Can I Swim in A Pool Without Chlorine?

For the longest time, chlorine has been the go-to option for pool sanitization. This is because it does an excellent job of killing viruses, germs, and bacteria in the water, and as a result, aid in managing the organic dirt such as sweat and body oils. Besides, it stops algae from filling your pool and is very affordable.

But, can I swim in a pool without chlorine? Is it safe? No. Generally, a pool without chlorine will probably make you sick since it could feature all the elements usually killed by chlorine. But this might not be the case for everyone; it is possible to swim in a pool without chlorine and come out just fine, though the repercussions that follow are not worth the risk.

Another way to look at this is that while the swimming pool might not contain chlorine, it could have different sanitizers like Ionizers or bromine. And in this case, it is safe to swim.

What does chlorine do in a pool?

Chlorine is very handy in sanitizing your swimming pool, which is why it has been the preferred option for a long time. But what exactly does it do in the pool?

There are four essential things that chlorine does in your pool, even when it is a saltwater swimming pool;

  • It kills bacteria and sanitizes the pool
  • It kills algae and hinders them from growing further inside the pool
  • It oxidizes the water, making it more transparent and of better quality
  • It steadies the water and yields relatively stable water quality

On top of that, chlorine is among the few chemicals that perform all these tasks simultaneously, thus keeping the different chemicals you’ll require to utilize in your pool at a decent consistency. Besides, it is safe, provided the levels are suitable for your pool’s size and depth and are adequately balanced.

Non-chlorine water pools?

Now that we know the role of chlorine in sanitizing your pool’s water, let’s see what a chlorine-free swimming pool has to offer. The first thing you’ll have is stagnant water that features all kinds of dangers. Actually, WHO says that the most common reason behind hospitalization is diseases linked to water that’s not sanitized. According to statistics, this kind of pool will most likely make you sick due to exposure to all the things typically killed by chlorine.

A pool without chlorine is similar to a pool of muddy water. Also, due to the unrestricted algae growth, it will certainly not be visually appealing. Remember, the human skin is porous, meaning that even microscopic contaminations can penetrate.

Disadvantages of chlorine pools

Even though chlorine comes with multiple benefits, there are a couple of disadvantages and side effects to look out for, including;

  • It could turn out to be harmful to your eyes and skin.
  • Also, it has a strong smell which is hard to wash off even after showering
  • Lastly, it hardens the hair at times even fades it

Chlorine alternatives

As popular as this handy chemical is to pool owners, it is running out of favor because of the side effects it usually comes with, and some swimmers are even allergic to it. To be fair, chlorine plays four essential roles at the same time, which is not common among the alternatives we’ll mention here. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for an alternative, here are some of the most suitable ones;

1.   Bromine

Pool suppliers commonly recommend bromine as a decent chlorine substitute. It is especially ideal for individuals allergic to chlorine, though bromine is part of the same halogen group as chlorine.

How it works

This chemical does excellent work as a sanitizer, though it’s not as effective as chlorine. Some homeowners prefer the hybrid form called BCDMH tablets that usually feature 27 % chlorine and 66 % bromine to get the job done. Others prefer the two-step procedure of blending potassium peroxymonosulfate and bromine inside the swimming pool to come up with a similar oxidizing and sanitizing chemical.


  • Bromine is usually stable under high temperatures; thus, it is mainly utilized in spas than pools.
  • It irritates the mucus membranes less than chlorine.


  • Has an odor
  • If used alone in the swimming pool, the water remains dull green since the process of oxidations is slower and weaker.

2.   Salt system

Swimming pools with saltwater have become very popular. Actually, over 50% of in-ground swimming pools are saltwater pools. This is because it is consistent, somewhat affordable, and convenient than customary chlorine. Besides, it is significantly gentler on your skin, eyes, and hair since it is natural.

How it works

This system cautiously measures the water in your pool, distinguishing the ideal water balance to maintain balanced and clean water. After establishing your pool’s sanitary requirements, you can now install a salt system to sanitize it as effectively as possible.

Currently, the most advanced systems provide effortless interface control. You are given complete control over the water’s chemical balance by providing you with immediate access to monitor and regulate water flow, chlorine quantity, and system potency levels.

Moreover, this system gives you several chlorine output levels, typically fitted with a variable or single speed pump. The mechanism’s flow sensor assesses all the water; thus, your pool’s equilibrium is maintained automatically.

This means you will save the recurring expenses linked to manually controlled mechanisms.


·    They need less maintenance than chlorine pools

·    Gentler on the skin and eyes


·    You need to call an expert in case it needs repairing

3.   Ionizers

Typically, ionizers depend on two metals: silver, a sanitizer, and copper, an algaecide. There is no oxidizer; thus, you’ll require a small quantity of bromine or chlorine inside the pool to clean the water.

How it works

An ionizer is an expedient that utilizes a low-voltage direct current to disburse the silver and copper metals into the pool. The positive charge draws algae, germs, and bacteria, and the larger compounds created henceforth move out of the pool via the filtration system.


  • Ionizers will not irritate the eyes or nose.
  • This system significantly lessens the amount of chlorine to be used.


  • A combination of chlorine and ionizers works quite well, though this is not ideal for swimmers allergic to chlorine.

 4.   Ozonators

This is a machine that connects to the filtration line. It infuses ozone gas inside the pool. Ozone gas is an active oxygen type, and once released, it reacts with the impurities present.

How it works

Typically, there are two different kinds of ozone generators; corona and UV light discharge. For a UV light mechanism, specific reduced-pressure vapor lamps are fitted on the water-out line creating ozone which kills the various pathogens floating around.

On the other hand, corona discharge systems depend on an electrical arc to generate ozone. As with the UV light mechanism, this system kills the different pathogens within the filtration mechanism.


  • These generators can decrease your dependence on chlorine by up to 90%
  • The added energy usage is quite small; almost the same as a 60-watt bulb
  • If combined with chlorine, these ozonators are very effective


  • They work most efficiently in a dry atmosphere; thus, the performance might not be as good if you reside in a humid region.

5.   PHMB

This is the only method that does not require the use of chlorine. If you’re allergic to chlorine, this is the most suitable chemical for you. As you have seen in the sanitization methods mentioned above, they need a certain amount of chlorine to work effectively, but this is not the case with Polyhexamethylene Biguanide.

How it works

This chemical sanitizes your pool by navigating through the cell walls of the bacteria present, leading them to burst from the inside. After this, it wraps the remains in a thick gel, which sinks to the pool’s bottom, where the vacuum system sucks it.


  • It is gentler on your hair and skin, and vinyl liners
  • It is more effortless to keep the chemicals balanced


  • It does not oxidize. Thus, you’ll have to use Hydrogen Peroxide.
  • You will be required to utilize different algaecides and clean the filters as well after every four weeks.
  • PHMB does not mix well with chlorine; so, you have to drain the pool before getting started.

How to clean your swimming pool

To keep your pool clean, it is essential to vacuum it once every week, skim and brush it daily. Cleaning your pool is a process that comprises three important aspects; skimming off dirt on the top, brushing, and vacuuming. This maintenance routine is a regular part of pool cleaning and ownership.


Cleaning the wall of your pool using a brush hinders the growth and distribution of algae, scaling, and staining, precisely around the ladders, stairs, beneath the skimmer, and crevices.


This comprises skimming the water surface using a leaf rake or net to eliminate dirt. This dirt typically makes your pool visually unattractive and can sink to the pool’s bottom, where it will leave ugly stains.


The last part is vacuuming your pool. This eliminates the dirt that can interfere with circulation and ruin your pool. You can utilize a hose, vacuum head, and rod attached to the skimmer via the vacuum plate.


No one wants to swim in a disgusting pool full of algae and other unseen impurities. And while chlorine has a few side effects, it is better to swim in a pool with chlorine than one without. Didn’t know whether it`s safe to swim in a pool without chlorine? Well, now you know!


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