Chlorine and bromine are popular and effective for hot tub sanitation, but they might not be for you. After all, both can result in unpleasant smells, dry skin and stinging eyes.
If you’re looking to minimize your use of harsh chemicals, there are a number of fantastic alternatives to choose from.
Here, we’ll go over three of the best alternative hot tub sanitizers so you can find the right one for you.
Read on to learn about:
- Salt water sanitizers.
You might not know exactly what ozone is, but you’ve probably smelled it before. Ozone is the molecule responsible for the distinctive scent of air after a thunderstorm.
As it turns out, ozone is actually a stellar sanitizer, too. Hot tub ozonators capitalize on that by pumping ozone into hot tub water. Once the ozone molecules come into contact with bacteria, they destroy the bacteria through a powerful process known as oxidation.
While oxidation involves a complex transfer of electrons, the result is simple: Clean, sanitized hot tub water.
Best of all, the only byproduct of a hot tub ozonator is pure, breathable oxygen. As an added bonus, ozone won’t irritate your skin, and may actually benefit it.
To learn more about hot tub ozonators and how they work, check out our previous blog post on the topic.
Ionization refers to the process in which an atom or molecule acquires an electrical charge by gaining or losing an electron. Those atoms or molecules are then called “ions.”
In hot tub ionizers, ions derived from various metals, such as silver, copper or zinc, are released into the water and kill bacteria on contact.
The germ-killing properties of ionization are nothing new. In fact, records show that humans have been using metals like silver for their purifying abilities since ancient times.
While hot tub ionizers still need to be supplemented by chemicals like chlorine or bromine, they allow hot tub owners to decrease their chemical usage drastically.
3. Salt Water Sanitizers
Just like ozonators and ionizers, salt water sanitizers use a natural chemical reaction to kill bacteria. In the case of salt water sanitizers, that chemical reaction is known as electrolysis.
Once you add salt to your hot tub’s water, the salt water sanitizer’s salt cell (or chlorinator cell) reacts with the salty hot tub water to produce chlorine gas. That chlorine gas effectively kills the bacteria in your spa water without the irritation of regular chlorine.
Plus, hot tubs that use salt water sanitizers need to be maintained less frequently, and provide more buoyant water.
Like ionizers, salt water sanitizers still require the use of chemicals like chlorine or bromine. So, salt water hot tubs are a fantastic way to cut down on your chemical use, but won’t be able to eliminate it completely.
To learn more about the pros and cons of salt water hot tubs, check out our previous blog post here.
With those three options available, there’s no need to decide between dirty water or large amounts of harsh chemicals.
Ozonators, ionizers and salt water sanitizers can keep your hot tub water safe, clean and fresh, with fewer chemicals to worry about and less irritation.