I swim laps in a chlorinated pool, and even after a soapy shower, I have a slight chlorine smell on my skin for the next day. I've tried lathering up extra and leaving the lather on my skin for a short time before rinsing, but the smell persists.

I'm not interested in solutions that mask the chlorine smell with another -- first because that's my preference, but also because my wife has sensitivities to many perfumes used in soaps.

  • 3
    When I was swimming in a chlorinated pool regularly, I used to use chlorine removing shampoo for my hair and as body wash to help minimize the chlorine smell before returning to work. Now I swim in a non-chlorinated pool (Ozone?) and don't have the problem anymore.
    – Johnny
    Dec 28, 2014 at 3:16

4 Answers 4


Chlorine smell is due to the chlorine and chloramines layered on the skin after using the pool. So removing the chlorine and chloramines contents are the solution to remove this smell. As soon as you exit from the pool, stand in the hot shower with the max temperature you can for at least 2-3 mins. Then lather with your regular natural soap for some time, allow to dry and then wash thoroughly with hot shower. This removes the maximum chlorine on your skin and then you can try out the following methods.

1. Mild acid solution: This will not harm the skin. Either you can use citric acid or acetic acid. (a) Squeeze and dilute the lemon (1:4 with water) or orange (1:2 with water) and apply on your body for some time and leave it to dry. This acid will eat away the chlorine. (b) Use white vinegar for acetic acid and dilute with water, say 1:5, and apply on your body and wait for some 2-3 mins. Then take a hot shower.

2. Vitamin C removes chlorine. Ascorbic acid in the vitamin C gets away the chlorine smell. You can buy vitamin C crystals from shops. Dilute with water, apply on your body, wait for some time, say 2-3, then rinse with hot water. There are vitamin C creams available on markets, same procedure after applying. These two products are not so costly.

3. Minimize chlorine exposure: (a) Apply oil before entering the pool. Olive oil or coconut oil can help better. This forms a protective layer. Rinse with hot water on exit from the pool. (b) Beeswax or butter are also the other options for this method.

4. Club soda also helps. Rinse the body with club soda and then take a hot shower. Technically speaking, chlorine oxidizes on skin. It chemically reacts with the surface of the skin and forms a layer of chloramines with hydrogen. Mono chloramines are more stable and do not dissipate as rapidly as free chlorine. Any antioxidant will help to release chlorine's bond to the skin. Then the chlorine easily washes away. Applying any fruits with more antioxidant will help to remove the skin. Then take a hot shower.

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    I will try these one by one and report back. Won't be swimming for a few days, though.
    – TomG
    Dec 28, 2014 at 19:56
  • 1
    A weak vinegar solution seemed to work pretty well.
    – TomG
    Jan 2, 2015 at 22:26
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    As a suggested edit comment said: Don't wear anything on your skin when you go into the pool. It makes the pool dirty and is very inconsiderate. You might consider removing the 3. item regarding applying stuff before entering the pool.
    – holroy
    Oct 27, 2015 at 16:58

I always shower right after my swims and I have also noticed the chlorine smell doesn't go away. However, I often run right after I get out of the shower. When you start to sweat and your pores open, the smell of chlorine gets very prominent as you sweat it out (at least that's how I think of it.)

My recommendation would be to try and sweat after going in the pool. You don't need to run though. If your gym has a steam room, try sitting in there for a little while afterwards. If not, go on an elliptical for a little bit.

  • Opening the pores - exactly. I just take a long, really hot shower just after swimming. Oct 3, 2016 at 6:05

I've found that if I take a fresh water shower immediately before going into a chlorine pool that it limits how much chlorine my skin and hair absorb. If I go straight into chlorine water with dry skin and hair it absorbs a lot more chlorine and it is a lot harder to get rid of the smell.

  • I always shower before swimming laps -- it's a rule of the pool where I swim.
    – TomG
    Oct 29, 2015 at 0:48

I started using left over lemon shells, after I squeeze out the juice for other purposes. After I come out of the pool, I use lemon as a scrub, apply it on the whole body, let it sit on my skin for 2 mins, then start my regular soapy bath. One half lemon left over is enough for the whole body.

I did experienced good results using that.

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