Some swimming pool myths have been around forever. Others are recent additions to the swimming pool mythology oeuvre. Read on to discover five popular swimming pool myths and learn the true story.
Dyes that Reveal Urine
This myth may have come about as a potent form of “wishful thinking.” On the other hand, someone might have noticed a little green cloud following a swimmer, forgetting that elementary school art class taught us that yellow and blue make green. Whatever the reason, this is a persistent myth with no basis in reality. The number of things you can add to your pool that show the presence of urine? Zero. Sorry.
If you hope to discourage peeing in the pool with more than a cute sign, simply schedule frequent bathroom breaks for little ones (and those that are just too lazy). Maintaining proper chemical balance of your pool protects swimmers from the effects of “accidents.”
The Smell of Chlorine Means the Pool Is Clean
Chlorine is the most well known cleaning agent for pools, so the idea that chlorine=clean feels like a solid bet. Unfortunately, chlorine can’t handle some bacteria. These include recreational water illnesses that cause gastrointestinal problems, such as Cryptosporidium. What’s more, the smell of chlorine arises when chlorine contacts the very contaminants it’s used to fight.
Chloramines occur when chlorine meets contaminants introduced by swimmers, such as body oils and sunscreen. The odor of chloramines is potent, meaning that if you smell a strong chlorine scent, your pool probably has too many contaminants. Obviously, this is the opposite of being clean! A faint chlorine smell is fine, but it may be time to call a pool tech if a strong odor persists.
Chlorine Turns Hair Green
Some people notice a green tint to their hair after swimming and blame it on chlorinated water. Your hair may turn green after swimming, but not because of chlorine. No, copper sulfates, such as those found in algaecides, bind to hair proteins, turning them green. It’s more common in lighter hair colors, whether natural or artfully acquired, but can also occur with darker hair.
You can avoid green hair with a few precautions. The easiest is a rinse before getting in the pool, which also protects the pool. Getting hair wet ahead of time seems to help, at least for shorter swims. For extra protection, apply a leave-in conditioner before getting in the water. When swim time ends, rinse your hair thoroughly before lounging in the sun. You can also break out the big guns and apply an acidic product such as vinegar immediately after swimming. If you’re a frequent swimmer and green hair presents a problem, buy a shampoo formulated specifically for swimmers.
Too Much Chlorine Causes Red Eye
Although too much chlorine exposure causes some irritation, such as dry skin and hair, it doesn’t cause red eye, rashes, or swimmer’s ear. The culprit is the same for all of these: bacteria. Do you remember that strong chlorine smell discussed earlier? That’s likely why chlorine gets the blame for redeye. Too many contaminants create those stinky chloramines, releasing that strong chlorine odor. Those same contaminants cause a host of issues for swimmers, including redeye.
The best protection is maintaining proper chemical balance. You may need to shock the pool to get things in order. A day or two before hosting a pool party, and the day after, check your water’s chemicals to make sure they’re still in optimum range. Just in case, rinse off before and after swimming to prevent rashes. Eardrops after swimming prevent swimmer’s ear. Redeye should clear up on its own, thanks to your body’s own pH-balanced salty tears.
Wait an Hour after Eating
My own father swore up and down he almost drowned when he suffered massive body cramps after jumping in right after eating. There are a few reasons for holding off on jumping in the pool after eating.
Eastern medicine talks about the importance of digestion for optimal health. Digestion diverts blood away from muscles and to the gut. In order to help your body digest and assimilate the foods you take in, it’s in your best interest to avoid swimming shortly after eating. Another possible reason is the fact that a full stomach presses against your diaphragm, which may leave you feeling breathless. It is important to note that we do not advise swimming on a full stomach, even if just for the simple fact that it can be uncomfortable.
However, we’re not aware of any documented cases of drowning due to swimming on a full stomach. If you do experience cramping or other discomfort while in the pool, simply leave the water until you feel better. Seems simple, no?
Maintain with pHin
Wow your guests at your next pool party with these myth-busting facts. To make sure you’re always ready to entertain, a pHin subscription keeps water perfectly balanced year-round. pHin monitors water quality 24/7, and notifies your smartphone when it’s time to add chemicals. Then, we ship you exactly what you need to enjoy carefree swimming, all year.