Never Use Bleach in Your Hot Tub

Thinking of cleaning your hot tub with bleach? Here’s why this may be a bad idea!


Photo: Choice Designs

There are not many things that can give you more pleasure than slipping into a hot tub for a relaxing soak. A luxury found in many homes and on even more back patios, the health and well-being benefits that a hot tub can provide for a family can last for years with the proper maintenance.

Hot tub dealers say that their most commonly asked question is whether or not it is safe to add regular household bleach into your tub for cleaning. People get in a pinch for supplies and want to know if chlorine bleach can be used as a temporary substitute. Across the board, the answer is NO. Don’t use chlorine to clean your hot tub, especially not household bleach!

Photo: FGY Architects

The water and operating system in your hot tub is a combination of a delicate pH balancing act and proper mechanical maintenance. Household bleach is not formulated or stabilized properly to be added to these systems without the risk of causing extensive damage. The pH level of bleach is incredibly high (13), and would therefore need other chemicals to be added to the mix to bring it down to a proper level.

Bleach is also highly corrosive. The lining, plastic and metal components, and motor can be quickly eroded beyond repair. Buying a hot tub is a large purchase for your home and making unnecessary repairs and parts replacements can break the bank.

Photo: Whitespace Architects

Not only is bleach damaging to the hot tub unit itself, but it can be a hazard for anyone using it. With bleach in the water, there can be damage to clothes and swimsuits, skin irritation and hair damage. The strong and unpleasant ammonia odor can take all the pleasure out of your soak, as well as potentially cause dizziness or headache.

With no science behind using bleach in your hot tub system, it is easy to either add too much or too little to the system, both causing adverse effects. Over chemicalizing the water in your tub can cause an effect called buffering. This is when the water environment has gone through too many chemical shifts and becomes resistant to treatment.

Photo: RRM Design Group

While keeping harmful bacteria and removing mold from your hot tub is part of the important maintenance for your unit, using an uncertified product like bleach can only have unwanted side effects and damaging results. Products like ionRX will keep your water environment healthy while keeping the chemical level in your pool to a minimum. It has a pleasant, non-chemical odor that will give your tub water a natural smell and feel.

Using the proper chemical treatments for your hot tub is the best way to keep it lasting for years of enjoyment. Without a proper chemical balance in your unit, the water can become overrun with Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) that can prematurely age your water. No one wants to have to constantly drain and refill the hot tub just to keep things feeling and looking clean.

Chlorine products are not all created equal. While household bleach is excellent for regular cleaning and disinfecting around the house, it can be a dangerous and damaging choice for your hot tub. Make sure to have a good supply of the proper chemicals that can keep you soaking safely for years to come.

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