What Chemicals Do You Put in Your Swim Spa?

With all of today’s concerns about climate change and pollution, we understand that more people are trying to be environmentally friendly in their day-to-day lives. Using fewer chemicals not only makes sense for the environment, but it also makes sense for our long term health. But the fact is, without the use of chemicals, our swim spa water would quickly become chemically unbalanced, dirty and possibly even dangerous. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to reduce your reliance on swim spa chemicals. If you’re wondering what chemicals do you put in your swim spa and what you can do to reduce the need for those chemicals, we’ve put together this post for you.

Can You Run a Swim Spa Without Chemicals?

Can you run a swim spa without chemicals? Practically speaking, no. That said, if you wanted to drain your swim spa after each use, as you would with a bathtub, you could theoretically rely solely on fresh tap water. However, that’s neither practical nor environmentally sound. If you want to enjoy fresh, clean water in your swim spa for longer periods of time, you’ll be required to add some chemicals.

How Can You Reduce Your Reliance on Swim Spa Chemicals?

The cleaner you can keep your swim spa water, the fewer chemicals you’ll need to add. There are a few things you can do that will prevent contaminants from getting into the water in the first place. This will mean the water chemistry will remain balanced for longer and you’ll require fewer chemicals to maintain that balance.

Use a Swim Spa Cover

Whenever the swim spa water is exposed to the atmosphere, contaminants are getting into the water and changing its chemical balance. Dust, dirt, leaves, pollen, insects and bird droppings will all promote the growth of organic compounds that will cause the water to smell and become cloudy. Even seemingly neutral entities such as rainwater can increase your need for chemical usage. Replace the cover whenever the swim spa is sitting dormant to reduce water contamination.

Clean Yourself

Probably the biggest contributor to water contamination is the bathers themselves. Skin cells, body oils, sweat and residues from lotions, cosmetics and soap will all affect the water chemistry and encourage organic growth. Taking a shower before getting into the water will greatly reduce the introduction of these contaminants and your use of swim spa chemicals.

What Chemicals Do You Put in a Swim Spa?

The two main types of chemicals you’ll be using in a swim spa are those that balance the water chemistry and those that sanitize the water.

Water Chemistry Balance

To keep your water chemistry balanced you’ll need to test for things such as pH, total alkalinity, total calcium hardness and more. Tests are easily done with paper test strips or liquid reagents and will tell you what chemicals need to be added to the water to maintain proper balance. Keeping the water clean will help reduce the need for rebalancing the water.


Sanitizers are used to quickly eliminate organic compounds and the growth of mold, algae, bacteria and viruses. Sanitizers also include oxidizers which are used to neutralize amines created by the breakdown of chlorine and bromine-based sanitizers. Sanitizers and oxidizers need to be added to the swim spa in small quantities regularly but may need to be added in larger quantities when problems occur. Maintaining a cleaner swim spa will reduce the amount of sanitizers and oxidizers you use.

Now that you have a better idea of what chemicals you put in a swim spa, download a free buyer’s guide for more information.

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