Hot Tub Myth Vs. Fact

With hot tub ownership can come advice from many sources that may or may not be true. Some people may think they’ve found a shortcut to save time or money when caring for their spa, but following the advice of some of these myths can sometimes cause more harm than good.

MYTH: Chlorine and bromine sanitizers hurt the eyes.

Some people can definitely have sensitivities to either chlorine or bromine. Usually the small amount in hot tubs isn’t enough to trigger a reaction, but those particularly sensitive to sanitizers would be more likely to see skin irritation or itchiness instead of eye burning or watering. If you’re experiencing irritation in your eyes from being in or around your spa, test your chemicals to see where if the problem lies elsewhere - an out of balance pH or alkalinity level is most likely the culprit.

MYTH: With an ozone or UV system you don’t need to use chemicals.

UV sanitizers and ozonators are a great addition to your spa as they can help reduce the amount of chemicals you need to use: key word being reduce. These systems are designed to work together with your normal spa chemicals and sanitizer to create clean and clear water that requires less work and less chemicals to maintain. On their own without any spa chemicals, these systems aren't able to adequately sanitize and balance your chemical levels and should always be used in conjunction with a hot tub chemical maintenance routine to ensure clean, clear water.

MYTH: You can use pool chemicals in the hot tub, too.

This one is a definite no-no. Pool chemicals are not only designed to slowly dissolve in cold water specifically, they’re also much more concentrated because they’re meant to be used in a much larger body of water. Using pool chemicals in the hot spa water will quickly disrupt your chemical balance and cause quite a few water issues that usually results in needing to completely change your water and start from a fresh fill.

MYTH: You can just put ordinary bath salts and essential oils in the spa.

Aromatherapy can definitely elevate your relaxation and enhance your spa soaking experience. To add aromatherapy to your hot tub though, always make sure to use products specifically designed for use in hot tubs.

Ordinary bath salts and soaks are designed to be used in water that is immediately drained and discarded after the bath. With your hot tub, whatever products you add in to the water will be sticking around until your next full water change (almost 3-4 months!) so you’ll need something formulated with that in mind. Using normal bath soaks and salts can quickly alter your pH and chemical levels, and in a worst case scenario depending on what ingredients are in these products, could even have a negative chemical reaction with your normal spa chemicals and cause skin irritation, rashes or burns. Definitely something to avoid at all costs! Hot tub aromatherapy products are specifically designed and tested for use in hot tub water to ensure safety and water chemical stability.

Essential oils are also becoming an increasingly popular addition to enhance baths, but again these are not designed to be continuously added to your hot tub water. The oils quickly build up on hot tub parts and coat your filters in oil residue so they are rendered ineffective at cleaning your water. Even just a drop here or there can cause substantial water issues since these oils are so highly concentrated. Quite a few manufacturers are now creating natural aromatherapy products specifically designed for your hot tub if you're looking for a way to use these safely.

MYTH: Hot tubs need constant cleaning and maintenance.

When you first get a hot tub, it can be quite daunting to see all the steps and chemical care required to keep your water clean and clear. After starting to use your hot tub for a few months though, you’ll quickly become a pro at maintaining your hot tub and find that you’re able to get your maintenance completed quickly - usually just a few minutes after a soak to add chemicals and maybe 15-20 minutes of testing and cleaning on weekends. The most lengthy maintenance will be when you drain and refill your hot tub with fresh water, but that’s usually only done about 3-4 times a year. As long as you’re keeping up with your chemicals, testing the water regularly, and cleaning your filters, you’ll find the hot tub maintains clean and clear water without too much fuss.

MYTH: Bleach and household cleaners work great to clean your spa.

No, no and one more no for those in the back! Keep all household cleaning agents and specifically bleach far, far away from your hot tub. These are not meant to be used on the materials in your spa and can rapidly cause permanent wear and damage to your hot tub: from the smooth acrylic surface (which is usually not reparable or replaceable once damaged) or the coating on your thermal cover to even the plastic your jets are made of. Even in the most mild cases, these chemicals will leave a residue on your spa that will remain after cleaning and cause foamy, bubbly and unstable water. Keep the household cleaners and bleach away from your hot tub and stick to products specifically designed for spa use.

MYTH: Cleaning your filters in the dishwasher is effective and saves time.

Throwing spa filters in the dishwasher seems to be quite a common practice, but it’s actually quite terrible for your filters. The high heat and intense pressure of the water in the dishwasher quickly deteriorates the delicate filtration materials and renders them ineffective quite rapidly, not to mention it can even warp the overall shape of the filters. To keep your filters working efficiently, just rinse them off with your garden hose about once a week and do a chemical soak in a bucket about once a month - not too time consuming and you’ll be greatly extending the length of time before you need to buy replacement filters.

Spazazz Wellness Aromatherapy Peppermint Eucalyptus

EcoOne Filter Cleaner

Sani Marc Klean Multi Cleaning Vinyl Spray

Enjoy the refreshing, uplifting scent of peppermint and eucalyptus with aromatherapy designed for hot tubs. Keep your filter working in peak efficiency by doing a chemical cleaning soak about once a month. Clean your insulated vinyl cover using a biodegradable cleanser specifically made for hot tub use.

Overall, if you stick to using products specifically made for spas and follow a solid maintenance routine, your hot tub will continue to run smoothly with clean and beautifully clear water for years to come.