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How To Chlorinate Your Swimming Pool Using Bleach

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you want to know whether using bleach is the best way to clean your pool? Read on to discover how to effectively chlorinate your swimming pool using bleach.

Using bleach is one of the many ways that swimming pool owners maintain their pool.

It is useful to maintain the chlorine levels in the pool during swimming season.

Whilst it is important to get the measurements correct, it is undoubtedly one of the easiest means of keeping your pool clean and chlorinated. 

When using bleach to chlorinate your swimming pool, you should ensure that you are checking your pool’s chlorine levels on a daily basis.

Once you have ascertained the chlorine levels in your pool, you also need to add a relevant amount of bleach in order to raise the chlorine level approximately 3-5 ppm.

This step should be repeated on a daily basis in order to fully replenish the chlorination that has decreased off from the previous day. 

When using bleach in order to chlorinate your pool, it is crucial that you do check these levels on a daily basis.

This is because it can be hazardous to have too much or too little chlorine within your pool water.

The active ingredient contained in bleach is sodium hypochlorite and this is the chemical that raises the chlorine levels, however, it can be hazardous if overused.

When using this method of chlorination, you should aim to maintain a chlorine level of 3 ppm.

The amount of chlorination that you may or may not lose over a 24-hour period depends upon the current climate and the CYA levels contained in the pool.

During the summer months, you may wish to raise your chlorine levels to approximately 5 ppm.

This is because you are more likely to lose chlorination prior to the next day’s testing.

To contrast, if the weather is cooler, then you will only need to slightly raise the chlorine levels to approximately 4 ppm.

After experimenting during the seasonal changes, you should become an expert at chlorinating your pool using this method. 

DPD Powder Test

There are numerous ways to test the chlorine levels within your pool water, including using dropper bottles and testing strips.

However, experts recommend that you test your pool water using a DPD powder testing kit (see also ‘ The Best Pool Water Test Kits ‘). 

When using this testing method, you will be able to accurately test the chlorine level within your pool water and ensure that it is maintained between 2 and 5 ppm depending on the amount of water that you are testing.

It is far harder to obtain an accurate reading of your pool’s chlorine levels when you are using other methods, like basic observation. 

How To Use Steps When Using DPD Powder

  1. Fill a water tube to approximately 10 ml.
  2. Add a single scoop of DPD powder to your tube and swirl to mix. If chlorine is present, the water will turn a pinkish color.
  3.  Next, take the DPD Titrating Reagent and add a single drop to the water. Repeat this until the water clears entirely, whilst counting each drop that has been added. 
  4. If you have added another 10ml of water to the testing tube, you should multiply the number of drops that were added prior to the water turning clear by .5. This will give you an indication of how much chlorine was in your pool water. For example, if you have added 5 drops to make the mix turn clear, then the amount of chlorine contained in your pool is 2.5 ppm. Remember, you should aim to have your chlorine levels at 5 ppm during the summer months.
How To Chlorinate Your Swimming Pool Using Bleach

How To Safely Add Bleach To Your Pool

After you have determined how much chlorine is contained in your pool water, you can add the necessary amount of bleach needed to chlorinate your swimming pool appropriately.

There are many ways to determine how much bleach you need to add, and there are pool calculators online that can assist you in this process.

Above all, you need to know your CYA levels. This is because the lower your CYA (Cyanuric Acid) levels are in your pool water, the quicker your chlorination will disappear.

If you have no Cyanuric Acid in your pool water, then you will undoubtedly lose your chlorine quickly during the summer months, which will result in your swimming pool requiring more bleach to remain chlorinated.

Not only is this unhygienic and dangerous, it will also cost you more money to maintain your pool. 

As such, you need to perform a monthly CYA test. This is an easy test to carry out when you have the proper kit, which includes a Cyanuric Acid Reagent.

You should also ensure that your tube has a black dot on it so that you can see when the water has been added.

Then, follow these steps to perform an effective CYA test:

  1. Fill your tube up until the 7 ml line.
  2. Add cyanuric reagent until it has reached the 14 ml line.
  3. Carefully close the lid and thoroughly shake the tube for approximately 1 minute.
  4. After you have shaken your tube, pour the mixture into the other tube that contains the black dot. You should stop pouring in the mixture once you can no longer see the black dot. This water level on the side will indicate your CYA level.

Other Tips

It is strongly advised that you seek the advice of a pool cleaning professional prior to adding bleach to your pool water.

Bleach should also always be added in stages rather than all at one time if you are uncertain of the amount that you should add.

It is also imperative that you check the chlorine levels within your pool water on a daily basis using a chlorine test kit, as this will help you to determine the amount of chlorine contained within the water.

If you are still unsure about how much bleach to add, or are uncertain about how many gallons of water are contained within your swimming pool, then you should ask your pool supplier.  

Benefits Of Using Bleach To Treat Pool Water

One of the main issues with owning a swimming pool is that it can cost a vast amount of money to maintain chlorination levels within the water.

This is why using bleach has become an increasingly popular method of maintaining crystal-clear water.

How To Chlorinate Your Swimming Pool Using Bleach

Whilst it is advised that you use specified pool treatment products, these can be wildly expensive in comparison to using bleach. 

How Does Chlorine Clean A Pool?

Chlorine is undoubtedly the most commonly used cleaning agent. This is because it swiftly kills bacteria and algae.

The chemistry behind its use is relatively straightforward.

It is a negatively charged ion that tears through the membranes of microbes, which renders them inherently unable to grow.

The most commonly available form of chlorine is bleach, which is otherwise known as hypochlorous acid.

A bottle of bleach will typically list sodium hypochlorite, which is a type of chlorine that is bound to a negatively charged atom of oxygen.

Once bleach has been added to the pool water, a hypochlorous molecule will transform into a negatively charged hypochlorite ion and sanitize your pool by proxy of killing any microbes.  

Comparatively, pool store chlorine tablets (see also ‘The 8 Best Chlorine Tablets Reviews‘) will typically use another chemical named “dichlor”.

This is because these tablets include dichloroisocyanuric acid, which is another way to say ‘stabilized chlorine’.

The issue with using these tablets as opposed to bleach is that this chemical doesn’t break down effectively over a period of time, and you are less able to control the quantity of it within your pool water.

When this occurs, the pool water will have an excessive amount of cyanuric acid within it and any chlorine that you add will immediately become stabilized and rendered unable to kill any of the bacteria in your pool water.

After a couple of weeks, you will have cloudy water due to the formation of bacteria within the pool. Some people refer to this as “chlorine lock” when it ceases to become an effective sanitizing agent. 

Using bleach to sanitize your pool water avoids this issue entirely, as you are able to control the amount of chlorine that is entering the pool water at any given time, whilst ensuring that it remains effective via daily testing.

Using this method also enables you to avoid having to purchase additional chemical products like algaecides (see also ‘How To Use Algaecide In Your Swimming Pool‘) and clarifiers. 


To conclude, you can effectively chlorinate your pool water by using bleach.

You should ensure that you are maintaining a chlorine level of 3 ppm, raising this to 5 ppm during the summer months.

You should also ensure that you are measuring the chlorination levels in your pool each day in order to retain crystal-clear pool water. 

As well as measuring the chlorine levels within the pool water, you should also ensure that you are maintaining the cyanuric acid levels.

This is because cyanuric acid (see also ‘How To Balance Cyanuric Acid In Your Swimming Pool‘) ensures that the chlorine in the pool water doesn’t rapidly disappear especially during the summer season when the chlorine in the pool water is far more likely to dissipate quickly.

If you implement the measures that I have outlined, you will undoubtedly be able to use bleach to efficiently maintain the chlorine levels within your pool water without any unnecessary additional expenditure.

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