ppm bound chlorine from 1000 gallons of water.

Add 9 ounces (about 250 ml) if the total chlorine level is under 1 ppm.

If the total chlorine level is above 1 ppm, you should add 16 ounces (about 500 ml).

If you want to keep the total chlorine level below 0.2 ppm, you have to add 32 ounces of bleach every week.

Tip: To prevent eye irritation or skin problems, use protective rubber gloves and glasses!


If the total chlorine level is over 3 ppm, you must double the previous measurements, so 36 ounces (about 1000 ml) per week.

Pro Tip: You can also try to drain 1/5 of the pool water to reduce the chlorine level in your pool.

How much bleach to put in a kiddie pool?

If you clean a small Intex Pool, then here is the amount of bleach you should use:

The water capacity is about 84 gallons. To sanitize it, pour 1/8 cup (60 ml) into the pool and wait at least 3 hours before using it.

Bleach can be used as a disinfectant to kill bacteria like E Coli and salmonella in your pool.

Use only the amount of bleach needed, and don’t forget to test it before your kids start using the pool.

If you add too much, your pH levels will be off, and your family can develop eye irritation or skin irritations such as dermatitis (inflammation on the skin).

How to clean a green pool with bleach?

You can use bleach to clean a green pool by following these steps:

First of all, check the chlorine level and PH levels before starting.

If the pool doesn’t have any chlorine, then use a shock treatment to clean it according to these steps:

  1. First, start your pool pump and keep it running the whole time.
  2. Take a brush and clean the walls and floor of the pool.
  3. Open all valves and add enough chlorine to reach 5-10 ppm free chlorine. This will raise your total chlorine level up to 1-3 ppm.
  4. Let your pool pump work for 24 hours and circulate the water at this time.
  5. After that, check the pH levels, and if they are between 7.2-7.6, you are good to go.
  6. If your pool is not clean after adding chlorine, repeat this procedure until you see results. Sometimes your pump needs to run for 36 hours.
  7. After cleaning your green pool, don’t forget to check the chlorine levels daily. Also, monitor the pH levels at least twice per week.

How to shock a pool with bleach?

It is easy to use bleach for a pool shock.

Here is how to do it:

  1. Adjust the pH levels to 7.2-7.6 and wait about 20 minutes before using the bleach.
  2. Dissolve the bleach in a bucket of water and pour it into your pool slowly.
  3. Add 1/2 gallon (2 liters) of bleach for every 10,000 gallons of water.
  4. Let the total chlorine level exceed 3 ppm when you shock your pool with bleach.
  5. Let the pool pump run for 24 hours to circulate the water.

Important: Don’t forget to have protective gear on when shocking your pool with bleach because the chemical can cause eye irritation or skin irritations!

How to shock a saltwater pool with bleach?

Typically there is enough free chlorine in a saltwater pool, and you don’t have to add more.

However, if your free chlorine level is below 0.3 ppm, it is good to shock the saltwater pool with bleach.

Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. First, check your salt levels and PH levels before shocking your pool. Make sure they are balanced because you don’t want any damage to your equipment.
  2. Use your measuring cup to pour 1 gallon (3,8 liters) into your pool slowly. Make sure you remove the skimmer cover before pouring the bleach into the water.
  3. Let the pool pump run for 24 hours in order to circulate the water.

After that, check the total chlorine level, and if it is above 1 ppm, you are good to go!

How long after adding bleach to the pool can you swim?

I always recommend waiting at least 24 hours after using a strong chemical like bleach in your swimming pool.

If you take a dip in your pool directly after using the bleach, it can cause irritation to your eyes and skin.

Also, the pH levels can be off if you don’t wait enough time.

Do you want to be absolutely sure, then take your water tester and test the level of bleach in your pool after 24 hours.

It is the safest way to go!

Can I use household bleach in my pool?

What is the difference between swimming pool bleach and laundry bleach?

There are many differences between the pool chlorine bleach for sale and laundry bleach.

For example, there are ingredients in household bleach that can damage your equipment if you use it to clean the pool.

Plus, it doesn’t work as well as the pool bleach because it contains a lot of impurities (scents).

Fact is: Household bleach is not recommended to clean your pool because it contains a lot of impurities and other chemicals.

You don’t want that in your pool water!

Only use pool bleach for cleaning purposes, as it is more concentrated and doesn’t contain those harmful ingredients.

If you use Clorox, then make sure it is unscented bleach!

I know some blogs disagree with me, but it is not recommended to use household bleach in any kind of pool or spa.

In my opinion, household bleach should be used for laundry purposes only!

Do you have further questions, how to use bleach in your pool?

The best way to contact me is @contactswimfool on Twitter or Pinterest. I am happy to help you.

Have fun swimming!

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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, 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.

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