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Hot Tub Sanitizers 101 Guide

If you're not a fan of chlorine or bromine, some things can be added to reduce the amounts of chemical sanitizer needed. Learn More!

It's a beautiful day when we deliver your brand-new hot tub, and you are finally able to have a good long soak. But before you do a swan dive, it's important to understand that a hot tub isn't like a bathtub where you drain the tub after every use, so keeping the water nice and clean is of critical importance to your family's health.

Bacteria, mold, and fungus can thrive in warm water if proper cleaning and maintenance isn't understood. There's nothing that can burst your bubbles faster than stinky or dirty water. Spa chemistry and sanitation can seem overwhelming at first, but we're here to help and put your mind at ease. Luckily, it's not rocket science and you don't have to be a genius to maintain your hot tub. Our team will break down the different types of hot tub sanitizers to help you decide which one is right for you.

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Sanitation is Key

Sanitizing your tub will keep it clean, clear, and bacteria-free. Not only do chemical sanitizers disinfect your spa, but they also fight against odors. In addition to ongoing sanitization, hot tub shock is a procedure to deal with water problems like cloudy or smelly water quickly. It would generally be carried out weekly as part of your hot tub maintenance if the hot tub hasn't been used for an extended period or has had heavy usage. There's no way around using some chemical sanitizer. Bromine and chlorine are two of the most popular sanitizers, so please speak with one of our experts to determine the best option for you and your spa.

If you're not a fan of chlorine or bromine, some things can be added to reduce the amounts of chemical sanitizer needed. Let's explore some options. 


Chlorine is the most widely used sanitizer in hot tubs as well as pools. It is a generally cheap and readily available sanitizer. Chlorine can be applied to your water in the form of tabs or granules. When using chlorine, water should be tested regularly to maintain a chlorine level of 1.0-3.0 parts per million. On a weekly basis, chlorine and shock should be applied to the water as well as any other products needed to balance the water chemistry. If you also have a pool that uses chlorine, using chlorine in your hot tub is your best option for stress free water maintenance.


Bromine works similarly to chlorine in the sense that it can be applied in the form of tabs or granules. It tends to be slightly more expensive than chlorine, but lasts longer in your hot tub's water meaning you can often enjoy longer periods without having to treat your water. Bromine levels should be maintained between 2.0-4.0 parts per million. Be sure to use a non-chlorine based shock when treating your water for the best results.


Ionizers work by releasing copper ions and hard metal ions into the spa water. These ions destroy bacteria and contaminants on contact to sanitize the water and reduce the chlorine you need. Some ionizers use electrical charges to release ions, while others use mineral cartridges that release ions through water flow. The reduced need for chemical sanitizers can be very appealing, but if you do not carefully monitor pH levels in the hot tub, some ionizers can cause staining of the tub or cover.

Saltwater Systems

Saltwater systems have become more popular in recent years because they are gentler on the eyes and skin than traditionally chlorinated systems. They also allow spa owners to perform less regular water testing though alkalinity, pH and calcium hardness should still be monitored. Salt systems may also require less maintenance than heavily chlorinated systems because they only produce chlorine as needed. On the downside, these systems can be expensive and are complex, requiring experienced technicians even for minor problems. Spa owners should consider all of these factors when deciding whether or not to invest in a saltwater system.


Ozone generators make a good chlorine alternative because they can eliminate harmful pollutants and allow spa owners to use less chlorine. They work by producing ozone gas and injecting it into the water to oxidize contaminants. 

There are many different choices and combinations when it comes to hot tub sanitation. There are several factors to consider, including cost, the effort involved, and personal concerns such as chemical sensitivities or allergies. Luckily, our team of experts are here to help you determine what works best for you and your lifestyle. Let's put our heads together and customize a system designed just for you. 

Contact Epic Hot Tubs for Your Hot Tub Today!

Epic Hot Tubs is a hot tub dealer that offers hot tub maintenance services in Raleigh and the surrounding area. We strive to provide you with the best customer service experience in the triangle area. Please call us at  919-444-8500, and one of our Hot tub experts will be happy to answer any questions you have in mind.