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Best Hot Tub Chemicals in 2020 – Reviewed

To keep your spa or hot tub clean and hygienic, there is a level of upkeep that is not as strenuous as that of a full-sized pool, but just as important. Because of the smaller capacity, it doesn’t take long for algae and bacteria to build up if neglected, but the good news is that it is easy to stay on top of when you know how to.

It is also important to buy quality hot tub chemicals so that you can enjoy the benefits that come with spa life with confidence. They aren’t all made the same which is why we have created a list of the top hot tub chemical products available. Each one is easy to use, and will do an effective job of ensuring the tub is safe to relax in.

Quick Summary of Best Hot Tub Chemicals

 Editor’s Choice 
LEISURE TIME E5 Spa 56 Chlorinating Granules for Hot Tubs, 5 lbs  (review)
 Best Value 
SpaGuard Chlorinating Concentrate – 2 lbs  (review)
 Best For PH And Alkalinity 
Hot Tub Things pH and Alkalinity Up 2 Pounds – Protects Your Spa from Corrosion  (review)
 Best Shock 
SpaGuard Enhanced Shock (2 lb)  (review)
 Best Water Conditioner  
Bio Ouster Hot Tub Conditioner, Clarifier & Cleaner– 3-in-1  (review)
 Best Brominating  
SpaGuard Brominating Concentrate – 2 lb  (review)

Reviews

Editor’s Choice: LEISURE TIME E5 Spa 56 Chlorinating Granules for Hot Tubs, 5 lbs

This 5lb tub has everything a hot tub chemical needs to keep the water hygienic. It targets contaminants to leave the water clear and safe to chill in and the formula has been specifically made for use in spas and hot tubs. One of the most popular brands in the business is compatible with chlorine sanitizing systems and its main benefit is that dissolves fast.This allows it to get to work, as it controls algae growth and ensures the water is clear and inviting rather than having a green tint where it needs a bit of attention. It contains 56% pure chlorine and doesn’t need to be pre-dissolved or mixed, making it one of the easier products to use. After applying the amount needed, just wait five minutes before you can think about getting in.

PROS:

  • Easy to use
  • No pre-mixing
  • Good value
  • Contains 56% pure chlorine
  • Dissolves fast
CONS:

(none)

Best Value: SpaGuard Chlorinating Concentrate – 2 lbs

From one of the leading brands in hot tub care comes this chlorinating concentrate. It does everything you’d wasnt a chlorine forumla to, it dissolves fast and does not need to be pre-mixed before it can be added to the water. Because it does the same job as a sanitizer and oxidizer, there is no need to buy separate products and in the 2 lb container, you are getting decent value.You can use shock doses to turn it into an oxidizer or stick to a regular dose to sanitize the water. The formula is strong enough to ensure that small amounts go a long way and when used properly, it will yield clear water without any prickly feeling on the skin.

PROS:

  • No need to pre-mix
  • Dissolves fast
  • Works as a sanitizer and oxidizer
  • Proven results
CONS:

  • Some people prefer to use tablets

Best For PH And Alkalinity: Hot Tub Things pH and Alkalinity Up 2 Pounds – Protects Your Spa from Corrosion

Without this sort of product, you could find that your tub is at risk of corrosion, so to being the pH and alkalinity levels up to an optimal level, Hot Tub Things has made the ideal product. Using 100% sodium bicarbonate, it allows the chlorine you put in to do its job, killing algae and bacteria.It also makes the water safe to use, bringing the chemicals levels to a safe level where there is no risk of skin or eye irritation. Using the purest chemicals, it has been specifically formulated for hot tubs and spas and can be used after using test strips to find the ideal amount needed. After applying, circulate the water for between 1 and 3 hours and take another reading to make sure the pH levels are now optimal.

PROS:

  • Quality chemicals used
  • Makes water safe from irritation
  • Raises pH and alkalinity
  • protects against corrosion
CONS:

  • Takes up to 3 hours

Best Shock: SpaGuard Enhanced Shock (2 lb)

When your hot tub has been neglected for a while and is in need of an extra kick to make the water safe to get into, a shock is your best bet. This is one of the better options you will find and because it is a 2 lb pack, it is likely to be the only shock you need for a while as long as you stay on top of the hot tub maintenance after.It can be used in either a chlorinated or brominated hot tub or spa and it is easy to use. When applied to the water, it only takes around 15 minutes to work its magic so the water smells good, and is safe to use again. Ideal for any hot tub that has been sealed for a while without a clean and it shocks, clarifies, but also works as a flocculent and a pH buffer.

PROS:

  • Only takes 15 minutes to shock the water
  • 2lb pack is good value
  • Works in 4 ways
CONS:

  • If you stay on top of pool maintenance, it won’t be necessary

Best Water Conditioner : Bio Ouster Hot Tub Conditioner, Clarifier & Cleaner– 3-in-1

A product that seems to do it all, this cleans, clarifies, and conditions the hot tub to make it a safer place to relax. Not only does it make the water look clearer, but it gives it a silky feel that is great when you are letting the jets do their thing. When combined with a regular sanitizer, this means you don’t need to use other chemicals and is ideal for a portable spa or hot tub.It also loosens dirt and scum to clean the inside of the hot tub thoroughly so there is nothing left behind that can cause harm. When used weekly it can save money, espeically since it lasts longer than most chemicals. Anyone not happy with the results can benefit from th 100% money back guarantee although going by the general consensus, this is rare.

PROS:

  • 3-in-1 cleaner
  • Conditions the water to make it feel silky
  • Lasts longer than most hot tub chemicals
  • Comes with 100% money-back guarantee
CONS:

  • Need to be combnined with a regular sanitier

Best Brominating : SpaGuard Brominating Concentrate – 2 lb

As easy as you could hope for hot tub chemicals to be, this brominating granule product is ideal for simple water care. Because it is both an oxidizer and a sanitizer, it eliminates the need to purchase separate products and works fast to improve the clarity and hygiene of the water.Because there is no need to pre-mix, it can be added directly to the spa and is a strong formula that targets bacteria. For a reasonable price, it allows any hot tub or spa owner to clean their pool fast.

PROS:

  • Easy to use
  • dissolves fast
  • No need to pre-mix
CONS:

  • Some people prefer tablets

Hot Tub Chemicals Guide

As much as we like the joy of being able to relax in an outdoor spa of our own, there is still the maintenance to take care of. The best hot tub chemicals are your way of ensuring the water is also clean and hygienic as long as all the other parts are functioning as they should. With such an important area, you need to make sure the hot tub chemicals you buy are the right ones, and up to the task.

Because of this, we have created the following buyer’s guide.

What To Look For In Hot Tub Chemicals

Fast Dissolving

Using hot tub chemicals is the part of owning the tub that we don’t want to think about too much. We all want to be able to get into the warm water when we feel the call of the bubbles and a fast-dissolving product can mean you don’t have to wait long.

Most brands make chemicals that get to work fast so you can get back in the water sooner.

The Right Product

If you are new to the world of hot tubs, you might not realize that there are different types of chemicals. They all serve a purpose but make sure you get the right one for your needs. Some are designed for continual use and are good for year-round hygienic water.

Other products will be made to shock the water. This is necessary when it hasn’t been cleaned in a while and the water has started to change color because of algae and bacteria.

Long-Lasting

You don’t want to buy hot tub chemicals only to find that it will not be able to do its job in a few months. Most products have a decent shelf life but make sure the one you are considering will be useable for a long time.

Otherwise, you risk pouring ineffective chemicals into the water.

UV Resistant

Some products offer better UV resistance than others and this will be important since the sun’s rays cause the chemicals to evaporate. The more you can do to minimize this, the longer the hot tub will stay clean and safe.

Versatility

Some products are designed only for use in certain hot tubs whilst others are fine to go in a variety of waters. To make life easier, you might consider hot tub chemicals that are suitable for salt pools and chlorine pools.

Type

Some hot tub chemicals come in a powdered form that means you will need to portion it out correctly whilst others come in a tablet form. These tend to be easier as long as you know how many to use each time but they can also be more expensive.

Storage

Because we are talking harsh chemicals here, the product you buy needs to come in a secure container. You don’t want young hands anywhere near them so keep them out of reach.

Different Types of Hot Tub Chemicals

There are a handful of different products you can choose from and each of them offers unique benefits.

Sanitizer

The warm waters of a hot tub make the conditions ideal for bacteria and other nasties to thrive which is something you will need to take care of if you want to make it a safe place to relax.

Sanitizer is one such chemical that kills these microorganisms and comes in the form of bromine, or the more popular, chlorine. Although chlorine acts fast and is highly effective, it also has a potent smell to it and some people do not react well to it.

This is why bromine has become popular but it comes at a price, even though it is kinder on skin.

pH Balance

You should be able to examine the levels in your hot tub using a pH test strip and make an assessment. Depending on whether it is too acidic or overly alkaline, you should find a product to bring it to the optimal pH levels. This is why it is a sensible idea to have both available.

Shock

As with a swimming pool, sometimes, only a shock will do. This is where you might notice algae has taken over the pool. Don’t fret, although it does mean an increase in bacteria, it is easily reversed by using a shock formula.

The type of shock you need will depend on the color of the algae or the state of the pool as some are better suited to different kinds and situations.

Calcium Hardness

Soft and hard water can have an impact on its quality and you want to be within the optimal calcium range of 150 to 400 ppm. To avoid scale build-up or damage to your piping, it can be a good idea to use calcium-related chemicals to bring it back within the preferred range.

Clarifiers

As the name suggests, these products help to reverse any cloudiness so you get clean and clear water to hop into. Sometimes the water foams which can be off-putting so using these hot tub chemicals is a good way of making the water look inviting again.

Why Use Hot Tub Chemicals?

Any pool of water needs to use chemicals to make it hygienic and safe to use. Hot tub chemicals are the easiest way of killing bacteria, adding some much-needed clarity to the water, or getting rid of algae.

Without them, the water can become unsafe pretty fast and it is always best to use them consistently, even when you are not using the hot tub regularly.

They kill pathogens, are inexpensive, and ensure that whoever gets in is not at risk of catching an illness from the water.

How Long Do I Wait After Adding Hot Tub Chemicals?

It will vary from product to product but as a general rule, thirty minutes is usually enough time for the chemicals to dissolve and for the water to be safe to use.

As long as the jets have been running, the cover is off, and the water has circulated, this should be ample time.

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