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Hot Tub Chemicals

An important part of owning a hot tub is keeping the water clean and hygienic. This can easily be done with the right cleaning chemicals. Both chlorine and bromine are widely used by hot tub and pool owners to keep water sanitary. It is up to you which chemical you choose to treat your tub’s water, both are safe and effective options however each chemical offers different benefits and disadvantages.
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• Kinder on skin and eyes
• Milder odour than chlorine
• More stable in hot temperatures
• Stays active for longer and after shock treatments


• Slower dissolving rate than chlorine
• Slightly more expensive than chlorine
• Harder to remove smell from skin and swimwear

• Fast dissolving rate
• Easy to remove smell from skin and swimwear
• Less expensive than bromine
• Works to kill bacteria faster than bromine

• Needs to be replaced more quickly than bromine
• Can be harsh on skin and eyes
• Stronger smell than bromine
Shocking or oxidising a hot tub is a process most hot tub owners will need to do regularly (usually around once every couple of weeks) depending on how often the tub is used. Shocking involves adding a higher dose of your usual sanitation chemical or a non chlorine shock formula. Shocking has several important jobs, these include:

• Removing chloramines and bromamines

Chlorine and Bromine each attack contaminants in different ways. Chlorine oxidizes while bromine ionizes. As chlorine oxidises contaminants it gives off something called chloramines. Chloramines are a waste product and you certainly don’t want too much of them in your tub. Chloramines are responsible for the pungent chemical smell and skin irritation associated with chlorine. The less work chlorine has to do, the less chloramines are given off.

The bromine ionization process produces a different waste product called bromamines. Bromamines aren’t as harsh on skin and don’t produce as much of an odour, however they do reduce the bromines effectiveness and so bromine sanitized hot tubs still require shocking.

• Reactivating the Sanitizer

Both Chlorine and Bromine work by attaching themselves to the harmful bacteria and contaminants in your tub. However each of these sanitizers can only attach themselves to so many contaminants before becoming ‘used up’. Shocking your hot tub causes the sanitizers to break away from the contaminants, freeing it to work on killing bacteria.

Clearing cloudiness

As mentioned above both chlorine and bromnine attach to various contaminants in your hot tubs water. Some of these contaminants can cause the water to become cloudy. Cosmetics such as body lotions and sunscreens are one of the most common culprits when it comes to cloudy hot tub water. If the particles are too small to be fed through the hot tubs filter they will continue making the water cloudy. By shocking the hot tub and releasing the bromine/chlorine attached to the contaminants, they can form larger particles and effectively be filtered out of the water.
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