That Chlorine Smell In Swimming Pools Does Not Mean It's Clean. It's Actually The Opposite


Cover image via Mediamatic

Ever swam in a pool and got hit with a strong smell of chlorine? Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't mean that the pool is clean.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via New Straits TImes Press

Neither does it mean that it has too much chlorine.

In fact, that 'chemical smell' actually comes from chlorine mixing with sweat, body oils, and yes... URINE

According to experts, if the swimming pool is properly treated, it shouldn't give off a strong chemical smell.

When pee, poop, sweat, and dirt from swimmers' bodies mix with chlorine, it produces chemical irritants called chloramines.

These chloramines are what release the odour and often cause your eyes to sting and become reddish.

Former NASA engineer and TikTok user @markrober did a test recently to prove this:


Scientific method ftw...or perhaps ftl in this case.

original sound - markrober

In his video, he fills two buckets with water and adds chlorine to both. In one bucket, he adds a little bit of urine and then leaves them to sit overnight.
After 24 hours, he explains that bucket A had no smell at all. Meanwhile, bucket B with the urine smelled exactly like a swimming pool we're used to.

In conclusion, pee is one of the causes of the 'chlorine scent' we often smell.

To prevent this, it is best to shower before swimming and of course, avoid peeing in the pool.

Yes, this means that if you have young kids, you might need to bring them on more bathroom breaks whenever swimming.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Porapak Apichodilok/Pexels

Swimming pools were allowed to open since the start of this month:

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