How to Use Bleach for Chlorine in a Swimming Pool

Updated April 17, 2017

Household bleach can be used as an inexpensive substitute for pool chlorine. Pool chlorine uses a chemical reaction to kill the bacteria in your pool water, and the active ingredients that do the job can also be found in many ordinary household bleaches. Look for a plain bleach free of colours and scents. Read the label--any brand that lists sodium hypochlorite as an active ingredient is a sufficient substitute. Take this into consideration when purchasing your bleach. You may use bleach in small kiddie pools or large filtered pools.

Determine how many gallons of water your kiddie pool holds. Small inflatable pools generally have this information on the box or in the instructions.

Measure the needed amount of bleach into your measuring cup. The bleach should be added to the pool at a rate of 1/8 cup per 100 gallons of water.

Move around the edge of the pool, pouring the bleach in as you go. Allow the bleach to disperse for several minutes before entering the water.

Determine how many gallons of water your pool is. If you are unsure of this number, you can use a simple formula to figure it out, according to Backyard City Pools. Multiply the pool's length, width, average depth and the multiplier. The multiplier for rectangular, square or free-form pools is 7.5. The multiplier for a round or oval pool is 5.9.

Calculate the amount of bleach you will need for your pool. Add one gallon of bleach for every 2,500 gallons of water your pool holds.

Ensure the pool filter is on. Move around the perimeter of the pool, pouring the bleach into the water as you go.

Allow the water to circulate for several minutes so that all the bleach can be evenly dispersed. You may wish to add the product in the evening after the pool is out of use.

Submerge a pH testing strip into the water after about 10 minutes. The level should be between 7.2 and 7.6. Adjust pH levels with appropriate chemicals, if needed.


Take care not to splash pure, undiluted bleach onto skin or in eyes. If this occurs, flush the area liberally with water.

Things You'll Need

  • Plain household bleach
  • Measuring cup
  • pH testing strips
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About the Author

Amy McClain has worked as both a feature writer and a copy editor for a prestigious daily newspaper. She also enjoys writing as a hobby and takes creative writing courses in her free time. She has worked in sales and marketing for a wireless company for over seven years.