Can You Run a Hot Tub Without Chemicals? - Backyard Boss
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Can You Run a Hot Tub Without Chemicals?

If you have a spa or hot tub, you should always make sure that the hot tub water is clean and safe, no matter what type you have, before anyone gets in to use it. Ensuring the safety of your hot tub water should be your number one priority. Bacteria and mold can get into the water easily and this can cause serious health problems for people who come into contact with it. Toxic algae can build up and can get into your body if a hot tub isn’t properly sanitized. 

People often wonder if they can run their hot tub without chemicals and still have it be safe. The truth is that all hot tubs need chemicals in order to ward off the harmful bacteria that can get into the spa. Without them, your hot tub could become very dangerous. 

CloseUp of Woman in Hot Tub
Image credits: Thomas Hawk via Creative Commons

Why Do You Need Hot Tub Chemicals? 

Usually, when people talk about hot tub chemicals, they are referring to chlorine levels. People want to keep chlorinated water out of the tub because it can be harsh on the skin, especially sensitive skin, and isn’t as conducive to a relaxing experience. However, chlorine is one of the most effective hot tub chemicals for killing bacteria. 

Because your hot tub water is at a warmer temperature, it is even more at risk of becoming an environment for bacteria and other harmful organisms. Chlorinated water helps kill these organisms before they have a chance to get into the water and onto your body. While chlorine is more or less necessary for any hot tub, there are ways you can use fewer hot tub chemicals and make your spa experience much more comfortable and relaxing. 

How to Use Less Chlorine  

Clean Hot Tub Filters Often 

One of the best ways to use less chlorine in your hot tub is to clean filters very frequently. Your filters catch all the things that end up in the hot tub that can turn into toxic algae. Pine needles, twigs, and even oils from peoples’ skin get removed through the filters and if you clean them regularly, they will be more efficient. 

Clean all of your filters at least twice a month and preferably more often than even that. Take them out and soak them in soapy water and filter cleaner for at least an hour, then rinse them off with a hose and put them back in the spa. This will help keep the filter clean and remove harmful organisms more effectively. 

Use a UV Filter 

UV filters use UV light to sanitize the water as it runs through the spa. They can help reduce the amount of chlorine you need to use in your hot tub and can be installed when the spa is being built. However, it should be noted that they are very expensive and are usually much more difficult to install after the tub has been put in. 

Indoor Hot Tub
Image credits: belectrified via Creative Commons

Drain the Hot Tub Frequently 

If you drain the water in your hot tub at least once a month, you can help prevent the growth of harmful algae and bacteria. Most people don’t drain their hot tub more than a few times a year and instead use chlorine to keep the water clean and sanitized. However, if you want to use less chlorine overall, you can drain the tub more frequently. 

Keep the Water Balanced 

pH balance is incredibly important when it comes to the water in your hot tub. Balanced water can help keep the spa sanitized and clean all year-round. The right pH balance for your hot tub is between 7.2 and 7.5. Use test strips and a water sample to determine the balance of your water and add water balance chemicals accordingly. 

Stone Hot Tub
Image credits: Kirt Edblom via Creative Commons

Shower Before Getting in the Hot Tub 

You should always shower before getting in your hot tub. This will help ensure that biofilms, dead skin cells, and body oils don’t settle on the surface of the clean water, which can contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria and dirty water. Many people forget this step and instead shower after because they want to get the chlorine smell off. If you use less chlorine, this will be less of an issue. 

Keep Your Hot Tub Sanitary No Matter What 

The important thing with any hot tub is to keep the spa water as sanitary as possible. Any time you have warm water that sits in one place and can get stagnant, you can end up with bacteria and algae that is harmful to people and animals. If you want to use less chlorine, making sure that you keep up on the above steps can help keep you, your family, and friends safe.