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Can You Use Bleach to Clean a Hot Tub?

At Master Spa Parts, we often receive the question, “Can you use bleach to clean a hot tub?” Of course, there are many varied answers to this question, and if we were speaking with you in person, we may ask what you are trying to achieve by using a bleach such as Clorox® in your spa or hot tub. If you are looking to disinfect your spa, we’re sorry to say that bleach has virtually no disinfecting abilities if chlorine is present in the water. To make matters even worse, bleach will likely throw off the pH of your water and lead to dry, itchy skin for users. So, what's the alternative?

The major issue with using bleach in a liquid chlorine form is that it is quick to dissolve and you would be better served by chlorine in granular form. This step-by-step hot tub cleaning guide will take you through the process of keeping your hot tub’s water clean without bleach.

How to Clean a Hot Tub… Without Bleach

Your hot tub should be an oasis of relaxation and a place to get away from the hectic pace of daily life. But, relaxation may be elusive if algae and bacteria have made their way into your hot tub’s water and plumbing. Here's what to do.

Instead of using liquid bleach, which is mostly ineffective in sterilizing your hot tub’s water, we would like to propose a few smart alternatives. At Master Spa Parts, we are absolutely in love with SpaBoss’ line of spa cleaning products. These products are offered for specific spa parts and purposes, such as cleaning your cartridges, de-scumming your spa, restoring an acrylic shell, sanitizing, and clarifying your spa. Unlike bleach, these chemicals are made specifically for your hot tub.

  1. Sanitize Your Hot Tub — The primary reason someone would want to use bleach in their hot tub is if the spa was out of use for a considerable period of time and now there are issues with fungal and bacterial growth. While liquid bleach works great on dry surfaces, once it hits the water it loses practically all of its effectiveness as a sanitizer. To properly sanitize your hot tub you will want to first clean out your jet lines by using a product such as Proline Jet Line Cleaner.
    This should eliminate buildup in your lines. But, if you still have issues with buildup in your hot tub, try SpaBoss Chlor-Aid. As a granular chlorine product, this “miracle in a bottle” will kill off algae and bacteria without disrupting your hot tub's pH levels. Once you try this product, you will soon understand why it gets such rave reviews in the Master Spa Parts store.
  2. Shock Hot Tub Water (the Right Way) — Another option is to use SpaBoss Shock, a product designed to keep contaminants from getting into your plumbing works. The bromine and chlorine sanitizers within SpaBoss Shock work exceptionally well at preventing organic buildup such as bacteria and algae.
  3. Descum Your Hot Tub — If your hot tub’s water becomes cloudy, funky smelling, or you notice a buildup of scum, SpaBoss Descummer can be a great help. This product features organic enzymes that will essentially gobble-up all those oily, scum-like contaminants that may have been missed by your bromine or chlorine sanitizer.
  4. Balance the pH in Your Hot Tub — Now there are a few different ways to go about balancing the pH in your water, but first you need to test it before adding any pH-balancing chemicals. To do this, you'll want a product such as AquaCheck 6-in-1 Spa Test Strips. These are incredibly easy to use. Simply dip a strip into the water as recommended, then use the color indicator on the package to determine the alkalinity of your hot tub water.
    To lower the pH of your hot tub’s water, you will want to use a product such as SpaBoss pH Minus. If your pH is already on the low side, use SpaBoss pH Plus, as it will raise your hot tub's pH.
  5. Never Skip Maintenance — Several times a week you should test and adjust your hot tub’s pH and air out the cover so it doesn’t accumulate bacteria and other growth. Every month the filters should be cleaned off to remove any buildup, then replace the filters when necessary. You should also fill your hot tub regularly so the waterline is above the jets (but not too high that water spills out when you enter the hot tub).

Boost Your Hot Tub Maintenance IQ

On the Master Spa Parts website there are a number of articles and guides on how to properly maintain your hot tub. These should keep you away from eyeing that bottle of bleach and instead give you more time to enjoy your hot tub. Check out the Master Spa Parts Maintenance Schedule and Chemical Guide to boost your hot tub maintenance IQ!