In a perfect world, one could fill up a hot tub with water, use it consistently, and never need to maintain it at all. Unfortunately this is not a perfect world. You must regularly test the quality of your water and its balance. When the water gets out of balance, then the best hot tub chemicals can help you restore that balance quickly and easily.
The right chemicals will also help you clean your hot tub when necessary and help you with the winterizing process. Not all chemical brands are alike in quality or price, so the hot tub chemicals reviewed here can help you be able to make a confident purchase.
The Best Chart for Hot Tub Chemicals
There’s no real way to determine the quality of a brand’s hot tub chemicals before purchase unless there are warnings or recalls out for the item in question. For that reason, this chart is filled with the top-rated publicly reviewed products for your consideration.
Why Hot Tub Chemicals Are So Important
The quality of the water in your hot tub can create positive or negative effects on your skin and within the fixtures of the hot tub itself. If the water is too acidic, then it can create skin irritation and premature corrosion. If the water is too alkaline, the scale buildup can occur and there may be other dangers to think about. This is why it is necessary to test your water for bromine or chlorine, pH, and alkalinity at least once or twice per week.
When a hot tub is balanced properly, you won’t need to worry about the quality of water your skin and the fixtures are exposed to on a regular basis. To create balance, you simply add the best hot tub chemicals to the water based on what the findings are from your testing.
Cleaning is also an important part of the hot tub ownership experience. Your skin will flake off within the hot tub, creating an organic source that bacterial life, mold, and mildew love to consume in the warm covered environment. Without regular cleaning, the organic growth in a hot tub can block filters, create flow issues, and even compromise the quality of the hot tub shell itself.
A full cleaning of the hot tub should happen 2-4 times per year, which includes completely draining the hot tub so all surfaces can be cleaned. Any time organic buildup is seen, cleaning is a good idea. The right chemicals for the job can help to make it a fast and painless process.
Hot Tub Chemicals Kill Germs
The reason why you want to have the best hot tub chemicals in stock at home is because the hot water will cause chemical reaction rates to increase. Two people in one spa can actually deplete the sanitizer chemicals that are in the water in just one use – 15 minutes or less. Without the sanitizer chemicals in place, microbial contaminants can begin to form immediately.
You have two options for sanitizer chemicals in hot tubs today: chlorine or bromine. Salt water hot tubs create natural sanitizer chemicals through the use of salt cells, but the process is still the same.
This is why the pH of the water is so important. The sanitizer chemicals are directly affected by the water’s pH and may not work as effectively if balance isn’t there. This is also why owning one of the best hot tub covers is essential, because free chlorine in particular can be quickly degraded by UV exposure.
Bromine is sometimes preferred over chlorine because it is more resilient to pH changes. It also self-destructs rather quickly and can be regenerated by chlorine, making it easier to maintain the overall cleanliness balance of the water.
What about Using Ozone to Clean My Hot Tub?
Some hot tubs today offer an ozonator within the design of the unit to purify the water it contains. Ozone gas is a powerful disinfectant, but has a short life span in this role. If you have a hot tub with this option, you must still use chlorine or bromine to keep your water safe from contaminants. Ozone just reduces the amount of chlorine or bromine that is necessary to get the job done.
Ultimately the goal of owning an ozonator is to oxidize the water. You can achieve the same results with the best hot tub chemicals reviewed here. Adding a large dose of chlorine, sometimes called a “shock,” will do the same thing that ozone does so impurities can be eliminated. Chlorine levels at 30 parts per million can even destroy algae growth.
When using hot tub chemicals, it is important to remember that a little bit will often go a long way. Hot tubs might hold 400-800 gallons of water, but that is a small volume of water when it comes to creating a chemical balance. Because fluctuations can happen quickly, it is important to regularly monitor the conditions of the water for best usage results.
Otherwise skin irritation, eye irritation, plaster pitting, corrosion, and other problems will eventually form.
What Are the Prices of the Best Hot Tub Chemicals?
Hot tub chemicals are generally pretty affordable, but they are a recurring cost that must be budgeted for on a monthly basis. The average monthly cost of chlorine or bromine is about $15. If this is your first hot tub chemical purchase, you may also wish to have distribution products that help you disperse the chemicals properly – these also tend to cost around $15, but some may be as high as $45.
If you’re using salt for your hot tub, then your average monthly cost is about $7. You’ll still want to have chlorine on-hand to make sure your water balance is where it should be at all times, especially when the months begin to grow colder.
Cleaning chemicals for the shell and interior of the tub are priced in the same range as the other chemicals for water balance, but generally only need to be purchased 1-3 times per year. Remember: you should not use household cleaners on a hot tub so that you can avoid foaming and performance issues.
What Do Our Reviews Have to Say?
If you’re struggling to keep your alkalinity or your pH levels down, then this is the hot tub chemical that can restore your balance. It lowers levels almost immediately and does it at a fraction of the price of other brand name products. It’s formulated specifically for hot tubs, so you won’t get the surface slime, sludge, or foaming that other chemical products sometimes provide. One dose is all that is necessary, even in salt water hot tubs.
If chlorine isn’t your thing when it comes to water balance, then bromine tablets are a viable second option. The only problem is that you need a distribution system in place for most hot tubs because bromine is typically sold in tablets. Instead of spending a small fortune on a floating chemical distribution pod, we recommend taking a look at this option instead. For the price of lunch somewhere, you can effectively maintain the water in your hot tub all season long.
This hot tub “stick” is an easy way to naturally balance and sanitize your water. It’s the only EPA-approved option for hot tubs that doesn’t include bromine or chlorine for sanitizing. It uses patented mineral bed technology instead to inhibit microorganism and bacteria growth within your hot tub. Just affix it to the side of the hot tub and it can provide you with up to 4 months of support. If you don’t like salt water systems and you’re tired of the chemical smell other cleaners use, then give this option a try. It’s affordable, it works and you won’t have to worry about chemical exposure levels.
This isn’t a complete hot tub chemical solution, but it can get the job done quickly if you’re in a hurry for a single treatment. Just drop the duck into the hot tub and it will begin to absorb the lotions, oils, cosmetics, and other organics that can form a scum line on the surface. It will even prevent scum line formation since it absorbs up to 40x its weight in contaminants. This naturally reduces filter clogging as well. For surface contamination issues, it’s tough to find something easier or more affordable than this product.
The best hot tub chemicals reviewed here will make your ongoing maintenance needs a lot easier. Make a small investment today and the time you’ll save will be worth the cost.
If you’re still in the market for a hot tub check our top-rated hot tub reviews here.