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Hot Tub Chemicals 101 - Ultimate Guide for Beginners

Hot tub installed in a backyard on a patio.

If you have a hot tub, you'll be interested in learning more about the hot tub chemicals you should use when cleaning it.

The following guide is suitable for beginners, and we'll start by looking into why hot tub maintenance is so important.

The Importance of Hot Tub Maintenance

Hot tubs are a wonderful and relaxing place to spend time in, but they require some maintenance and care to ensure a safe environment. You clean the floor, brush out the filter and change the water regularly.

But, why?

It's because, like with any major investment in your home, you have to maintain your hot tub for it to work properly. Not to mention that any water, let alone warm water, is generally a breeding ground for bacteria! But with the right water care products and approach to maintenance, you can avoid any issues.

Hot tub maintenance is necessary because it reduces the number of bacteria and other microorganisms that can get inside your hot tub and make you ill.

The chemicals, along with regular cleaning, help to prevent this from happening. You'll be able to spend time in your hot tub more often, and you'll feel better when you do.

You should familiarize yourself with a few hot tub chemicals before beginning any maintenance process.

Your Complete Guide to Hot Tub Chemicals

Preparation Work First

Preparing your hot tub for maintenance work is crucial because you need to clean the filter first and then clean the interior, which can require different chemicals. If you haven't already prepared your hot tub for maintenance, you might need to do so before it's time to clean it up.

First things first, you'll need to brush out the filter; this is something you should do regularly, especially if you've been away on vacation or haven't had time to clean up your hot tub recently. Cleaning up will require different chemicals and work, so get this done first.

Now that you have the filter cleaned out, it's time to test the water in your hot tub. You can do this using a test strip or test kit from your local hot tub supply store. The results from your test will indicate the areas that must be treated in order to balance the water, including pH, chlorine and alkalinity.

Once you've completed both of these preparation steps, it's time to move on to cleaning up properly.

Some of the hot tub chemicals you can use when cleaning your hot tub include:

1. Biguanides

This is a non-chlorine alternative, and it is suitable for cleaning your hot tub. It is a chemical that you can add to your hot tub, and it will help remove all of the dirt and grime.

It will also kill any bacteria inside your hot tub and stop the growth of any new one. You'll need to leave it in for at least one hour before removing it, so you should make sure you get this done first.

2. Dechlorinators

Dechlorinators are hot tub chemicals that reduce the amount of chlorine present in your hot tub. You'll want to make sure that your hot tub is dechlorinated at least every two weeks.

You can do this by adding a de-chlorinator to the water after you've removed the filter and before you begin your cleaning process.

Dechlorinators work well on different types of hot tubs, and they're not harmful to humans, which is good because some of them can cause skin irritation. Chlorine is harmful to people's skin, so this can quickly become an issue.

3. Bromine

This is a chemical that you can use to dechlorinate your hot tub. You'll need to add it to the water after you've taken the filter out, then add a few drops of bromine drops.

You should let this sit for around ten minutes before removing the bromine. It isn't harmful in any circumstance, and you should not be affected while it's in your hot tub.

4. Chlorine

Chlorine is one of the most common hot tub chemicals you use when cleaning your hot tub. You can use chlorine tablets or sticks to kill bacteria and other microorganisms that can be found inside your hot tub.

This prevents them from spreading to other people and making them sick, but it's also vital for you because it prevents your skin from becoming irritated by these microorganisms. It will also help to keep your hot tub sanitized.

Common Hot Tub Water Issues

We'll now look into common hot water tub issues and how you can solve them using different chemicals.

1. Cloudy Water

The most probable cause of cloudy water is a dirty filter. If your filter is dirty, you should clean it to prevent cloudiness in your water. You can do this by removing the filter and cleaning it with a brush and water from the garden hose.

To take your filter cleaning a step further, replace the current filter with a spare. Grab a bucket of water and add a filter cleaning solution from your local spa supply store.

Once properly mixed according to the instructions for the filter cleaner, add your filter to the bucket and allow it to soak for the recommended time. Once the time is up, give it a good rinse and brush, then place back into your spa.

2. Poor Water Circulation

A dirty filter could cause poor circulation or it could be something else entirely. You can learn more about this issue by contacting a professional to get your hot tub checked out.

3. Odour Inside the Hot Tub

We've already mentioned the possibility that your filter is dirty, but there may be some other issues with your water. If you smell a strong odor when you're in your hot tub, it could be caused by microorganisms living in your water and beginning to multiply.

Basic Hot Tub Maintenance Schedule

This is a basic schedule of how often you should clean your hot tub and check the hot tub chemicals inside. 

Before Each Use

  • Always check the water first. If there's anything wrong with your water, you should address it before you start taking a dip. For example, if you notice an odor or a hint of a foul smell, you'll want to get the water right before you start using the hot tub.
  • Always check the filter. If it smells particularly foul or if it looks black and dirty when it comes out of your hot tub, you'll need to clean it up.

After Each Use

  • Add sanitizer to help combat the bacteria.
  • Wipe down your hot tub cover with a rag and warm water.
  • Adjust the temperature as needed and turn off all the jets.
  • Test the water using a test strip or kit the next day and treat with water care products as needed.

Once a Month

  • Remove the spa filter and ensure it is thoroughly cleaned.
  • Check your hot tub for any unusual smells that are lingering around. If you notice any odours, you'll want to address them immediately.
  • Clean your hot tub cover. You should be able to do this with a rag, warm water and cover cleaner.

Every Three to Four Months

  • Drain the spa, clean the interior and refill with fresh water.
  • Check the integrity of your spa installation, ensuring that the foundation is sound and level.

Every Year

  • The spa should be checked by a professional annually. They will look at the plumbing and make sure that it operates properly.
  • Check the water temperature and make sure that everything is running properly. If there's anything wrong with your hot tub, you'll want to address it before you start using it again.
  • Replace the filter.

Shop Hot Tub Chemicals in Edmonton Today

For more information about cleaning chemicals, contact us today at Sundance Spas of Edmonton for guidance, advice, help to find the right hot tub chemicals, or even book a professional service!

We can help you discover the best hot tub chemicals for your situation. We offer the best selection of hot tub chemicals in Edmonton, and we'll be able to answer any of your questions.

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WITH A SUNDANCE® SPA

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