What Chemical Is Used to Clean Pools?

Are you confused by the many chemicals that your swimming pool needs to stay clean and balanced? Below is a brief overview of the most commonly used pool chemicals and their roles in pool maintenance.

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The most well-known pool chemical is chlorine. It kills bacteria and algae. You can buy it in powder, liquid, or tablet form. Hydrochloric acid is formed when water reacts with chlorine. This compound fights bacteria. Fun fact: Although the pool smell is often mistakenly thought to be caused by chlorine, it is the absence of chlorine that causes it. This is because chlorine reacts with organic matter like skin and oils to create a stench. This smell indicates that the existing chlorine is low and more is needed.


The act of “unbinding” (or oxidizing) inactive chlorine (chloramines) is called shock. You can shock a pool with higher doses of chlorine, MPS (sodium mon-persulfate), or non-chlorine shock. Superchlorination occurs when chemicals are added to the pool. The shock helps to kill bacteria and other sanitizer byproducts. Shock is usually sold separately and can be used approximately once per week or twice per week depending on the pool’s usage. You can neutralize some chlorine by adding thiosulfate to the pool if you have added too much chlorine.


Bromine is an alternative to chlorine, but it is most commonly used in warm water like hot tubs. Bromine works best in hot tubs with a higher pH (alkalinity).

Beach to Bay Dive Services started in early 2019 as a commercial dive service. Our team continues to provide our customers with the peace of mind knowing that each Tampa pool service will be performed correctly from conception to completion at a fair cost. Our reputation has been and continues to be our best advertisement. Recently, Beach to Bay Dive Services has transitioned to Beach to Bay Divers and Pools. Our experienced pool technicians provide a level of service and repairs that assure our pool customers have that same peace of mind as our dive service.