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How to Put Chemicals in Your Hot Tub

Confused about hot tub chemicals? Every hot tub user will need to have a list of spa treatment chemicals on hand to maintain their tub. For a description and information on how to apply them- look no further.

Do I need to put chemicals in my tub?

Yes. Every Hot Tub, or even swimming pool, requires sanitizers and cleaning to remain clean, clear and safe for bathers.

What are the most commonly used hot tub chemicals?

  • Test Strips - At bare minimum, every hot tub owner should have test strips for maintaining PH and sanitizer levels. Luckily, the AquaChek 6 in1 test strips, linked below, can help you regulate both categories, but it is important to know that they are often sold separately.

  • Sanitizers Chlorine - Granular chlorine is a fast dissolving, inexpensive sanitizer. The price point of Chlorine is often its best feature, as it takes more effort to maintain due to its reaction with organic material. Combining with either ammonia or nitrogen can cause the typical “pool smell,” an indication that a shock treatment is needed for the now inactive Chlorine to disinfect the water.

  • Bromine - While often more expensive and it is more productive at smaller amounts than Chlorine.  Also be aware you will lkely need to use a larger amount of bromine, but because you don't need to use it as often it is possible the cost might be the same.

  • Spa Shock - Shock is an oxidizer that eliminates organic matter from your hot tub. This organic matter can be anything from human remnants (skin, hair, fluids) to microscopic bits of leaves and grass. Using spa shock weekly, or after each use can eliminate this contamination; and help keep the spa water crystal clear and sanitizers fully functioning.

  • PH Balancers - When your test strips come back high or low on the PH scale, you must use a PH balancer to keep the water safe and comfortable for your bathers. A neutral PH also reduces cloudiness, scale formation and increases the performance and life span of your spa. A low PH can be corrected with our PH plus, and a high PH can be corrected with our PH minus products, both linked below.

There you have it – your basic hot tub chemical kit. However, there are a few more products you may want to have on hand for when a problem pops up, such as calcium increaser, clarifiers, cartridge and spa cleaner and defoamers. If you have any questions about a reaction you see in your tub, call your tub supplier for help, or follow a page in our guide.

How to apply hot tub chemicals: a step by step guide.

Let’s get into adding the chemicals to your spa. It is very important that you follow these rules when applying- some of them are for not only efficiency but safety as well. When added correctly, your spa’s chemical toolkit is very safe for you and your bathers, but remember they are chemicals and should be added according to this guide, and the instructions on the packaging.

  1. Remove the Hot Tub Cover.

    It is crucial that the cover is left open while applying chemicals. When chemicals like spa shock and chlorine are added to water, they release gas into the air. This process is called oxidation. Leave the cover off 10-15 minutes after chemical application.

  2. Turn on the Hot Tub, but Turn Off any Air Jets.

    Switch on your spa when applying. Your tub’s pump system will circulate the chemicals on its own, and you want them to be well mixed!

    However, the massage jets in your tub function by a combination of air and water to create the telltale bubbles of the spa. These must be turned off when applying chemicals as certain types will not work to their best ability when exposed to this air spray.

  3. Use Test Strips

    Other than regular sanitation, understanding what the hot tub needs that day in chemical application is the job of the test strips. Test your water with the end of a test strip to see the PH, sanitizer levels and alkalinity before adding them.

  4. Pre-Measure Chemicals Safely

    Next pre-measure your chemicals according to the packaging. You should wear a pair of rubber gloves when measuring and applying to protect your skin. You may also choose to wear a mask.

  5. Apply Chemicals

    It’s easy – simply sprinkle the chemical over the water. Wait 15 minutes, as mentioned, for the chemicals to breathe and circulate around the tub before entering, or closing up the tub.

    If you’re new to spa ownership, or need to top-up some of your chemical supply, you can find links for a range of these products listed below!