Can You Use Hot Tubs With Cold Water? (Explained)

What if you don’t want a hot bath? Hot baths are great and all. But, what about summer days? Can you use hot tubs with cold water?

You sure can. You need to turn down the temperature of the tub and ensure the water is cold enough for you.

But, there is more to using your hot tub cold than just filling it with cold water. You need to know how cold your water should be, what chemicals to add, and if at all cold baths are good for you.

Can You Use Hot Tubs With Cold Water?

So, should you add cold water to your hot tub? Yes, if that's what you want. Spa's with cold water is good, but don't overdo it.

Yes, your hot tub can be used with cold water. Some hot tubs come designed with a cool-mode or cold-mode on the temperature panel that allows you to alternate between warm and cold baths.

If yours doesn’t have that feature, it’s no big deal. You can simply switch off the heater, remove the hot tub cover, drain the warm water in the tub, and add cold water into the tub.

If you don’t feel like draining the water, you can also turn off the heater or lower the temperature on the temperature panel. Then, remove the cover, and turn on the jets. The jets keep turning the water till it cools. When you have the desired level of cool, you can enjoy that cool refreshing bath you are longing for.

Most hot tubs give the user the luxury of turning down the temperature of the water to as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius). Once you have lowered the temperature using the temperature panel, you can enjoy a cool and refreshing bath. Well, that’s what we are made to believe.

In actual fact, the water in your hot tub is not going to get as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius). So, what do you do to get your water temperature lower? There are different ways to go about this. Keep reading to find out how.

Can You Put Ice in Your Hot Tub?

This is a controversial subject when it comes to using hot tubs. Most people believe adding ice to their hot tubs will hamper the effectiveness of the tub. Will it? No.

What about ice? Can you put ice in your hot tub? Yes, you can. If you want to lower your water temperature faster, then you can throw some ice into the water.

Contrary to what most people think, adding ice to your hot tub will not damage the hot tub in any way. You can put blocks of dry ice in your tub if you feel the need to or if the water from your tap isn’t cold enough for you.

Adding ice to your tub is a great and fast way to lower the temperature of your tub quickly. If you want to, you should switch off the heater and drop the blocks of ice in the tub.

You will notice a drop in the water temperature on the panel display. However, we wouldn’t advise it regularly.

How Cold Can My Hot Tub Be?

Generally, you should keep the cold water temperature in your hot tub between 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) and 82 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius). This water temperature will feel very pleasant and cold enough for you.

However, it is still not that simple. While this water temperature should be good enough for just about anybody, you still need to consider some factors.

  • Your age: it is not appropriate for kids below 10 years of age and elderly persons above 60 years of age to stay in the water as cold as 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) for too long. Anyone between ages 15 and 50 can withstand the cold for about 10 to 15 minutes without any side effects.
  • How hot the weather is: the higher the temperature of the weather, the colder the water you want. Usually, a water temperature of about 80 degrees Fahrenheit (degrees Celsius) should be cool enough for any warm or hot temperature. Rather than reduce the temperature of the water below that, we advise you to stay in the water for a longer period. Maybe 15-20 minutes.
  • How long you can withstand the cold: this factor is all you. Different people have different resistant rates to cold. However, you shouldn’t push yourself past what you can’t take.

Do I Need to Add Chemicals to a Cold Water Hot Tub?

Yes, you need to add chemicals to your cold water hot tub before submerging yourself in it. The chemicals are required to treat the water in the tub to ensure it is clean, safe for you and also to maintain the tub. 

The germs do not only pose a threat to you but the tub too. A poorly maintained tub will start to show signs of discoloration and corroding after time.

Without treating the water in your tub, the tub is going to become a breeding space for all sorts of germs especially bacteria. If you feel using cold water in your hot tub would kill or get rid of the bacteria, you probably did not pay attention in biology class.

Bacteria can withstand colder temperatures than humans. This means regardless of how cold you set up your cold water hot tub, as long as you can bath and stay in it, the bacteria can withstand the cold too. Therefore, you need to treat the water regularly with chemicals so you don’t have to worry about hot tub-related infections.

The water in your hot tub is different from that in your bathtub. With your bathtub, you drain the water or empty the tub after having your bath but the water in your hot tub is left there for weeks and months in some cases. Luckily, treating cold water hot tub isn’t as lengthy as treating hot water.

What Chemicals Should I Add to My Cold Water Hot Tub?

Basically, with your cold water hot tub, you just have to worry about the cleanliness and maybe the pH level. The question now is what chemicals should you add?

You can add chemicals, but that chemicals can you add to cold water? You can add sanitizers such as bromine or chlorine, and you can add pH increase or decreases.


The sanitizer is hands down the most important chemical to be added to your hot tub. The sanitizer is what keeps the water clean, germ-free, and safe.

Still, you just don’t go out there and get the first sanitizer you see. There are different types of sanitizers to choose from. You can pick chlorine or bromine.

Related Read >>> Are Inflatable Hot Tub Good in Winter?

Ph Increaser or Decreaser

You have to ensure that the cold water in your hot tub isn’t too acidic. If it is, it can eat away and discolor the working parts of your hot tub.

If you are planning on using your hot tub with cold water for just a brief period, you can bypass the whole process above by getting a water clarifier. A water clarifier will ensure the water is clean and good enough for you to submerge yourself in.

Water clarifiers are however not a substitute for the normal care and cleaning process of your tub. You should only use them for temporary purposes. If you want to buy one, any of the “Leisure time” water clarifiers will be a great choice. You can get them for as low as $15 on Amazon.

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