Can you kill algae with household bleach?
(a demonstration)

Even 15 years after we first posted our BBB method page on the web, and 1,000's of successful users, we encounter pool owners who still can't believe you can kill algae with plain old household bleach. The sequence below was posted on the PoolForum in May of 2006 by forum member "rhosk". The actual thread was lost in a system crash, but several people had saved it and I was able to get a copy from one of them. I'd been meaning to publish it here, but only now (April 2011) have gotten around to doing so.

The comments in the left column are original, minus forum talk. The photos are the ones "rhosk" posted, slightly trimmed and sharpened. Dates are taken from the original photos 'EXIF' data. Testing was with my (now defunct) PS-234 kit which was based on Taylor's K-2006 FAS-DPD complete kit.

I hope it's obvious that this is not a guarantee -- even if you do everything right, pools don't always clean up this fast. Your filter has to be working well, which is rarely the case on above ground pools unless they have DE filters. And, if your stabiliser (cyanuric acid) has been 'eaten' (bio-degraded) by bacterial biofilms, leaving behind lots of ammonia, it definitely won't be this easy. And of course, you need a FAS-DPD chlorine kit, so you can manage the higher levels of chlorine.

But, results like this aren't rare, either.

Comments Photos

2006:05:04 09:10

Results after removing cover:
  pH: 7.6
  Alk: 90

  FC: 8.5
  CC:   0
  TC: 8.5
Newly opened pool
2006:05:04 10:56

10 minutes after 1st dose of bleach
just after initial dose of bleach

2006:05:04 16:38

Day 1
day 2 - killing algae with bleach
2006:05:05 10:54

Day 2 
end of day 2

2006:05:06 08:49

Day 3
after brushing & vacuuming
day 4 - killing algae with bleach
2006:05:07 17:32

Day 4
all done!
day 5 - algae gone

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