A hot tub requires routine maintenance and chemical use to keep its water clean. These keep the tub functioning so the user can have a blissful soak. There are many ways to keep the hot tub water clean. Of them, the use of different chemicals not only keeps the water visually clean but also keeps the water perimeters at the required level. That’s where users find it very confusing if they can put bleach in a hot tub to keep its water clean and safe for use.
To end your confusion, you can put bleach in a hot tub, but under certain conditions. Bleach is not recommended to be used for cleaning hot tubs or their water. Because they are not as efficient as purpose-built chemical surfactants when it comes to cleaning hot tubs. Also, it has some mild to severe disadvantages if used improperly or frequently. By reading this content till the end, you will have a brief knowledge of whether can you put bleach in a hot tub, reasons for not using bleach regularly, tips for using bleach in a hot tub, and some of its alternatives.
- Bleach in hot tubs is not recommended but you can still use them under some conditions.
- Bleach doesn’t come with a stabilizer, thus making hot tub water perimeters unstable.
- Possible corrosion on hot tubs can arise after bleach application, leading to a void in its warranty.
- Bleach shouldn’t be used as a cleaner unless you have a proper cleanser in your possession.
Can You Put Bleach In A Hot Tub?
You can certainly put bleach in a hot tub, but not always. They are usually used for removing stains from fabric at the industry level. There are also some other uses for bleach, such as cleaning bathroom sinks or placing it on disposal materials to remove the primary odor. Before putting bleach in your hot tub, the first question arises: Why do you want to use bleach?
Bleach As A Cleaner: If it is for cleaning the hot tub’s water, then surely bleach can’t help much. Because bleach is technically not a cleaner but a disinfectant. Most often, we use chlorine or bromine to clean hot tub water. Chlorine is more of a natural product that cleanses algae and dissolves low-level contamination materials in the water. Although chlorine is one of the active ingredients in bleach, it isn’t strong enough to properly clean your hot tub. Pool or hot tub cleaning chlorine (sodium hypochlorite) has 12% strength, whereas household-based bleach has 6% chlorine in it. So not much help for your hot tub.
While they can’t clean or sanitize your hot tub properly, putting them in a hot tub can still manage some of the tasks of a regular cleaner, though with low efficiency. It can only become a viable option if there is a lack of mainstream cleaners in your possession and you need to clean your hot tub. Remember, this shouldn’t be a permanent solution and should be done on rare occasions only. Amount of such bleach for use in your hot tub:
- Add 1/2 cup of bleach to a small hot tub (up to 500 gallons).
- Add 1 cup of bleach to a medium-hot tub (500-1000 gallons).
- Add 2 cups of bleach to a large hot tub (1000 gallons or more).
What Happens When You Put Bleach In A Hot Tub?
There are two types of bleach with different uses and results. One is chlorine-based, and another is oxygen-based. While both of them have a pretty good impact on cleaning and as a disinfectant on solid surfaces, things change radically once they are put on duty on wet surfaces. Especially the liquid bleaches used in outdoor hot tubs get quickly diluted under sunlight. Now let’s go back to the aftereffects of putting different types of bleach in a hot tub.
Chlorine-Based Bleach: Chlorine bleach is sodium hypochlorite diluted with water to around a five percent concentration. Too much concentration can cause an imbalance in the hot tub’s water, causing negative side effects for the users such as skin irritation, eye irritation, and other physical discomforts. This is because bleach releases hydroxide ions (OH-), which raise the pH level of the water and make it ineffective against other chlorine-based disinfectants. It can even be corrosive and damage the hot tub if it’s not used properly. That’s why it is not recommended to put chlorine-based bleach in hot tub water.
Oxygen-Based Bleach: Oxygen bleach, or sodium percarbonate, is made from sodium carbonate (also known as soda ash) and hydrogen peroxide. It works by releasing oxygen once it is exposed to water. These ensure better sanitization of your hot tub’s water by breaking down dirt, bacterial organisms, and other organic contamination. Unlike chlorine-based bleach, they don’t get diluted that quickly in contact with sunlight. So it is better to use oxygen-based bleach if you have to. Use caution and in the necessary amount while putting oxygen-based bleach in a hot tub.
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6 Reasons For Not Using Bleach In A Hot Tub
It is not recommended to use bleach in a hot tub. But in special cases, you can use bleach in hot tub water in moderate quantities. Though bleach and other water cleaning products use chlorine as the basic element, there are several reasons not to use bleach frequently in a hot tub. Such as:
An unstable state of chlorine can make the hot tub water affected by over-chlorination. This will quickly cause the pH level to rise and make the water acidic. Consuming or coming into contact with this water can have mild to severe consequences for the human body. Also, due to the rustic nature of the water element, the very hot tub can corrode and become inactive sooner than you thought.
2. No Stabilizer
Contrary to the first reason, most chlorine-based special-build hot tub cleaners use a stabilizing ingredient named Cyanuric Acid, or simply CYA. But as bleach wasn’t built to clean hot tub water, they lack this stabilizer. That’s why, in the case of using such bleach in the hot tub, it may be necessary to apply a CYA stabilizer to have stable chlorine in the water.
3. May Void the Tub’s Warranty
The imbalanced nature of bleaching can cause severe and unstable consequences in hot tub water. Due to their acidic nature, they can cause quick rusting on the hot tub parts. Rust caused by using bleach can make the tub unsuitable for a warranty claim. It is like hampering your tub by your own hand, unknowingly.
4. Shorter Shelf Life Than Chlorine
Bleach has a shorter shelf life than chlorine. Typical bleaches have a shelf life of 12 months but start to lose their effectiveness after 6 months or less. As people are advised not to use bleaches in hot tubs frequently, you might find your bleaches expired or even less effective the next time you opt to use them.
5. Not The Safest Option
One of the main reasons for considering bleaches for use in your hot tub is their nature of impact on the human body. Coming into contact with raw bleach can have an instant impact on the hands and eyes. The user can even feel chemical burns on their skin. Soaking in improperly bleached hot tub water can also cause different skin and organ issues.
6. Odorous Scent
Bleach has a strong natural odor. Applying such household or different-purpose bleach to your hot tub can cause the water to be equally dull-scented. You wouldn’t love that while in need of a pleasant soak, would you?
Tips For Putting Bleach In A Hot Tub (If Have To)
Now as you can understand different aspects of putting bleach in a hot tub, it is better not to use them for cleaning and sanitizing tubs water. But at the same time if you have to, make sure to follow these tips for a better user experience:
- Source the best ‘purpose-built’ and unscented version of such bleach.
- Measure your hot tub’s water pH and other perimeters before applying bleach.
- Don’t forget to add CYA or Cyanuric Acid upon putting the bleach as a chlorine stabilizer and longer treatment.
- Precisely calculate the amount of bleach in accordance with your tub water amount.
- Be careful while putting the bleach. Use protective gear before touching the bleach.
- Constantly monitor the water perimeters before using the hot tub for the first time after putting bleaches.
Bleach Alternatives To Clean A Hot Tub
1. Bright and Clear by Leisure Time
Bright and Clear from Leisure Time is specially designed for hot water applications. This cleanser uses a formula that works as a filter aid or helper to remove small particles. It has a surprisingly quick reaction and floats debris instantly after application. Allowing you to scoop them or let the tubs filter to do the rest.
2. Clean Start by SilkBalance
This product is known for its powerful but gentle impact on cleaning hot tubs and spas. This means they imply a quick and effective solution to remove dirt and bacterial organisms without leaving any negative impact on the tub or human body. They are more effective at cleaning the tub equipment and plumbing pipes.
You can use bleach on the hot water in the tub, but again, it will not be effective in cleaning the tub or its water. Bleach has the characteristic of getting decompressed in contact with liquid and heat. That’s why using bleach in an outdoor hot tub can make it diluted if it comes into contact with sunlight.
Baking soda, also known chemically as sodium bicarbonate, is primarily intended for cooking use. But they are popular among users as a DIY method to raise the pH level of the hot tub’s water. At the same time, they ensure alkalinity rises with the pH level.
There could be a lot of this and that to keep your hot water clean. But chlorine and bromine are the two most popular, efficient, and popular elements that will keep your hot tub’s water clean.
Cleaning your hot tub is different and more sensitive than cleaning your clothes or other utensils. This is because hot tubs can house dangerous debris and bacterial organisms that can harm your body or the hot tub. That’s why it is necessary to use authentic and special-build cleaning materials. Bleach is a very effective fabric and other dry surface cleanser. But when it comes to cleaning your hot tub, they are not as effective as the former. It would be a false statement to say that you can’t put bleach in a hot tub. However, they have some serious side effects if used frequently and in aggressive amounts. Also, they aren’t as effective as purpose-built cleaners for cleaning your hot tub. Use only what you have to and with caution.
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I am Donald M. Beyer and I am backyard enthusiasts. I am a homeowner who has been doing DIY projects in and out of my house for many years. From simple backyard lunches to making an old-school pizza oven in my own backyard, I have a lot of experience in turning my backyard into my and my family’s personal playground.