My Water Smells Like Chlorine?

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 that it is a bleach smell when it’s chlorine. High levels of chlorine are most likely to cause your tap water smells like chlorine.

The chlorine is retained in the water to protect your 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 levels of chlorine can cause this smell, although it is not usually dangerous. The most common causes of chlorine smell include:

1. Public water systems (PWS) use chlorinate in water

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

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the Safe Water Drinking Act.

It recommends that chlorine level is 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 get rid of the taste and odor.

  • If the reading is greater than 2.0 ppm, please contact your water supply authority or county health department.
  • Your water should not exceed 2.0ppm. However, it is safe to drink. Keep the pitcher in the fridge and after a few hours, the odor will disappear.

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 it doesn’t produce nearly as many harmful chemicals.

2. Shock chlorination of a plumbing system or well

Public water systems or 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 a disturbing chlorine smell.

This bleachy water smell will stop when the chlorinated water in the system at your home or office 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 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 should vanish 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. You must 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 need to flush your whole water system, possibly by a licensed well driller, pump installer, or plumber.

What to do if your faucet water smells like chlorine?

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

The carbon water treatment process is the most common way to reduce 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, and compact water purification system. It has similar results as bottled water.

The pitcher comes in a variety which makes 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.

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. Countertop Filter

Countertop water filter is a water treatment plant that you can install at point-of-use. 

These non-permanent appliances are placed next to the sink to remove chemicals, parasites, or bacteria from the tap water.

They are lightweight and easy to set up, so countertop models are often more popular than other types. Water filters are also a great way to reduce plastic waste.

3. Faucet Filter

The faucet filter is effective to remove 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. 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 either drink the filtered water directly or use it for rice cooking.

4. Reverse Osmosis System

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

The 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.

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

5. Undersink 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.

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

7. 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 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 smells like chlorine, then 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.

8. Chemical Neutralization

To neutralize chlorine in tap water, you can use chemicals such as potassium metabisulfite.

After neutralizing chlorine, the potassium metabisulfite will disappear. It means you can’t swap one chemical for another.

9. Distillation

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

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

10. There are other ways to eliminate bleach odor from your water.

Let the tap water sit for a while before boiling or cooling it. It will remove the bleach-like odor.

You can boil water or place it in the fridge if you don’t want to spend the money on a water filter right away. This will make the chlorine evaporate from the water that smells like bleach.

You have two options if you are concerned about the levels of chlorine in your tap water. Either you can test your water samples at home using a kit, or you can use the services of a laboratory to test.

These tests can determine the chlorine content of tap water as well as test for other contaminants.

Point-of-Entry options:

A whole-home water softener can provide fresh water in your entire house and help to 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

Large tank-type backwashing water filters have a name because they are large tanks 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.

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 are also 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 water-borne pathogens like bacteria and viruses, it is still possible to have concerns about the safety of the bleach odor.

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 either purchase a faucet filter or an under-sink Reverse Osmosis filter or store your 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, you should 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 with 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?

If your water samples test results show a chlorine level that exceeds the EPA standard at 4 mg/L you should notify your local municipality. 

You may consider investing 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 a well water source it can disinfect the water if necessary.

Sometimes your well water turns brown and reddish, and your RO produces cloudy water. 

So, you can use packed bottled water or one from the method mentioned above according to your need.


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

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

However, the homeowner may don’t like their drinking water smells like chlorine and bleach.

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

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

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