Swim Spray: 30 Years of Chlorine Testing

  13 Gold Medal Mel Stewart | March 20th, 2012 | Gear, SwimSpray: Behind the Scenes

FROM ANDREW CHADEAYNE: I have been swimming for thirty years.  Until last year, I spent almost every day of my life chlorinated – literally covered in a thin layer of chlorine.  Like our swimming heros, I thought that swimming required smelling like chlorine:

  • When distance queen Janet Evans came back to the sport, her children noticed the smell.  Janet recalls, “I came home the other day and my daughter said, ‘Mommy, you smell of chlorine.’ ”
  • Michael Phelps recently told reporters that chlorine makes his hair feel “dead.”

Recently, I solved swimmers’ chlorine problems.  Rinsing off with SwimSpray neutralizes chlorine immediately after swimming.  Presently, the only downside seems to be that it works too well.  Unfortunately, now some parents don’t believe that their kids ever got into the pool unless they “wreak of chlorine.”

As an age group swimmer, I swam at the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of Northern Westchester for the Marlins.  The Club provided a fantastic swimming program with only an old, 4-lane pool.  Notably, while there wasn’t much lane space, there was plenty of chlorine.

ANDREW CHADEAYNE, during his age group years: 


As a kid, I always smelled like chlorine.  My hair and skin oozed chlorine.  But I loved the smell because it reminded me of swimming.  I also took pride in my distinct fragrance.  During gym, other kids would tell me that I wreaked of chlorine.  I enjoyed explaining that I smelled like chlorine because I trained at 5 am while they were in bed.

Even though I loved the smell of chlorine, I hated the effects of chlorine. I had dry, itchy skin and bleached, greenish, crunchy hair.  The barber would notice the smell right away.  “You must be a swimmer,” she’d say.

I tried all of the swimmer’s shampoos and later experimented with combinations of baking soda, soda water, beer, tomatoes, pickle juice, etc..  At one point I tried taking two showers after practice – one at the pool and then a second shower when I got home.

Nothing worked.  Eventually I simply gave up on getting rid of the chlorine.  I think I also became accustomed to having dry skin and dead hair.

When I first invented SwimSpray, I sent a case to my old coach, David Ellinghaus, at the Boys’ and Girls’ Club.  Later I called to see how the kids liked it. All of the Marlins agreed it worked.  Even the parents notice that they chlorine was gone.  One carpool mom accused her kids of skipping practice: “If you went to practice tonight, then why don’t you all smell like chlorine?”  I never saw that coming!

Parents – please rest assured that just because your kids don’t wreak of chlorine, this does not mean that they skipped practice.  With SwimSpray, swimmers can easily rinse the chlorine off after practice instead of walking around covered in it.

Dr. Andrew Chadeayne is a Ph.D in Chemistry, Master Swimming National Champion, and the inventor of SwimSpray. Follow him on Twitter[email protected] and fan him Facebook.

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13 Comments on "Swim Spray: 30 Years of Chlorine Testing"

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4 years 7 months ago

Just last night, my 8 year old daughter asked me what my favorite smell was. Without hesitation, I said, “chocolate.” She said, “Mine is the smell of the pool.” I said, “You are a swimmer, my love.” Enjoyed the article.

4 years 7 months ago

Hi Jennifer –

Maybe what we really need is a way to smell like chlorine all the time without being covered in chlorine all the time. Does your daughter have a science fair project coming up?

– Andrew

Christie Kennedy
4 years 7 months ago

Wait, you don’t smell like chlorine anymore, Andrew? How will we recognize you? 🙂 The lake at our local rec center is chlorinated, I’ll definitely be picking up some Swim Spray for the kids this summer!

4 years 7 months ago

Thanks Christie – Glad you are doing well – As I recall, you were another early riser in high school: for skating. But, thankfully, you didn’t come to class smelling like it :-).

Christie Kennedy
4 years 7 months ago

That’s right, 5 am skating practice before school! I didn’t smell like chlorine until after school when I was life guarding and teaching swimming lessons… but my hair felt like straw for years from it! :/ What a wonderful product you’ve developed, no one wants chlorine sitting on their skin and hair all the time…

4 years 7 months ago

I’ve known Andrew for a long time and couldn’t be more proud of him and his new company, SwimSpray. We first became friends growing up in the age group US Swimming circuit in NY and both finished our competitive swimming careers together at Princeton University as teammates.

It’s so fitting to me that he’d be the one to invent such a product that could completely remove such a common problem out of the equation for swimmers around the world in a safe and natural way.

Congrats to Andrew and his team for creating such an innovative product, I look forward to seeing continued success.

4 years 7 months ago

Thanks Dennis – I don’t think I would have ever made it to Princeton were it not for our rivalry throughout age group swimming!

4 years 7 months ago

Leave it to you, Andrew, to figure this out. Congratulations on this exciting venture. Please tell me where I can get some to keep poolside. I fully expect some kind of mention (as your favorite high school teacher, of course) when you’re rich and famous!

4 years 7 months ago

Ms. Jenner – I think we can definitely send you some SwimSpray for standing out as one of the few high school teachers that could tolerate me 🙂

As for rich and famous – I was going to leave that up to you – certainly the best Latin teacher ever.

4 years 7 months ago

I swam with Andrew on the Pleasantville summer team and the Marlins in Mt.Kisco for a few years, we’ve been friends for 25 years now. Andrew owned the backstroke and had been gratuitous enough to leave breaststroke for me.

As I focused on sports that practiced at 5pm instead of 5am and pm, Andrew lived in the pool. He and his sister were little blondies and their fair hair seemed particularly vulnerable to chlorine damage; first turning white, then seriously green. It was nasty… Picture light green hay.

Like everything else he determined to conquer, including chess, speed reading, the ironman, a sub 3:20 marathon, Phd, law school, and naysayers along the way, chlorine had to fall at some point. Well done sir, well done. I look forward to the next problem solved.

Andrew may have an apprentice in the future… He gave my 2 week old baby Linus Pauling’s “General Chemistry” for his birthday, citing the problem solving tools inside, and Owen already loves the water.

Sean Doyle
SwimSprayer since 2011

4 years 7 months ago

Ha ha – light green hay!

Thanks Sean for this VERY nice post. Is the boy making his way through the Chemistry text yet?

Sean Doyle Fan since Second Grade

4 years 7 months ago

I’ve known Andrew since kindergarten, and remember swimming with him back in grade school. He was a phenom in the water, and was always able to overcome the nasty effects of chlorine. Not me. I stopped swimming in the 6th grade. Maybe if I had SwimSpray back then, I would have kept on swimming! Awesome product, Andrew!

4 years 7 months ago

Erin – thanks so much for your comments. Even though you gave up swimming to pursue your other talents by the 6th grade, I still think we could write a book on “adventures in carpooling….” It’s amazing how much trouble we could get into during a 10 minute ride to the Boys’ and Girls’ club.


About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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