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Hot Tub Chemicals Guide


Hot Tub Chemicals Guide

Owning a hot tub comes with abundant health benefits, including providing a place to unwind. For this reason, it is important to know the best ways to maintain and care for your spa easily and efficiently. After all, the last thing you want is to actually create stress from complicated and confusing chemical processes. Use this simple and helpful guide to understand your hot tub chemicals so you can spend more time relaxing and less time worrying about pH levels.

Test Your Hot Tub Chemicals

The first step in caring for your hot tub is to make sure your spa chemicals are at the right levels by testing them and making adjustments as needed. Carefully grab a test strip, touching only the sides to avoid getting oils from your fingers onto the strip. Dip it in the hot tub, quickly remove it, and shake off any excess water. Then compare the color of the strip to the picture on the package.


Begin by testing your alkalinity levels to make sure they are between 80 ppm and 120 ppm. You should always test alkalinity first because the right alkalinity levels will help to stabilize the pH levels. If your alkaline levels are too low, add a small amount of Total Alkalinity Increaser and allow the hot tub water to circulate for a few hours before retesting. If your alkaline levels are too high, you may have a problem with hard water or you may need to contact your hot tub manufacturer for assistance.

pH Levels

The next step in checking chemicals for a hot tub is to test the pH levels. Use a test strip as described above and look to see if your pH is between 7.2 and 7.8. If pH levels are too low, you may experience irritation in your eyes or ears. If pH levels are too high, you may have cloudy or unsanitary water, as well as eye or skin irritation.


After checking your alkalinity and pH spa chemicals, it’s time to make sure the water is sanitary. Both bromine and chlorine are effective options, but Bullfrog Spas recommends using the granular form of each of these hot tub chemicals. Check out this guide for more information on how to keep your hot tub clean.

Shock Treatment

Shock treatments help keep your water clean by oxidizing organic contaminants. This helps reduce the amount of hot tub chemicals needed, gets rid of viruses and bacteria, and aids in prolonging the life of your spa. You will most likely need to shock your spa once a week, but it may vary depending on frequency of use or local climate.

Turn off the blower, but leave the circulation features on so the water is calm and the shock treatments can still move through the water. Make sure to test the water and always follow the directions provided with your choice of chemicals for your hot tub. Finish by thoroughly washing your hands to remove any chemicals that may have touched your skin.

Drain Your Hot Tub

Approximately every three months, you will want to empty the water and chemicals from your hot tub, wash it out, and start fresh. Scrub the surfaces and clean the pipes with a line flush. Check to make sure the hot tub is turned off and disconnected from any power sources before you begin. Then follow the manufacturer’s instructions to locate the drain and let out the water properly.

More Tips From Bullfrog Spas

For more information on how to care for your spa and balance chemicals, check out this detailed hot tub chemicals guide from Bullfrog Spas.