Chlorine Alternatives for Your Hot Tub

chlorine alternatives for hot tub

Chlorine is one of the most widely used hot tub sanitizers, but it is not the only one. Maybe you are not so hot about the use of chlorine for your hot tub!

As opposed to attractively wet and fresh as a daisy, maybe you look like a red hot mess when you step out of the pool. Not the look you were going for, we presume? Or maybe your eyes are too sensitive to chlorine, making them look red and puffy, like the devil-eyes glaring at you in horror movies?

So you would rather do away with chlorine if it weren’t for the fact that you are concerned about contamination and microorganism growth in your hot tub. Do not worry! We have you covered! You don’t have to use chlorine if you would rather not! There are several other options!

  • Chlorine may cause irritation to your eyes and skin. It can also have a bleaching effect, leaving your skin and hair dry.
  • You may not be too fond of the smell of chlorine. You may even find it noxious and unpleasant.
  • There are other alternatives to chlorine, including Bromine, UV (Ultra Violet), Ionizers, Ozonators, Biguanide, Salt Water Systems, and Enzymes.

Ditch the itch, the puffy eyes, and the ridiculous odors that chlorine sanitizers bring, and use one of these alternatives for your hot tub!

What are the Best Alternative Hot Tub Sanitizers?


Right up there with chlorine, Bromine is a great alternative for those with sensitive skin and want to keep things simple. It does everything chlorine does to sanitize your hot tub, but without the adverse effects on your hair and skin.

Bromine also doesn’t produce the unpleasant odors that its counterpart is notorious for! It may be costlier, but you need to add it less often as it stays longer in the water and provides protection from bacteria, viruses, and contaminants.

UV Purifiers

UV systems provide a more natural hot tub than chemical-based systems. The UV rays kill the bacteria by permanently damaging their DNA. That’s good news! So, some bacterial contamination happens in your water, and of course, it will only multiply. Because that is what bacteria do, right?

But if you subject the spa water to a UV purifying system, kaboom! These bacteria will be destroyed before they can even think of multiplying.

But the disadvantage of this system is that while killing bacteria and other contaminants, it does nothing to keep the water clean and clear. You will still have to use some chemical sanitizers like chlorine or bromine and shock your hot tub to get the water to the clarity you want. But at least it’s a whole lot better than using a lot of chemical sanitizers!

You will be free of those dreadful chemical odors, and the hot tub water will be much gentler on the skin and eyes too.


Ionizers work by releasing heavy metals into the water to neutralize the bacteria in it. Copper has antibacterial properties. Zinc is also known to contain antibacterial effects. Club the two elements together-we get a hot tub sanitizer called Ionizer, which can provide you with a chlorine-free hot tub.

By electrolysis, the electrode in the system releases copper and zinc ions into your hot tub water. These ions kill the bacteria, algae, and other contaminants in the water.

Just like UV systems, they are not completely effective in achieving water purity and clarity. Yeah, your water may still be unattractively cloudy! Ew! So, you can supplement with small quintiles of bromine to achieve the level of sanitization you want.


Ozonators work by injecting the very same guess that protects the earth. You guessed it, it is Ozone! Ozonators release ozone into your hot tub to sanitize the water and breakdown bacteria and other contaminants like oil, lotion, scum, etc., without the addition of chemicals.

You need to ensure if your hot tub can accommodate an Ozonator by browsing the hot tub and Ozonator manuals. Now it’s starting to look like more effort than it’s worth it? Wrong.

Although more work and expensive, they are estimated to be 3000 more powerful and potent than chlorine. Also, the water stays cleaner for a longer duration. You can change your water less frequently too! Many hot tub owners may find the investment worth it.


The chemical names for Biguanides are polyhexamethylene biguanide or polyaminopropyl biguanide . Now you know why they are simply referred to as Biguanides!

They are used in contact lenses and for dressing wounds too.

There are many benefits for using Biguanides. For one, the water feels softer against the skin, and it’s gentler on the skin and eyes. You can also do away with the harsh smell of chemicals like chlorine.

But it comes with one downside. It is not compatible with chlorine and bromine. Just like most other alternatives, you have to shock your hot tub, but without the use of chlorine or bromine shocks because Biguanide doesn’t interact well with these two chemicals.

Salt Water Systems

Saltwater generators do not provide for a hot tub without chlorine. So why are they even on this list? We’re scouting for chlorine alternatives, after all. Sorry to confuse you, but I will clear it up in a moment!

Salt Water systems generate chlorine from salt by the process of electrolysis on site. Chlorine thus generated is chemically altered, without its trademark odor. Also, it is much gentler on the skin and eyes.

And no, before you dismiss it because you think it is salty, let me set you straight. The salt is virtually undetectable, and you can neither smell nor taste the salt. So no, it’s not like bathing in the salty ocean water!

It is one of the best alternatives to chlorine, but you will still need to give your hot tub shock treatment once in a while to keep it safe and clear.


Enzymes are natural hot tub chemicals to help you stay top of your hot tub maintenance game. These enzymes can be paired with other sanitizers like bromine and ozone systems to raise their effectiveness and maintain a clean and healthy hot tub environment.

These enzymes attach themselves to organic particles like hair shampoo, make-up, sunscreen, lotions, and bodily fluids. They then naturally break them down, thus eliminating the food that bacteria thrive on to grow. But then, they do not react directly to bacteria. So, you may need to use some sanitizers with it.

Why hot tub enzymes when you absolutely must use sanitizers to destroy microorganisms, you ask? Because just like other alternatives on this list, it reduces the number of chemicals needed, and you can enjoy a more natural hot tub! Au Naturel for those who are into that!

It stays in the water longer and therefore extends the time between water draining and refill.

Final Dip

If you thought chlorine was your only choice for sanitizing your hot tub, we hope this guide set your expectations straight. There are half a dozen alternatives for chlorine in your hot tub.

Of course, many of these alternatives still require shock treatment, and probably you need to supplement them with small doses of chemical sanitizers. But at the least, it drastically reduces the number of chemicals that go into your hot tub to maintain it clean, safe, and sparkling.

Each comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, so consider the cost, effort, and maintenance requirements before deciding on the chlorine alternative for your hot tub maintenance.

Say good riddance to chlorine and choose one of these alternatives if the thought of the chlorine smell and harness on the eyes and skin turns you off!

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