6 Hot Tub Myths Vs. Facts

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Myths and misconceptions surround our everyday lives, and sometimes it’s hard to distinguish fact from fiction. Save yourself time and money by knowing common hot tub myths and the facts.

Myth #1: Use Household Bleach as a Sanitizer & Cover Cleaner.

Fact: People may say using household bleach as a hot tub or pool sanitizer is okay. Here’s the thing though: household bleach damages the finish of your hot tub, deteriorates filter media, and completely wrecks your hot tub cover, not to mention what it does to your heater and pump seals.

Tip: High chlorine or bromine levels can also trash the underside of your spa cover. Testing your sanitizer levels regularly and using a ThermoFloat blanket can prevent this problem. Oh, and leave your cover open for half an hour or so after adding any chemicals.

Wrecked hot tub cover
The outside of this cover looked great, but the inside is toast from high bromine levels.

Bottom line: Do not use liquid bleach! Pick a sanitizing system designed for hot tubs.

Myth #2: Adding Antifreeze to Your Hot Tub is a Good Idea.

Fact: Antifreeze is extremely difficult to flush completely out of the system once it is added and residual antifreeze can be extremely toxic when absorbed through the skin.

If you must use antifreeze, use good quality RV antifreeze designed to keep potable water systems from freezing. You’ll still have to flush all that out when you reopen the spa, but you’ll have that added protection.

Read more about how to properly winterize your hot tub.

Myth #3: You Don’t Need Chemicals if You Have An Ozonator.

Fact: Ugh, I hear this all the time. The thing is, ozone has a very short half-life in water (about 15 minutes) so it’s not totally effective as a sanitizer. You’ll still need to use a system like bromine, Cleanwater Blue, or Nature 2 to keep your hot tub healthy.

The best money can buy!

There’s good news though! Ozonators do decrease the amount of sanitizer needed (up to 25%) to achieve sanitized water.

Myth #4: Chlorine Causes my Eyes to Burn in The Hot Tub.

Fact: Maybe, but probably not. Chlorine can cause skin irritation, but the most common cause of burning eyes while soaking in a hot tub is imbalanced pH and/or Alkalinity. Low pH results in acidic water, while high alkalinity can make water caustic.

Checking water chemistry
No burning eyes here.

Prevent burning eyes by testing and balancing your water once a week.

Myth #5: Clean Your Filter by Running it Through a Dishwasher.

Don't put filters in the dishwasher
Nope, nope, nope, and nope.

Fact: I cannot emphasize enough how much you should not do this. The high heat in your dishwasher is a super quick way to deteriorate the filtering media and ruin the cartridge.

Clean your filter properly by simply soaking it in a filter cleaning solution for 1-2 hours and rinsing it thoroughly. This will remove dirt and oil while maintaining the integrity of the filter media.

Filter extra grimy? That happens, so there are specialized filter cleaning tools like the Jet Stream Filter Cleaner System.

Myth #6: Use pool chlorine tabs in a hot tub.

Fact: Hold your horses there. These tablets are designed to dissolve slowly in cold pool water. Putting them in hot spa water will cause them to dissolve quickly and way, way over chlorinate the water.

Over chlorinated water is not only harmful to you, but your hot tub will pay the price as well. If you like tablets, do the smart thing and use bromine.

Trichlor pool tablets
These are not the tablets you’re looking for…

Have questions about hot tub maintenance or any of the myths we discussed above? Post a comment below!


  1. We recently moved out tub. It was cycling and heating just fine. Now it is not heating, but still cycling. Is there a way to reset it to get it hot, again?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Sheila, Thank you for your comment. Based on the problem you”re describing, the issue may be the heater element itself. I would recommend having the element tested by a technician. If the element is getting the proper power and still not heating the tub, it will need to be replaced. If the element is not getting the proper power, the technician will be able to identify what is causing the problem and repair your hot tub. Thank you, Mark The Spa Depot

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I would never have considered running my filters through the dishwasher. On the other hand, I drained, cleaned, and refilled my spa today. I pulled some of the nozzles, as the green gunk from the spa flush had gotten behind them. It also happens I cleaned our bathroom whirlpool today, and the manufacturer says it is fine to pull the nozzles and run them through the dishwasher (avoiding the high heat dry cycle, which for technical reasons our dishwasher doesn””t have anyway). Sooo… would something similar work with the jet nozzles for our spa? (it””s a Belize e750l)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Matt, Thanks for writing! It would not be a good idea to wash your hot tub jets in your dishwasher. The water that your dishwasher uses is very hot, and you do not want to risk damaging any of the jets. I would recommend cleaning your jets by using a high-pressure spray nozzle attached to your garden hose. If you have any other questions, please let me know! Thank you, Mark The Spa Depot

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I purchased a new cover for my hot tub and we have been using it for about one month. Today we went to use the hot tub; the inside of the cover has a slime feeling. The test strips show the water levels are good. Do you have any ideas? Thanks, Diane

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Diane, Great question! Typically a slime feeling on the underside of your hot tub cover would be the result of an imbalance in the water. I would recommend a couple of things. If your filter is over a year old it should be replaced, if not I suggest a thorough cleaning. I would also recommend draining and refilling your tub if your water has been in the spa for longer than 4 months. You will also want to thoroughly clean your cover with a non abrasive cleaner such as CleanAll Spray in order to remove the current film: http://www.spadepot.com/shop/CleanAll-Spa-Surface-Cleaner-P765C57.aspx Please feel free to give us a call if this problem persists, we are happy to help! (800)-823-3638 M-F 8-5pm Pacific Thanks, Bonni The Spa Depot

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi David, Thank you for your question! I would recommend using a smaller putty knife to remove large pieces of foam from the pipes. This will have to be done carefully as the pipes and fittings underneath the foam could become damaged if they’ve become brittle. Once the larger pieces of foam have been removed, you can carefully scrub the remaining foam off the pipes with a piece of steel wool. I would also recommend wearing protective eyewear and a protective mask to avoid breathing in any insulation particles. I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any further questions. Thanks, Bonni The Spa Depot

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My 300 gal spa water is milky – chemical balance is perfect, and the filter is filled with white sticky stuff ( looks like Elmers white glue) . I changed filters b/c it was too much too clean, there is no change in water appearance, cleaned out the new filter before it clogged up again — Now I am emptying the spa. There is a white film stuck to the side of the empty tub that I cannot rub off with a sponge. The only thing I can think that caused this was from adding calcium when level was low a few weeks ago, otherwise no new changes to my regimen. What shall I do before refilling?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. my husband broke a string of lights that we had above to hot tub. He does not feel it is necessary to empty the hot tub. He thinks it is ok to just sweep it with a regular broom, water still in tub, and turn the filter on. What do you think??

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Bernie, I would highly recommend that you do drain your hot tub and look carefully for glass or any remaining pieces of the light strand before you continue use of your spa. It may also be a good idea to use a shop vac to vacuum the lines in case any pieces of the light strand have gotten stuck in them. Please let me know if you have any further questions. Thank you, Bonni The Spa Depot

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Deb, The milky water and residue in your tub could be cause by adding calcium at the same time (or very near to the same time) as other chemicals. Before refilling I would recommend that you thoroughly clean the spa shell. A non-foaming cleaner such as CleanAll may be helpful to get the tough film off the side of the tub: http://www.spadepot.com/shop/CleanAll-Spa-Surface-Cleaner-P765C57.aspx . After refilling your spa, try adjusting the calcium first, and then wait 4-6 hours before adding any other chemicals. If you have any further questions please feel free to give our technical department a call at your convenience. One of our techs would be more than happy to help you troubleshoot this issue. (800) 823-3638 M-F 8am-5pm Pacific Thank you, Bonni The Spa Depot

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hello, I have had my hot tub for over 10 years. I recently purchased a new cover, using the same chemicals. Within a year, my cover started to smell. I opened the cover and found mold inside the foam core and the cover itself. The company gave me a new core but another year and black mold started to appear on the under side of the cover. Once again I opened to find more mold, I have been having to clean the underside of the cover to clean the mold before I use the hot tub. I think its the cover itself, could it be the ozonator?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Diana,
    Thank you for posting! I am happy to help.
    Mold is usually not caused by the cover itself. Could you please give me an overview of your water maintenance routine and what chemicals you are using?
    Thank you,

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Had my hot tub for two months now. Water chemical is perfect yet I can’t get it crystal clear. Kinda hazy. What can I do. I clean my filters every 3-4days.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Tammy,
    If your chemicals are all reading within range, the haziness could be coming from your water source.
    I would recommend filling your spa using a Prefresh Fill Filter to reduce impurities from the water getting into your spa: http://www.spadepot.com/shop/PreFresh-Spa-Pool-Water-Fill-Filter-P784C632.aspx
    I would also recommend using SeaKlear Clarifier on a weekly basis: http://www.spadepot.com/shop/SeaKlear-Natural-Spa-Clarifier-16-oz-P99C635.aspx
    Please let me know if you have any further questions!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. My father in law has had a hot tub for 25 years. He dumps some chlorine in every week or so. I have a hot tub and use all the recommended chemicals ( expensive compared to a bottle of chlorine) his hot tub looks fine. My question is do I need to buy all the chemicals or can I just pour in some chlorine now and again. Like I said his is fine so the proof is in the pudding. However I dropped 8K on the Tub and I don’t want to damage it. Thanks!!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hi Jeff,
    You are right to be concerned about damaging your $8000 investment! Most forms of chlorine are not suitable for hot tubs. Since chlorine degrades easily in hot water, granular chlorine must be added every day or two in small amounts to keep a residual up.
    Adding a large amount once a week means that the spa water is unusable for a day or two each week (since water with concentrated chlorine is harmful to skin) and after your spa is sitting untreated for days. Large amounts of chlorine also damage spa headrests, gaskets, seals and spa covers.
    Mineral sanitizers are gentle on skin and your spa components. If you are looking for something that is easy to use and requires little maintenance, the @ease system is a new product that combines minerals with a constant, very low amount of chlorine. You get the clear water that comes with chlorine without the side effects.
    Additionally, it is very important to test at least weekly for pH and Alkalinity. Just about every chemical added to the spa affects the pH, including the sweat, oils, lotions, etc, that we bring into the tub on our bodies. If pH goes too low, then the water can appear to be very clear but be corrosive to spa parts and irritating to the eyes. If pH is too high, calcium can be pulled out of the water and form scale on the walls of the tub and inside your plumbing.
    Sometimes it may seem like others are doing the right thing because their spa water looks clear, but when you look under the cabinet or see the inside of the spa cover, you will find that the extra work that you put into your water chemistry is well worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hello
    Need info my parent says house javel is good for the spa and he kerosene using it. I don’t understand why it needs to be use ? Is it OK to use

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Hi Diane,

    We do not recommend using bleach (house javel) in spas. Bleach does not have the proper sanitation properties needed in hot tubs at the higher water temperatures. It also causes balancing issues with pH and holds a potent chlorine odor. There are many additives in household bleach that can affect overall water chemistry and reduces filter life. If possible, we recommend switching to dichlor granules (http://www.spadepot.com/Dichlor-Spa-Sanitizing-Granules-2-lbs-P827) or using a different sanitizing system all together.

    Thank you,

    Liked by 1 person

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