Don’t you wish your hot tub was ready to go whenever you wanted to relax? But it’s not always easy to choose between chlorine and bromine, especially when they sound the same! Research has shown that 53.8 percent of hot tub owners mentioned that they would use a hot tub during weekends or after work.
Every spa needs a sanitizer; otherwise, you’re sitting in a bubbling pool of bacteria, skin cells, and soap residue. Here are the pros and cons of both chlorine and bromine to help you decide which is the best option for you.

What’s the Difference?

When you think of a sanitizer for your swimming pool, chlorine immediately comes to mind. But it’s important to know how both options work to make an informed decision.
Pool Chlorine destroys contaminants from the inside out by oxidizing them, warding off common types of algae. This hypochlorous acid also keeps the water sanitized for some time, i.e., around a few hours.

Pool Bromine works as an oxidizer, sanitizer, and algicide used in hot tubs and swimming pools. Bromine releases hypobromous acid into your pool water that’s usually used in lesser volumes of water. It contains sodium bromine that’s activated by an oxidizer.

Both these chemicals are disinfectants, and they belong to the same chemical family of halogens. Chlorine and bromine serve as oxidizers and algicides, but they do have some distinguishing features.

A backyard swimming pool on a sunny day

Chlorine vs. Bromine


Chlorine eliminates contaminants faster than its counterpart, but since bromine has a lower pH than chlorine, it can better balance your water’s chemistry. Bromine is also described to have a less harsh effect on the skin. Still, the National Swimming Pool Foundation has categorized bromine itch as the most commonly reported type of chemical rash.

While bromine is gentler on the eyes, it differs from person to person and the quality of your pool’s maintenance.


Unlike bromine, chlorine has a much more pungent odor, which can be disagreeable for some people. If you fall in this category, it’s best to consult a pool specialist who can guide you on which pool sanitizer you should be using.

Indoor or Outdoor Pools

Chlorine is effective in both outdoor and indoor pools. But bromine is sensitive to UV rays, so its effectiveness can reduce when it’s exposed to sunlight.

Cyanuric acid can protect chlorine from the sun, but it doesn’t do the same for bromine. A pool UV system won’t work well with bromine, but this chemical performs excellently in hot tubs and spas.

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