How To Maintain a Hot Tub Without Chemicals: Is It Possible?

You don't have to rely on harsh chemicals to keep your hot tub running smoothly and efficiently. This article will give you some alternative ways to maintain your hot tub quickly and efficiently.

Most people think that using chemicals to clean their hot tub is the only way to keep it clean. But there are other ways to keep your hot tub clean and healthy without using chemicals. Some of these alternatives are better for the environment, others are easier to use, and others are just plain better. But is it possible to maintain a hot tub without using chemicals?

Running a hot tub without chemicals

If you are looking for ways to cut down on the chemicals in your spa, a good first step is choosing one that runs without chemicals or uses natural ingredients. Chemicals could still be used in some alternative hot tub systems but in smaller quantities.

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There are a lot of options that will reduce chemical use. Some of these options cost more and may not be feasible for most hot tub owners. But there are affordable and practical alternatives.

Consider the following if you want a more natural way to sanitize your hot tub:

  1. Ultraviolet (UV) System. This is an excellent replacement for chlorine. Ultraviolet (UV) is a form of invisible radiation that comes from the sun. Did you know it can kill bacteria? You might be surprised, but ultraviolet hot tub sanitizers offer the same benefits, plus it also adds a nice splash of color to your spa. UV systems work very well to eliminate contaminants, but you'll still need to shock your hot tub to improve water clarity.
  2. Salt-based systems. Many people avoid chlorine by choosing a salt-based system. A saltwater system requires you to add small amounts of salt to the hot tub water to soften the water. But over time, chlorine will start building up due to the salt's reaction to hydrolysis. So although you're not using chlorine, you'll still end up with chlorine in your hot tub after some time. Also, keep in mind saltwater is corrosive, which could damage metal parts of your hot tub if they're not designed for it.
  3. You can run your hot tub with ozone and get rid of bacteria by using this system without needing to shock your hot tub very often. It works by injecting ozone into the hot tub. The downsides are they are more expensive than conventional sanitizers and may require modification of your hot tub.
  4. Ionizers are a natural alternative to chlorine and bromine for hot tub treatment. They combine copper and silver to eliminate mold, mildew, and bacteria from your hot tub. This sanitizer works by releasing silver and copper ions into the water. They aren't quite as good as conventional sanitizers, but they reduce the amount of sanitizers you need to use.
  5. Enzyme-based treatment. This treatment does not eliminate the need for chemical sanitizer and shock. However, it may reduce the number or amount of chemicals required to maintain your hot tub water by removing the food source for bacteria from the water. It also helps eliminate bad smells and odors and prevent scaling.

Key Takeaways: Maintaining a chemical-free hot tub is possible, but some can cost you more while others won't sanitize your hot tub completely. A more likely solution is to use these alternatives to reduce the amount of chemicals you'll need.

Maintaining a clean hot tub

Keeping your hot tub sanitized without using chlorine or bromine can be challenging. Still, you can certainly slow down the growth of bacteria and minimize the amount of contaminants that go into your hot tub. Here's how:

maintaining a clean hot tub
  1. Keep your hot tub covered. It's important to keep your hot tub cover on to avoid getting clogged up by debris, insects, and critters. This can cause the water to become stagnant and require more chemicals to clean it, eventually making your water unsafe for your family to use. This is especially important if you're running a hot tub without chemicals.
  2. Shower before use. You should reduce the amount of oils and bacteria in the water by first asking bathers to shower with soap and water before entering the hot tub. Ask them not to use hair products in the tub. This will reduce the amount of sanitizer required to keep your hot tub clean.
  3. Maintain balanced hot tub water. Make sure your hot tub water is balanced and within the recommended ranges. If you have a chlorine or chlorine-free hot tub, it's essential to keep your pH, alkalinity, and water hardness within the recommended range, usually between 7.2 and 7.8. Improper levels reduce the effectiveness of sanitizers. Some methods include adding baking soda and allowing it to circulate in the hot tub for two to four hours until you reach the desired PH level.
  4. Drain more frequently. Keeping your hot tub maintained properly by draining and cleaning it every 2 to 3 months can reduce the amount of chemicals required for proper water sanitation levels. This also prevents mold and mildew growth that can stain your spa.
  5. Maintain your filter. Maintaining a clean filter reduces the need for chemicals, making your hot tub much safer for your family. Clean your filter at least once a week and thoroughly every month. It is typically recommended to replace your filter once a year. However, the size and usage of your hot tub determine how often you need to replace your filter.
  6. Run pump longer. Running your hot tub pump at least 8 hours per day circulates water in your hot tub, so the water stays clean longer. Bacteria will have a harder time breeding in moving water than stagnant water. You'll also need fewer chemicals to sanitize your hot tub if the water is well-circulated.

Key Takeaways: You may not be able to eliminate bacteria and other contaminants in your hot tub completely, but you can prevent or slow down their growth by maintaining a clean hot tub.

key takeaways


Hot tubs are a great addition to any home. It's an excellent way to relax and unwind after a long day. However, if you want to enjoy the benefits of a hot tub, you need to make sure that it's well maintained and that you are taking good care of it. We gave you the options on how to keep your hot tub running smoothly without using harsh chemicals, but it's all up to you if you want to go the natural way or if you have the time and effort.