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Many hot tub owners are concerned about how the things they put in their hot tub affect them. Some people are just concerned with chlorine, some are concerned with all chemicals in general. There are a lot of different options for natural spa care, but that all depends on your definition of natural spa care. Most methods of natural spa care are safe, but if you don’t use any chemicals at all, you could run into complications. Let us break down what aspects of hot tub care are necessary to keep your hot tub in good health, and all your options for sticking to these rules.
1. pH & Alkalinity: pH and alkalinity are vital parts of of water chemistry. pH is the measure of acidity and basicity of water. Alkalinity measures how alkaline the water is, which is the water’s ability to neutralize acids. Every body of water has a pH and alkalinity. These basic measurements are important because any extreme of these measurements can have an effect on your skin. They also contribute to the effectiveness of sanitizer you use. No matter what hot tub care program you decide to use, you should always make an effect to maintain a balance of pH and alkalinity.
2. Sanitizer: There are many different types of sanitizers, but the two most common chemical sanitizers are chlorine and bromine. Sanitizers are important because they are responsible for killing all the bacteria in the water. If you are trying to avoid the use of chlorine, then you should note that most bromine sanitizers contain chlorine. For a true bromine sanitizer, check out the line of Brilliance products or make sure the bottle says 100% bromine.
If you don’t want to use bromine or chlorine, then you have a few other options that are safe. Leisure Time makes a line of chemicals called “Free” sanitizer system. The name “Free” refers to it’s bromine and chlorine free ingredients. This system works just as well as traditional sanitizers. Baqua Spa also makes a sanitation system similar to this one. Beyond these sanitizers, there isn’t much that will safely clean your hot tub. Hot water is a breeding ground for bacteria so it is extremely important to use a product that ensures the bacteria is killed.
3. Oxidizer: Some people think that using an oxidizer is the same as sanitation, but it is not. It does help keep your water clean and clear, but it does not truly eliminate any bacteria. Oxidation merely helps get rid of organic material, and keeps the water from becoming cloudy. This is still a very important chemical, because by eliminating buildup of organics the oxidizer prevents the hot tub system from clogging.
4. Other Options: To supplement a “natural” spa care system, you could also use mineral sanitizers. Mineral sanitizers are usually contained in a plastic container that you place in your filter or somewhere in the hot tub for 3-4 months at a time. It slowly sanitizes the water for that extended period of time. Even though the mineral sanitizer kills bacteria, it does not have the ability to fully sanitize the whole tub. When mineral sanitizers are used, you have to supplement with fractional doses of traditional sanitizers. This is often a good option for people because they only have to use a tiny bit of chlorine or bromine each time, and the small amount evaporated from the tub quickly.
Ozone & UV Sanitation Systems: Although these two systems are a little more expensive for sanitation, they could be worth the investment. Ozone and UV sanitation systems are the latest technology for hot tub sanitation. Reduce overall chemical use by choosing ozone, UV, or both. These alternatives naturally sanitize spa water with no toxic byproducts. They help keep pH levels balanced and extend the life of your spa cover. However, like mineral sanitizers, we still recommend small doses of traditional sanitizer as a supplement.
So how safe is natural spa care? Depending on your definition of it, it can be very safe. Based on the information we’ve provided above, a more natural balance can be used while still keeping the water fully bacteria free. However, if you go for a method of sanitation that is more natural than the options we’ve suggested it is up to you to decide how safe it is.
If you have any questions about the natural spa care alternatives we offer, feel free to contact us at Hot Tub Things!