Chlorine vs. Hydrogen Peroxide: Why Chlorine Reigns Supreme as a Swimming Pool Sanitizer

Maintaining clean and hygienic swimming pools is crucial for the health and safety of swimmers. Among the many sanitizers available, chlorine and hydrogen peroxide are two popular choices. This article will delve into the reasons why chlorine is considered a better sanitizer for swimming pools compared to hydrogen peroxide.

Powerful Oxidizing and Sanitizing Capabilities
Chlorine is a highly effective oxidizer, destroying organic matter such as bacteria, algae, and other contaminants by breaking down their cell walls. This powerful oxidizing action also helps to remove swimmer waste, such as body oils, sweat, and urine. Hydrogen peroxide, though an oxidizer as well, is less effective in maintaining the water quality and requires a higher concentration to match the sanitizing capabilities of chlorine.

Chlorine Tablets

Stability and Persistence
Chlorine’s stability and persistence in pool water make it an ideal sanitizer. It maintains its sanitizing properties for a longer period, ensuring consistent water quality. Hydrogen peroxide, on the other hand, breaks down quickly in the presence of sunlight and loses its sanitizing power. This means that pool owners must add hydrogen peroxide more frequently, making it less convenient and cost-effective.

Easier Measurement and Control
Chlorine levels in swimming pools can be easily measured and controlled using commercially available test kits and automatic systems. This allows pool owners to ensure that the water is consistently safe and sanitized. Hydrogen peroxide levels are more challenging to measure and maintain, as there are fewer commercially available testing options and no widely accepted standard levels for pool sanitation.


Chlorine Tablets

Proven Effectiveness Against a Wide Range of Microorganisms
Chlorine has a long history of use in swimming pool sanitation and has proven effective against a wide range of harmful microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. Hydrogen peroxide has not been as extensively studied for pool sanitation, and its effectiveness against certain microorganisms, such as Cryptosporidium, is still uncertain.

Algae Control
Algae growth is a common problem in swimming pools, and chlorine is highly effective at inhibiting and killing algae. It achieves this by disrupting the algae’s cellular processes, preventing growth and reproduction. Hydrogen peroxide, though it can kill algae at high concentrations, is less effective in controlling algae growth in pools, often requiring the use of additional algaecides.

Compatibility with Other Pool Chemicals
Chlorine is compatible with most other pool chemicals, such as pH adjusters, clarifiers, and algaecides, simplifying the pool maintenance process. Hydrogen peroxide, however, can react with certain chemicals, producing undesirable byproducts and reducing its effectiveness as a sanitizer.


While hydrogen peroxide is a viable option for some swimming pool applications, its limitations in terms of effectiveness, stability, measurement, and compatibility make chlorine the preferred choice for most pool owners. Chlorine’s powerful sanitizing and oxidizing capabilities, combined with its proven track record and ease of use, make it the superior choice for maintaining clean, safe, and enjoyable swimming pools.

Pool Salt Calculator

Pool salt calculator: How much salt to add to your saltwater pool system

To determine how much salt you need to add to your saltwater pool system, you can quickly input the parts per million needed using this salt calculator and find out how many pounds you need to buy in just a few steps.

Before you start calculating how much of a chemical you need to add to your pool, though, I do recommend doing a little research to make sure you have all the equipment and chemicals you need to do the required testing. If you are calculating how much salt to add to your pool system, you should buy salt test strips before calculating how much salt to buy. If you are calculating how much chlorine to buy, buy the necessary test kits for pH and all the protective gear and equipment you need for testing the pH before you make your calculations (protective gloves, protective eyewear, 5 gallon buckets and mixing sticks, etc.).

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Once you have all of your testing strips and kits you require, as well as any protective gear and equipment you will need to do the actual testing, simply go to your computer and make the easy calculations online.

Steps for Calculating Pool Salt

  1. Go to the Pool Salt Calculator
  2. Go to the second tab over on the top of the menu and click on the tab labeled “Salt PPM Calculator”
  3. Drag the slider under “Pool Gallons” to the size pool you have if the pool you have is 20k gallons or less OR click the checkbox labeled “Click here for pools over 20k gallons” to adjust the slider to a size over 20k gallons.
  4. Buy salt test strips (of course, you can skip this step if you already bought your testing equipment and gear you needed before you made the calculations)

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  5. Test your pool with the salt test strips to determine your current salt parts per million (PPM)
  6. Drag the slider under “Current Salt PPM” to  the level  indicated by your test strip.
  7. Check your system for recommended salt PPM levels, which vary by manufacturer. A common desired level of salt for saltwater systems is 3,500 parts per million.
  8. Drag the slider under “Desired Salt PPM” to the level indicated by your salt system recommended salt levels.
  9. Click “CALCULATE”
  10. A calculated salt amount will be displayed on the bottom of your screen in the number of pounds of salt to add to your pool (Example: “Add 29 lbs of Sodium Chloride (Plain Salt No Additives) That’s 0.7 – 40 lb bags of salt”).

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  11. Add the calculated amount of pounds of salt to your pool system.

If you need to calculate any other chemical levels, there is any pool chemical calculator you need on We make it easy to quickly determine how much of a chemical to add to your pool to meet manufacturer recommended levels, based on your test strip results you can do yourself (before and after adding the chemicals).