Today I’m sharing my secret weapon to combat chlorine at the pool and in our everyday lives.
Just call me “The Dechlorinator!”
Summer is in full swing and with that comes time at the pool. Now here’s the conundrum, the pool = chlorine and that’s a big problem for us. Why might you ask? Well, for starters chlorine is a chemical element and over here we have trouble detoxing chemicals. It’s a pesky business. I’ve learned over the years that exposure to chlorine will cause my skin to break out and itch something fierce. I mean, I just have to take a sideways glance at a pool and my skin is like “ha because you looked here’s the rash you can expect if you even dip one toe in!” It’s the pits really and not worth it to go to the pool. Alas, I’m a mom and kids love the pool sooooo……
Enter mighty mom, the problem solver extraordinaire!
Thank goodness my girls are old enough to swim by themselves with me as the watchful eye. Seriously, you can usually find me with my rashguard on, hat on head, and towel over my legs under a shady spot. While I love the sun, it isn’t always nice to me. The weirdo at the pool, yup that’s me!
Before I share with you my super simple solution to combating chlorine from the pool, here are some of the effects chlorine can have on our bodies. (3)
Signs & Symptoms of chlorine exposure:
- Rash, blisters on skin
- Blurred vision
- Burning in the nose, throat, and eyes
- Coughing and chest tightness
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; wheezing
- Nausea and vomiting
With the health risks listed above, everyone should be aware of the implications. I am well acquainted with the side effects of chlorine exposure and let me tell you, it ain’t pretty. The Academy of American Pediatrics released a study that found swimming in chlorinated pools increased the risk of asthma and other allergic diseases among children.(1) Scary thought yet not surprising. Subsequently for us, you add in an immune compromised child + MTHFR and it takes chemical sensitivity/toxicity to a whole new level. We have to be extremely vigilant in aiding our bodies detox pathways.
Alternatives to chlorine treated pools
Sadly, chlorine is found in so so many areas of our everyday life. For instance, our tap water, bleach and other household cleaners, and you guessed it…swimming pools.
There are alternative ways to sanitize swimming pools that are much healthier options like salt water filters (which still contain chlorine but in smaller amounts) and UV filters. I have only recently heard of UV filters but when we eventually get around to installing a pool of our own after military retirement this will be our method of choice. You can check out more information on those in this article written by Aqua. If you can find pools near you utilizing these methods consider going there first.
Now, I do realize that chlorine is “good” in the sense that it kills viruses and bacteria and it clearly has it’s place. I mean no one wants to swim in a pool where a kid might have, you know, used it as their personal bathroom, ahem. I get it, really. But with advances in pool filtration on the market, we should utilize them for the sake of everyone’s health.
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Enter Vitamin C.
Isn’t mother nature wonderful?!? Turns out, vitamin c neutralizes chlorine by binding to the chemical compounds and converts them to less harmful molecules. (2) How about that? Wham, Bam, thank you ma’am! Thus it can provide a barrier on the skin to help reduce exposure as well. The two most common forms of vitamin c are sodium ascorbate and ascorbic acid. Sodium ascorbate is a better option here for 2 reasons.
- It’s more soluable and
- it has a lower ph
Either option works though!
DIY NEUTRALIZING CHLORINE SPRAY
- Mix 1/2 tsp sodium ascorbate with approximately 4 oz of distilled or purified water. (double recipe depending on size of spray bottle) I use Bronson Vitamin C as it is non-GMO and this big container lasts me all year! (Need a smaller amount – try the 1lb bottle)
- Pour into spray bottle of choice (I like the stainless steel ones you can get for a $1 at The Dollar Store)
- Shake well.
- Generously spray Neutralizing chlorine spray from head to toe directly after swimming. I keep the spray bottle tucked into my pool bag.
*Tip: mix two bottles of neutralizing chlorine spray at once and keep one in the shower to pour directly into hair post pool*
Vitamin C does have a shelf life. While the powder form will last at least one year in dry form it degrades in a day or two in liquid form. Be sure to mix just enough spray to use each day. For this reason, I keep it right in my kitchen for quick and easy access.
I will tell you that I also put my little immune compromised child directly into a detox bath following pool time as well. It’s like the best of both worlds for her…pool time to bath time = one happy water baby. If for some reason I can’t do it directly after, I always do it before bedtime. For the detox bath I add 1/2 cup baking soda and 1 cup epsom salts. I do this as added protection for her.
Just like our bodies, I try to minimize the effects chlorine has on our swimsuits, towels and gear as well. Here’s the protocol I typically follow:
- First, rinse swim suits thoroughly in the sink or tub
- Secondly, fill up the washing machine with cold water and add in 3 teaspoons of sodium ascorbate. Soak for 15 minutes or so.
- Lastly, add a scoop of non-toxic laundry detergent and run the washer on delicate or normal cycle then hang dry.
Removing chlorine from your home
Another way I reduce/remove chlorine from our home, especially our drinking and bathing water, is by employing the use of filters and products without it.
- Carbon water filters are a terrific way to reduce/remove chlorine from showers and sinks.
- The filters easily screw to the shower head and we’ve had great success with them. We replace them every 6 months. As a military spouse and renter, this is a great non-permanent option as they move with us. It has been one of the BEST investments we’ve made for our health. As I said above, chlorine wreaks havoc on my skin!
- Switch to non-chlorine household cleaners and detergents. I think you will honestly be surprised by how many products contain chlorine. Here are my top 3 non-toxic household cleaning products and my favorite detergents.
I hope these tips help you to give chlorine the one two punch to have a safe, healthy, FUN and chlorine free summer! Remember, making the switch to a non-toxic lifestyle is an adjustment so be kind to yourself and take small steps. You can do it!
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