Chlorine Shortage 2021: Chlorine Alternatives for a Backyard Pool

Pool worker checks the pool for safety. Measurement of chlorine and PH of a pool

Are you in the market for a swimming pool? Between high demand and a plant fire at the largest US chlorine manufacturer in 2020, many would-be pool owners are a bit worried that if their pool was installed this year, they won’t have a way to sanitize the water. But don’t worry! You have plenty of good options! Here are 3 chlorine alternatives for your backyard pool. 

Chlorine Alternatives

While the current chlorine shortage is a pressing reason to look for chlorine alternatives, that’s not the only reason to consider a different option. We’re all familiar with the strong chlorine aroma we all associate with pools. Are you in the love it or hate it camp? If you’re in the hate it camp — or if you or a family member is sensitive to chlorine — you may want to avoid a traditional chlorine pool anyway.  


Salt is one of the top options for a chlorine alternative as the main sanitizing product for your pool. In fact, people started making the switch to saltwater pools even before the chlorine shortage. Perfect for all types of backyard pools, salt cleans your pool water just as efficiently as chlorine, if not better.

Are saltwater pools chlorine-free? Not exactly. A saltwater pool uses a salt-chlorine generator to convert salt to chlorine. Even though saltwater pools naturally produce chlorine, you won’t find that strong chlorine smell that traditional chlorine pools have. Saltwater pools are also more gentle on swimmers’ hair, skin, and eyes. 

What about corrosion from the salt? Today’s salt chlorine generators are safe for all pool types: concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl liner. That said, some pool pros have suggested that saltwater may wear out the plaster finish on concrete pools faster than traditional chlorine does. So, if you’d like a saltwater pool, we suggest asking your builder what he recommends. He might steer you toward a fiberglass or vinyl-liner pool as a better option. 


Bromine is a sanitizing chemical that is a little bit more expensive than chlorine’s typical price. Most commonly used in spas and hot tubs, bromine lasts longer in the spa water because it’s less susceptible to heat. Where it falls short is its lack of stabilization against UV rays. When in direct sunlight, more bromine is required to cleanse and stay in your pool water. 

If you are used to chlorine, bromine is the most similar in the way it works and its effectiveness. Since bromine doesn’t oxidize the water as well as chlorine, and it’s susceptible to sunlight, pool owners will often use a hybrid sanitizer known as BCDMH. This is about 65% bromine and 25% chlorine. 


Ozone generators aid in the breakdown of contaminants and bacteria in your pool water. In fact, it can decrease the chemical usage in your water by 60-90%. This is done by placing ozone generators on the pool surface that kill pathogens in the water. Another type of ozone generator creates an electrical arc to create ozone inside the generator to kill pathogens.

While ozone generators cannot completely sanitize a pool on their own, they do greatly lessen the amount of chlorine you’ll need to use. 

Don’t delay your backyard oasis!

We’ve covered three of the most popular chlorine alternatives today, but these aren’t your only options. Your pool builder likely has even more chlorine alternatives to suggest. If you’re ready for a family pool, don’t let the chlorine shortage of 2021 stand in your way — there are many other great ways to sanitize your pool. Are you looking for new pool financing? Choose HFS Financial to find the perfect loan! Start with our quick 60-second inquiry or call us at 1-800-254-9560 to get started. With HFS Financial, “You Dream It. We Finance It.”

Chlorine Shortage 2021: Chlorine Alternatives for a Backyard Pool

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