What are hot tub sanitizers?

What are hot tub sanitizers?

A hot tub is a perfect place to relax and unwind after a long and tiring day. However, to have an enjoyable experience, it’s essential to maintain clean and safe water. Hot tubs require proper sanitation to keep the water free from bacteria and other harmful germs. This is where hot tub sanitizers come in handy.

Hot tub sanitizers are chemicals that are used to keep the water clean and clear. They kill bacteria, algae, and other microorganisms, thus preventing the spread of diseases. Hot tub sanitizers come in various forms, such as chlorine, bromine, and mineral sanitizers. Each type of sanitizer has its benefits and uses.



Hot tub sanitizer options

Hot tub sanitizers are crucial in keeping your spa water safe, clean and free from harmful bacteria and microbes. There are several different hot tub sanitizer options available, each with their own set of pros and cons.



Chlorine is one of the most popular and commonly used hot tub sanitizers. It is effective in killing bacteria and oxidizing contaminants in the water. Chlorine is also relatively inexpensive and widely available. However, it can cause skin and eye irritation and has a strong odor that can be unpleasant for some users.



Bromine is another popular hot tub sanitizer. It is known for being gentler on the skin and eyes than chlorine, with less odor. Bromine is also effective in a wide range of pH levels and temperatures. However, it is not as effective as chlorine in killing certain types of bacteria and can be more expensive.


Minerals & Ionizers

Mineral sanitizers and ionizers use materials such as silver and copper to sanitize the water. They are effective in controlling bacteria growth and are gentle on the skin. They also do not have a strong odor and are long-lasting.

However, they may not be as effective as chlorine or bromine in killing all types of bacteria and contaminants. Ionizers may require regular maintenance and replacement of the ion cartridge.



Biguanide is a non-chlorine sanitizer that is gentle on the skin and eyes. It is effective in killing bacteria and algae, and does not have a strong odor. However, it can be more expensive than chlorine or bromine and requires frequent monitoring of pH and alkalinity levels.


Ultraviolet-C (UVC)

UVC sanitizers use light rays to kill bacteria and viruses in the water. They are effective in reducing the amount of sanitizers needed and are environmentally friendly.

UVC sanitizers emit a high intensity light ray that modifies the genetic material of specific organisms like algae, bacteria, and protozoa.

However, they are not as effective as a primary sanitizer and require frequent cleaning and maintenance.


Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a non-toxic, non-chlorine sanitizer that is gentle on the skin and eyes. It is effective in killing bacteria and oxidizing contaminants in the water. However, it can be more expensive than chlorine or bromine and requires regular monitoring of pH and alkalinity levels.


Salt water systems

Salt water systems use salt and an electrolysis process to generate chlorine. Electrolysis is when electricity is used to convert dissolved salt into chlorine or sodium bromide. They are effective in killing bacteria and do not have a strong odor. They also do not require frequent chemical additions. However, they can be more expensive initially and require regular maintenance of the salt cell.

While they are sought after in the hot tub industry, we personally advise against salt systems. Salt is very corrosive, putting the metal and acrylic at risk. And as spas are a closed environment (covered when not in use), the excess salt does not burn off or escape as it would in a pool. Instead, it erodes into the closest material it can find.



Combining two or more of the options listed above can make the sanitization process more effective.

Minerals + Chlorine

A common example is minerals and chlorine. One of the cons of chlorine is its harshness – making it difficult for sensitive skin. On its own, minerals are not enough to keep your hot tub water clean. By using both, you can use less chemicals and still keep it clean.

Crystal/Diamond AOP

Another great example is our AOP system, which combines UVC and Ozone technology. While ozonators cannot function on its own as a sanitizer, it helps significantly when paired with an ozonator! Ozonators generally boost the sanitizer being used, requiring less chemicals at less frequency.


Radio Waves

Sanitization manufacturers are just starting to introduce Radio Waves to the hot tub industry. Currently, it is being used to treat industrial wastewater therefore it has great potential to be a powerful sanitizer for hot tub water. However, there are certain hesitations that make the industry wary. The main concern is that it could interfere with a person’s pacemaker.

Overall, different hot tub sanitizer options are best used for different situations and preferences. It is important to consider factors such as effectiveness, cost, maintenance, and potential side effects when choosing a hot tub sanitizer. It is always a good idea to consult with a professional or a hot tub manufacturer to determine the best option for your specific needs.



How do I use a hot tub sanitizer?

To use hot tub sanitizers, you need to add them to hot tub water in the right amount. Ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to avoid over or under-dosing.

Always maintain appropriate pH levels, as high or low pH levels can neutralize the effectiveness of hot tub sanitizers. Also, it’s important to regularly test and balance your hot tub water. You can use test strips or digital readers to check and adjust the levels of alkalinity, calcium hardness, and other important parameters.

By maintaining the proper water chemistry, you can keep hot tub water clean and safe for everyone who uses it.


  • Drain and fill your spa water every 6 months at minimum
  • Change your filters regularly as they are your first line of defense for bacteria
  • Always consult with a professional before adding chemicals to your spa


It is essential to follow the recommended guidelines for hot tub maintenance and water chemistry to avoid any potential risks.

Chemicals can be hazardous if not properly balanced and administered. Overuse or incorrect application of these chemicals can result in skin and eye irritation, respiratory problems, and even chemical burns.

Some warranties, like Artesian Spas’, do not cover damage caused by unbalanced water chemistry, which can leave spa owners to pay significant repair bills out-of-pocket.

Professional assistance or training can help ensure the safety and longevity of your hot tub. Take the time to learn and follow proper maintenance practices to avoid any hazardous situations and keep your hot tub and soakers healthy. Remember, a little bit of prevention goes a long way in water safety.