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Is what you know about chlorine truth or myth? Find out below where we find out the truth to some of the most common chlorine myths.

  1. Myth: Too much chlorine causes an odor & means the spa is REALLY clean.
    1. This is a very common misconception.  If you enter a spa or swimming pool and notice a strong chlorine odor, it’s not chlorine, but chloramines that are causing the smell.  Chloramines form when chlorine comes into contact with organic & inorganic matter such as sweat, urine, body oils, cosmetics, sunscreens, etc.  The odor, in fact, means that more chlorine is needed to ensure proper water chemistry & keep swimmers safe.  
  2. Myth: Chlorine causes red and itchy eyes.
    1. Again, it’s common to believe that red and itchy eyes mean there is too much chlorine.  Not true: red and itchy eyes points to chloramines and occurs when there isn’t enough free chlorine, or other sanitizer, in the water.
  3. Myth: In municipal water treatment plants, it is common to use chlorine to sanitize drinking water, so it’s ok to drink pool or spa water treated with chlorine.
    1. While it’s true that chlorine is a good go-to sanitizer for drinking water and recreational water, it doesn’t mean the pool or spa water is safe for consumption.  The water from your tap arrives with minimal exposure to the elements; in a pool or spa, there is maximum exposure to the elements, including wild animals.  Also, not all germs wipe-out instantly with exposure to chlorine.  For example, Cryptosporidium can last up to 10 days in a properly treated pool.  Never swallow any recreational water at any time. 
  4. Myth: Salt generators do not add chlorine to the spa.
    1. Salt generators seem to be another widespread misunderstanding among the populace.  Understandable since the sellers of these machines tend to fail when educating the consumer.  In the simplest of terms, a salt generator (or salt chlorinator) converts salt into hydrogen gas and hypochlorous acid. The hydrogen gas expels from the water in the form of small bubbles. The Hypochlorous acid sanitizes the water and reverts into salt, repeating the process.
  5. Myth: Chlorine kills everything in the spa, so a shower isn’t needed before entering.
    1. While it’s true that chlorine will sanitize the sweat, urine, sunscreen & cosmetics that are on the skin, it is not safe to rely upon chlorine in this way.  If a person enters the water without showering, the free chlorine could be used up sanitizing the body, rather than keeping swimmers safe from germs. 
  6. Myth: Once the sunscreen is on, it’s time to be in the water.
    1. Sunscreen is an important part of recreational water safety.  After all, no one wants to spend a fun day swimming to have it ruined by a painful sunburn.  The important thing here is to read the label: sunscreen should be applied least 15 minutes before getting wet.  In addition, always shower before entering a pool or spa to rinse off any lotion that hasn’t absorbed.  This practice will keep you, and others, safer by allowing the chlorine to handle germs, and not what’s on your body. 
  7. Myth: Chlorine turns hair green.
    1. Despite popular belief, chlorine does not turn hair green.  Green hair happens when chlorine oxidizes naturally occurring hard metals in the water and is then soaked up by hair. Going back to showering, the best way to prevent green hair is to saturate it fully with clean (if possible filtered) water before entering a pool or spa.