Back to the Pool – Chlorine Detox Protocol

Lap Swimmers

Are you heading back to a chlorinated swimming pool for your workouts? Do you like to sit in a hot Jacuzzi? Do you and your children love going to the water parks? My husband, Bill, and I enjoy the swimming pool for a work out. Swimming is great exercise but we have concerns about the lingering smell and toxic affects of chlorine. If you are a swimmer, you know what we mean. So, two years ago I developed an easy protocol to detoxify chlorine from the body. Just a few steps right after our post swim shower at the gym have made a huge difference for us. If chlorine has you itching for a solution, follow the procedure below and let me know what you think.


Chlorine Detoxifying Protocol for Swimmers and Jacuzzi Users

  1. Take 1 capsule of a good quality taurine (we use Thorne or Metagenics) the morning of the day you plan to be in the pool or Jacuzzi. Taurine is an amino acid. We usually recommend taking amino acids away from food for best effectiveness but its fine to take it with some food if you find it to be hard on your stomach. Taurine helps to chelate (bind) and detoxify chlorine so it is a great first step. The taurine will remain in your system for 48 hours unless it is used by the body to detoxify other toxins. Taurine is also a helpful amino acid for the heart and other muscles since it tends to relax them. So, enjoy the double benefit!
  2. Drink 1 to 2 drops of Lugol’s Iodine in water the day of your swim.
  3. Always shower full body and hair before entering the pool.
  4. Always wet your hair first in the shower before getting in the pool and always wear a swim cap when in the pool. This is especially important for people with longer hair.
  5. After having been in the pool or Jacuzzi always shower before leaving the gym, then follow the next items on the protocol. Detoxifying the chlorine sooner rather than attempting to do so later will greatly improve your success.
  6. Once in the shower I recommend using a good quality shampoo, one which has as few chemicals as possible. Shampoos and conditioners containing essential oils may help cleanse the hair. If you are shaving your legs do so now. Rinse and towel dry.
  7. Use a pure body lotion such as Alba’s original formula or any other clean lotion or oil. Place a nickel sized portion of the lotion in the palm of your hand. Then drop a drop each of the following essential oils: Myrtle, Melaleuca, Rosemary, Lavandin, Lemongrass and Citronella into the lotion and apply the lotion with oil onto your feet.
  8. You are now ready to dress and head home.

Enjoy getting into bed with no lingering chlorine affects.


Products required for the protocol:

  • Taurine – Holly House carries taurine from Nutrition Dynamics and Thorne. You need 500mg on the day of your swim.
  • Purification essential oil blend from Young Living Essential Oils is a good blend to use.
  • Lugol’s Iodine is available through our clinic.

Products recommended but not required for the protocol:

Obtaining Products:

Young Living Products: Purchase Young Living product through the member who introduced you to the company or shared this post with you.

Thorne and Nutrition Dynamics/Metagenics products and persons not previously introduced to Young Living may purchase products from our on line stores.

Alternatively, feel free to contact our clinic for assistance.


I hope this helps. Please share it with your pool mates. Once you’ve had a chance to try it, let others know how well it works by leaving your feedback in the comments section below.



About Dr. Pat

I am a practicing natural health care physician and educator committed to helping others overcome pain and suffering, restore function, and lead healthier, happier, longer, and more spiritually fulfilled lives.


  1. Thank you for this. I have a son with Tourettes Syndrome and the chlorine sends his tics into major overdrive. I was researching Taurine and google brought me to your page. Thanks!

  2. Jenny Hall says

    Hi Pat. Thank you so much for this post! I find it very helpful as I have been suffering from bromine in the pool at our YMCA. I am having an issue with burning in my eyes and a loss of vision. Is there something I can do to neutralize that? I tried flushing with saline but it isn’t helping much. Thank you!

    • Hi Jenny, When I began swimming in pools regularly in college many years ago, my eyes would water and it would be difficult for me to see the blackboard during my next class. That is, until I decided to invest a few bucks in a decent pair of swim goggles. This is the first thing I would do, if you haven’t already. If you already have good goggles that keep the water out of your eyes and still experience these challenges, let us know.

    • Hi Jenny, Bill makes a good point. Also, following the protocols for chlorine should help your bromine exposure since it tends to disrupt the same pathways. Good luck!

  3. Very interesting article. I have a competitive swimmer at home who is 14 and has bein swimming in that level for 3 years. She spends about 2.5 hours in the pool daily and this is becoming a concern for me as a parent since I have noticed changes in her skin and sudden weight gain in the last year. We are dealing with scoliosis as well. I have suggested other sports, but she wants to continue swimming, so I least I thought to help her find a detox protocol. I was curious about your recommendation for a thyroid test. Are there any values or ranges we should look for? Thank you.

    • You should ask for a minimum of a TSH, Free T4 and a Free T3. If any of these come out too high or too low, or TSH is high side normal, or either of the other two, low side normal, then you should check a TPO and TGA – autoantibodies) and Reverse T3. If weakness in the thyroid is found there are wonderful non prescription glandular combinations that can help support the thyroid. She wouldn’t necessarily need to be on thyroid medication.

      Good luck to you and your daughter!

  4. For the last 35 years I have been swimming in indoor pools, 3 days a week for approximately 30 minutes each session.
    I do not swim with my in the head; nevertheless, in the past 3 years, I’ve developed very bad chronic sinusitis that appears to be directly linked to the pool. I suppose the toxins are entering my body through breathing in the chemical fumes. I don’t have any skin issues from the pool, but perhaps the toxins also get into my bloodstream through my skin, and work its way into my sinuses. It doesn’t seem to matter whether the pool is salt water or full chlorine. I’ve always been sensitive to chemical smells and allergens. I really would hate to have to give up swimming, because it’s been such an important part of my physical and mental state of well being. Do you have any advice protocol for me, specifically with regard to protecting my sinuses. I use nose plugs to prevent breathing the chemicals through my nose, but the vapors get in through my mouth and I guess skin.

    • Hi Bruce, I’m not the clinical expert here but it sounds like you are describing my own experience and I feel for you. I agree with some of the things you’ve already done, i.e. nose plugs and less chlorinated water are good ideas. Have you tried the taurine, iodine, and purification mentioned by Dr. Pat in her post? These work internally to support your body’s ability to handle the chlorine.

      • Thank you, Bill. I have not begun Dr. Pat’s protocol yet, but I intend to. I was just wondering if there are any additional steps specific to my particular issue of chronic sinusitis caused by pool chemicals. Also, would the purification and other skin lotions/ sprays apply to my case, given that I experience no skin irritation at all, but rather only sinus issues, seemingly as a result of inhaling the fumes into my respiratory system. In other words, is it possible for the chlorine chemicals to enter through my skin into my bloodstream and up to my sinuses?

      • Dr Pat,

        My boys swim 3-4 times weekly for 1 hr each. They are 7.5 yo and 9 years old, 45lbs and 52 lbs. how much taurine/ Lugol to give?
        Thanks in advance,


        • Hi Kayla
          Unfortunately I am not able to make recommendations for your boys without examining them. Please consult with your local functional medicine or naturopathic doctor or nutritionally-trained chiropractic doctor for a recommendation.

  5. Thanks for the great info! Since being pregnant and childbirth, I have found swimming to be the best for my body and rehabilitation. However I have been so concerned about chlorine levels!! Thanks so much for this protocol.
    May I ask the reasoning behind showering before though?
    Thank you!

    • Good question Cristina! Besides your contribution to the public health of the pool, if you shower before, you will hydrate your skin and hair with municipal water and they will absorb less pool water.

  6. I am in the pool for 3 days a week, 4-6 hours at a time. What changes would you make to this protocol?

    • I would follow the same protocol recommended per daily exposure. With patients we will often use Muscle Response Testing to fine tune the recommendation. Make sure to have your thyroid tested every two months or so to make sure it is functioning properly witha minimum of TSH, Free T4 and Free T3.

      • Jennifer says

        Thanks so much! We are in the process of switching from Cl to Br. Is the protocol the same? I am an aquatic therapist and my company is also extending my pool hours, so I will be in the water even more now.

        • Yes, bromine can also replace iodine uptake in the body and cause thyroid problems. So stick with the same protocols. Make sure to have your thyroid tested with a TSH, Free T3 and Free T4 blood test once to twice yearly.

          • Jennifer says

            Thanks! My MD didn’t want to test my T3 and T4, saying TSH was enough until it showed a problem.

          • I’m going to respectfully disagree with your MD in that regard. We always run all 3 to make sure they are accurately reflecting one another.

  7. I cannot over emphasize how helpful the essential oil blend is when used post swim/post shower on the feet. 1 -2 on each foot. It made the most difference of anything we have tried. I always recommend the iodine due to the hazards of chlorine uptake, but the Purification oil on the feet seems to really detoxify the chlorine.

  8. Great tips, did not know about the taurine and iodine tip! I’d like to add that an important addition to this protocol would be a Vitamin C spray to spray on skin and hair right before showering after a swim. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and will unbind the oxidated chlorine that has reacted with your skin and hair that isnt removed by soap. You can make your own Vitamin C spray easily and cheaply by buying a spray bottle and filling with water mixed with a spoonful of Vitamin C powder or crystals. A quick internet search will tell the best ratio. It’s very helpful to also take the Vitamin C powder internally to detoxify the chlorine that you inhaled. Ideally take a dose before you swim in chlorine. This has helped my son tremendously when he swims twice a week for swim team.

  9. Why the iodine? I also read an article about putting coconut oil on before and after swimming to help protect against the chlorine. What do you think of that?

    • Iodine is so important to thyroid and endocrine health. The healthy female breast also has a significant need for iodine. When you swim in chlorine, and you absorb the chlorine into your blood stream, your thyroid is very likely to take up the Chlorine if iodine levels are inadequate. I recommend people take a dose of iodine, such as one drop of iodine, prior to getting into the pool to avoid chlorine being taken in and inappropriately used by the body in place of iodine, and there by causing health issues.

      Coconut oil is a wonderful oil, good for so many things. Keeping the skin moist with it might help block the uptake of chlorine, but I do not have personal experience with it. I would probably not trust it being able to block the uptake completely.

      • I put a mixture of cocoa butter and coconut oil on before going into chlorinated water and also a small amount of leave in conditioner on damp hair. It works. I’ve got ultra sensitive skin and it doesn’t even dry out when I do this. The biggest problem is inhalation. I mostly just avoid the pools altogether, but during my recent family trip to an indoor water park, the protocols proved effective. I’ve got to cover the intimate bits as well, because that area historically suffers the most. I didn’t know about the taurine and iodine, but am grateful for the info! Thank you.

  10. Caroline says

    My daughter will be going to day camp for the summer. They schedule an hour of swim time a day and we are typically in the pool most weekends. My daughter is 5…would you be able to suggest any of these items for her?

    • Yes. She will do very well with the essential oil combination. She should shower prior to getting into the pool, usually that is a rule at public pools anyway. She should then shower after being in the pool with a natural soap. Lavender Bath Gel (Young Living) works well for this and children like the smell of it. After being dried off, a drop of the essential oil blend should be massaged into each foot. It works nicely to dilute it with a good quality lotion. She also could have 1 drop of Iodine (Crow’s Lugol’s Iodine) 1X every 2 weeks. She could have 250 mg of Taurine 2X weekly. If you do not have access to quality essential oils please call the office at 651-645-6951. We are closed on Thursdays.Good luck with your daughter starting day camp!

  11. Sally Frisbey says

    You talk about showering before and after…but in most places the water in the community is chlorinated too. So I’m not helping my son out I’m adding to his problems.

    • It’s true that the municipal water supply is likely chlorinated but chlorine levels in the pool are significantly higher. Though I’m not looking at the numbers, I know that they fill the pool with municipal water then add more chlorine to that. Another sign is one’s sense of smell. Chlorine is easy to smell once it’s reached certain levels especially at warmer temperatures, the whirlpool for example. I don’t know about you but I can smell the chlorine in the pool but I don’t smell it in the shower room even when running hot showers.

      I shudder to think what my skin would feel like if I didn’t shower and I shudder to think what people’s guts would do if they drank water chlorinated at swimming pool concentrations.

    • You are correct that most communities chlorinate their water. The amount used in the pools, however, is so much higher. If you allow your children to swim in chlorinated pools you are much better off having them shower before and after to get the excess chlorine off as recommended. Using the support products prior and following chlorine exposure greatly helps to further reduce the chlorine exposure.

  12. My kids swim competitively, year round. They are the water 5-7 days per week for 90min at a time. Is this protocol safe for them? One is age 14, 130 lbs and the other is age 11 and 84 lbs.

    • The protocol is safe, but I still recommend the following changes:

      1. Take the Taurine down to half the amount (250 mg) and have each of your children take that amount every other day when they are actively swimming, no more than @ 750 mg per week.
      2. Have each of your children take 1 drop of Lugol’s every other day not to exceed 3 drops per week.
      3. All of the essential oil protocols are safe at the amounts used.

      I also recommend that anyone regularly swimming in chlorinated pools have his/her thyroid levels checked with a blood test annually. A TSH, Free T4 and Free T3 should be run to make sure the thyroid is functioning properly.

      Good luck!

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