Can I Use My Hot Tub Without Chemicals?

Without Chemicals

Unfortunately, hot tubs don’t automatically take care of themselves. Yet. Properly taking care of a hot tube can be more challenging than some people realize. Some believe you can just fill the hot tub with water, maybe add a little chlorine, and the filter does the rest. Keeping a hot tub clean and safe to use is more involved than just that. It stinks, but a clean hot tub keeps you safe. You may think the only danger is some dirt or bacteria, but there’s greater risks than just that. Keeping a hot tub clean and figuring out what chemicals are needed for a hot tub can be tricky, or at the very least, involves a lot of reading. We are going to try to explain the dangers of a dirty hot tub, how to keep a hot tub clean, and chemicals needed for hot tub cleaning.

Can I Use My Hot Tub Without Chemicals?

Simply put, no, you should not use a hot tub without chemicals. Adding hot tub chemicals can be tricky for those new to it; you may not know the needed chemicals for hot tub cleaning or the amounts to use. Without hot tub chemicals, a hot tub becomes a breeding ground for algae, bacteria, and other things you don’t want to soak in. Think of it like using a community pool with no chemicals added. You would be swimming in germs, bacteria, sweat, body lotions, and other gross things people bring into the pool with them. 

Occasionally, the chemicals used in a hot tub can cause skin, eye, or nose irritation and want to find more natural hot tub chemicals. One natural method used to help clean hot tubs is an ozonator. An ozonator creates ozone, a nature purifier created in nature by lightning storms and the sun’s ultraviolet rays. An ozonator is designed to replicate this process using an ultraviolet light bulb that converts oxygen in the water into ozone. The created ozone is then pushed into the hot tub through the jets. When the ozone comes into contact with the water, it starts to kill those harmful bacteria, oils, suntan lotion, sweat and more. An ozonator is not meant to act as the sole means of cleaning your hot tub, you should still use chemicals to keep your hot tub clean.

What Chemicals Do I Need To Use In My Hot Tub?

To keep a hot tub properly clean, you should use the materials listed below. All of these items can be found on online shops like Amazon or Walmart. There’s many stores that also carry these materials.

Hot Tub Chemicals Guide

  • A Hot Tub Sanitizer – Either Chlorine or Bromine
  • Test Strips
  • An Alkalinity Increaser
  • pH Increaser
  • pH Decreaser
  • Shock
  • Calcium Hardness Increaser

What Happens If I Don’t Use Chemicals?

An “au naturale” hot tub with no chemicals added can become a serious risk to your health. If no chemicals were used in a hot tub, all the things people unknowingly bring into the spa with them, sits and festers. This can be deodorant people are wearing, colognes or perfumes, body lotions, suntan lotion, sunscreen, germs on the skin, and more unmentionable things. Now imagine all these things sitting in water for weeks. Eventually, bacteria, algae and other fungi can thrive and multiply until your spa is completely covered. These things can clog up your filter, the jets, and make the spa completely unusable. 

Even if you don’t mind these things, they can damage the spa to the point where it no longer functions. Even with a warranty on your spa, many hot tub manufacturers classify this as “neglect”. This will void your warranty and mean you can’t get a new spa or repairs. 

One thing you might hear when discussing hot tubs is “microbes”. These are tiny living things that exist in the air, soil, water, even on the human body. Two types of microbes are bacteria and fungi, which we know can occur in an unclean hot tub. Not all bacteria and fungi are dangerous, however, some are. Certain bacteria and fungi can cause infections or disease. What happens if you don’t use chemicals in your hot tub? Worst case scenario, a deadly infection or disease. 

How To Protect Yourself From The Microbes In A Hot Tub

The trick to clean hot tub water is balance. You want pH levels balanced, you want calcium hardness balanced, and you want alkalinity balanced. If your hot tub falls out of balance, these microbes can wreak havoc on your spa. Not only can it physically damage your spa, it can also harm you. To avoid the dangers of this, we use chemicals in a hot tub to keep it clean. We constantly check the water to make sure everything is in balance and at the proper levels. 


Keeping a hot tub clean sounds daunting to some, but it’s not too hard to do. Many hot tub owners around the world achieve this chemical balance and get years of usage from their hot tub. We want to support you in your hot tub experience whether you’re a first time owner or have had multiple spas in the past. We write these articles to try and help you, but if you ever have questions, our Customer Service team is here to help you. You can call anytime for questions, comments, or concerns and we are more than happy to assist.We’re the hot tub experts so you don’t have to be.


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