Can You Use Liquid Bleach in a Hot Tub? (Explained!)

Purchasing a hot tub is easy. But, maintaining it requires a lot of effort. You may have come across certain individuals recommending you to use liquid bleach in place of chlorine or bromine for your hot tub to cut down the maintenance cost. So, can you?

You can use liquid bleach in your hot tub only if it’s a one-time thing. It’s recommended to use chlorine or bromine for your hot tub and not liquid bleach.

Eventually, you can use it once in 2 months. But, liquid bleach shouldn’t be your first choice as a sanitizer or used as a shocker. Down below we explained why.

Will Liquid Bleach Hurt My Hot Tub?

Yes, liquid bleach can damage your hot tub if used regularly. Liquid bleach will eventually damage your hot tub jets, pump, and other parts.

Liquid bleach is an oxidizer that cannot deal effectively and efficiently at high temperatures, it can make the pH levels uneven in a hot tub. This can mess up certain parts of the tub as it may cause erosion on the surface area where it is high in strength. Along with the erosion of the pipes and the jets that get exposed to it.

If you are using a hot tub that has various parts connected with rubber such as the pump, blower, and jets, liquid bleach can severally affect them by causing them to erode at a much faster rate leading to a reduction in their lifecycle.

Where you have spent at least hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on your hot tub, it is recommended to make use of chlorine that is manufactured specifically for hot tubs to ensure its longevity.

Except for the hot tub parts, liquid bleach will also throw off the pH in your hot tub.

Related Read: How Soon Can You Use A Hot Tub After Adding Chemicals?

What Is the Difference Between Liquid Chlorine for Pools and Household Bleach?

Chlorine comes in different forms. These include liquid form and powdered form.

For pools, generally liquid chlorine is used to kill the bacteria and get rid of nasty elements manifesting it. Whereas for hot tubs, a powdered form of chlorine is used for keeping the tub bacteria-free and getting rid of nasty stuff by shocking it.

Liquid chlorine is a cleaning chemical that is made up of calcium hypochlorite. Liquid chlorine is usually manufactured for large swimming pools due to its high pH levels and relative strength.

While it behaves similarly to a chlorine substance that is used in a hot tub, it can be very dangerous if used in a hot tub. Generally, temperatures in a swimming pool are relatively normal compared to that of a hot tub where temperatures can go on the far extreme. This makes the usage of liquid bleach suitable for swimming pools.

Most of the components in liquid chlorine and powdered chlorine are the same. The major difference is the strength of the chemical and the pH levels associated with it. Liquid chlorine generally has a pH level of at least 10 parts per million whereas powdered chlorine has a pH reading between 2 to 4 parts per million.

If you use liquid chlorine in your hot tub in place of powdered chlorine, you may end up experiencing more than one of the following problems:

  • Itchiness of the eyes and skin
  • A really bad odor similar to that of a public swimming pool
  • Erosion of surface area of the hot tub
  • Frequent problems in the sewerage pipes
  • Mechanical problems in the hot tub associated with jets, pumps, filters, among others
  • Imbalance of water in various parts of the hot tub

Powdered chlorine, on the other hand, is made up of a tablet which is easier to insert in a hot tub. Although it takes time to dilute evenly in the hot tub, it is generally more effective to use because it has a stable pH reading and is more hot tub friendly.

It is also recommended by hot tub manufacturers to make use of powdered chlorine if they are to facilitate warranty in the unfruitful event where a hot tub breaks down during the warranty period.

Related Read: How To Raise Chlorine Levels in a Spa?

Can You Use Bleach Instead of Chlorine To Shock a Hot Tub?

Yes, you can use bleach instead of chlorine. You should only use it to shock the hot tub. But, it shouldn’t be your first choice as a spa shock.

Shocking a hot tub means adding a higher dose of chlorine than you always do. Here’s where bleach comes in handy. Bleach has a percentage of sodium hypochlorite (5-6%). The same percentage that hot tub shock has.  And, that’s why you can use bleach instead of chlorine.

But, spa shock also comes with clarifiers, algaecides, and other things that keep your hot tub safe. While bleach contains water and some salt. That means that spa shock except for shocking water will also keep your hot tub safe, and bleach won’t. In fact, bleach will damage your hot tub in the long run. That’s why bleach shouldn’t be your first choice as a hot tub shock.

If you decide to use bleach in your hot tub, how much bleach do you need? It depends on the type of bleach you are using. But, overall 1/4 cup of bleach will raise the ppm to 4, and 1 cup of bleach will raise the ppm to 10.  If your hot tub has 400 gallons of water then 1 cup of bleach will shock it.

Once you add bleach to your hot tub, you should turn on the jets and wait at least 1 day before you can use the hot tub again.

Can You Use Bleach To Clean Your Hot Tub?

Bleach shouldn’t be your first choice as a cleaning agent for your hot tub. But, if you have stains that other cleaning products can’t remove, then you can use bleach for that. Bleach will clean and sanitize the hot tub shell.

Here’s how to use bleach to clean your hot tub:

  1. Drain your hot tub water. 
  2. Don’t mix bleach with other cleaning products. Bleach can form different reactions when mixed with different cleaning products. You should never mix it. 
  3. Mix 1 cup of bleach with 1 cup of water. 
  4. Pour the bleach on the affected areas,
  5. Allow the bleach to sit on the hot tub shell for 15-25 minutes. 
  6. Using a rag or cloth start cleaning the hot tub shell and stains. 
  7. Once done, clean the hot tub with water.

You should make sure that you don’t leave bleach in the hot tub shell. You have to completely get rid of it.

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