Why is my water smells like bleach?

The water smell in your home can be a problem, and it’s not the water’s job to smell like anything. It is normal that your tap water smells like bleach or chlorine.

Unfortunately, this “chemical” smell is more common than you might think.

If you use city water, there’s a chance you’ll notice the bleach-like smell sooner than you think.

It is usually due to chlorinated water. You want to ensure that your tap water is safe. What exactly is happening?

This guide will explain why tap water smells like chemicals and how to fix it as fast and efficiently as possible.


It is most important to know the differences between bleach and chlorine.

Bleaches have many uses, from killing germs to whitening paper or your laundry.

Some bleaches use chlorine while others don’t. On the other hand, elemental chlorine is a gas.

Chlorine is toxic by itself (even in small amounts), but it is a popular disinfectant.

Because chlorine is relatively cheap and does a great deal at killing microbes, water treatment plants use it often.

The chlorine is precisely measured to remain in your water when it travels from the plant into your home.

Your tap water may odor like chlorine bleach if you turn it on.

To get an affordable way to remove chlorine smell and test from your water supply, find the best alkaline RO system.

Why my city water smells like bleach?

High levels of chlorine are most likely responsible for city water odor like bleach.

Although it is unlikely that bleach water smell will be dangerous to drink, it could cause unpleasant odors or other problems.

The most common causes of a chlorine bleach smell in your tap or swimming pool water include:

1. Municipal Water Shock Chlorination

Sometimes, the public water supply authority will have to shock the public with chemical treatment. This job is usually done with bleach or another disinfectant.

You can eliminate pathogens from your water by using chlorine at higher concentrations if there is a bacteria crisis or storm.

After a short time, shock chlorine can make water taste and smells like bleach. But a few days later, your water odor will be normal.

Run water through your faucets for 5-10 minutes to speed up the process. It will remove the bleach odor.

2. Public Water System Chlorination

The EPA surface water treatment rules require that your public water system disinfect the water with chlorine or chloramine before sending it to your home’s pipe.

This is to lower the chance of infection-causing pathogens like Legionella or Cryptosporidium.

We would be more likely to get sick if our water was not disinfected. Water treatment is vital, but how much chlorine is too much?

The municipal water supply authority has free chlorine levels ranging from 0.2 to 2.0 parts per million (ppm).

Your water could have a chlorine level of 5.0 ppm depending on the treatment method.

3. Well Water Chemical Injection/Shock Chlorination

If you have a private well and use a chemical infusion filter to remove harmful bacteria, the chlorine smell could be from that filter.

It is most important to treat your brown well water source. However, not all disinfection options can make my well water smells like bleach.

The UV light water purifier can kill all waterborne pathogens without the need to add chemicals.

Your water will smell temporarily chlorine if you shock chlorinates. This odor, like public water shock chlorination, should subside within 48 hours.

4. Chlorine Interaction With Organic Materials

Algae, bacteria, and fungi can develop inside water pipes over time. These materials can combine to create a slimy substance called biofilm.

As a disinfectant, the chlorine in your water will react with these chemicals and release byproducts called trihalomethanes.

The content of organic matter in your water supply will influence the production of THMs as well as the strength and color of the bleach odor.

The problem may be in the plumbing. Run the faucet for a few moments to get rid of the stench. If the smell persists, the problem may be in the pipes that lead to your home. There is little you can do.

Sometimes you feel a strange rotten egg smell in water; it could be due to Hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S).

It could occur in wells anywhere and be produced by sulfur bacteria or chemical reactions inside the hot water heater.

Is it safe to drink water that smells like bleach?

Yes, It’s much safer than drinking water piped in.

The chlorine disinfectant that you smell is what makes sure water stays pure in the piping system. It is essential to prevent bacteria from growing in the piping system.

If you put chlorine in a pitcher, it will gasify, then wait at least a day before drinking it.

Bleach is a completely different product.

It is made of sodium hypochlorite, a simple form of chlorine gas held in a suspension.

Bleach contains lye, which is why your hands feel so slick when you rub bleach on them.

How to remove bleach smell from drinking water?

There are many ways to remove chlorine odor from drinking water, including distillation, carbon filters, and chemical neutralization.

1. Carbon filters

The most effective charcoal carbon filters remove chlorine, sediment, volatile organic compound (VOCs), taste, and odor from water.

They do not remove minerals, salts, or dissolved inorganic substances.

So, how does a carbon filter work?

Carbon filtering uses activated carbon as a filter to remove impurities and contaminants using chemical adsorption.

Activated carbon works through a process known as absorption. It means that pollutant molecules from the fluid are trapped within the pores structure of the carbon substrate.

2. Reverse Osmosis

The RO water softener can eliminate arsenic, other heavy metals, minerals, and chlorine taste or odor from hard water.

It can filter chlorine through multiple stages. An RO system typically has a pre-filter and activated carbon filters.

Activated carbon filters are highly effective at removing chloramines if you have ever done any research on the subject.

Reverse osmosis

Reverse Osmosis, however, is more accurate because the water flows through the semi-permeable membrane. This membrane has small pores, and chlorine molecules cannot pass through.

RO water filter removes chlorine and other contaminants from the hard water supply. And you will get pure, clean like bottled water free from the smell and taste like bleach.

You can also rematerialize RO water by doing some simple steps.

The wastewater is then flushed down the drain, leaving freshwater that flows out of your faucet.

3. Chemical Neutralization

You can use chemicals like potassium metabisulfite to neutralize chlorine in tap water. 

After neutralizing chlorine, potassium metabisulfite will evaporate. So you aren’t swapping one chemical with another.

4. Distillation

One rule of thumb is that distillation can remove contaminants with a higher boiling temperature than water. It is the vast majority.

Some organic matter and inorganic chemicals have lower boiling points than water. For example, chlorine. Distillation has two ways to handle this:

First, our distillers have twin volatile gas vents. It is a patent-pending feature. These two tiny holes allow gases lighter than air, like chlorine, to safely vent out.

The second is that all our water distillers include carbon filters. These are extremely effective in removing any gases that may still be present.

However, it is too slow as per the Reverse Osmosis system filtering capacity.

Other ways to get rid of bleach odor from water

Allowing tap water to sit and cooling it down or boiling it will help remove the bleach scent.

If you don’t have the money to buy a water filter immediately, you can place water in the refrigerator, let it sit for a while, or boil it. It will help the chlorine evaporate and get rid of the bleach-like odor.

If you are concerned about the chlorine levels in your tap water, you have two options: either get your water tested at home with a kit or use the services of a lab to test.

These tests will determine the chlorine level in tap water and test for any other contaminants in the public water supply.

1. Countertop Filter

The countertop filter is a point-of-use water filtering system, and it is a non-permanent appliance that installs on counters and connects with the sink water pipe.

The filter can eliminate various pollutants, such as parasites, chemicals, and harmful bacteria from the tap water source.

Countertop filters are usually popular because they’re light and effortless to install and don’t need vast quantities of space to operate. Furthermore, these filters aid in reducing the amount of plastic waste.

2. Faucet Filter

The faucet filter removes heavy metals, pesticides, and other harmful chemicals in the water, and it may enhance the color and odor of your fresh water.

In addition, it could enhance the taste and reduce the chlorine levels in the water.

Filters for faucets are classified into ultrafiltration filters and pure water filters, and pure water filters eliminate harmful and beneficial substances and are better suited for the northern regions.

The ultrafiltration filter can only remove macromolecular compounds from the water, making it more appropriate for regions in the South with better water quality. The clean and cold water can use to drink, cook rice, etc.

3. Undersink Filter

The water filtration system is installed under the counter (under the sink) or underneath your kitchen sink conserving kitchen space.

The installation location distinguishes it from other water purifiers; Under Sink Water Purifier, it is perfect for connecting refrigerators with water dispenser taps.

4. Shower Filter

Shower filters are a water purification system that safeguards your hair and skin from irritation and dryness by removing chlorine gas smell and chloramine from your water.

Like the skin and hair, chlorinated water sloughs away the oils that protect your hair strong and healthy. It can cause hair that is dry and itchy and hair cells that lackluster.

5. Refrigerator Filter

A refrigerator filter is an easy carbon filter that gives purified and cold water whenever you want.

The majority of refrigerators are equipped with NSF 42 approval, which means that they can only eliminate chlorine and reduce the flavor and smell.

Eliminating chlorine is a beneficial job since most water is treated by chlorine. But, many families in our area are also impacted by other pollutants to be concerned about, aside from chlorine.

6. Point of Entry Options:  

Suppose you are looking to treat the entire water that flows through your house by installing a point-of-entry household water filtration system.

Some filters can reduce chlorine taste and odor, and more powerful filters reduce the amount of chlorine or chloramine (a collection of compounds chemically that include ammonia and chlorine, which municipal water treatment plants also employ) in your water.

These filters can improve the performance of your house water appliances like washing machines, hot water heaters, and dishwashers.

POE water softener is helpful to remove chlorine odor and clean your house and swimming pool water.

1. Chloramine Reduction Backwashing Carbon Filter Systems– Backwashing filters are huge tank-type filters that are named after cleaning and replenishing themselves by backwashing.

Backwashing involves reversing the water flow such that it can enter from the lower part of the bed, then lifts and rinses the bed before exiting via the upper part of the tank.

2. Carbon Cartridge Filter– Carbon Activated (GAC) is incorporated into the filter cartridge to improve water quality, flavor, smell, and look.

The Hatenboer Water Activated Carbon cartridge filters can de-chlorinate and easily replace cartridges, and HAC filters are simple to maintain and could be considered carbon filters.

Cleaner Water

Most water coolers can remove chlorine and the smell of bleach from your drinking water.

A carbon filter can absorb chlorine and remove it completely from your drinking water. 

The market has complete UV and carbon filter coolers that provide bottled water quality, ideal for offices.

If your local tap water smells like bleach, a water filter will be your best choice. 

Filters come in a variety of prices, from a simple pitcher on a tabletop to filtration that covers the entire house.

We are here to answer any questions you may have about improving your water quality.

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