How Often Should I Put Chemicals in My Hot Tub?

It would be best to keep up with the chemical treatments to enjoy the occasional soak while relaxing and unwinding in your hot tub. Some pool and spa companies add a mineral filtration system to the hot tub installation cost. However, you’ll still need to keep up with the regular hot but maintenance and add the necessary chemical products to your tub.


Experts recommend regularly treating your tub with chemicals and checking on the water at least twice a week. How often you maintain your tub depends on several factors. Such as:


  • Your hot tub usage
  • The local water supply
  • Your maintenance schedule


Hot Tub Chemicals and How to Use Them

Unlike a bathtub where you fill it with water, use it, and drain it, hot tub water can stay undrained for weeks or even longer. Stagnant water acts as an incubator for multiple microorganisms, and you will get infected if you soak in such water. To avoid all that, it is best that you keep up with the chemicals.


The first step is to test your water before adding any chemicals. With the results, you’ll know what chemical you need to add and the amount. Keep test strips or a liquid test kit around for accurate results. 


How frequently you’ll need to put chemicals in your spa depends on how often you use it. Refilling your tub every 3-6 months would be best. However, having a good hot tub cover can stretch the water for 5-8 months. Watch out for signs of discomfort like itchy eyes, rashes, and skin irritations, which indicate poor tub chemical upkeep, and it’s time for a refill. 


Below is a list of hot tub chemicals and their application:



Sanitizer is an essential chemical as it helps sterilize the tub. There are several types of sanitizers available on the market. They are:


  • Chlorine sanitizer effectively kills bacteria, fungi, and viruses in your tub. It is affordable and easy to add. However, it gives off a smell as its chemical components break down. The average levels are 1-3 parts per million (ppm).
  • Bromine is another choice with a lower pH than chlorine, is gentler on the skin, lasts longer, and doesn’t give off any pungent smell. It works slowly, meaning you’ll have to give it more time to kill the contaminants in the hot tub. Correct bromine levels are 3-5 ppm.
  • Minerals like silver and copper. Silver is an excellent bactericide, as copper is an algaecide. The minerals are used alongside small amounts of chlorine.
  • Biguanide is an odorless, gentle, and effective sanitizer with a delicate feel on your skin. It is more costly and can deteriorate rubber gaskets and some plastics in your hot tub. The proper levels are 30-50 ppm.
  • Salt systems have a device known as a salt chlorine generator. Saltwater tubs have a generator that converts salt into chlorine. Instead of buying chlorine, you buy salt, which is cheaper, and the water is gentler on your skin and eyes.


Shock                                                                                                                                The purpose of a shocking agent is to release oxygen into the water by momentarily increasing the total chlorine above the recommended levels. The shocking process helps get rid of bacteria and chloramines.


Shocking is a super sanitizer and an effective method to clear your tub. If you are keen on keeping up with your sanitizer levels, an occasional shock will do your tub good. You can use chlorine or a non-chlorine shock depending on your spa and preference.


pH Adjusting Products

You must check the tub’s pH levels often. pH indicates how basic or acidic the water is. You should have a pH increaser and decreaser and add accordingly. You want your water to be neutral because when it’s acidic, it irritates your skin and damages your spa. While alkaline, it’s uncomfortable for your eyes and skin, making the sanitizer less effective. 



The foam in your spa comes from body lotions, oils, and other cosmetics. An effective way to reduce foam is by taking a shower before soaking. It is easy to manage the foam if you are alone. A defoamer will be handy, especially if you are hosting a party. However, you’ll need a defoamer when working with a group.


Sequestering Agents

If your hot tub water turns brown, red, green, and orange, it’s time to add the sequestering agent. A sequestering agent removes the heavy metals and calcium from the tub water. You should add the sequestering agent when you notice the color change and as a precaution when filling up your spa.


Water Clarifier 

A water clarifier offers a temporary solution when your tub water is cloudy. However, you will need to find the cause of the problem and address it to avoid a recurrence. Adding a water clarifier isn’t a quick fix, as you’ll still need to keep up with the spa treatments.



When testing the water, be sure to check for calcium hardness. An imbalanced amount of calcium and magnesium in the spa causes cloudiness or foam in the water. It is crucial to have a calcium hardness increaser and decreaser and add accordingly to avoid scale build-up or damage to the metallic aspects of the tub.  


Hot Tub Enzymes 

Hot tub enzymes help you avoid getting scum in your spa. Hot tub enzymes are naturally occurring spa chemicals that break down organic contaminants. The typical organic pollutants that end up in the tubs include twigs, leaves, insects, skin cells, and body oils, to mention but a few. If you keep up with the chemical treatments and refill your tub at least quarterly, you won’t need hot tub enzymes. 


Reach Us

Ajax Pool and Spa offers services for custom installations, repair, and maintenance of Jacuzzis, hot tubs, and swimming pools. Our products are top-quality and can blend with all types of home décor. If you are considering installing a pool or spa, we’ve got you covered.


Contact us for a free quotation on Jacuzzis, swimming pools, and hot tub installation costs. Call us at 970.279.5253 and learn more about our installation expertise.