How to maintain a hot tub without chemicals?

Hot tub owners often question how to maintain a hot tub without chemicals or whether a hot tub can operate without the use of chemicals.

In general, chemicals are important for every hot tub to function properly. If you are a lover of natural products, there are always methods to reduce those chemicals. And, in this article, we will introduce some of them.

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Can you have a hot tub without chemicals?

Even though many hot tub chemicals are similar to traditional sanitizers, you still can use your hot tub without any of them.

Any type of hot tub chemicals often has 3 major uses. First, it terminates bacterias to maintain the clearness and safety of the water. Second, it balances the water so that you can have better baths. Third, it lengthens the lifetime of the hot tub.

However, many people do not like using hot tub chemicals due to 2 main reasons.

Firstly, they aren’t fond of soaking in chemical-treated water but want to have a more eco-friendly and natural bathing experience. For those who have sensitive skin, hot tub chemicals might dry their skin and burn their eyes. If you use the wrong ratio of those chemicals, the water might be unbalanced, leading to more health concerns.

The second reason is that chemicals often cost more than some natural or homemade products. Hence, maintaining a hot tub without chemicals is a way to save up your budget. Not to mention, it can, at the same time, benefit our environment.

How to maintain a hot tub without chemicals?

If you are seeking non-chemical hot tub treatment, you can consider these natural alternatives to hot tub chemicals that are available on the market.

Ultraviolet (UV) system

UV system

This is a great replacement for chlorine in hot tubs. A UV system uses radiation to disinfect your hot tub as the water travels through a tube of UV lamps. Although UV systems remove impurities, shock is still needed to enhance water clarity.

Salt-based systems

These systems do not require the use of chlorine or bromine. That’s being said, salt-based systems do not provide a chlorine-free hot tub. This happens because when electrolyzing the salt, the system will produce a small amount of chlorine.

Therefore, a salt-based system may fail to fulfill your aim of having a 100% ecological-friendly hot tub.


Ozonators can help achieve your target as it adds ozone into the hot tub’s water. But, you might have to use certain sanitizers in most cases as this system is not a certified one.

It can, however, minimize the demand for sanitizing as well as the requirement of a regular hot tub shock. Ozonators are a more expensive option that may need hot tub remodeling.


Ionizers work by injecting ions into the hot tub water, which prevents algae and germs from growing.

The Ionizer is a natural treatment for hot tubs, however, it does not clean the water. As a result, a sanitizer is still required.

Nevertheless, as a substitute for chlorine in hot tubs, Ionizers can help minimize the quantity of sanitizer required.

Non-chlorine shock

Non-chlorine shock can oxidize, clear the water and remove impurities. It also makes your hot tub’s chlorine work more effectively.

The non-chlorine shock will produce free chlorine in your water if your hot tub has chlorine sanitizer.

There is one thing to be noticed. If used, it might activate the bromine level in a bromine hot tub.

Enzyme-based treatment

This is another option for hot tub chemical alternatives.

Like those methods above, the enzyme-based treatment doesn’t completely remove the requirement for shock and sanitizer. It just helps to minimize the number of chemicals used in your hot tub.

Other tips to reduce hot tub chemicals

Apart from the methods that we have mentioned above, many other hot tub maintenance practices can decrease the usage of hot tub chemicals.

Keep the hot tub covered

hot tub cover

Whether your hot tub has chlorine or not, a cover is vital in keeping the water clean. It keeps dirt, insects, and other animals out of the hot tub’s water. Hence, the sanitizer can last longer, reducing the number of chemicals required to maintain the water.

If you’re not using any chemicals in the tub, a cover is even more important.

Drain more frequently

Draining your hot tub once every 3-4 months is suggested, which is of importance in hot tub maintenance.

For a chlorine-free hot tub, you can drain it once every 2 months. When keeping a regular drainage schedule, you can lower the expense of hot tub chemicals. Also, maintain the water at its optimum sanitizing levels.

If this job burdens you, check this article on how to drain a hot tub with a hose. You will find that it is just a piece of cake!

Keep the water balanced

Whether you are using chlorine in the hot tub, maintaining the water hardness, pH, and alkalinity at acceptable levels is vital.

An incorrect level of chemicals will decrease the efficiency of sanitizers. It also impacts your body such as drying the skin and burning the eyes.

To check the water balance, you can buy a hot tub test strip which is a quick solution giving results in just 3 to 4 seconds.

Keep the filter clean

Keeping the hot tub filter clean is another helpful practice to cost you less money on uncomfortable chemicals.

Check and rinse your filter once a week and clean it carefully once a month. You can use hot tub filter cleaners to ease the cleaning time.

Also, replace the old filter once a year if you use the tub frequently. And, once every two years if you don’t.

To minimize the hot tub chemicals used, you can replace the old filter every 6 months or 12 months, depending on how often you use the tub.

Shower before use

Remember to take a quick shower with soap before soaking in the tub.

After daily work, bacteria, dirt, sweat, and other impurities make you such a “dirty body”. Those, if not been washed, can negatively affect the hot tub water.

If you use hairspray or hair gel, make sure to wash it first or wear a hair covering before entering the tub.

Final words

In a nutshell, we hope that this article has answered your question “how can I maintain my hot tub without chemicals?”.  Maintaining a hot tub without chemicals is possible, and there are always natural alternatives for you to use. Don’t let the worry of sensitive skin bother your soaking experience. Enjoy your time!

See more:

Hot tub chemicals for sensitive skin

Get rid of hot tub bacteria

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