Chlorine or Bromine: Who Will Win The Title?


The two biggest contenders when we’re discussing hot tub sanitizers (disinfectants) just have to be chlorine and bromine, with chlorine being the highest in demand (and is known for that peculiar smell). People who despise the use of chlorine because they deem it as ‘harsh’ much prefer bromine, maybe because it’s an alternative or maybe it’s actually better? – let’s take a look guys.

Chlorine is definitely the most popular sanitizer among hot tub and pool users globally. Chlorine has always been unrivalled until the birth of bromine during the 1980’s, mainly because of its fast acting effectiveness in the disposing of fungi or algae in the hot tub water. It was mainly superior to bromine because it was relatively cheaper to acquire. However despite effectiveness in sanitation and expense, chlorine is claimed to be by many as an irritant on one’s skin, lungs and eyes (an itchy kind of feeling). This is predominantly due to the fact that it gives people “stingy” or “itchy” eyes and not to mention that strange smell near the public pools. The reason for this is the chlorine when it combines with organic compounds in spa water, so, in more simple terms, the dirtier the pool or spa, the more the chlorine will smell, hence the strange smell around public pools.
Bromine first became popular with pool and spa users in the 1980’s, as it finally received the recognition it deserved when scientists found out that it actually was an effective water disinfectant. The benefit that was very clear was when bromine joined up with organic compounds, the bromines, unlike chlorine, helped to continually sanitise the water rather than cause odour. Many see bromine as being much softer on the skin but in my personal opinion, I believe this is more down to distaste to chlorine, rather than bromine actually being less harsh. However, like the majority of developments, issues with bromine became clearer gradually. At first, bromine was so incredibly stable that even chlorine had to be mixed with it; this immensely sped up the cycle of water sanitation (which was great). Even though developments have speeded up bromine sanitation, it cannot keep up with what Malibu likes to call – the Usain Bolt variant of chemicals! This is chlorine. Various algae strains, such as the black fungi, have been resistant to bromine, but affected by chlorine, limiting the effectiveness of bromine further.

Well, if you want my opinion, I would say that chlorine is the safest, cleanest and most effective hot tub sanitizer. But the fact that bromine is being constantly adapted and becoming gradually increasingly effective, it’s inevitable that the two will go head to head again. New competitors are also constantly developing what they think is the ‘ideal sanitizer’ for hot tubs but chlorine still remains king of the hill.


I know, what you’ll all be thinking – “What’s with all this information?!” Here at Malibu Hot Tubs all of our products are extremely safe to use so there’s no worry in that department but I think you should know how to differentiate between the two anyway! Don’t forget to stop by our products page on the website to check out everything we have!