Pouring chemicals into your hot tub can be an intimidating thing for a new hot tub owner.  There are tons of different chemicals that you could possibly put into your hot tub with each one attempting to solve a different problem, and it shouldn’t surprise you to hear that some of these chemicals stand tall against the others when it comes to being essential. While some hot tub chemicals can be used on specific parts within your hot tub, the goal of most of these chemicals is to make your hot tub water cleaner one way or another.


No one ever said that hot tubs would be all fun and games. There are certain types of bacteria that thrive in the environment a hot tub provides such as the germ, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Soaking in a hot tub that has been contaminated by this germ can lead to hot tub folliculitis, more commonly known as “hot tub rash”. Some of the symptoms of this condition include: itchiness, pus-filled blisters near hair follicles, and a rash that can be worse in areas that were covered by a swimsuit.   Now, this isn’t meant to scare you. It’s just meant to educate you on the importance of having a clean and sanitary hot tub. Acquiring and maintaining a clean hot tub isn’t hard to achieve either if you know which products to use.


With that being said, here are the most important chemicals in order to keep a clean hot tub...


  • Spa Test Strips: Ok, you got me.. this one technically isn’t a chemical, but they are still a necessary tool to clean your hot tub because these will let you know exactly what type of the below chemicals you will need to add to your hot tub to get it nice and clean. To use, simply submerge a strip in your hot tub briefly and then compare the colors on the strip to the colors on the bottle. It’s seriously that easy. To make sure you’ve covered all your bases, look for 6 in 1 strips that will test for: total chlorine, total bromine, free chlorine, total alkalinity, pH, and total hardness.


  • Spa Water Balancers: So you’ve used a spa test strip on your water and it’s telling you that your pH level or alkalinity is too high/low? The next step is to balance out those levels using something called a spa water balancer. These are chemicals specifically designed to either raise or lower these levels. A balanced pH level in your hot tub will lead to increased comfortability because if these levels are left unchecked, it may reduce your spa sanitizers effectiveness which could lead to an increase in bacteria. It can also lead to skin irritation if not properly balanced.


  • Spa Sanitizers & Shock Oxidizers: Who would have thought that a sanitizer would help keep a hot tub clean? Hopefully everyone, but did you know that shock oxidizers work hand in hand with spa sanitizers? Shock oxidizers help to remove cloudy water and odors, including the smell given off from chlorine, if that is your spa sanitizer of choice. Spa sanitizers on the other hand, prevent and control bacteria growth inside your hot tub like the ones we talked about earlier. Using a shock oxidizer periodically alongside a sanitizer will help to increase its efficiency.


  • Spa Clarifiers & Treatments: If you wanted to relax in murky water, you would go to a lake. Your hot tub water should be crystal clear, and with the products available, there’s no reason for it not to be. It’s not easy to relax with millions of visible particles floating around your hot tub with you, so spa clarifiers work to destroy these particles that cause your hot tub to become cloudy or murky. They also neutralize and remove the particles from dirt, oils, and soap that you take into the hot tub upon usage. Less particles also means less work for you filter so you can expect an increased lifespan for your hot tub too.


  • Hot Tub Stain & Scale: If your test strips have determined the water in your hot tub is hard, you will want to look into a product designed to prevent and remove scale such as “Leisure Time Defender”. The excess minerals in hard water require special attention because it can lead to the formation of scale on your hot tub along with damage to the heater. Afterall, a hot tub with a damaged heater is just a tub.


  • General Hot Tub Cleaners: These are all things that when used, will lead to less required maintenance for your hot tub and a longer lifespan. Less maintenance time equals more hot tubbing time. There are products designed for cleaning filters, pipes, the inside of your hot tub where you sit, and even the outside cover.


Now this last one isn’t absolutely necessary to keep your hot tub clean, but it certainly essential for maximizing the enjoyment your hot tub provides...


  • Spa Scents: It’s time to relax. You jump into your hot tub, settle in, and inhale deeply. The smell of chlorine permeates through your nostrils and you think to yourself, “there has to be a better way!”. There is... spa scents are exactly what they sound like.   They are scents for your hot tub that are going to cover up some of the odors coming from your hot tub while also making it a much more therapeutic experience for yourself.