Your hot tub is an investment, and it should be treated as such.
Knowing how to properly care for your spa and ensuring you always have the hot tub supplies you need is essential in maximizing its life expectancy.
Hot tubs can last up to 20 years, however, you’ll only see that if you use the proper supplies to effectively maintain both your hot tub parts and water.
If you’re not sure what hot tub supplies you should have in stock or are curious about how you can update your existing routine, this article is for you.
Below you’ll find a comprehensive list of the hot tub supply essentials, as well as some additional options that may help you better support your spa long-term.
Let’s get started.
Why Are Hot Tub Supplies so Important?
One of the biggest aspects your hot tub supplies influence is your water quality, and if it isn’t well maintained, you could be looking at expensive repairs in the future.
The water in your hot tub comes in contact with every part of your spa. If it’s kept clean and well-balanced, the effects it will have on the parts and pipes of your system should be fairly standard.
However, if your water has fallen out of balance and become corrosive or acidic, it could
- Create scale build-up in your pipes and on your shell
- Slowly deteriorate the parts in your system
- Eat away at your shell
- Cause corrosion on your heating element, leading to cold water
Not only that, but unbalanced water isn’t safe to soak in and could lead to red and irritated skin and eyes after use or even rashes developing shortly after you’ve finished your spa session.
The great news is maintaining your water health and minimizing damage to your system is easy as long as you have the right products to do so.
9 Essential Hot Tub Supplies
The items you need to effectively care for your spa will fall into two main categories:
- Hot tub chemicals
- Hot tub supplies
Combining the essentials listed below will ensure you can easily maintain your hot tub long-term and maximize your enjoyment of it, trusting your water will be crystal clear and ready to soothe your aching muscles every time you lift the cover.
Hot Tub Chemicals
Water treatment chemicals are a vital part of maintaining your spa.
Bacteria thrive in water, and when it’s heated, it can overload your water quickly.
Your hot tub chemicals help ensure that your water is well-balanced, clean, and safe to use, so including a strict list of spa chemicals in your regular treatment routine is important.
1. Total Alkaline Increaser
Your pH and alkalinity determine how acidic or basic your water is, and you’ll need to keep them within the necessary ranges (see below) to keep your water safe to use and gentle on your system.
Where you live will have a significant influence on your water chemistry. Some areas have naturally harder water than others. This might mean your hot tub will need a more intensive round of pH and alkalinity treatments after each water change.
When adjusting your water chemistry, you’ll want to add an alkaline increaser before you work to bring your pH levels into range.
Alkalinity has more influence over your pH levels, meaning it quickly changes your pH, whereas your pH has very little effect on alkalinity. By adjusting your alkaline levels first, you’ll have an easier time balancing your water.
2. pH Increaser and Decreaser
As mentioned above, your pH is an essential aspect of the health of your water, and including pH increasers and decreasers will ensure you can always treat your water when it falls out of balance.
Anytime you are using these chemicals, follow the instructions on the back of the bottle carefully, add them while your system is running, and retest after 30 minutes.
Removing bacteria from your water is essential in keeping it clean and safe to use.
There are various sanitizers you can use in hot tubs, and whichever one you use will be based on your water system.
- Salt Cells
Once you’ve chosen your water care system, you should always have the necessary sanitizer on hand so you can easily treat your water at the first sign of trouble.
If your water has become dirty or over-saturated with bacteria, you may lift your cover and discover cloudy, foamy, or foul-smelling water.
While your sanitizer is an effective way to combat naturally occurring bacteria in your hot tub, there is one contaminant it struggles to manage; organic matter.
Organic matter is any oil that ends up in your water, such as
- Body lotions
- Hair products
- Dead skin cells
Anytime you use your spa, the oils on your skin will end up in the water, which can result in a layer of foam forming on the surface.
Adding an oxidizing shock treatment to your water will help break up this organic matter so that your sanitizer can work more effectively.
Including this treatment once a week will help keep foamy water at bay and make caring for your hot tub easier.
5. Hot Tub Filter Cleaner
Your filters are responsible for stripping any contaminant out of your water as it circulates through your system.
These contaminants naturally begin building up on your filters, leaving a layer of dirt and grime on their surface and in between their pleats.
While it’s great that they’re effectively keeping your water free of debris, they can only do so if they’re cleaned on a regular basis.
Your hot tub filters should be cleaned:
Each week you’ll simply be rinsing any dirt off your filters with water. Your monthly and quarterly cleans, however, will be done using filter cleaner, allowing for a deeper clean to maximize the lifespan of your filters.
Hot Tub Supplies
While your chemicals reign as king of necessary hot tub supplies, there are some additional essentials that you should always have on hand.
1. Water Test Kit
Without a way to test your water, you won’t be able to monitor your chemical levels or properly treat your water.
Water test kits, digital meters, or test strips make it easy to get an accurate reading of your
- pH and alkaline levels
- Sanitizer levels
Once you know where each of these levels is sitting, you can effectively add your chemicals as necessary to keep them within their expected ranges. These are as follows:
- pH: 7.2-7.8
- Alkalinity: 80-100 ppm
Your sanitizer levels will be depended on the type of sanitizer your use:
- Chlorine: 1-3 ppm
- Bromine: 3-5 ppm
- Biguanide: 30-50 ppm
If you have a saltwater hot tub, you’ll need to check the salinity of your water using sodium chloride test strips, ensuring it’s between 2000-2500.
Your cover protects your water from any debris being blown around your yard when you’re using your hot tub.
When the cover is off, your water will be subject to dirt, leaves, and bugs falling in and floating on the surface.
Using a small skimmer to quickly clean the surface of your water after each soak will help minimize the work your filters need to do and help keep your water clean.
3. Spa Vacuum
The surface of your shell that’s under the water will slowly accumulate a slippery film on it when not regularly cleaned.
This is a natural occurrence when anything is submerged in water for extended periods of time, especially when the water is exposed to oils.
Investing in spa vacuums will give you a way to easily clean the underwater surfaces of your hot tub, maintaining your shell between water changes and reducing the risk of it becoming slippery.
4. Hot Tub Sponges or Tennis Balls
Your oxidizer isn’t the only hot tub supply that combats organic matter floating in your water.
Adding hot tub sponges or tennis balls to your hot tub after you’ve finished your relaxing soak will help absorb any oils that are floating on the surface of the water.
This is one of the most cost-effective and easy ways to help support the health of your water.
Optional Hot Tub Supplies To Consider
While the items listed above are essential in best supporting the health of your spa, there are some optional spa supplies that may come in handy from time to time.
If your hot tub water has developed a layer of foam and you don’t have time to diagnose and treat the underlying cause, a clarifier is your best option.
Adding a clarifying treatment to your water will help clear up any foam so you can get back to using your spa quickly.
A clarifier isn’t a long-term solution and shouldn’t be used regularly. Essentially, it’s a band-aid solution that will cover up the problem before it reoccurs in the near future.
A Hose Filter
Adding a filter to your hose is an effective way to ensure the water you’re filling your tub with is as clean as possible.
While you’ll still need to test and balance your water after you’ve refilled your hot tub, this can make the process go much smoother.
Hot Tub-Safe Aromatherapy
While normal bath bombs and essential oils aren’t safe to use in your spa, there are various hot tub aromatherapy products you can buy that are designed to work with your spa without causing harm to your water and system.