What Chemicals Do I Need For My Hot Tub? 7 Spa Chemicals You Must Have

What Chemicals Do I Need For My Hot Tub?

While trying to buy an alkalinity adjustment chemical, I saw two folks talking about pH, alkalinity, etc. ‘What chemicals do I need for my hot tub?’, one asked the other. I could see the frustration in his face. So, I decided to join the conversation to see if I could take away the frustration from his face. Happily, I did!

The chemicals needed for a hot tub are: sequestering agent/metal remover, sanitizers, alkalinity adjuster, pH adjuster, calcium adjuster, oxidizing shock, and defoamers. If you are wondering the right chemicals you need for your tub, you might want to check the recommendations in this post.

What are hot tub chemicals?

These are hot tub products that should be part of your hot tub regular care. These chemicals serve a different purpose like removing heavy metals from the water, keeping the water clean, or maybe helping to adjust the water pH or its alkalinity.

The different chemicals you need for your hot tub

There are some chemicals that you must incorporate into your hot care routine to help keep your hot tub stable and clean. You wouldn’t want to start having issues after a dip or treating negative effects on your body after a soak. So you need to keep applying some chemicals as part of hot tub water care. The different chemicals you will need are the following:

Sequestering Agent: these will be getting products that will aid in taking off heavy metals or calcium from your water

Sanitizers: you need chemicals that will keep your hot tub balanced and safe for your usage like bromine and chlorine

The Defoamers: these are products that will help take away foamy water from your hot tub. These are foams that came from your body lotions, body oils, and your cosmetics.

Calcium Adjuster: you need products that will help you increase or reduce calcium hardness. It is good to always test the calcium hardness first before use.

pH Adjusting Chemicals: your hot tub will need products that will help in pH increasing and decreasing. Your hot tubs don’t need to be acidic because of the pH level of the water. You need it to be neutral so you can sit conveniently in it. Generally, you need to avoid low or high pH levels because of its side effects. Thus, there is a need for pH adjustment chemicals.

Oxidizing shock: Your hot tubs will also need chemicals like shocking agents to help release oxygen into your water. Shocking the water will help keep your hot tub free from bacteria and chloramines.

Best hot tub chemical products

These are chemical products you can use to have top benefits from using them. These chemical products were chosen from customer ratings. So you should have the same satisfaction the previous buyers had as well.

Frog ease floating sanitizing system

This is a sanitizing system that is produced to work in hot tubs that contain up to 600 gallons of water. This system is self-regulating and kills bacteria in two ways, like minerals or a smart color chlorine application. In its pack, you will have a floating frog, a start shock treatment, 3 cartridge refills as well as testing strips. It is very convenient to use and works perfectly for small hot tubs

Leisure Time brominating / chlorinating granules

Use the bromine-based for bromine sanitizing system and chlorine-based for chlorine sanitizing systems in hot tubs. The main purpose of this product is to sanitize your water and keep it clean always. It dissolves very fast in water to help combat your hot tub odors, algae, and bacteria. If you need to shock your hot tub, this is one of the best products to use. It is very easy to measure and use, lasts longer in the water, and great for regular maintenance of your hot tub.

Spaguard brominating concentrate

This is a product that is super good for both daily and weekly use for your hot tub water. It comes in a granulated form that gets dissolves very fast in the water, and therefore, tackles bacteria quickly on contact. It offers pH neutral which means that it will affect both your pH levels and your alkalinity levels. You will get the best when you use it regularly. The good things about Spaguard brominating concentrate are that it lasts longer, easy to measure, and keeps the water very clear. This product can be used for both bromine and chlorine systems.

EcoOne hot tub chemical maintenance and supply kit

The EcoOne is a well-known brand that uses natural ingredients with low chemical levels to keep the hot tub clean. This is a 3-month starter kit that comes with all you need to take care of your hot tub. In this kit, you would find test strips, filter cleanser, sock sanitizer tablets, filter cleanser, and water conditioner.

This product will help your filter perform effectively. It Is designed to work perfectly on sensitive skin and skin-friendly to all users. You would enjoy it as it is foam controlling, gives crystal clear water, and enable filters to work perfectly. So even if you have skin sensitivities or you just want a low chemical exposure, this is the kit to grab for your filters and hot tub water.

Chemicals to put in your hot tub for the first time

If you are using your hot tub for the first time, I would recommend using all-in-one starter kit to make things easier for you. But before you do, you need to know whether you like chlorine-based sanitizing system or bromine-based system. With that in mind you would know the right products to go for. You can read about bromine and chlorine systems here to know the one that is best for you.

Now, when you have gotten your chemicals, the right time to add them to your hot tub is when your water is at 30 degrees Celsius. The essence is to aid the chemicals to dissolve and incorporate better into the water

In what order do I add chemicals to my hot tub?

If you are using either bromine or chlorine products, you can add them directly to your water. But for bromine tablets, you should place them in the floating system. Wait for about 30 minutes before testing the water with the test strips to ascertain its level. If you need to add more then it should be one-half ounce at a time till you have a good level which should be between 3-5ppm.

Can I use my hot tub without chemicals?

You cannot run a hot tub without the use of chemicals because of their benefits to you and your hot tub. However, you can run it without having the effects of harsh chemicals with the help of silk balance. To use this silk balance effectively, you must first drain your hot tub, then flush out the pipes using clean start. So do remember this when you are switching from your existing water to silk balance, especially when it is your first time.

How do you make your hot tub chemical-free?

The two main chemicals that would always make you know there are chemicals in your hot tub water are bromine and chlorine. But you still have to look for a product that will kill the bacteria in your hot tub. You can try out SpaFrog. This is more like a system than a chemical. It will take care of the disease-causing bacteria without releasing a strong or choking smell.

Are chemicals in the hot tub safe?

The essence of using chemicals in hot tub, especially sanitizers, is to kill bacteria and keep your hot tub safe. So, you need chemicals like chlorine or bromine products. However, these chemicals are not safe when the level is high. They are not the healthiest on the skin especially when they are applied in a higher volume. So, they might be effective but not necessarily safe.

Are bad tub chemicals bad for you?

If you don’t properly use your chemicals as recommended, you might be having it bad with hot tub chemicals. If there are under use, your hot tub can harbor bacteria and give you skin rashes and other infections. Again, if they are highly used then you would be facing issues like itchy skin, difficulty in breathing, and nose irritation. Any hot tub water that has turned green, murky, or doesn’t just smell right, you just need to avoid it.

Can hot tub chemicals make you sick?

Yes, you can react negatively to chemicals that you might use for your hot tub. You can be allergic to your hot tub water. So you need to be careful to avoid allergic reactions.

How long can a hot tub be safe without chemicals?

As stated earlier, you need chemicals in your water before use. But your hot tub can still be safe for a while without chemicals. You can leave your hot tub between 20 minutes to 24 hours before you apply your chemicals and it will still be safe. But to be on the safer side you should apply your chemicals before sitting in. Again, be sure your chemicals have dissolved to a safe level before taking a dip. This is because if you let in yourself too early, may end up having skin irritation.

What happens if you don’t put chemicals in your hot tub?

Well, if you don’t add chemicals like sanitizers to your hot tub, you are leaving room for the easy multiplication of bacteria.. This will now make the hot tub unsafe for use. So you need chemicals to balance the water. Then you would have a more comfortable soaking experience and of course, the lifespan of your hot tub will be elongated too.

How often should you add chemicals to your hot tub?

You will need to add each chemical to your hot tub water one at a time. Remember never to mix them to avoid dangerous chemical reactions. You can set your hot tub filter cycle for at least 3-6 hours a day. For digester products, use them according to the label instructions.

How to store your hot tub chemicals

One thing is getting your hot tub chemicals, another is storing them properly so that they can still remain effective. You can do the following to keep them safe:

  • Keep them dry and cool, remember that they easily dissolve in water. So, keep them away from wetness or water.
  • Store them in a container on a cabinet, maybe a waterproof cabinet that has shelves.
  • You can as well leave them in their packs, in case you might always want to refer to the producer’s directions.
  • Please keep all of them away from the reach of your kids.
  • Don’t also expose it to sun or heat, a cool place is preferable.


The truth is that you need chemicals in your hot tub for different reasons. To have that comfortable soak without issues, you need to have some chemicals in your hot tub. Never forget to use only the recommended dosage as stated in your manual. It can only be safe if you use it as you should.

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