A Beginner-Friendly Guide to Hot Tub Chemicals and How to Use Them

If you’re a hot tub owner, you know that regular maintenance is key to keeping your spa in good condition and functioning properly. One of the most important aspects of hot tub maintenance is making sure that the water has the right balance through the help of chemicals. But which chemicals should you add, and how do you use them? In this beginner-friendly guide, we’ll talk about what hot tub chemicals you should always have on hand and how they can help you care for your home spa.

Hot Tub Chemistry and Maintaining the Right Balance

Understanding chemistry is a must to maintain a healthy hot tub environment. However, there’s no need to be overwhelmed, as it’s actually quite simple. Since the water in your hot tub sits for long periods without being replaced, it can change in colour and smell. This indicates an imbalance in the water. The best way to address changes in water chemistry is by treating your hot tub with the right chemicals regularly.

So how do you know if the water in your hot tub has the right balance? A good benchmark would be a healthy pH level of 7.2 to 7.8. You need to proactively check if your spa meets these levels. Use a liquid test kit or testing strips to conduct a test between two to three times a week. All you need is to take a sample of water by scooping it up from a foot under the surface of your hot tub. Then, the testing kit will show the different aspects of the water’s chemistry, such as chlorine/bromine, pH, total alkalinity, and calcium hardness. Whenever the chemical balance in your spa isn’t within the recommended range, you need to add hot tub chemicals.

Which Chemicals Do You Need For Your Hot Tub?

Wondering if hot tub chemicals are vital? The answer is a resounding yes. You can’t skip adding chemicals because vacuuming and keeping debris out of the water simply wouldn’t be enough. To ensure that everyone using the hot tub has a safe and enjoyable experience, you need to use these spa chemicals:

  1. Sanitizer – Perhaps the most important of all the hot tub chemicals, sanitizers disinfect the water by killing bacteria. Below are some of the most commonly used sanitizers.
    • Chlorine – This is the most popular type of sanitizer that can be easily recognized by its distinctive smell. People choose it for its affordability, accessibility, and power when it comes to killing bacteria and algae.
    • Bromine – If you have sensitive skin, this would be your best bet. Bromine reacts slower than chlorine, but it’s gentler and still effective at killing germs.
    • Biguanide – What sets this sanitizer apart is that you don’t need to use it as often as chlorine and bromine. It also doesn’t have any strong odour.
  2. pH/ Alkalinity Adjusters – Maintaining the recommended pH levels is a must to ensure that your hot tub is a safe and relaxing environment. Before adjusting the pH levels, you need to get the alkalinity levels just right by using an alkalinity increaser. Then, you can use a pH increaser or decreaser to make the pH levels neutral so it is safe to soak in. Lower and higher PH levels can cause skin irritation and even make the sanitizer ineffective.
  3. Shock – A shocking agent works the same way as chlorine, releasing oxygen into the water. It reactivates the sanitizer you used while also helping to kill bacteria and remove contaminants.
  4. Calcium Hardness Increaser/ Decreaser – If there’s too much or too little calcium, the water could turn foamy or cloudy. In worse cases, there could be scale build-up and damage to the metal components of your hot tub.

You can get in touch with a hot tub dealer near you for more advice on maintaining the proper chemical balance in your home spa.

By having the right chemicals at home and following simple tips on how to use them to maintain a healthy chemical balance, you can make sure your hot tub is always running at its best. This way, your spa can continue to provide yourself and your loved ones with a relaxing experience like no other. Download our free buyer’s guide for more information on which hot tub is perfect for you and the steps you need to take to care for it properly.

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