Which is better, Bromine or Chlorine?

You may think chlorine is the only option for keeping your swimming pool clean, but were you aware that there are quite a few more choices? Bromine for swimming pools is one of those possibilities in the conversation now and then. What exactly is meant by the term “pool bromine,” and how does it contrast with “pool chlorine”? Although bromine and chlorine are comparable in many respects, you cannot use either one of them in place of the other without seeing a discernible change.

Since we are swimming pool specialists here at Revitalize Pool and Spa, it would be helpful to share what we know. Especially about these two different pool sanitizers with you so that you may discover the distinctions between them and choose the one best suited for your pool or spa.

Pool Chlorine

Hypochlorous acid is another name for pool chlorine, and it is often used in sanitizing indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Since chlorine leaves behind a “residual” in the water, it keeps the water sanitary even after removing it; it is an effective disinfectant (typically for a few hours or overnight). Additionally, chlorine is an oxidant, which means that it kills impurities in the water. It also functions as an algicide, preventing typical algae from growing.

Gas chlorine is the only real type of chlorine that may be used for the sanitation of pools. Since chlorine is found in its elemental form, a gas, the chemical makeup of all other forms of chlorine, such as tablets, liquids, and granules, will be different. On the other hand, they all, in essence, perform the same thing, which is to produce hypochlorous acid to kill and render germs in the water inactive. It can be in tablets, granules, salt, liquid, and gas.

Pool Bromine

To disinfect, oxidize, and kill algae, swimming pools and spas use a chemical known as pool bromine. The element bromine exists naturally as a rusty-brown liquid. Still, it is also manufactured into a tablet, granular, stick, and liquid form specifically for pool cleaning solutions (though you would never use pure elemental bromine in a pool or spa).

Any liquid bromine items you come across will likely be diluted with water and other chemicals to make them more manageable and improve their overall efficacy. The element known as “bromine” is not bromine; nevertheless, “bromine” refers to any chemical that generates hypobromous acid when it comes into contact with water.

Which is Better?

Both bromine and chlorine are classified as halogens, a group of elements that includes fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, and astatine. Halogens are members of the same chemical family as bromine and chlorine. Even though they are both disinfectants, algicides, and oxidizers, there are a few significant distinctions in how they carry out their functions. Let’s split them down into their respective categories.

Irritation of the Eyes

Although this might vary from person to person and depends on the level of care performed on the pool or spa, bromine has a well-deserved reputation for being easier on the eyes than chlorine. Unless the swimmer has a chemical sensitivity, the degree of comfort for their skin and eyes will typically rely on how effectively the water is monitored and maintained. This is the case even when the swimmer is exposed to chemicals.


It is well-known that chlorine for swimming pools is less costly than bromine. When purchasing in smaller numbers, the price difference may not be all that evident, but when purchasing in larger quantities, it may become clear how much more expensive bromine is. For instance, a bucket of chlorine pills weighing 50 pounds may cost $150, but a bucket of bromine tablets weighing the same amount might be over $300. If you have an outdoor pool and find that you need to add more bromine to it regularly, the expense of using bromine to sanitize your pool will go up as a result.


It is well knowledge that chlorine has a far more pungent stench than bromine, which may be off-putting to certain people. If you don’t like the strong scent of chlorine in your pool, switching to bromine as a disinfectant can be a suitable answer.

Irritation of the Skin

Both chlorine and bromine have been shown to cause skin irritation and rashes in some individuals. However, many believe that bromine is considerably less irritating to the skin than chlorine. On the other hand, research conducted by the National Swimming Pool Foundation found that bromine itch is the sort of chemical dermatitis reported most often. Keeping the chemical levels of bromine and chlorine at the appropriate levels will assist in avoiding these reactions and any form of skin irritation or dermatitis that may be associated with them.

Indoor and Outdoor Pools

According to the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF), the amount of bromine in a pool may be reduced by half by exposing it to sunshine for sixty to ninety minutes. However, bromine is sensitive to sunshine, and its effectiveness decreases when exposed to UV rays, while chlorine is efficient indoors and outside. In contrast to chlorine, bromine is not shielded from the effects of the sun by cyanuric acid. Because of this, bromine could not be particularly compatible with the UV system in a swimming pool.

Available Options

Tablets, granules, liquid, gas, and even salt are some of the many forms and delivery systems available for adding chlorine to the water. Tablets, granules, and sticks are the most common forms of bromine, but a few liquid choices are also available. In addition, the use of pure chlorine (gas) as a means of disinfecting swimming pools is possible, but the use of pure elemental bromine is not.


Although it has a lot of positive qualities, bromine is not the most effective oxidant. When it comes to the oxidizing power of your pool or spa, chlorine is undoubtedly the clear winner (oxidation is the breakdown of contaminants in the water).

For Hot Tubs

In this particular respect, chlorine and bromine couldn’t be more unlike one another. The water in hot tubs and spas is kept at high temperatures, and research has shown that this may cause significant shifts in the pH balance of the water. Because it functions more effectively than chlorine at higher temperatures and pH levels, bromine is often selected for use in spas rather than chlorine.

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