You bought a new hot tub because you want to enjoy relaxing evenings by yourself and entertain friends. You know you need to treat the water to kill germs that cause things like hot tub folliculitis and to keep the jets and pipes clear of clogs. However, you do not want to spend a lot of money on chemicals. Below are three cleaners using cheaper ingredients that you may already have at home.
The Three "B" Mixture: Bleach, Borax, And Baking Soda
The chlorine in the bleach will kill most bacteria and viruses that could come into contact with your water. The borax stabilizes the pH of the water, creating an environment that does not suit most germs. The baking soda in this mixture adds a slightly abrasive agent that can keep your jets clean.
After filling your hot tub with clean water, add a half gallon of bleach, a quarter box of borax, and an entire box of baking soda. Turn on the jets and allow them to run for an hour to fully dissolve and mix up the ingredients. Allow the water to sit for three hours before using it to give it time to kill any potential germs.
Two words of caution are needed about this hot tub treatment. If you have copper pipes, the borax and bleach mixture will corrode them fairly quickly, usually within a couple of years. If you are unsure what your pipes are made of, ask the plumber that installed your system.
Also, if you are very sensitive to chlorine, do not use this mixture. Instead, try one of the two following homemade treatment options.
Salt Water Cleaner
Salt provides a natural antibacterial. It also absorbs into clog that start forming inside the jets, helping them to operate at full pressure.
Add a half pound of salt to your hot tub after filling it with clean water. Turn the thermostat all the way up to fully dissolve the salt. At the same time, turn your jets on and let them run for an hour to thoroughly mix it up. Allow the water to sit for an hour before using it.
If you have metal components to your hot tubs jets, you should either not use this treatment or only use it sparingly. Salt corrodes metal, causing it to rust within a year or two. If you do decide to use this treatment and see rust starting to form on the jets, as your plumber about the best way to safely remove it.
Hydrogen peroxide is safe to use whether you have metal jets or copper pipes. It is highly effective at killing any germs that come into contact with it. It also keeps the jets, inner pipes, and lining of the tub free from dirt, since it breaks it up very quickly.
After filing the tub with clean water, add two full bottles of hydrogen peroxide to the water. Turn the jets on low for 15 minutes, since the peroxide will bubble when it comes into contact with any bacteria or dirt that is in the water.
After the initial 15 minutes, turn your jets on high and leave them on for a half an hour. Allow the water to sit for an hour before getting into it.
After using these homemade cleaners, you may still find that your jets become clogged or the water does not stay as clean as you would like it to be. If so, you can call local plumbers to look at your pipes and ask him or her to recommend an inexpensive hypoallergenic hot tub treatment.