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Hot tubs offer relaxation and a casual atmosphere, but they require proper upkeep to ensure clean water that is healthy for bathers. When maintaining hot tub water, it is important to measure the alkalinity, pH level, and level of cleaner — usually chlorine or bromine — to make sure the water is safe, but there are other consideration that can keep the hot tub water safe, clear, odor-free, and pleasant for all users. One consideration the owner should make early on is what types of chemicals he or she intends to use to keep the water pure. Some chemicals are caustic and can cause skin irritation, while other chemicals are all-natural but more expensive.
Oils from the body can make hot tub water dirty and the tub itself grimy. Using cleaning chemicals can help keep oils at bay, but other products can ensure clean hot tub water every time. A scum-absorbing floater can be placed in the tub when not in use to help collect dirt and oils from bathers. They are usually inexpensive and complement the normal cleaning chemicals. To avoid oily build-up, bathers should refrain from using soaps or other oil products before entering the tub or while in the tub. Bathers should also rinse off in a shower before entering the hot tub to restrict oils and dirt from entering the hot tub water.
Filters come standard with just about every hot tub on the market, but the reliability of the filter will vary depending on how well it is maintained. To ensure clean hot tub water, the filter must be cleaned regularly in a filter cleaning solution. One idea to ensure clean water every time is to own more than one filter; soak the unused filter in the filter cleaning solution for up to a month while the other filter is installed in the tub. After a month, switch the two.
Cleaning chemicals such as chlorine and bromine can irritate skin and eyes, so one might consider using all-natural spa products instead. Some spa products use colloidal silver instead of the more caustic chlorine or bromine alternatives, which can be easier on the skin and eyes. To balance pH levels, baking soda and vitamin C can be used in place of spa-up and spa-down products. Be sure to completely drain and flush the hot tub and the pipes before switching to all-natural products, as the residue from the chlorine and bromine can actually work to counteract the effectiveness of the new products.