Causes Of My Water Have Bad Chlorine Smell? (9 Simple Fixes)

It is unbearable to smell bleach in your tap water. No one wants to drink water to taste or smell like a swimming pool.

Many people mistakenly believe it is a bleach smell when it’s chlorine. High chlorine levels are most likely to cause your tap water to smell like chlorine.

The chlorine is retained in the water to protect public health against harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other microorganisms.

Even non-chlorine disinfection technology-based water treatment plants in the US must add chlorine to water before it enters the distribution system. The chlorine residual acts as a “bodyguard” for water transit.

The most common causes of chlorine taste and odor include:

Causes of water taste or smells like chlorine and solutions

Unnerving is the smell of bleach in tap water. High chlorine levels can cause this smell, although it is not usually dangerous. The most common causes of chlorine smell include:

1. Public utilities use chlorinate in water

Since the beginning of the 1900s, Cities across the United States have used chlorine as a disinfectant the supplies. This makes American drinking water the safest.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the Safe Water Drinking Act. It recommends that chlorine levels be below 4 mg/L. You might still detect chlorine odor in your tap water source even though it is technically safe to drink.

Follow these steps to solve the taste and odor problems.

  • If the reading is more significant than 2.0 ppm, please get in touch with your water supply authority or public health department.
  • Your water should be at most 2.0ppm. However, it is safe to drink. Keep the pitcher in the fridge; after a few hours, the odor will disappear from cold water.

Note: Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) permits water plants to use chlorine and chloramine, many plants are changing from chloramine to chlorine for the following reasons.

  • After long-term exposure to chlorine, it reacts with organic matter in water to produce byproducts that can cause sickness.
  • Some chlorine can be used up before reaching the pipes, but it doesn’t kill all germs.
  • Chloramine lasts for longer in your house plumbing pipe and doesn’t produce nearly as many harmful chemicals.

2. Shock chlorination of a plumbing system or well

Public utilities or water suppliers may add more chlorine to municipal water supplies to stop bacteria growth, usually after severe storms.

It can cause a bad water taste and disturbing chlorine smell.

This bleachy water smell will stop when the chlorinated water in your home or office system is gone completely. 

You can speed this process up by:

  • Turn on all faucets, and let the water flow until the smell disappears.

3. The interaction of chlorine with organic materials in the plumbing distribution system

The water supply companies add chlorine to their water free of charge to bind to contaminants (organic material) and to disinfect the water.

Biofilm can be as disgusting as it sounds. It’s a slimy mix of harmful bacteria, fungi, and algae.

When free chlorine is mixed with contaminants, it attaches itself to bacteria and creates chloramines.

These give off a horrible solid water smell, and the odor will worsen if more organic matter is in the water.

It is how to get rid of this chlorine smell from your drinking water

  • You can use a UV reverse osmosis system
  • The odor problem should be solved if you run the water faucet for a while.
  • If it does not, you are on a public water supply. Then the problem is likely to be with the water supply line. It would be best if you communicate with your city water supply authority.
  • If it does not, you are on a well. Then the problem is in your plumbing or well system. You must flush your whole water system, possibly by a licensed well driller, pump installer, or plumber.

What to do if your faucet water produces a chlorine smell?

You can test your water sample for chlorine to sure it is safe, but you can still treat taste and odor problems.

Carbon water treatment is the most common way to solve chlorine taste or odor. You can filter water at the point of use (such as the tap) or at the entry point (where water enters your house from the outside).

These are some of the points-of-use options:

 1. Water Pitcher Filter

A water filter pitcher is a fast, portable, compact water purification system. It has similar results as bottled water.

The pitcher comes in a variety, making it an excellent choice to filter water for the home, small offices, hostels, or small kitchens.

Get the Best Water Pitcher that effectively removes chlorine, chloramines, mercury, copper, zinc, lead, and smells.

Zero Water Pitcher remove chlorine smell

Because it is portable, the best thing about this system is that you don’t have to mount or place it in one spot.

 2. Faucet Filter

The faucet filter effectively removes heavy metals, pesticides, and other harmful substances from the water. First, it can also improve water’s color and odor.

Second, the filter increases the taste of water and its chlorine content. Ultrafiltration filters are available in pure water filters and ultrafiltration filters.

Pure filters remove both harmful and beneficial substances. These filters are more appropriate for the north.

Faucet filter brita

Ultrafiltration filters will not filter out macromolecular compounds in water. This filter is best suited for South Africa, where water quality is higher. 

You can drink the filtered water directly or use it for cooking rice.

3. Reverse Osmosis System

Reverse osmosis purifies water using a semi-permeable membrane or synthetic lining to remove unwanted molecules, ammonia, and large particles and treat hard water.

RO is capable of removing sediments and contaminants, as well as microorganisms.

It is something you do not want in your water. It purifies water down to the molecular level and leaves only pure H2O.

Reverse osmosis eliminate water chlorine smell

However, some prefer remineralizing RO water to improve minerals and get extra benefits.

4. Shower filter

A shower filter is a water treatment system that protects your skin from dryness and irritation by removing free chlorine and chloramine from water.

The shower filter gives clean water free from chemical smells and tastes like chloramine, bleach, and chlorine.

Like your skin, chlorine disinfectant damages the protective oils that protect your hair. Itchy, dry scalps can lead to dull hair cells and dullness.

Shower Filter remove chlorine smell

5. Refrigerator Filter

A refrigerator filter is a simple carbon filter to treat the drinking water and Dispensed from a refrigerator.

These filters are typically certified NSF 42, which means that they have been tested for public safety and are ideal for making alkaline water.

It can easily remove chlorine from the water and helps to improve the taste, smell, and texture.

If your refrigerator water has a chlorine smell, it is time to replace the filter.

Since chlorine is used in most drinking water disinfection, it is essential to get rid of it. 

Many households in the region have a problem with chlorine. There are other contaminants that you should be concerned about than chlorine.

6. Distillation

The distillation can remove contaminants with a higher boiling temperature than water.

This is the majority of contaminants. Some organic and inorganic chemicals, like chlorine, have lower boiling points than water.

7. Undersink the Filter

Water purifiers under the sink can be installed either underneath the kitchen sink or under the counter (under the sink), saving valuable kitchen space. 

It is unique among other water purifier models because of its installation location. 

The under-sink water purifier can connect to the refrigerator and a water dispenser tap.

Under Sink Filter

Point-of-Entry options:

A whole-home water softener can provide fresh water in your house and help treat hard water.

You have two choices: filters that reduce the chlorine smell and flavor and more robust filtration systems which reduce the chlorine or ammonia in the water.

1. Chloramine Backwashing  Carbon Filter System

A large tank-type backwashing water filter has a name because it is a large tank that can be cleaned and renewed by backwashing. 

Backwashing involves reversing water flow, so it enters at the bottom of the filter and then exits at the top through the filter tank.

Water softener

2. Carbon Cartridge Filter

The cartridge filter incorporates activated carbon (GAC), which improves the water’s taste, odor, and appearance. 

Activated Carbon cartridge filters are easy to replace and use for de-chlorination. 

HAC filters can be easy to maintain and economically high-capacity carbon filters.

A water softener can produce fresh water by increasing the life of your water bases appliances like a washing machine, hot water heater, and dishwasher. FAQs about chlorinated water

Although chlorine water disinfection eliminates the concern about waterborne pathogens like bacteria and viruses, it is still possible to have concerns about the bleach odor problem for public safety.


Is it safe to drink water that smells like chlorine or bleach?

If your water has less than 4 mg/L of chlorine, it meets the EPA’s health standards.
If the taste is still unpleasant, you can purchase a faucet filter or an under-sink reverse osmosis filter or store your cold water in a pitcher in the fridge.

Can chlorine cause damage to your plumbing system?

It is not known that chlorine can cause damage to home plumbing systems made from typical residential construction materials. 
The chlorine is unlikely to cause damage to your plumbing pipe.
Still, it would be best to look at corrosion for other components made of plastic or rubber, such as faucets and showerheads, outdoor water hoses, and other appliances.

Can I take a bath in chlorine odor water?

It is safe to shower unless you are sensitive to chlorine. However, you might experience itchy or dry skin. 
To improve the water quality, you can attach a filter to your shower head.

Is there any level of chlorine in water considered unsafe?

Suppose your water sample test result shows a chlorine level that exceeds the EPA standard of 4 mg/L. In that case, you should notify your local municipality.
And you need to invest in a whole-home water system, not just point-of-use systems, to reduce chlorine levels in your water supply until the problem is resolved.

Does my well water muddy and smells like bleach or chlorine?

The chlorine in municipal water supplies is added to disinfect the water. 
Although chlorine is not usually in cell water sources, it can disinfect the water if necessary.
Sometimes your well water turns brown and reddish, and your RO produces cloudy water. 
Sometimes your well water turns brown or reddish. So, you can use packed bottled water or one from the method mentioned above according to your need.

You can get other detailed solutions in this video:


Water odors can come from many sources. Most are harmless, but some are very unpleasant.

We used chlorine for over a century to eliminate waterborne diseases in the US municipal water supplies.

However, the homeowner may prefer something other than their drinking water that smells like chlorine and bleach.

The water treatment process is as easy and straightforward as your tap’s carbon filters. Or it could be a solution for your entire home.

Quench’s a state of the art filtration system will make sure your water is clean, clear, and delicious.

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