what chemicals do you need for a hot tub

Performing routine maintenance on your hot tub is the best way to ensure your water will be crystal clear every time you hop in. Nothing is worse than getting excited for a soak only to realize that your water smells rotten.

Even if you have a high-tech hot tub with the latest and greatest ozone system, you’ll still need to use chemicals routinely.

Come dive in with us as we explore the types of chemicals you’ll be needing in order to keep your hot tub water clean.

What Chemicals Are Needed For A Hot Tub?

To adjust your hot tub chemistry, you can use a variety of spa chemicals. However, it’s important that you get the right spa chemicals for your needs so you can limit skin irritation and cloudy water.

pH Adjusters

You should have a pH increaser and a pH decreaser to keep your hot tub’s pH in check.

As both of the names suggests, the one you use depends on whether you need your hot tub water pH increased or decreased.

pH indicates how basic or acidic your hot tub water is.

For a safe soak, you want your water to be neutral.

Non-Chlorine Shock

Non-chlorine shock is meant to release oxygen into the hot tub water, serving a very similar purpose to regular chlorine. The reason one might shock the water is to increase the chlorine levels for a short period. By shocking your hot tub, you can get rid of harmful bacteria and chloramines.


After some time, your hot tub water will collect bacteria and germs. These come from the environment, as well as people getting in and out of the water. You can keep your water safe and balanced with a hot tub sanitiser. Most people either use bromine or chlorine.

Some hot tub companies, such as Master Spas, recommend using sodium dichlor granules in hot tubs, as they dissolve much faster.

Calcium Hardness

You’ll want to check the calcium hardness of your hot tub water. You can check how much calcium and magnesium are in the water by getting a calcium hardness reading. If these elements are out of balance, you could get cloudy water. If you continue letting it go, the calcium hardness could result in scale build-up, which can negatively affect your hot tub components in the long run.

Sequestering Agent

To rid heavy metals and calcium in the hot tub water, you can use a sequestering agent. Having too many metals in the hot tub water makes it turn different colors, like green, orange, red, or brown.

Best Hot Tub Chemicals For Maintenance

While there are many great hot tub chemicals out there, we’re going to give you our top three to keep your hot tub water fresh and clean at all times.

Leisure Time Bright and Clear

So many hot tub owners boast about Leisure Time Bright and Clear. This unique formula is great for any kind of sanitizer and works specifically for hot water.

Leisure Time Bright and Clear suspends unwanted organic contaminants by trapping them together so you can easily remove them with the hot tub filter.

Clorox XtraBlue

Clorox is a household name, though the company also makes some of the best hot tub chemicals on the market.

Clorox XtraBlue is one of the top picks for hot tub sanitizers, as this six-in-one formula removes contaminants, treats algae, shocks your hot tub, sanitizers your hot tub, and reduces eye and skin irritation.

SpaGuard Enhanced Spa Shock

If you want to super-chlorinate your hot tub and remove unpleasant odors or contaminants, then you should check out SpaGuard Enhanced Shock. One of the best things about this product is that you can get back in your hot tub in as little as 15 minutes after using it!

With most shock treatments, you have to wait about an hour, and no one wants anything to interrupt their hot tub soaking time!

Hot Tub Start-Up Chemicals

When starting your hot tub up, you must first test your water with a spa test kit to get the right reading on your water. Using test strips, you can see how just how much calcium hardness, pH, alkalinity, and chlorine your hot tub has.

The four main chemicals that you should have when starting up your hot tub include:

  • Chlorine granules
  • Sodium-dichlor
  • a pH decreaser
  • a pH increaser

It’s important to store hot tub chemicals properly for two reasons. The first is so that they remain in good condition, and the second is so that you have easy access to them. If it requires a ton of effort to access your hot tub chemicals, you’ll be less likely to perform your routine hot tub maintenance.

It’s best to pick a container or cabinet that sits off the ground. If you have children or pets, you should also ensure that your hot tub chemicals are locked up. We recommend purchasing a waterproof outdoor cabinet or container that fits with the overall aesthetic of your backyard.

Ensuring your hot tub chemicals remain cool and dry is crucial. You don’t want your hot tub chemicals to mix with other products or get wet. If you live in a hotter environment, you may consider creating a space for spa chemical storage in a cooler space, such as a garage.

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