Soaking in a hot tub can help us ease sore joints and soothe tight, tense muscles. To keep the hot tub clean, we all need to choose the proper chemicals. But, how to choose the best hot tub chemicals for sensitive skin?

For people whose skin can easily get irritated, choosing the most suitable type of sanitizer for hot tub maintenance can be a real challenge. There are so many available options, making it difficult to pick the right one. So this review will help you out. Read on as we explore more!

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  3. Spa Choices Bromine Tablets
  4. Silk Balance Natural
  5. Spa Essentials 32362000-02

Best Hot Tub Chemicals For Sensitive Skin – Quick Comparison

Product image Product name Editor's rating Price
LEISURE TIME D-12 Metal Gon 4.9 See lastest price
LEISURE TIME E5 Spa 56 4.8 See lastest price
Spa Choices Bromine Tablets 4.8 See lastest price
Silk Balance Natural 4.7 See lastest price
Spa Essentials 32362000-02 4.7 See lastest price
SpaChoice 472-3-3031 4.7 See lastest price
Oxy-Spa Non-chlorine 4.6 See lastest price
6 lbs. Oxy-Spa Non-Chlorine 4.6 See lastest price
iONRx Hot Tub Treatment 4.6 See lastest price
AquaAce Spa 4.5 See lastest price

Signs that you have sensitive skin

Spending time in an unsanitary hot tub can cause skin infection. If you have sensitive skin, you’re at even higher risks for hot tub rash.

Common signals are bumpy and itchy rash. These bumps can even be filled with pus in some people, which looks quite similar to acne. Symptoms can also include itchiness, blisters, sores, chapped, dry, and cracked skin.

This rash usually appears as lumpy swollen patches all over the body, from chest to neck, feet, and limbs. It often develops a few hours or several days after exposure, and it can be an allergic reaction to several types of chemicals used in the tubs.

Benefits of chemicals for sensitive skin

Instead of using chemicals that can cause these irritating skin conditions, you can switch to safer hot tub sanitizers in the below list, which are known as chemicals for sensitive skin.

These gentler sanitizing solutions can help keep the hot tub water clean while being safe for your health, like eliminating dry skin, reducing hot tub rash, and leaving soft and silky skin.

Top 10 best hot tub chemicals for sensitive skins

1. Leisure Time D-12 Metal Gon

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Metal Gon from Leisure Time is easy to apply thanks to the concentrated formula and its compatibility with chlorine, bromine, and other biguanide sanitizers.

Mineral buildup in the hot tub can cause stains and green hair, so Metal Gon helps eliminate the side effect of unwanted metals like copper, iron, and minerals.

It reacts with any metal contaminants before they can form unsightly stains. Applying it once per fill, and you can have optimum effects.

Usage instruction:

  • Turn all pieces of equipment off
  • Pour the entire bottle evenly around the hot tub’s edge
  • Run the filter for at least half an hour after the hot tub is full.

For the best results, use a defender each week to control metals after applying Metal Gon.

2.  LEISURE TIME Spa 56 Chlorinating Granules

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This concentrated granular chlorine is specially formulated for hot tubs and spas. It effectively cleans and disinfects hot water, keeping your hot tubs clean and clear.

More importantly, it dissolves quickly and completely without leaving cloudy and insoluble residue in water, so you can enjoy your safe hot tub without waiting too long.

These stabilized chlorine granules from Leisure Time provide a steady chlorine source to spa water to prevent algae growth, kill bacteria and organic contaminants.

Usage instruction:

  • Sprinkle the granules into the water while the pumps are on (the ideal ratio is 1/2 oz per 500 gallons of water)
  • Leave it for 5 minutes and turn the pumps off to check the chlorine residual. The chlorine residual must read between 2 and 3ppm, so if it’s lower, you might need to increase your dosages.

3. Spa Choices Brominating Tabs Sanitizer for Spas

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While some brands offer only 60 to 80% of active ingredients, these bromine tablets from Spa Choice have 98% active ingredients, so you can be ensured that you’re getting the right balance of bromine levels in your hot tub.

You can get rid of germs for a relaxing hot tub experience with these premium bromine tablets from Spa Choice. It provides powerful and effective sanitizing effects like chlorine but much less irritating to eyes and skin.

The Spa Choice’s brominating sanitizers also produce no pungent, bleach-like chlorine odor and make the pool or spa water clean and silky smooth. Since it is a pre-stabilized sanitizer, it does not require added stabilizer or pool water conditioners.

It dissolves at a much slower rate than chlorine, so users will need an automatic feeder. This 5lb bucket of 1-1/4’’ brominating tabs also comes with an easy-access child-resistant lid. You can be ensured that it reduces your kids’ risk of coming in close contact with these hazardous substances.

Usage instruction:

  • Check to make sure the bromine levels are stabilized.
  • Unscrew the bottom cap of the feeder
  • Load Spa Choice bromine tablets into the floater’s neck or a floating bromine feeder, replace the cap and tighten the lock.
  • Submerge the feeder/floater upside down in your hot tub to allow all air bubbles to escape, then let it flow to the surface
  • Let the tablets dissolve, and then test the water 24 hours later.
  • Adjust your level of bromine accordingly (if needed)

4. Silk Balance Spa Water Care System

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This premium hot tub water conditioner is safer for your skin than other harsh chemicals currently sold on the market. It’s a lab-formulated blend of buffering and sequestering agents to self-balance the hot tub water, so you do not need to test and adjust the used chemicals in your hot tub.

This product effectively removes the bacteria’s food sources in the water, so they can’t live and multiply.

At the same time, Silk Balance hot tub water solution also reduces the biofilm – a protective slime and sludge for bacteria growth. The result is no more bacteria in the water, no more itchy skin, and red eyes after soaking in your hot tub.

In only one simple step, your water will be sparkling clean, soft, and pH-balanced. You can now enjoy all of the amazing health benefits of soaking in your hot tub.

Using instruction:

  • Fill your hot tub and check for chlorine levels (it should be between three to five parts per million)
  • Check the pH level (it should be between 7.2 to 7.6)
  • Test the alkalinity of the water (it should be between 80 to 120 PPM)
  • Add SilkBalance in, turn on the jets and let the water circulate. If your hot tub contains less than 399 gallons of water, you can use three ounces/week. If it’s a larger size, then use four ounces/week.

5. Spa Essentials Sanitizer Brominating Concentrate

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Soaking in a clean, safe and bacteria-free hot tub is a pleasure if you use the Spa Essentials brominating tablets. In one quick and easy step, this fast-dissolving product provides dual-acting, as it can work both as a sanitizer and an oxidizer to kill bacteria.

So no more nasty odor problems and a more balanced pH range for your hot tub water.

This Brominating Concentrate is pH neutral, ensuring the right pH and alkalinity levels of your hot tub. Better yet, it does not require pre-treatments or activators before using it in the water.

Aside from providing hot tub owners with odor-free water, Spa Essentials Sanitizer Brominating Concentrate can eliminate other undesirable compounds such as body oils, sweat, and cosmetics.

Using instruction:

  • Check to see if all your hot tub pieces of equipment are working properly.
  • Make sure the cartridge filter is clean.
  • Check the pH levels and make sure it’s between 7.2 – 7.6
  • Fill the feeder with this product, then adjust the feeder so that the bromine residual is between 2-4ppm
  • Add extra Brominating Concentrate if needed.
  • Drain your hot tub with fresh water every two months

6. Spa Choice Sanitizing Granules Chlorine

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Enjoy a relaxing soak in your hot tub with sparkling water. This stabilized spa chlorine is designed to dissolve quickly and completely to protect your hot tub against algae, bacteria, contaminants, and other organic materials, thanks to its sanitizing power.

It also helps you protect your hot tub water from the loss of chlorine to have optimal comfort every time you spend time in your hot tub.

Using instruction:

  • Use an appropriate test kit to test and adjust water’s pH level if needed.
  • Add the recommended dosage during night time while the filter pump is running (every 0.4 ounces of chlorinating granules provide around 3ppm chlorine in 500 gallons of water)

Hot tub professionals recommend hot tub owners shock water at least once a week to minimize bacteria growth and reduce bather impurities.

7. Oxy-Spa Non-chlorine Oxidizing Shock 2-Pack of 1.5 lb

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Oxy-Spa Non-chlorine Oxidizing Shock is, true to its name, a fast-acting oxidizing shock treatment that quickly reduces contaminants in hot tubs to restore the sparkle of water. It quickly breaks down residuals like soaps, deodorants, natural oils, perspiration, and lotion.

Unlike other sanitizers, this product helps clean cloudy water without leaving any odors. With high active oxygen levels and quick-dissolving effects, you can be ensured that this treatment has high shocking effectiveness.

You can also expect to use the hot tub shortly after application, thanks to these qualities.

Since the chemicals can dissolve quickly, it allows weekly use without leaving effects on the pH level of your hot tub water. Besides, you can be ensured that the chlorine power will last for a long time.

Using instruction:

  • Adjust the pH levels to between 7.2 to 7.6
  • Turn off the jets’ air but leave the circulation pump running.
  • Check your shock treatment’s label for instruction, then measure the amount of shock you will need for the gallons of water.
  • Carefully add the shock treatment to your hot tub. If the hot tub is outside, be careful as the wind might blow it right into your face.

8. Oxy-Spa Non-Chlorine Oxidizing Shock 6 lb. Pail

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Oxy-Spa Non-Chlorine Oxidizing Shock comes in different containers, so you can choose either two bottles of 1.5 lb each or one larger buck of 6 lb to stock up and save.

This non-chlorine oxidizing shock will oxidize oils like lotions, sweat, dead skin cells, body oils from hot tub water, reducing strain on your hot tub water.

If your hot tub water’s pH level and alkalinity are within the recommended range, but the water is cloudy, then this shocking treatment can help restore your water’s clarity.

While some sanitizers react with bather pollutants and produce chloramine, the oxidizing Oxy Spa non-chlorine shock treatment works better. It can effectively oxidize chlorine from the water and improve your bathing experience.

Before applying it into the water, hot tub owners need to check the water pH level and add the recommended amount to their hot tub for optimal results.

9. iONRx Hot Tub Treatment

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Foamy, stinky water is the thing of the past if you use iONRx Hot Tub Treatment to keep your water clean and sanitized. No more chemical smell, itchy skin, red eyes, just crystal clean and clear water to give you an enjoyable experience in the hot tub.

This Hot Tub Treatment from iONRx is made with the fewest chemicals possible while still giving you safe and sanitary hot tub water to relax and release stress.

As it’s the most natural hot tub treatment you can find on the market, you can eliminate other complicated and time-consuming maintenance steps. Hot tub treatment now becomes a snap!

Using instruction:

  • Make sure the water is clear
  • Drain your hot tub before using this product
  • Add 4oz for every 100 gallons of water.

10. AquaAce Spa pH Down

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It’s always important to make sure your hot tub water’s pH level is balanced because if it’s not, it can corrode your spa parts.  pH indicates how basic or acidic your water is. Imbalanced pH levels might cause many skin and eye problems for bathers like skin rash or red and itchy eyes.

AquaAce Spa pH Down can lower pH and alkalinity in hot tub water, ensuring the pH balance between 7.2 to 7.8. Cloudy and scaling water is a common issue that many hot tub owners face, and it’s a symptom of a high pH level.

Your water should always be clear and sparkling, and maintaining the sparkle of water is easy if you use US-made quick-dissolving granules from AquaAce.

Using instruction:

  • Add AquaAce Spa pH Down (1 ounce per 100 gallons of water)
  • Run the jets to let it mix and dissolve for about 5 minutes
  • Recheck the spa water. If either the pH or Alkalinity is still high, add half an ounce of AquaAce Spa pH Down per 100 gallons of water, then run the jets again.
  • Recheck the water two days later and adjust again (if needed)

Buyer’s guide on hot tub chemicals for sensitive skin

People usually associate hot tub chemicals with chlorine and bromine as they’re the only two best sanitizers. However, there are also other chemicals and water care solutions as well. They can be safer, while still maintaining a sanitary and comfortable hot tub.

This buyer’s guide will help you to pick the right product for your needs. We’ll take you through three key steps of the sanitizing process.

1. Test the hot tub water

We can hardly know the right amount of necessary hot tub chemicals we will need to add to our hot tubs unless we test our water to have the baseline readings on how acidic or basic it is.

Most hot tub owners keep test strips or a liquid test kit with them, but you can also bring some water samples to a nearby hot tub and spa store for testing services.

2. Choose the sanitizer

You can have a handful of sanitizing options to choose from, like chlorine, bromine, biguanide, minerals, salt system, oxidizers.

Like any other product, each has its pros and cons, so it’s best to get to know them before deciding on the best one for you.

  • Chlorine

This is the most common sanitizer for its cost-effectiveness, ease of use, and bacteria control efficiency.

However, chlorine leaves irritating odors because it produces chloramines, which are the waste products that cause the smell. If you choose chlorine, the proper level is 3ppm.

  • Bromine

Bromine is just as popular as chlorine, but it lasts longer and is gentler on your skin.

Bromine does not produce chloramines, meaning it does not leave a strong smell like chlorine. Still, bromine produces bromamines, which can reduce the sanitizing effects. The ideal level of bromine is 3ppm to 5ppm

  • Biguanide

Biguanide works just as well as chlorine and bromine but it’s more expensive. However, it doesn’t require hot tub owners to use it as frequently.

Besides, it’s odorless and makes the water smooth. The right level of biguanide is 30ppm 50 ppm.

  • Minerals

Minerals like silver or copper are two active ingredients seen in many hot tub mineral sanitizers. Their pros are that you can use less chlorine. Additionally, they usually come in the sticks, making them easy to use.

You do not need to measure and adjust several times after applying. The right amount is 0.5ppm of chlorine or 1.0ppm of bromine.

  • Saltwater

The saltwater system for hot tubs uses chlorine to sanitize the water. Instead of buying chlorine, you’ll need to buy salt, and the generator will convert salt into chlorine.

Salt does not irritate your eyes, skin as hair. The right amount is 2,500 ppm.

  • Oxidizers

Oxidizers are made to kill non-bacterial contaminants. They effectively convert chloramines or bromamines in the water back to chlorine or bromine, making your hot tub water safe and clean to soak in.

3.  Shock the hot tub

Aside from using the right sanitizer, shocking water once a week is necessary to clear cloudy water, kill bacteria so that the water is safe for bathers.


1. Can you run a hot tub without chemicals?

No, you can’t run a hot tub without using chemicals. Even though the word “chemicals” might make many hot tub users nervous, not all chemicals are harmful if you use them safely and correctly.

2. At what temperature do you add chemicals to your hot tub?

After filling the hot tub with water, you’ll need to increase the water temperature to 80 degrees Fahrenheit before adding chemicals in. The heat helps chemicals dissolve into the water quickly.

3. Can I use vinegar to clean my hot tub?

Yes, you can. Like other acetic acid substances, vinegar can clean your hot tub. White vinegar can work as an excellent cleaning agent, so you do not need to touch any heavy-duty, smelly cleaners that cause irritations to skin and eyes.

Better yet, this natural cleaner is inexpensive, helping you to cut on your monthly spend on household cleaning products.

4. What is the recommended pH for hot tubs?

The recommended pH for hot tubs is 7.2 to 7.8. If it’s lower than 7.2, then the hot tub water is too acidic, lowering your sanitizer’s effects and causing eye irritation for the bathers.

5. What is the recommended level of alkalinity?

It’s always important to get the right alkalinity in your hot tub because it helps control the pH levels better. It’s best to keep your hot tub’s total alkalinity between 80 to 120 parts per million (ppm).

Since pH levels and alkalinity are directly related to each other, you will also need to adjust your hot tub water’s alkalinity when you adjust the pH levels.

6. How often should I drain my hot tub?

Hot tub manufacturers recommend users drain and refill it every three months. However, how often you should drain your hot tub would largely depend on how often you use it, and how many people in your family use it, how often you have friends or guests use it.

7. How often should I shock my hot tub?

Dead skin, hair, body oil, lotions can accumulate in your hot tub. These particles gradually build up and make the hot tub unsanitary, so a regular shock is necessary to keep it clean.

It would be best if you shocked it once a week, but it also depends on how heavy the usage is. If you often have friends coming over, or you use the hot tube frequently, then you’ll probably need to shock it twice or even three times a week.

8. What hot tub chemicals do I need?

The most necessary chemicals you’ll need for a hot tub are chlorine or bromine, calcium hardness, pH balancer (pH increaser or pH decreaser), sanitizer, and shock treatments.

9. Is bromine bad for your skin?

Bromine can be bad for your skin if you’re exposed to high levels of this chemical. You can have itchy, dry skin and red eyes. Given this, hot tub owners should know how to use it properly.

10. Is bromine safer than chlorine?

Yes, bromine is easier on the skin and eyes compared to chlorine. If you or your family members have sensitive skin, bromine is a better chemical than chlorine.

Final words,

A dip in the hot tub can soothe your body and release stress.  However, if the hot tub is poorly maintained, you can easily get rash, especially if your skin is prone to inflammation. Given this, choosing the best hot tub chemicals for sensitive skin is important.

Our review has provided you with only the safest chemicals to use for skin that can easily get irritated. Our first choice is the Leisure Time D-12 Metal Gon. With a concentrated formula that can prevent new stains, it leaves you a crystal clear hot tub water to soak in.

Read more:

Hot Tub Rash



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