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8 Pool Chlorine Alternatives

Maintenance man checking the PH level of the pool water.

Chlorine has been the preferred sanitizing component in almost every pool for many years. It’s the cheapest and easiest to use pool treatment but it also became unpopular because of the strong chemical smell it elicits as well as causing dry skin, red stinging eyes, and allergic reactions in some swimmers.

With its widely known drawbacks, many pool owners are considering alternative sanitizers to chlorine that will still keep the swimming pool clean without the side effects.

Related: Pool Covers | Average Pool Size | Types of Automatic Pool Cleaners | Saltwater Pool Pros and Cons | Saltwater vs. Chlorine vs. Ozone Pools 

1. Ozone Generators

Ozone generators

Ozone generators are starting to become more popular among pool owners in modern times. As people begin to look for chlorine alternatives that will work for them, they turn to solutions that are a little outside of the box. There are several reasons why an ozone generator is a helpful chlorine alternative that should be on your radar. The first of which is that it can help you to break down all sorts of organic contaminants.

When you make use of an ozone generator in your pool, you will be able to lessen the number of chemicals that you need to use. In some cases, people have been able to get away with using 90% fewer chemicals than they used to. The problem with this solution is that you won’t be able to avoid using chemicals entirely. This isn’t a method that sanitizes your pool for you, so you will need another type of solution to use in conjunction with your ozone generator.

Some people actually use these ozone generators along with a traditional chlorine setup. You can choose to use other sanitation solutions instead of chlorine too, of course. You’ll just need something else to do the sanitizing. There are many benefits to using an ozone generator, though.

For instance, an ozone generator is capable of making the water in your pool really soft. It can make your swimming experience that much more enjoyable. This is a pH neutral solution that can get rid of problems such as calcium scaling. You will definitely be able to see many benefits if you decide to buy one of these.


An ozone generator can really reduce your problems with organic contaminants in your pool. You’ll need to use way fewer chemicals than usual when you have an ozone generator handy. It will soften your water and generally make your pool nicer to swim in. The fact that it is pH neutral is really nice as well since it isn’t going to throw off your balance in any way.


Ozone generators aren’t going to be the most cost-effective solution. They actually cost quite a bit of money and the price tag is likely to scare some people away. If you are willing to make the investment, then it can be a worthwhile purchase. It isn’t something that will sanitize your pool, but it can reduce the amount of chlorine or other chemicals that your pool will need.

2. Non-Chlorine Shock

Non-Chlorine Shock

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Non-chlorine shock is an excellent way to deal with certain pollutants that can get into your pool. It isn’t entirely unusual for bodily fluids to contaminate a pool. You need a reliable solution to deal with these problems and non-chlorine shock is going to be able to oxidize these contaminants for you. This essentially burns away the dead organic matter that you need to get out of your pool.

The problem with this method is that it also isn’t going to work as a sanitizer. This is another useful tool that is going to need to work in tandem with certain chemicals. Many people wind up pairing the non-chlorine shock with a certain amount of chlorine. If you are trying to avoid chlorine specifically, then using another chemical in its place is going to work just fine.

It should also be noted that outdoor pools won’t need non-chlorine shock quite as much. Natural sunlight will do the same thing as the non-chlorine shock over time. This non-chlorine shock is mostly used for indoor pools and hot tubs. Regardless, it is a useful tool that you may find will help your overall swimming experience.


This can burn away the dead organic matter in your pool to make your swimming experience more pleasant. You will be able to purchase this non-chlorine shock at a reasonable price too. It is a fairly cost-effective method for making your pool a little nicer. If you have an indoor pool, then using this non-chlorine shock is going to be an absolute must.


Non-chlorine shock doesn’t work to sanitize your pool and will require you to use other chemicals. This isn’t a solution that can completely replace chlorine. It is merely another useful tool to add to your bag of tricks. Also, you may not find the non-chlorine shock to be quite as useful if you own an outdoor pool since the sunlight can also oxidize dead organic matter for you.

3. Salt Water

Salt pellets

Most of the time, people who are avoiding using chlorine in pools are doing so because they find it to be an annoyance. Sometimes chlorine has a tendency to hurt people’s eyes and not everyone finds it pleasant to swim in a chlorinated pool. If you want to have an alternative to chlorinating your pool that will work nicely, then you may want to turn to salt water. This is a natural way to sanitize your pool that will be very easy on you.

Saltwater can actually chlorinate your pool in a natural way. This is completely different from adding chlorine chemicals to your pool. The salt winds up becoming charged and will break down into chlorine. This makes it so that swimming in your pool won’t dry out your skin or hurt your eyes, so it is easy to see why people are making the decision to go this route.

You will also be able to save some money by having a salt water pool. Buying salt and properly maintaining it is going to be more cost-effective than purchasing chemicals. You’ll be able to have a more enjoyable time while you’re swimming and you will be able to avoid the negative things associated with chlorine. It’s a good situation and it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to make the necessary changes.


Saltwater is going to be able to break down into natural chlorine to keep your pool completely sanitized. You will be able to enjoy swimming in your pool without having to feel concerned about drying out your skin or harming your eyes. It makes swimming a lot more fun for many people. This is becoming a more prevalent option all over the world and it isn’t hard to implement.


You will still need to take care of the pool like you would when using normal chemicals. Also, you do need to replace the salt in your pool every so often. It actually lasts for a long time, so replacing it once every four or five years should suffice. It’s actually a really good solution with very few negatives to mention.

4. Mineral System

Mineral Pool Sanitizer

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These mineral pool systems are really handy and can reduce the need for chlorine by 50%. If you want to purchase a sanitizing tool that is going to be simple to use, then buying a mineral system for your pool is a good idea. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to maintain this mineral system. You just hook it up and it works to sanitize your pool very effectively. It will release minerals into the pool water that will help to soften the water and clean things up nicely.

This is a really good thing to own if you want some help controlling bacteria and algae. If you use this system regularly, then you shouldn’t have any problems with algae or bacteria developing in your pool. You won’t have to buy as many costly chemicals either. You will still need to use chemicals on occasion to maintain the right pH balance, but it will wind up saving you money in the long run.

The initial cost of a mineral system may be a bit steep for some people. Overall, they aren’t outrageously priced, so you should be able to purchase one without having an issue. It just depends on your personal budget and how much you are willing to invest in your pool. This solution can make your swimming experience that much better, so it is worth looking into.


A mineral system is really easy to use and maintaining it isn’t going to take a lot of effort either. It will soften your pool water while cleaning things up. It’s excellent for helping you to control algae and bacteria. You will be able to use significantly less chlorine than usual and it will save you money in the long run.


The initial investment might be too much for some people to justify. It doesn’t eliminate the need for chlorine or other chemicals completely. Regardless, it is a good solution that people have been turning to more frequently. It is just up to you to decide whether or not the cost is worth it or not.

5. Bromine

A tub of Bromine tablets

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Bromine is a true chlorine substitute that many people find to be the preferable chemical. This substance is capable of sanitizing your pool very effectively. You won’t have to worry about testing the bromine quite as often and you will be able to enjoy increased stability. Your pool should remain in balance for longer periods of time without you having to make adjustments.

Being able to simply enjoy your pool without having to worry about making constant tweaks to the balance is nice. There are some aspects of bromine that make it less desirable, though. Sunlight makes bromine less effective, so it doesn’t work quite as well in outdoor pools. This doesn’t mean that bromine isn’t a viable option, but it does mean that you will need more of it.

To put it in simple terms, sunlight burns away certain parts of both bromine and chlorine. Chlorine is more protected from this effect, so it works better in outdoor pools. Bromine can still be used in outdoor pools, but you may need a lot more of it than usual to counteract the sunlight. For this reason, it might not be the most practical solution.


You can enjoy a pool that is more balanced and less needy if you make use of bromine. Bromine works to provide you with a sanitized and stable swimming environment. It is a good chemical that will be simple to use and it can allow you to swim without worrying about your safety. It’s excellent for indoor pools and is also commonly used in spas.


Bromine simply isn’t as easy to use in an outdoor pool. The sunlight makes it so that you will need much more bromine than usual to keep your pool sanitized. The costs of this can wind up becoming pretty high and it might not be a practical option for many people. Bromine is a bit more expensive than chlorine anyway, so it can definitely be an inconvenience when you have to buy so much of it.

6. Ionizers

Solar Pool Ionizer Prevents Algae Using 80% Less Chlorine & Keeps Water Sparkling Clear Without Algaecides | Treats Swimming Pools 500-50,000 Gallons

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The ionizer is a technology that uses a low-voltage DC current to send natural minerals such as copper and silver into the water. The positive charge attracts bacteria, fungi, viruses, mold, oils, and other harmful substances to clump together and be captured in the filter.


It doesn’t cause eye irritation and reduces the amount of chlorine used for sanitation.


It can be expensive.


Baquacil CDX System Starter Kit

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PHMB is short for polyhexamethylene biguanide and is your option to completely doing without chlorine as a sanitizer. PHMB causes bacteria cell walls to burst from within and then wraps it in a heavy gel, causing it to sink to the bottom of the pool where the vacuum waits to suck it up.


It is gentle on the skin, hair, and vinyl pool liners. It’s low maintenance.


You’ll need to use hydrogen peroxide for oxidization and a separate algaecide and clean pool filters every four to six weeks. You also have to completely drain the pool before applying the PHMB and make sure your bathing suit doesn’t have any traces of chlorine or else the suit fibers with react with PHMB.

You’ll spend about $725 for PHMB chemical to maintain a 10,000-gallon pool for a 16-week summer season.

8. PristineBlue

Earth Science Pristine Blue (64 oz)

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PristineBlue is a chlorine-free swimming pool and spa treatment that uses copper as a sanitizer against bacteria and algae. It’s also environment-friendly.