5 Hot Tub Home Remedies You Should Never Try

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Home remedies are great when they actually work. They tend to save time and money and who doesn’t like that?

The problem is trying to sort out which remedies will work and which ones are quackery. Here at SpaDepot, we’ve seen a lot when it comes to people trying weird stuff on hot tubs. These remedies are the most outrageous we’ve seen yet.

Essential Oils

variety of essential oil ampoules on store shelf
Patchouli scented hot tub anyone?

You may use, or have at least heard of people using essential oils to derive some health or sensory benefit. Far be it from me to argue for or against their use, but whatever you do, please don’t add them to your hot tub!

The essential oils you get from supermarkets or health stores will clog the filters in your hot tub. Clogged filters can lead to expensive repairs. It’s just not worth it.

Rather than using these types of oils, use an aromatherapy product designed for hot tubs. They won’t alter the water chemistry of your spa or clog your filters and there’s a huge variety to suit anyone’s taste.

Sphagnum Moss

Sphagnum moss on forest floor
Beautiful, but not in your hot tub.

Unbelievably, some companies tout the use of Sphagnum moss in hot tubs to purify the water.  Proponents (most of which have a financial stake in these companies) claim the moss will simultaneously filter, purify and remove biofilm from your water.

Don’t fall for this hokum, and always use an EPA-approved hot tub sanitizer! You might think you’re better off using a natural solution like this, but you’re just playing with loaded dice. Under sanitized or un-sanitized (aak!) water is dangerous and can be deadly. Do not risk your or your family’s health.

Cleaning Filters In the Dishwasher

Don't put filters in the dishwasher
Torture chamber for filters.

Alright, on the surface this may not sound like a bad idea. If your dishwasher can remove last night’s beef stroganoff residue from your dinner plate, it ought to work great for cleaning an oily filter.

The trouble is it just doesn’t work well. There’s no way to direct the water jets into the pleats, so you’ll end up with a sort of clean filter, but there’s still going to be junk left in the pleat folds.

Oh, and by the way, if you run the heated drying cycle, you might as well write the filter off entirely. The plastic components will deform and shrink, plus the pleated material will badly degrade.

What’s the best way to wash a filter then? Try our eco-TUB Instant Filter Cleaner and our new Clarathon Jet Stream Filter Cleaner System. You’ll get all the crud out of the deepest pleats and end up with a brand new-looking filter.  

If you’re looking for more automation in filter cleaning, have a look at our Blaster Automatic Filter Cleaner.

Chemical Free Spas


There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding so-called chemical-free spas. This is nothing more than a dishonest sales tactic employed by dubious companies. In truth, there’s no such thing as a chemical-free spa.

Here’s the thing, without sanitizer and oxidizers, your hot tub would become the science experiment of all time – an oversized petri dish for all kinds of nasty bacteria and diseases.

The best you can do is reduce the need for harsh chemicals. You can do this in several ways. Here are the most common:

Change Water Every Year or 2

Here’s a funny exchange I had with a customer a few years ago:

Customer: My water just will not cooperate. My test strip readings are all over the board, and no matter what I try, I just can’t get my levels correct.

Me: Hmm. Just out of curiosity, when was the last time you changed the water?

Customer: …

Me: High total dissolved solids in the water will make it difficult to make any changes in the water chemistry.

Customer: Well, I changed the water a year and a half ago…

Ok, besides the fact that the water must have been like syrup, some people just don’t know that hot tubs need to have the water changed 3-4 times per year. Think about this, when you’re in the hot tub, you sweat, flatulate, and generally release all kinds of “stuff” into the water.

All of these contaminants contribute to the TDS levels, as do the chemicals used to counteract these contaminants. Once your TDS levels get up to 1500ppm or so, it’s time to drain the spa. Under normal use, that’s about every 3 to 4 months.

Keep it clean and change your water often. Not sure how to go about draining and refilling? You’re in luck! Here’s a great draining, cleaning, and refilling article.

Questions? Comments? Leave them below or give us a call at 800-823-3638! We’d love to hear from you.

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