What are the Different Types of Hot Tub Chemicals?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 February 2019
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While a hot tub is certainly one of the more relaxing activities for after a sporting event or long day at work, owning and maintaining one takes a fair amount of knowledge and attention to the quality of the water. Hot tub water can become oily, cloudy, or otherwise unsanitary without proper care. To ensure safe and enjoyable water every time, one should invest in quality hot tub chemicals that will adjust the pH balance, alkalinity, and overall cleanliness of the tub. Some natural hot tub chemicals are also available so the user can avoid using toxic and irritating chemicals such as chlorine.

The first and perhaps the most important hot tub chemicals one can purchase are sanitizers. These chemicals are responsible for killing bacteria in the water and ensuring the water is safe for bathing. Chlorine is the most popular of the hot tub chemicals used for sanitizing, and bromine is a close second. Many people have begun using bromine because it does essentially the same thing as chlorine, but it does not give off the odor that chlorine usually does in warmer temperatures. Both chemicals, if not managed properly in the water, can have negative impacts as well: both are skin irritants, and they can dry the skin out after bathing. This can cause flaking of the skin and in some cases even rashes.


Chemicals that manage the pH balance of the water are also an important addition to one's collection of hot tub chemicals. Chemicals known as spa-up raise the pH level, making the water more basic. Spa-down chemicals lower the pH level, making the water more acidic. A properly pH-balanced tub is important because water that is too basic will cause staining on the surface of the hot tub, and also cause scaling, which is essentially a build-up of minerals on parts of the tub. Water that is too acidic can corrode important parts of the tub, meaning replacement of certain parts will become necessary.

Ozone can be used in conjunction with chlorine or bromine to keep the tub cleaner. Such a chemical needs to be used alongside a device known as an ozonator. If the tub is going to be used fairly constantly and by several people, an ozonator and the ozone chemical can help chlorine or bromine clean the tub more effectively. Many of these chemicals mentioned can be skin and eye irritants, however, so adding more to the tub can worsen the effects. Natural hot tub products are available that can be used in place of these chemicals, but the effectiveness of natural tub products is debatable.



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