I was watching a phone-in self-care program on channel 102, a caller called in to find out about using Epsom salt in hot tub. The expert on the show gave a professional answer, which I feel the need to share on my page. So, if you have wondered whether you can put Epsom salt in your hot tub, you are on the right page. You would get the right information on this topic here.
What is Epsom salt?
Epsom salt which is otherwise called magnesium sulfate is a chemical compound that is made of oxygen, sulfur, and magnesium. The name Epsom was gotten from Epsom in Surrey that was discovered. Epsom salt isn’t the same as table salt. It is just given the name salt because of its chemical structure.
Can you put Epsom salt in hot tub?
The answer is No. it is widely known that having Epsom salts in the bathtubs can offer pain relief and better relaxation. A lot of people who know this are taking advantage of it. But it is not good to use Epsom salt in your hot tub. It is not the best idea. Avoid the use of Epsom salt in your hot tub.
Pros of using Epsom salt in a hot tub
Although it isn’t ideal to put Epsom salt in your hot tub, it still has its benefits if one still decides to sit in a hot tub filled with Epsom salt. These benefits are mostly about using the Epsom salt in plain water. These benefits include:
Relief from body aches and soreness:
When Epsom salt is added to plain water inside a hot tub, the water formed has the properties of giving quick relief to the body aches and muscle soreness. Again, sitting in Epsom salt in plain water will enable the skin to breathe in oxygen and magnesium which are the two things that Epsom salt delivers.
It helps reduce stress and enhance better sleep
You would always be stressed after the day’s work and magnesium is one important property that gives better sleep quality. So adding Epsom salt to plain water that is rich in this aspect will be very valuable. So the properties like magnesium and oxygen that will increase the quality of the plain water will help reduce this stress and offers quality sleep that was needed after being out of the tub.
Overcome the magnesium deficiency
If you are deficient in magnesium, then it can be overcome by soaking yourself in an Epsom water hot tub. This can help you in overcoming magnesium deficiency which is also important to the body. The body needs magnesium which is the fourth important chemical for the body. So if you are not getting it from your diet then sitting in Epsom salt hot tub might be helpful.
Cons of having Epsom salt bath
- Putting this chemical in chlorinated water and not plain water in your hot tub can bring damages.
- Once it damages your hot tub, it will reduce the durability
- It will change the pH of your water since it is acidic
- It becomes expensive to maintain your hot tub when you start using Epsom salt in your hot tub
- It will need a high temperature: when adding Epsom salt to a hot tub, the truth is that you would need to raise the temperature to at least 60oF (Fahrenheit) and one needs to keep maintain this naturally provide chlorine. If it falls below this degree, it becomes very difficult to provide chlorine.
How Epsom salt can ruin your hot tub
The truth is that Epsom salt which is magnesium sulfate is an alkaline compound. This means that it has acidic properties that will swiftly disrupt the pH balance and alkalinity of the water in the hot tub. With this reaction, the hot tub will have unbalanced water in it. This will lead to so many issues which include damages to your hot tub equipment like the seals, gaskets, metal parts, and plastic pieces. Another problem will be reduced sanitizer performance since the pH level of the hot tub isn’t stable.
Why Epsom salt can’t be used in the hot tub
To have or feel the full therapeutic effects, when using a regular bathtub, it is recommended to use 2 cups of Epsom salts. Now the average bathtub holds about 80 gallons of water but an average hot tub holds about 400 – 500 gallons. So if you need to get the same concentration that a bath will have, you need to apply about 10-12 cups of pure Epsom salts.
This means you will be adding so much solid to your hot tub. Another thing is that a bathtub can be drained easily and quickly, and the water can only be used once. But for the hot tub, the water can’t be drained as fast and easy as that of the bathtub. When this water of Epsom salt in the hot tub isn’t quickly drained, it leads to scale buildup on the surfaces of the hot tub and its equipment.
It has been recommended by the manufacturers of hot tubs that when the level of TDS (total dissolved solids) gets to 15500ppm or higher, the hot tub should be drained and refilled. Failure to do so may bring about a void with the hot tub warranty and the hot tub having cloudy water which is bad.
Going by the right measurement of Epsom salt for a hot tub which is about 10-12 cups, the total dissolved solids reading will be more than 1500ppm. This amount can be very risky for your hot tub. It isn’t only the hot tub heater that will be damaged from the scale buildup, even the jets, water lines tub surfaces, and pumps will also accumulate this scale if proper balance isn’t maintained too.
An alternative to Epsom salt for hot tub
Even with the known fact that adding Epsom salt to a hot tub can aid in soothing and healing of pain. But it’s no brainer to know that it isn’t advisable to put in your hot tub or bathtubs. Even when you see others pour Epsom salt in their bathtub, you shouldn’t put the same in your hot tub because it portends real dangers.
But you can go for an alternative to Epsom salts that will effectively improve the feel and smell of your water as well. So instead of pouring in tons of Epsom salts in your hot tub and you risking long-term damage to your plumbing, equipment, or tub, you could go for a safe alternative which is the hot aromatherapy products.
These are products that will give you the same benefits you would derive from using Epsom salts in your hot tub. Some of these products use only magnesium sulfate (which is Epsom salts) as their main ingredient. The outstanding thing about these products is that they have been originally formulated for hot tubs. So you just need a little of it to get the needed soothing effects on the body.
These products don’t naturally alter the chemistry of the hot tub water or even damage the hot tub surfaces, unlike Epsom salt. So, if you looking for a better option that will help you relieve stress, rejuvenate, breathe easier, detoxify and even boost your energy. Then going for these Epsom salts alternatives might just be your best bet.
How can hot tubs be made safe with Epsom salts?
The need to avoid the use of Epsom salts can’t be over-emphasized. But despite this warning, you might still want to go ahead with its usage, you should make sure you use it within the safe range. To make it safe you need to always add it to only plain water, drain and thoroughly clean the hot tub immediately after you are done with it. This is to help keep your hot tub safe from any damage in the long run.
How would Epsom salt harm your hot tub?
The three outstanding ways by which Epsom salt will harm the hot tubs are:
- It will upset the fragile water balance
- It will harm the equipment
- It will cause scale buildup on the hot tub surfaces
What kind of salt can you use in a hot tub?
The truth is that table salt, ice salt, and rock salt will dissolve easily and again, all form of salts has in them a good level of additives and impurities that can damage the electrode plates in your chlorinator. But if you want to go for anything salty, though they are not too good for the hot tub, but better than Epsom salts, you can try refined mineral salts or additive-free food-grade salts.
Does Epsom salt react with chlorine?
It will be a bad idea to use Epsom salts with a sanitizer like chlorine. This is because the chemical from Epsom salts reacts badly when it is mixed with chlorine. If you do this, you would be creating flash burns. So, it is good to avoid using Epsom salts all together to prevent high levels of salt that would be corrosive to your hot tub.
Can Epsom salts clog drains?
When you use Epsom salt in your hot tub and it partially dissolves, the remains will collate in the drain. When this happens, it will then mix with other debris and even strands of hair to cause major clogs. So it would be better to avoid its use. But if you noticed any clog in your drains, you need to do the following to remove the residue:
- Fill the tub with a good amount of hot water to submerge the uppermost jets by at least 2 inches.
- Then add about 2 cups of white vinegar to the water, you can then close the induction values (or you do it the manufacturer’s way if it was recommended).
- Make the jets to be on a high setting, then leave it on for about 15 minutes or until no more new debris enters the tub from the inner workings of the hot tub.
- Go ahead now, drain the water, wipe out any residue that is left in the tub. Fill the tub again with warm water now.
- Lastly, run the jets for another 15 minutes, drain, and then clean the inside of the tub as per normal cleaning routine. Make sure not to use any harsh abrasives that may damage the tub’s surface.
How long should you soak in your hot tub with Epsom salt
It is not healthy to soak in a hot tub water with Epsom salt for more than 20 minutes. But before sitting or soaking in an Epsom salt hot tub, do the following:
- Pour the Epsom salt into the hot tub
- Use your hand to stir the water to help dissolve the grains
Do you have to rinse off after an Epsom salt bath?
Well, if you decide to take an Epsom salt bath when you are out of the hot tub, don’t rinse it off to make the solution more effective.. You just dry off yourself with a towel and go to bed. But this is not advisable for those with circulatory problems, high blood pressure, heart, or kidney condition.
The side effects of Epsom salts baths
The side effects of Epsom bath include:
- Itchy skin
- Allergic reactions like rash and hives
- Skin infection
The fact that a thing gives some benefits doesn’t necessarily mean that it is good for you. Epsom salt added to a hot tub is one of such. You might be tempted to add Epsom salts to your hot tub to ease your pains or relieve stress. But you should be aware that it isn’t ideal for you.
Adding Epsom salts to your hot tub might come with a mirage of issues like throwing off the alkalinity of your water, makes your pH unbalanced, and even make your hot tub not sanitary enough. I’m sure the last thing you need is any skin reaction from soaking yourself in a hot tub. So, to avoid all these, desist from using Epsom salts in your hot tub.