Swimming pool maintenance is important for both safety and appearance, but it can be a daunting task to keep your swimming pool clean and safe in-between visits from a professional. Pools tend to get dirty quickly due to all of the chemicals used to sanitize them and the natural growth of algae that occurs when water stagnates.
Are liquid chlorine and bleach the same?
The short answer is No, they are not the same thing. Keep on reading to learn more.
What is Liquid Chlorine?
Liquid chlorine (also known as liquid chlorinated lime or simply chlorine) is an inorganic chemical compound with the formula Cl2. It is widely used in pools because its chemical properties make it effective at killing germs and bacteria.
How does it work?
Chlorine gas dissolves in water to form hypochlorous acid (HOCl), which kills germs by damaging their cell membranes. The HOCl then reacts with iron ions to produce free radicals, which damage DNA and other cellular components.
When you add a small amount of liquid chlorine to your pool, it becomes a solution called “hypochlorite” or “chlorine”. Hypochlorite is more powerful than chlorine gas, so it will kill most types of germs faster.
Why is it toxic?
Hypochlorite is highly corrosive and can cause severe burns if it comes into contact with the skin directly. If you accidentally swallow some, you could experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, skin irritation, or even difficulty breathing.
Benefits Of Liquid Chlorine
The main benefit of using chlorine-based products like liquid chlorine is that they are much easier to use than traditional solid tablets. For example, instead of having to dissolve tablets into your pool, you just pour liquid chlorine directly into the pool. This makes cleaning your pool easier and quicker, and less likely to create any messes or spills. Other benefits include:
Safety: When using chlorine, it’s easy to overdo it by adding too much chlorine, creating dangerous levels of free chlorine. With liquid chlorine, you only need to add a little bit, since there’s no risk of overdose or running out.
Appearance: Since chlorine needs oxygen to react, it won’t start reacting until dissolved in water. This means that if left alone for long periods of time, chlorine won’t do anything besides sit there. But once mixed into water, it starts working immediately to kill germs. If you add chlorine to your pool frequently enough, it will eventually break down and become ineffective, but this takes many weeks. Once submerged in water, chlorine doesn’t go away anytime soon.
Availability: Most people already have liquid chlorine on hand, either in a bottle or in a dispenser. You don’t need to buy chlorine tablets anymore!
For more information, check out our post on ‘Why do swimming pools have chlorine?‘
What is Bleach?
Bleach (or sodium hypochlorite) is the active ingredient in some cleaners and disinfectants that help remove stains from fabrics and surfaces. However, it has been shown to be highly toxic to humans, even in low concentrations.
Why is it Toxic?
Bleaches contain strong oxidizers, such as chlorine dioxide or hypochlorites, which can cause severe burns to human skin, eyes, and respiratory system. They also have high pH levels, making them very corrosive and potentially dangerous.
Benefits Of Bleach
Despite being harmful to humans, bleaches are still commonly used around the world. Some reasons why people choose to use bleach include:
Safety: Bleach is generally safe when diluted properly. Diluting bleach with tap water reduces the concentration of chlorine, meaning it isn’t as strong as other disinfectants. It’s also safer because it doesn’t leave behind residues or waste after it’s done cleaning.
Appearance: Bleaches clean better than regular detergents. Unlike regular detergents, bleach leaves a streak-free finish, while also removing dirt and grease.
Availability: Many people already have bleach on hand at home; some brands are sold in stores along with other household items.
Liquid Chlorine vs Bleach. What is best for your swimming pool ?
Both liquid chlorine and bleach are effective at killing bacteria and algae. As mentioned above, liquid chlorine is cleaner and easier to use, but you can also find liquid chlorine in different strengths. Just remember to follow label directions carefully, as stronger solutions may not be good for all types of pools.
Tips For Storing Bleach and liquid chlorine
The best way to store bleach and liquid chlorine is to keep them in their original containers. Store both indoors where they’ll stay dry and protected from moisture. Never put bleach or liquid chlorine near heat sources or open flames. Because these chemicals are so powerful, they could cause an explosion. You should never mix bleach and liquid chlorine together, as doing so could make the solution too strong. Instead, dilute bleach with water before using it.
While liquid chlorine and bleach are similar, they’re not exactly the same. While they both work well at killing microbes, bleach is more toxic and corrosive than liquid chlorine. Always read the labels closely and follow instructions carefully. Make sure children are pets are away while working with them.
Make sure to check out our posts on:
HOW ARE SWIMMING POOLS CLEANED? THE COMPLETE PROCESS EXPLAINED
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