Should You Use Liquid Chlorine In Your Pool?

Written by Michael Dean
November 9, 2023

liquid chlorine being poured into a swimming pool

Maintaining a clean and safe swimming pool is essential for any pool owner. One crucial factor in pool maintenance is choosing the right type of chlorine to keep the water free of harmful bacteria and algae. There are many different types of pool chlorine available on the market, and liquid chlorine is one of those options.

In this article, I will go over the pros and cons of using liquid chlorine in swimming pools, the difference between the different forms of chlorine, and more.

Main Takeaways

  • Liquid chlorine is a great choice for pools that need more sanitizing chemicals quickly.
  • Granules can be easy to use and cost-effective but may not be suitable for pools with high CYA levels.
  • The amount of liquid chlorine to add depends on the pool size and water quality.
  • Popular liquid chlorine brands include HTH, Leslie’s Pool Supplies, In The Swim, and Kem-Tek.

Benefits of Liquid Chlorine

Pool maintenance is a necessary but often time-consuming task. Liquid chlorine is one of the most popular sanitizing methods because it is fast-acting, convenient, and affordable. It is also known as sodium hypochlorite.

Liquid chlorine also offers several additional benefits, such as the following.

Eliminates Contaminants

Liquid chlorine is an effective disinfectant that can eliminate contaminants from your pool. This includes bacteria, viruses, algae, and other harmful microorganisms. In addition, it effectively cleans any human or animal waste that may have made its way into the water.

Reduces Algae Growth

Algae can multiply in a swimming pool, making it challenging to maintain proper hygiene. Fortunately, liquid chlorine is highly effective at preventing algae growth. Additionally, if there is any existing algae in your pool, liquid chlorine can help eliminate it.

Ease of Use

Liquid chlorine is easy to use since you only need to add it directly into your pool’s water. You must dissolve granular chlorine in water before adding it to the pool. 


Its quick dissolving and fast-action properties make it an excellent choice for big and commercial pools. This makes it great for regular use since you can maintain your pool daily with minimal effort.


Liquid chlorine can be used in various pool types, including saltwater pools and traditional chlorine pools. You can use liquid chlorine to shock your pool or maintain regular chlorine levels, making it a versatile option for pool maintenance.


Liquid chlorine is widely available at pool supply stores and online retailers, making it easy to find and purchase when needed.


Liquid chlorine is often less expensive than other types of pool chlorine, such as tablets or granules. So you can maintain a clean and safe pool without breaking the bank.

Drawbacks of Liquid Chlorine

Despite its many benefits, liquid chlorine does have some drawbacks that you should consider.

Short Shelf Life

Liquid chlorine has a relatively short shelf life compared to other types of pool chlorine. It can degrade quickly if exposed to sunlight or high temperatures, which can reduce its effectiveness.

Make sure to store the liquid chlorine properly in a cool, dark place where children and pets can’t reach.

pH Imbalance

Liquid chlorine has a high pH level, which can lead to imbalances in your pool’s pH and alkalinity levels. This can cause irritation to swimmers’ eyes and skin and can also damage and corrode pool equipment over time. To avoid this, ensure the pool’s pH is properly balanced before jumping back into the pool. For comparison, liquid chlorine has a pH of 13, while dichlor has a neutral pH of 7.

Chemical Burns

When handled incorrectly, liquid chlorine can cause burning sensations in your eyes, nose, and throat. People with respiratory issues or those sensitive to chlorine may find this especially bothersome. It can also cause chemical burns if it comes into contact with your skin.

When handling liquid chlorine, you should always wear protective gear, such as goggles and gloves. Additionally, caution is essential when pouring liquid chlorine into the pool, as splashes can cause irritation.

Difference Between Liquid Chlorine, Granules, and Tablets

You can use chlorine in various forms: liquid chlorine, granular chlorine, or tablets. Each option has pros and cons, so it’s essential to consider which is best for your pool.

Liquid Chlorine

Liquid chlorine is a highly concentrated chlorine solution typically sold in large containers. It is a fast-acting form of chlorine that can quickly and effectively sanitize your pool water, making it a popular choice for shock treatments or maintaining high chlorine levels in large pools. 

Liquid chlorine is unstabilized, meaning it does not contain cyanuric acid and is not protected against UV rays. You must add CYA separately if you use liquid chlorine in your pool.

Liquid chlorine is easy to use; you can simply pour it directly into the pool water. It is also relatively inexpensive compared to other types of chlorine products.

When Should You Use Liquid Chlorine?

Liquid chlorine is best used for shock treatments or when you need to quickly raise the chlorine level in your pool. It is also a good option for larger pools that require a lot of chlorine to maintain adequate sanitation levels.

Chlorine Granules

Granular chlorine is highly effective in killing bacteria and other contaminants and comes in small pellets or granules. It is a slower-acting form of chlorine than liquid chlorine, but it is also more stable and has a longer shelf life.

Granular chlorine is easy to handle and store, as it does not require any special storage containers. It is also less likely to cause staining or bleaching than liquid chlorine.

When Should You Use Chlorine Granules?

Chlorine granules are a good option for regular maintenance of your pool water, as they are slow-acting and provide a consistent level of chlorine over a longer period of time. Granules are also easy to handle and store.

However, granules may not be the best choice for shock treatments or for quickly raising the chlorine level in your pool, as they are slower-acting than liquid chlorine. Granular chlorine is also generally stabilized, so if you have high CYA levels already, it’s best to use liquid chlorine.

Chlorine Tablets

Chlorine tablets provide a slow release of chemicals into the pool water. They are great for keeping your pool sanitized consistently.

One of the benefits of using chlorine tablets is that they are easy to use and require minimal maintenance. They also do not require any special handling or storage. However, chlorine tablets can be more expensive than other forms of chlorine, and they may not be as effective at quickly raising the chlorine level in your pool as liquid or granular chlorine.

When Should You Use Chlorine Tablets?

Chlorine tablets are a convenient option for maintaining a consistent chlorine level in your pool water over a longer period. They are ideal for use in pool skimmers or feeders and require minimal maintenance. However, they may be more expensive than other forms of chlorine and are not fast-acting, so if you need to raise your chlorine levels fast, I recommend using liquid or granular chlorine. You can check out my entire guide on how often to add chlorine to your pool for more in-depth research.

How Much Liquid Chlorine To Add To Your Pool

The amount of liquid chlorine to add to your pool depends on the size of your pool, the water quality, and the amount of sunlight it receives. In general, you should use 2 to 3 ounces of liquid chlorine per 1,000 gallons of water. But when shocking your pool, you should add around 1 gallon per 10,000 gallons of water. Use my chlorine calculator and pool shock calculator to help.

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Best Brands Of Liquid Chlorine

There are so many types of liquid chlorine on the market it can be tough to decide which one to get. Some popular brands include HTH, Leslie’s Pool Supplies, In The Swim, and Kem-Tek.

Ultimately, the best brand of chlorine will depend on individual needs and preferences and the type of water source or surface being treated. Read reviews and consumer reports before making your purchase. Having a look at these reviews gives you a better idea of the quality and efficacy of a product. And as a top tip, no matter which brand you choose, follow all safety instructions and use only the recommended amount of chlorine for your swimming pool.

Do you have more questions about liquid chlorine? Let me know; always happy to help via email or phone.

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