Hot Tub Care Guide

June 22, 2021
6 min read

The ultimate guide to hot tub care

You know how generally in life you have to put in a bit of graft to unlock the relaxing safe haven? Well, hot tubs are no different. Hot tubs require a lot of maintenance so that they don’t become a petri dish for bacteria and other forms of contaminants (which is the last thing you want when you’re having a relaxing soak!)

In such a warm environment, bacteria can flourish and this is why sanitisation is crucial to keeping your tub water clean, safe and enjoyable for you and any other guests.

We understand that you might not even know where to start when it comes to sanitising your hot tub and this is why we have put together a helpful guide to help you navigate your way through hot tub maintenance.

You need a good sanitiser

Sanitisers are used to control the growth of bacteria within your hot tub and there are two main types of sanitisers available: chlorine and bromine.


Chlorine is the most popular choice of hot tub sanitiser because it does the job quickly. You can purchase chlorine in granule or tablet form. We advise that you add chlorine granules to tub water in small quantities.

Top tip: sprinkle chlorine on the water every time you get out of the tub to keep it fresh for the next time you want a soak.

For chlorine tablets, you can place 3-4 tablets in a floating dispenser. The good thing about this method is that your hot tub will always have a constant flow of chlorine in the water. However, you need to remember to keep adding tablets to the dispenser.

Remember to take the floating dispenser out when you’re not using the hot tub.

Advantages of Chlorine

Chlorine is effective for killing bacteria and has a high reactivity rate, meaning that it can destroy bacteria quickly.

Disadvantages of Chlorine

One of the main characteristics of chlorine is its strong, unpleasant odour. Chlorine is quite a harsh chemical that can be irritating to the eyes and respiratory system. This is why we often leave a swimming pool with bloodshot eyes and straw-like hair.

Chlorine can also be quite harsh on the skin and this is why it isn’t particularly good for hot tub owners who suffer with sensitive skin.


Bromine dissipates more slowly than chlorine and generally can kill bacteria for a longer period of time but at a slower pace. As its pH level is lower than chlorine’s, it can keep the chemistry of the water balanced with more stability.

Note: Bromine is susceptible to ultraviolet (UV) light which means that if you have an outdoor hot tub, then you should make sure that you keep your hot tub cover on it.

Advantages of Bromine

Bromine is gentler on the skin than chlorine and it has a far more subtle scent, making it more human-friendly than chlorine.

Less quantities of Bromine are needed because Bromine can stay effective for longer periods of time.

Disadvantages of Bromine

Bromine can be difficult to wash off the skin and it cannot be stabilised if it is exposed to UV light. It is also more expensive than chlorine and your water might not be as clear.

Tubs Direct offer a range of hot tub chemicals to choose from.

Checking your sanitiser level

You should regularly test the sanitiser level of the hot tub and hot tub owners can do this using a hot tub chemical test kit.

This is where GCSE chemistry comes into play. The pH level of your tub water should be within a range of 7.2 to 7.8. A score below 7 is considered acidic and anything above 7 is alkaline. It’s even better if you can keep the water’s pH level between 7.2 and 7.4.

Your pH should be between 7.2 and 7.8

If the hot tub water pH level is too high or too low, it can create a number of issues:

  • Irritation to eyes and skin
  • Reduce the efficiency of the sanitiser
  • The hot tub components may begin to corrode
  • Cloudy water

If your pH level isn’t as it should be, this can make it difficult to balance the sanitiser level. You can adjust the water’s pH level by adding pH increaser or pH decreaser.

Shock treatments

When sanitiser reacts with contaminants such as perspiration or dead skin, this can create a chemical compound known as chloramines. This is what can cause eye irritation and a horrible smell in the tub.

Shock treatments can be used to break down these chloramines, kill bacteria and remove dead skin and other organic compounds.

You can use a chlorine-based or non-chlorine based compound for shock treatments. Depending on the shock you are using, you should make sure that you look at the instructions and pour in the required amount of shock.

Once you have added the shock to the water, let it settle and leave the cover off for a while so that oxygen can touch the water.

Change your water

It is recommended that you change your hot tub water every three to four months depending on how often you use it.

You can find out more information about hot tub maintenance and emptying your tub in our hot tub FAQs.

Taking care of your filters

Hot tub filters are designed to trap dirt and debris, keeping your tub water clean whilst in use. However, filters need to be cleaned and we recommend cleaning your filter at least once every couple of weeks if you use your hot tub regularly.

Filters clog up more quickly if you use your hot tub on a regular basis and if you do not clean them out, then this will restrict water flow to your spa and prevent it from working efficiently.

How to clean your filters

You can purchase instant filter cleaner if you want to clean your filters quickly. Simply spray the filter with the instant filter cleaner, leave it for 15 minutes or so and then rinse it off.

Another option is you can leave your filters to soak in a bucket overnight using filter cleaner solution. A cleaner solution will remove oils from the filter.

Whether you choose to use an instant filter cleaner or soak in a cleaner solution, we advise that you let the filter dry before putting it back into the tub.

Note: make sure you have spare filters on hand when you are cleaning one set so that your hot tub is never running without filtration.

Tubs Direct offer a range of luxury hot tubs and hot tub accessories to suit your bespoke needs. You can browse our range of hot tubs here or contact us and a member of our team will be happy to help.

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