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Hot Tub Chemicals: What You Need And How to Use Them

Hot Tub Chemicals: What You Need And How to Use Them
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Hot tubs are a wonderful way to unwind and relieve you from the day’s stress. Hot tube chemicals are usually added so that you can rest assured that the water is hygienic and safe and your spa experience is not compromised in any way. To be able to achieve this, it is essential to be aware of what is best for your hot tub water!

Another important aspect that you should learn as a hot tub owner is its maintenance. New hot tub owners generally find it difficult to execute proper hot tub care.

We have come up with this compilation to help you maintain your tub perfectly. Read further to know more about spa chemicals and how to use and store them!

Are Hot Tub Chemicals Necessary?

Most hot tub users try to figure out how to maintain a hot tub without chemicals. However, this will land you in a grave spot, as spa chemicals are necessary.

You should care for your hot tub as you would care for your swimming pools. It is important to kill bacteria in your spa water to prevent skin irritation. Furthermore, keeping the water balanced is imperative, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Apart from maintaining the water balance and optimizing the spa water pH, hot tub chemicals reduce the overall calcium hardness of the water. Spa shock is another vital process that includes either chlorine or other chemicals.

What Chemicals Do I Need for a Hot Tub?

The first question that every hot tub owner will face is, “What chemicals do I need for a hot tub?”. With proper awareness about your hot tub’s water chemistry, you can ensure that cloudy water is no longer a concern!

We have included the list of the best spa chemicals you require to enhance your hot tub water quality. Also, by doing so, you can bring down the calcium hardness and the total alkalinity of your hot tub water significantly. Opting for either chlorine or bromine is a non-negotiable aspect of this process.


A sanitizer kills bacteria primarily. You can also use fungus and virus-specific sanitizers to maximize the range of your hot tub maintenance. Bromine, chlorine, salt systems, and other alternatives like Spa Frog are some commonly used sanitizers. Spa Frog also provides free standard shipping.


If organic contaminants are your main area of problem, Bromine is a must-have in your hot tub chemical kit! Bromine has the distinctive property of being able to ionize the contaminants. Many other hot tub chemicals lack this ability.

Unlike chlorine, bromine does not oxidize. It gives out bromamines, which lets out a less strong odor. Maintaining the level of the bromine steadily will ensure that you do not face any issues at all!

Bromine has lower total alkalinity than other sanitizers. Therefore, it can keep your hot tub water’s chemical balance intact. If you experience skin irritation due to spa chemicals, you can opt for bromine as it is very gentle on the skin.


Chlorine kills bacteria more efficiently than alternative sanitizers. It also offers great value for money. You will experience no difficulties in the overall management of chlorine either. However, the main drawback of chlorine is the pungent odor.

The oxidization process produces chloramines, which cause the smell in the hot tub water. This occurrence is an indicator of the lack of chlorine in the water. Therefore, it would be best if you constantly provided the hot tub water with non-chlorine shock.

Non-chlorine shock performs a thorough cleansing of all unwanted organic compounds from your spa water. It is one of the best hot tub chemicals for newbies that you can purchase to keep your hot tubs clean and purified. Therefore, shock treatments are an un-skippable part of your hot tub care routine!

Salt Systems

Similar to saltwater pools, saltwater hot tubs are also available. They make use of a generator, with chlorine as the primary sanitizer. This is a cost-effective recourse as salt is cheaper than chlorine. Test strips are specifically available for this purpose.

If you have sensitive skin, you can opt for this sanitization method as it is very gentle on your hair, eyes and does not harm your skin.

Sequestering Agents

A sequestering agent removes the calcium hardness from your spa water. When the presence of heavy metals and calcium is high in your hot tub, it adds unwanted color to the water. Sometimes, the water might exhibit a hue of brown, green, or even orange.

When you witness these colors, it is time to add the sequestering agent. It usually comprises a pH increaser, a pH decreaser, and chlorinating granules. Upon adding these hot tub chemicals, you can restore the normal condition of your hot tub water.

Soda ash is a good example of a pH increaser. On the other hand, sodium bicarbonate acts as a total alkalinity increaser. A pH increaser and total alkalinity increaser are generally closely related. You can increase the alkalinity first since it will buffer the pH.

A pH decreaser is your holy grail if you notice that your hot tub water is frequently cloudy. This situation arises when the pH level is high. Sodium bisulfate is a good pH decreaser that brings down the pH level according to your needs.


Defoamers are crucial hot tub chemicals, especially if you use body oils, lotions, and other cosmetics. A defoamer will help you decrease your spa water’s foam level and comes in handy during parties. If you face scale build-up issues, defoamers will sort them out for you!

Calcium Hardness Products

The level of calcium in your spa water plays a vital role. If the calcium hardness is not balanced, it will damage the metal components of your hot tub and lead to unwanted deposits. Therefore, it is essential to invest in a calcium hardness increaser and calcium hardness decreaser.

Water hardness is a key factor in hot tub maintenance. If the water is too soft, a calcium hardness increaser is your go-to solution. If the water is too hard, you can opt for a calcium hardness decreaser or a special hot tub filter.

Filter Cleaner

A filter cleaner will simplify your overall cleaning process by miles. You can make use of spa filter cartridges to ensure that the water is clean. It thoroughly cleans the plumbing lines and removes all debris. Polishing the spa shell is also possible with conditioners and cleaners.

How To Add Hot Tub Spa Chemicals

Adding hot tub chemicals and other specific elements to your hot tub is a pretty simple process. Let us look at the steps you will have to follow while adding hot tub chemicals.

Removing The Hot Tub Cover

When you add chemicals to the hot tub water, many gases will escape due to oxidization. Hence, remove the cover and leave it aside until the entire cleaning process is over. It will take around 15 minutes roughly.

Filling The Hot Tub Water

When you add the chemicals to the hot tub, it is key to ensure that the circulation is maximal. Therefore, run the water in the hot tub before adding the chemicals. Even if you add fewer chemicals, feel free to keep the water running.

Switch off the spray jets, as certain chemicals will not work effectively when exposed to too much circulation of water and air bubbles.

Testing The Hot Tub

It is essential to check the balance of the water sample in your hot tub before beginning the cleaning. You can use test strips in the water before adding the essential elements and other chemicals to achieve this.

This procedure will help you detect several conditions like a high pH or a low pH, the hardness of the water, the level of sanitizer, and so on.

Pre-Measuring The Chemicals

The packaging of your chemicals will have specific instructions regarding the measurements of the chemicals. Therefore, you can measure it before the actual process of adding it to the hot tub. This step might seem pretty trivial. However, it holds a lot of significance and can save a lot of your time!

Adding The Chemicals

The last step in this procedure is to add the chemicals

How To Store Hot Tub Chemicals

Hot tub chemicals require proper storage to prevent contamination. A few steps that you can undertake to store these chemicals properly are present below.

  1. Ensure that kids are not able to access the chemicals at any cost.
  2. Store the chemicals at an ideal temperature of 80oF.
  3. Keep the lids tightly screwed to the bottles and prevent spills and leakages.
  4. Do not let the chemicals mix.

Disposing Of Hot Tub Chemicals Properly

Since most hot tub chemicals are composed of toxic components, their proper disposal is highly essential. Carelessly disposing of them could cause harm to the environment and the wildlife that live in the surrounding regions.

The best way to get rid of these toxic remnants is by getting in touch with the local authorities and seeking their advice. With their guidance, you can opt for the best method of disposal that does not put anyone in danger.

Tips for Using Hot Tub Chemicals to Keep It Clean

The first and foremost approach to own a clean hot tub is maintenance. You can invest in different, costly chemicals to clean your hot tub. However, if you fail to maintain it properly, the efforts mostly go in vain.

The general lack of awareness that most hot tub users experience is the main reason behind this issue. Therefore, we have prepared a list of the steps that you can undertake to ensure make sure that your hot tub is properly maintained.

Regular Chemical Maintenance

This is the juncture where most users do not take proper action. The importance of chemical cleaning of your hot tub cannot be replaced through any other means. It is important to ensure that you frequently clean the tub with the chemicals you can source.

Clean the Filter Regularly

The spa filter is one of the most crucial parts of the hot tub. It provides clean spa water by removing all kinds of debris and pathogens from it. However, the filter system will be unable to do its job if it is unclean itself.

You can ensure that you have one less task at your hand if you clear the filtration system regularly without negligence. If you keep your filter system clean, it will simplify your overall hot tub cleaning task immensely.

Use Hot Tub Sponges

Hot tub sponges are underrated equipment that predominantly removes organic compounds that float on the hot tub water. Therefore, you can use hot tub sponges, as they will help in soaking up foam and other oils.

If you are unable to procure hot tub sponges, tennis balls are a wonderful alternative that you can opt for. The fuzz present on the coating is what keeps the water clean by absorbing the dirt.

Use a Hot Tub Cover

If you regularly use your hot tubs in exterior settings, many insects and leaves might fall in them. You can avoid these circumstances by opting for a cover to protect your hot tub from this litter. When you invest in these covers, the cleaning process is simplified and becomes cost-effective as well.

Shower Before Getting in the Hot Tub

This step might seem pretty irrelevant, but it does make a difference in maintaining the cleanliness of the tub. When you are showered and clean, there is no chance for any dirt from your body to pollute the hot tub.

Test Your Hot Tub Regularly

Another simple procedure that you can undertake to maintain your hot tub properly is by testing its condition frequently. Any underlying issue present in your hot tub will catch your attention through this step.

Hot Tub Chemicals FAQs

What Is the Best Chemical to Use in a Hot Tub?

Biguanides are one of the best chemicals you can use in your hot tub, especially if you have sensitive skin. If you are prone to allergies, you can opt for them as they do not produce any odor.

What Chemicals Do I Add to My Hot Tub After Filling?

At first, it is advisable to perform a test on your water sample with the help of test strips. It will help you to determine the pH and the alkalinity levels of the water. Afterward, you can add:
– Chlorine granules
– Sodium-Dichlor
– A pH increaser
– A pH decreaser

What Chemicals Should I Put In My Hot Tub for the First Time?

Once you fill your hot tub for the first time, you should add a sanitizer to it. This can be chlorine, bromine, or any other salt system. It will prepare your tub for the addition of other chemicals like defoamers, sequestering agents, pH increases, and decreasers.

Can You Use a Hot Tub Without Chemicals?

It is not possible to use a hot tub without any kind of additional cleansers. If you wish to use one without chemicals, you can opt for natural replacements. They might not be as effective as hot tub chemicals. However, you can use them if you are strictly against chemicals in your hot water tub.

How to Maintain a Hot Tub Without Chemicals?

In order to maintain a hot tub without chemicals, you can opt for natural replacements such as enzymes, mineral sticks, and ozone. Metal ions present in these natural compounds can do a good job of cleaning your hot tub.

How Soon Can You Use a Hot Tub After Using Chemicals?

The ideal time of rest for the hot tub upon the addition of chemicals is a minimum of 30 minutes. The chemicals will require time to dissolve completely in the water and refrain from harming your skin. For further confirmation, you can wait up to one day before using the hot tub regularly.

Are Spa Chemicals Worth It?

The benefits of hot tub chemicals are indeed expansive! If you were on the fence regarding the purchase and usage of these chemicals, now you could proceed to use them without any apprehensions.

Spa maintenance has never been easier! With the massive range of quality products at a spa store in the market, you can pick the chemicals which suit your requirements the best. This will allow you to enjoy your hot tub experience to the fullest!