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What’s the Best Hot Tub Chemicals to Use – Reviews & Guide

If you don’t have time to read the full review and want to know what we choose as the best hot tub chemicals on the market, then we went for the Clearwater Chemical Starter Kit as our top pick for 2023.

Sick of seeing cloudy water in your hot tubs?

We know the feeling! That’s why we have detailed 7 of the most trusted hot tub chemicals. With proven results, you can have your spa back in tip-top condition in no time.

In most cases, getting a hot tub is just the start of a long, complex and continuous learning process on how to maintain the hot tub so that it keeps providing you with an excellent and worthwhile experience.

In this article, we are going to review the following hot tub chemicals

For starters, there is the hardware of the tub. Once you get through that phase, water management is done by using spa chemicals.

Let us be straight; setting up correctly is not easy and mastering the whole process takes time. Should you use Chlorine or Bromine? What does a calcium hardness increaser do?  However, once basic know-how is achieved, you can reduce the maintenance cost through tips and tricks that you’ve learnt on the way.

This hot tub care guide for dummies is also a great starting place. Hopefully, this guide will enable you to keep the costs down whilst still maintaining a hot tub’s benefits.

With all that said! Let’s jump straight in.

Our Top Hot Tub Chemicals [Updated 2023]

1. Clearwater CH0018 Lay-Z-Spa Chemical Starter Kit

A truly comprehensive hot tub chemical starter kit from one of the world’s most renowned pool hygiene brands, it’s no surprise that Clearwater has such a close relationship with industry leaders Lay Z Spa.

In this very affordable bundle, you’ll find everything you could possibly need to get your hot tub water clean, with clear and easy-to-follow instructions for first-time hot tub owners!

This pack includes 500g of Chlorine Granules, 700g of pH decreaser, 500g of pH increaser, and 25 handy test strips to help measure your hot tub pH levels accurately. We really liked the beginners to hot tub chemicals dosing guide to ensure you’re not adding more chemicals than necessary! 

Clearwater even throws in a 500ml bottle of foam remover to protect your hot tub water from scum and remove contaminants, kicking you off for a couple of months worth of complete chemical protection! 

2. SUDS-ONLINE Inflatable Hot Tub Chemical Starter Kit

A little cheaper than the Clearwater hot tub chemicals set, this SUDS Online bundle comes with all that you’ll need to keep a hot tub’s water clean and safe and even throws in a well-written guide on beginner’s hot tub chemistry! 

You’ll find a 500g bottle of stabilised Chlorine granules to be used as a hot tub sanitiser, 500g each of pH decreaser and pH increaser (to help adjust that pH balance!), 500g of anti foam for fighting off nasty scum and a whole 30 3-in-1 test strips for gauging your pH scale!

We reckon the SUDS Chlorine chemical kit offers surprisingly high-quality results for its super affordable price. With all that you need to know about how best to use your essential hot tub chemicals clearly covered in their handy pool/spa starter guide, great for first-time hot tubbers!

3. Pro-Kleen Hot Tub & Spa Anti Foam

Foam and scum buildup can be a recurring problem for many hot tub owners. If you’re a sociable household that gets a lot of use out of your hot tub or spa, the Chlorine is going to have to work extra hard! 

Pro-Kleen’s spa range anti-foam solution is possibly the most effective way to not only treat the buildup of foam and scum in hot tubs but also help prevent these nasty contaminants from taking hold in your hot tub water.

Suitable for use in all types of hot tub, the Pro-Kleen formula instantly works to break down any excess body oils and organic compounds in the water, suppressing both visible and underlying foam/scum buildups to keep your spa clean for longer.

Each 5L bottle is good for around 100 separate spa water treatments, requiring only 50ml of these hot tub chemicals to work effectively, making this one of the longest-lasting purchases on our list! 

4. Clearwater 1 kg Multifunction Chlorine Tablets

For busy hot tubbers or those who believe the best form of offence is a good defence, these Clearwater multifunctional Chlorine tablets are a great way to keep your spa’s chemical balance in check, preventing algae growth and clearing the signs of cloudy water in hot tubs.

These handy 4-in-1 tablets sanitise your hot tub water, stabilise your pH levels, kill bacteria and organic contaminants and even clarify your water supply to produce a crystal clear and hygienic hot tub.

Designed to dissolve in warm water slowly, these great little Chlorine tablets work best when used with a floating chemical dispenser, providing long-lasting protection and sanitising abilities and it kills bacteria automatically over the course of 3-5 days. What could be easier? 

5. AQUASPARKLE Non-Chlorine Shock

If you have sensitive skin or find the smell of chlorine-based sanitisers and hot tub chemicals too off-putting for use in your spa, you might want to consider this Aquasparkle non-chlorine shock treatment next time your hot tub needs a proper deep clean!

Most people won’t have any issues with the smaller amounts of chlorine used in their daily hot tub chemicals, but shock products, used after heavy usage require a hefty dose all at once, which can be quite smelly. This non-chlorine shock is mostly odourless kills bacteria and is just as effective at clearing up your spa water!

Great for those with skin conditions, the Aquasparkle formula is unlikely to cause irritation as it destroys bacteria by releasing active oxygen into the water. It can even be used in hot tubs that rely on Chlorine or Bromine granules in their daily sanitising routines.

6. Desjoyaux Pools Algaecide For Hot Tubs

It’s not just Chlorine and Bromine you need to worry about either; a common problem with hot tubs, persistent algae growth can be a constant pain for many spa owners; once these irritating organic pests take hold of your hot tub water, they can be a massive pain to get rid of! 

We’ve had great results using this Desjoyaux brand algaecide to treat contaminated hot tubs, with the Chlorine and metal-free formula working to kill organic contaminants and prevent them from taking hold in the future.

By simply pouring some of this chemical into your hot tub water with the filtration system engaged, the Desjoyaux formula will work to remove algae and keep your hot tub water clear and even coat the inner linings of your spa to prevent it from coming back.

What’s best is that you know this brand has confidence in their hot tub chemicals, as they offer a 100% money-back guarantee if you don’t see the results of the water problems you were expecting! 

7. Pro-Kleen pH Increaser

Suppose your hot tub or spa sees daily use. In that case, you’ll know just how difficult it can be to keep your pH levels balanced, especially with the constant changes the water experiences due to the body oils, lotions and any other contaminants that your guests leave behind.

The best (and quickest) way to solve this issue is to make good use of water balance hot tub chemicals, with Pro-Kleen pH Increaser being the formula we always turn to! 

If your hot tub’s pH level is too low, the water will be acidic and can cause skin and eye irritation and may even begin to damage your spa’s linings, but just a cap or two of this chemical treatment will bring your pH back up to a healthy 7.2-7.8, perfect for a safe soak with your guests.

Remember total alkalinity can also affect your PH level so you may need to increase and decrease that too. 

It’s super easy to use, and with only 10g needed per 1000L of water, each 1kg tub will last you ages before you need to think about re-upping your supply! 

What are the Benefits Of Spa Chemicals

To keep your spa water clean with the perfect balance, you need to have knowledge about different spa chemicals and do regular spa water testing to ensure the balance is safe for you to soak in.

Later, we will look at the cheapest spa and swimming pool chemicals on the market, but for now, let’s check out their benefits below!

  • Maintain the cleanliness of pool water, keeping it algae, fungus and odour free.
  • Using a PH decreaser or increaser will result in a ph level that is optimum for both the pool’s hardware and prevents skin irritation
  • Removing and eliminating human dead skin, bath salts, foams, and other oils from hot tubs.
  • Sanitising and keeping the harmful bacteria away.
  • Increasing the life of hot tub parts and ensuring that filters for hot tubs can last as long as possible.
  • Eliminate hot tub health hazards and constant changing of water.
  • Tackle issues caused by calcium hardness such as foamy water or erratic PH levels

Coming up are our favourite chemicals for spas, but for now, see why you need to keep hot tubs in pristine condition…

Each treatment available on the market is different; From Bromine or Chlorine tablets and granules to chemicals for salt systems. Most of them work as advertised to kill bacteria, but unless we have used them, we cannot say if they are the best choice for a hot tub owner. One thing for sure is you shouldn’t use a hot tub without chemicals 

For some who get used to swimming at an early age in swimming pools, the smell of Chlorine becomes natural, and for others, it always remains a problem.

Do not get me wrong; overexposure to Chlorinated water is not healthy. It is just that some people do not feel bad about the Chlorine smell in their hot tub water. There is no single best way to find the perfect product for you be it a PH increaser or either Chlorine or Bromine. It is a time taking process and ultimately happens over time.

However, the bottom line is that maintaining a hot tub is not a cheap activity. It is a constant expense and something that you should really know about.

Along with filter changes swimming pool and hot tub, chemicals are an essential part of your spa maintenance and help ensure you enjoy hot tub benefits as well. You need something like Bromine or Chlorine that kills bacteria and keeps the water balanced otherwise you will end up with issues. Even if you’re buying cheap Chlorine or chemicals, they are going to be far less expensive than hiring a hot tub maintenance service to come out and do it for you.

Organic Options

There is no such thing as a chemical-free hot tub, and you shouldn’t use a hot tub without chemicals but there are other hot tub cleaning solutions that have less of an effect on your skin and the environment than Bromine or Chlorine. Aquagarde and Eco One are both treatments that dramatically reduce the need for either Chlorine or Bromine which are much harsher


Which chemical is best for your hot tub or spa?

How soon can you use a hot tub after adding chemicals?

Here’s the deal; it depends on what chemicals you are using for your hot tub care. If you follow the lay-z-spa chemical instructions, then you may need to wait up to 24 hours until the Chlorine level reaches 5PPM. Alternatively, if you use a non-Chlorine treatment, or Bromine you can be enjoying your spa again in around 10-15 minutes.

Do hot tubs need chemicals?

How to balance hot tub levels?

Last Word

Below, we have concluded our winner as the Clearwater Starter Kit, as it includes everything you need from the moment you set up your tub. The kit is considered a bestseller and has had over 600 5* reviews showing that they are one of the best in the business. 

The Jacuzzi chemicals mentioned above are all great products in one way or the other. Even if they feel expensive to use, the ideal chemicals will help increase the life of your spa and ultimately provide excellent value for money. There is nothing that can be compared with a perfect relaxing soak and that is one of the reasons you got the hot tub in the first place.

If you come across your tub with cloudy water in it, chances are you will need to change the filters and add chemicals, so be sure to check out the different Jacuzzi chemical kits to resolve the solution and restore balance. Most are relatively cheap in price but make a world of difference in stopping algae, bacteria and dirt from filling the water and clogging your filter cartridges. 

Remember these chemicals for swimming pools and hot tubs are toxic so always store hot tub chemicals safely away from children and pets

Whether you need a calcium hardness increaser, bromine tablets or total alkanity decreaser after reading this, we hope that your search process will be much easier. Thank you for your time and hope that this article proves helpful to you.

John Devlin

Hello, Welcome to my website. I’m John, and I created the InflatableHotTubGuide while researching these spas nearly a decade ago. Since its creation, the site has become the leading UK resource for many models. As a passionate hot tub user, I love to test and explore all the latest machines this industry keeps creating. I hope you find our content helpful.