How To Sanitize a Hot Tub (5 Easy Steps)

This post will show you proven ways to sanitize your hot tub to ensure that it is safe for use, looking and smelling clean all the time.

Hot tubs provide hours of relaxation and fun for family and friends. Unfortunately, you're not the only one having a good time in your hot tub. Germs and bacteria can start breeding in your hot tub unless you take the time to sanitize it. The good news is that it's not too hard to sanitize a hot tub, and you can do it all by yourself.

If you've just bought a new hot tub or it's your first time learning how to sanitize your hot tub, we'll teach you how to do it in 5 easy steps.

What You'll Need to Sanitize a Hot Tub

Before we go through the steps, here's a list of what you're going to use to sanitize your hot tub:

  • chlorine or bromine (granules or tablets)
  • floaters (if you're using tablets)
  • test strips for measuring chlorine or bromine content
  • dichlor shock

You might be thinking about which sanitizer to use - chlorine or bromine. Both are actually great. Chlorine kills bacteria more quickly than bromine, but they don't last very long. On the other hand, bromine stays longer, though not as quick-acting as chlorine. It's also friendlier to the nose and skin because it has a lower pH than chlorine.

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Choose granules or tablets over liquid sanitizers as they disperse more evenly, allowing your hot tub to reach every nook and cranny when circulating water. Oftentimes liquid sanitizers have already dissipated before they get a chance to get to those hard-to-reach areas.

When it comes to shocking your hot tub, dichlor is the choice for many hot tub owners. It reactivates the chlorine or bromine in your hot tub and restores your hot tub water to its previous state.

Sanitize Your Hot Tub Step-by-Step

Now that you have everything you need, it's time to sanitize your hot tub.

sanitize your hot tub step-by-step
  1. Measure how many gallons your hot tub has. You can quickly tell how many gallons your hot tub can hold by multiplying its length, width, and depth and multiplying the result by 7.5. This will give you an idea of how much chlorine or bromine you need to add to the water.
  2. Add chlorine or bromine to the water. If you're using granules, just pour the right amount directly into your hot tub and let it run for 20 minutes to dissolve it. Put them in a floater if you're using tablets and wait till it dissolves completely.
  3. Measure the chlorine or bromine content. Get the test strips and check the chlorine or bromine level in the water. The ideal level for chlorine is three parts per million (ppm). For bromine, it's five ppm.
  4. Scrub off scum build-up. Check the spa's shell, jets, and water line. You need to make them clean as well. White vinegar will do the trick, but you can also use hot tub cleaners.
  5. Shock your hot tub once a week. After some time, your water will lose some of its chlorine or bromine content. Some are converted to chloramine or bromamine. We usually associate this smell with chlorine, but it's actually chloramine. You need to shock your hot tub with dichlor to break them apart and use the free chlorine after shocking your hot tub.

We recommend sanitizing your hot tub once a week. Check how much free chlorine or bromine your hot tub has before adding another dose of sanitizer. Too much sanitizer will make the water cloudy or cause irritation; too little will allow bacteria to grow. Use the test strips just to be sure.


Sanitizing your hot tub should be a part of your weekly routine. It's really easy if you know how to do it properly. Follow these steps to ensure your hot tub is free from germs and bacteria. So next time you take a dip, you're pretty sure it's safe, clean, and healthy for everybody.