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.
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.
Depending on how much you have added and the size of your pool, it is generally safe to wait about 4 hours after adding liquid chlorine or until levels reach 5 ppm or lower.
It is important to know what exactly bleach is before you put it in your pool. 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.
High concentrations of chlorine (above 1.5 ppm) will attack the liner and bleach it, thus damaging it. Any level below this range will weaken its ability to kill off bacteria. The addition of chlorine to your pool water has to be done in a careful manner.
When added to pool water, sodium hypochlorite turns into HOCL, and this is the chemical that kills any bacteria and any other harmful organisms it comes into contact with. Both chlorine and bleach will release HOCL into the pool and it will do the job of sanitizing your pool.
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.
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.
Green algae, unlike its black counterpart, is a true algae; it isn't resistant to chlorine, so you can control it by shocking the pool. If you don't want to spend a lot of money on expensive pool chemicals, you can shock with household bleach.
In a clean, freshly filled 500 gallon wading pool, add a quarter cup of unscented household liquid chlorine bleach to the water. Then, at the end of each day, test the water and add an additional 1/8 to 1/4 cup, depending on the reading.
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.
Chlorine is much stronger than bleach. To get your pools chlorine level to the point it needs to be to keep the pool looking clean and bright; you will need to use more bleach than you will chlorine. Bleach is also going to come in a liquid form only, and chlorine is most commonly sold in tablets.
For a 5,000-gallon pool, you need 3 cups or 24 oz of Clorox bleach to raise the chlorine level. When we say“Shock a pool”, it refers to the process of adding chlorine to the pool water, so it can raise the “free chlorine” level.
Using swimming pool salt instead of chlorine delivers greater swimming comfort: Swimming pool salt does not give off an unpleasant odour as chlorine does. It is much less harsh on hair and skin. It does not cause your eyes to sting.
The Bottom Line about Pools and Chlorine
As mentioned above, you could probably swim in a pool without chlorine without any major health issues. However, long-term use of a pool lacking chlorinated H2O could make you sick or, at the very least, contribute to rashes and other types of skin irritation.
The strongest bleach is Clorox Regular Bleach2, which is the best bleach for cleaning, stain removal, and whitening. It's the only bleach that can be used around the house to clean and purify a wide variety of surfaces.
Myth #1: Bleach contains free-standing chlorine.
There is no free-standing, or elemental, chlorine in bleach. Bleach is manufactured from salt and water to produce sodium hypochlorite, the active ingredient in bleach. Bleach is simply a water solution of this compound.
SLAM is a pool water sanitization process that stands for Shock, Level, and Maintain — originating from the website, Trouble Free Pool. The goal of SLAMing is to add so much chlorine to the pool that it completely oxidizes all pollutants in the water – algae, bacteria, viruses, and any other organic contaminants.
One pound of 65% Cal-Hypo is equivalent to 117 fluid ounces (0.91 gallons) of 8.25% bleach. One pound of non-chlorine shock (43% MPS) is "equivalent" to 36 fluid ounces (0.28 gallons) of 8.25% bleach, but non-chlorine shock is not the same as chlorine.
If a kiddie pool's water isn't going to be changed regularly, disinfecting it makes sense, and bleach will work well in that regard. Add only enough bleach to a kiddie pool to maintain chlorine between 1 and 2 parts per million (PPM), and test to ensure proper levels.
Shock. 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.
Pour 1 part liquid bleach and 9 parts water into a bucket. Repeat until full. Store in shade. Do not store in direct sunlight.