While it is not possible to safely run a hot tub without any chemicals, there are many ways to reduce the amount of hot tub chemicals that you do use. Here’s a few of the best.

Keep Your Water Sanitized & Balanced

The best way to reduce your hot tub’s chemical usage is to make sure that its water is well balanced and properly sanitized. Well balanced water not only makes for a more comfortable bathing experience, it also helps your sanitizer (bromine or chlorine) work at peak efficiency. The more efficiently your sanitizer is working, the less of it will be needed to keep the water clean and clear.

Only Use The Essentials

Another great way to reduce your hot tub’s chemical usage is to only use the chemicals that you absolutely need. While there are a wide variety of different chemicals available for use in hot tubs, balancing and sanitizing chemicals are the only absolutely necessary ones. Other chemicals like anti-foam and clarifiers are simply short-term solutions to water quality issues that can be better solved through proper maintenance and water balance.

If your hot tub is experiencing consistent issues with foam, water clarity, or any other water quality issue, we recommend taking your water in for a professional water test instead of using these “bandaid solution” chemicals on a consistent basis.

Ozone & UV Light Sanitation

Having an Ozone and/or UV light sanitation system is a helpful way to reduce chemical usage. Ozone and UV help breakdown organic material to assist the bromine or chlorine you already have in your hot tub, making it last longer so you do not have to add as much. Hydropool, for example, has both Ozone and UV light as a standard or available feature in their hot tubs. Not all hot tubs will have one of these as an option, but some manufactures can add Ozone sanitation afterwards.

Run Your Filtration System 24 Hours Per Day

Although it is overlooked by many hot tub owners, the filtration system is perhaps the most important component of a hot tub. Without a filter hot tub water would quickly fill with contaminants and make the hot tub unsafe to use. These contaminants come from both outside sources (leaves from trees, dust in the air) and from the bathers using the hot tub (sunscreen, makeup, deodorant, etc).

To combat this, hot tubs are equipped with a filtration system. These systems work by pumping the hot tub’s water through a microfilter, which traps contaminants and allows them to be easily removed from the hot tub water. By keeping the water moving, the filtration system also evenly distributes your sanitizer in the hot tub water. Without that consistent movement, sanitizer levels in the water will become uneven. This allows to bacteria grow in the areas with low sanitizer levels. This bacteria growth then quickly uses up the free sanitizer in the rest of the water. Over time this will lead to increased sanitizer use as well as the potential for cloudy water and algae growth.

In an effort to lower their hot tubs running costs, many hot tub owners set their filtration systems to run for a very short amount of time. While this will lower their energy costs, it will also negatively their hot tub’s water quality and chemical usage. Running your filtration system for 24 hours per day will help to reduce your hot tub’s chemical usage and cost, while also improving your water quality.

Keep Your Filters Clean

If you don’t regularly clean your hot tub filters, you’re likely using more sanitizer than you need to.

Sanitizing chemicals are designed to attack organic materials; which can be bacteria in the water or it can be dirt and debris caught in your filter. The more sanitizer that gets used up fighting dirt and debris caught in your filter, the less is available to kill bacteria and the more you will need to add to keep the water clean and clear.

To maximize the efficiency of your sanitizing chemicals simply follow this standard hot tub filter maintenance schedule:

  • Rinse the filter every 1-2 weeks in your sink or with a garden hose.
  • Soak the filter in a hot tub filter cleaning solution every 3-4 months (regular cleaners will cause the water to become foamy).
  • Replace the filter every 12-16 months, depending on how much the hot tub is used.

Get Rid Of Biofilm

Biofilm is a general term given to any group of bacteria and other micro-organisms that stick themselves to a surface which is in regular contact with water. As they build up, these micro-organisms cover themselves in a protective layer of slime that is resistant to sanitizing chemicals. Over time biofilm will build up in the plumbing of any hot tub. This greatly increases the amount of sanitizer your hot tub needs as it constantly fights to remove the biofilm without success.

To remove biofilm buildup in your hot tub, simply add a specialized hot tub plumbing cleaner to the water before your drain and refill the hot tub. For exact instructions about how to use these cleaners, talk to one of our hot tub water care experts.

Shower Before Using The Hot Tub

One thing that many hot tub owners don’t consider is how they affect the balance and quality of their hot tub water. Your skin has quite a lot of extra particles sitting on it at any given time. Dead skin cells, lotions, deodorant, makeup and bacteria are all commonly found on the average person’s skin. Showering before getting into your hot tub helps to remove the majority of these extra particles so that they’re not added into your hot tub water.

Keeping these particles out of your hot tub water by having a quick shower before you get in will help to keep your water balanced; reducing the amount of sanitizing and balancing chemicals that you need to add to the water.

Wrapping Up

Whether you’re looking for a more “natural” bathing experience, or simply want to reduce your hot tub chemical costs, following these tips can help you run your hot tub safely and effectively while using less chemicals than ever before!

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