Are there compelling reasons for you, and your guests, to take a shower before you take a dip in your swimming pool? Well, yes, actually there are. Chances are you have seen the signs posted at public pools and even at the high school pool that read, “You must shower before you get into the swimming pool.” If you’ve ever wondered why — you’re getting into water, after all is it necessary to get clean before you do that? The chemistry says yes!
Should You And Your Guests Shower Before You Take A Dip In The Pool?
The concept of taking a shower before entering a swimming pool is one of the least-practiced habits around the world. It is understandable, but the reasons why you should shower first are explained below. Will you shower before you jump in? It’s up to you, but now you will have food for thought!
Whether someone is jumping into your pool or you are jumping into theirs, it is a common courtesy to rinse off before jumping in. Taking a quick shower will remove any bacteria on yoru body that could dirty the pool. Asking guests to shower before they get into the pool will rinse off deodorants, sweat, hairspray and other items can contaminate the water and potentially throw the water chemistry out of balance.
You’re not asking someone to take an hours-long shower, you’re just asking them to rinse off before jumping in. They shouldn’t take offense and neither should you if a friend asks you to shower before joining them in the pool.
Your body, whether you think about it or not, is covered in contaminants from the day. We mentioned sweat, deodorant and hairspray, but consider shampoo, perfumes and even urine! We know, it sounds gross, but trace amounts could be on your body — you’d never notice it, but if it comes in contact with the pool water it will contaminate it. Imagine if every swimmer who used your pool had those contaminants on their body and you can see how the water can quickly become contaminated — those small amounts would add up quickly and impact the clarity and purity of the pool water.
A quick, simple shower with water only (you don’t have to lather up!) will remove contaminants from your body and help the water stay cleaner, longer.
Consider this: The more contaminated your pool water gets, because of contaminants and bacteria being introduced (that could be prevented by a simple shower) the harder your pool has to work to keep the water clean. You will need to use more chlorine to keep the water clean and safe. The swimming pool pump and filters will have to work harder to filter and remove the bacteria and you may need to change and clean the filter more frequently.
If you’re the pool owner, and if you clean your own swimming pool, it will be easier on you if your guests shower first. You will spend less money on chemicals and you will spend less time having to clean the water if your guests (and your family members) shower first. When you work with a pool contractor to keep your pool water clean, he may need to pay more frequent visits if swimmers using the pool don’t shower first.
Clean water is safer water
The most important reason of all to ask your friends and family and why your friends may ask you — to shower — is to keep the water bacteria-free and keep the water cleaner and safer for everyone who uses it.
You will use chlorine to kill harmful bacteria and other pathogens, that could have harmful impacts on the water’s cleanilness. The water may look clean, but there could be bacteria lurking. Bacteria-filled water can lead to illness or infection if you spend enough time swimming. If you have a weakened immune system, this could be even more problematic.
Chlorine smell doesn’t equal clean
When you walk into a swimming pool area and the first thing that assails your senses is the smell of chlorine — this doesn’t mean the pool is clean and bacteria-free. In fact, because chlorine is an odorless chemical, if you smell chlorine you should run the other way! When you “smell” chlorine that means the water is full of oxidizing contaminants. What this means is that if a pool is completely clear and bacteria-free, there will be very little — or even better — no odor at all. The stronger the smell of the chlorine, the harder the chlorine is working to kill bacteria. Remember: chlorine smell = dirty water.
We know. We know. You’re anxious to get into the pool and join the fun, but we urge you to take a quick shower before you do so. It’s common courtesy, will help keep the water cleaner, will save you money and keep you and your pool water healthier. It’s a win-win-win!
Set the example and shower first and your family and guests will happily follow suit! Don’t forget to shower AFTER you get out of the water to rinse off chlorine and pool chemicals to prevent dry skin. Lather up and use a moisturizer to keep your skin silky smooth!