Hot Tubs: What are their benefits?
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to own one? Or better yet, to know its benefits?
One would be an improved range of motion. We lose our range of motion as we age. Through regular use, it will be able to help in restoring lost flexibility and slow the natural stiffening of our joints and muscles as we age.
Another would be to help relieve symptoms of arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis, the most prevalent form, results from a loss of cartilage between bones, and it can lead to pain caused by friction.Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that can cause a widespread of pain throughout the body. And this occurs when your own immune system can attack your joints and result in swelling and stiffness.
Hot tubs can also help in decreasing anxiety and stress. Our hectic routines of everyday life can be a huge factor in our stress and anxiety. From waking up to an alarm to getting up each morning, from having to deal with traffic going to work, taking care of the kids, paying bills, having to repair your home or your car, to working to make your relationships and friendships work.
It can really be a hard pill to swallow having to deal with all of the things mentioned above. Which is why relaxing after a long day in a hot tub to unwind sounds good. Taking a little time each day to soak yourself in a warm, soothing and comfortable place away from all the stressors allows you to focus and help relieve some tension and anxiety.
And with all the things you can add to your hot tub makes it really calming. But before you add things to your hot tub, it is crucial to check and carefully review the contents and chemicals you are going to use, as well as the dosing information.
You can add things like sanitizers, minerals and salt systems. For sanitizers, the recommended chemicals are chlorine and bromine.
Minerals that can be used are silver (which is known as a bactericide), and copper (which is known as algaecide). Using minerals such as these means using lesser chlorine, which also means it will be less harsh on your skin. Both are ‘active ingredients.’
You’ve probably heard of salt pools. Salt systems, such as solar salt, mined salt, and mechanically evaporated salt, can take part in how well you can maintain its water chemistry, as well as how long your salt generator will last.
What types should I NOT use for my hot tub?
- Table salt. Also known as sodium chloride, cannot be used for your hot tub solely because it is not always pure salt. Although it is 97-99% sodium chloride, other chemical compounds can be found in table salt.
- Rock salt. It is raw, crystalline sodium chloride, which also cannot be used. Rock salt is a large and chunky type of salt you use to spread in icy roads, slippery steps and sidewalks.
- Epsom salt. It is a highly corrosive chemical. It can build up in your plumbing and equipment, causing major and expensive damage.
What, then, is Epsom salt?
Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate heptahydrate, which is shortened to magnesium sulfate. It was first found in the waters of a town in England, Epsom. It is an alkaline chemical compound that can aid the body in many ways and is safe. The magnesium is considered an ‘active ingredient.’
Magnesium sulfate is a chemical compound that contains three elements, namely magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. It has a crystalline structure similar to that of table salt.
Why do most people use this type of salt in their spas, even their own hot tubs?
There are many uses for Epsom salt, including bringing relief to muscle soreness, stress relief and sleep aid, constipation relief, as well as being a great anti-inflammatory. Most people use Epsom salt baths to relax. It also has benefits that help in improving exercise performance and recovery, cold and flu relief, and overcoming magnesium deficiency.
As with most things in health, science is always evolving. While there is significant research to support the benefits of magnesium, review suggests that more research is needed to understand to what degree it is able to penetrate the skin.
Although there are many uses and benefits of Epsom salt, there are certain side effects that many people are unaware of. But before we get on to that, let us mention the major benefits of Epsom salt.
- Body aches. One of the most common uses of Epsom salt is treating muscle aches. The chemicals, such as magnesium and other compounds, are absorbed into your skin, and brings relief to muscle soreness caused by inflammation and tension.
- Magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is a primary component and the usage of Epsom salt can help you overcome the lack of magnesium in your body. When your body is deficient in magnesium, your serotonin levels can lower, resulting in sadness while also affecting your appetite and sleep.
- Stress and better sleep. Using Epsom salt helps in raising magnesium levels, which is essential in promoting better sleep and stress management, because magnesium may also help your body in the production of neurotransmitters that induce sleep and reduce stress.
- Treating constipation. People also use Epsom salt as a gentle laxative to treat constipation.
- Make your skin softer and smoother. The exfoliating elements of Epsom salt makes it a great home remedy for dry and rough skin. Epsom salt is especially useful for people who have skin conditions such as Eczema. It promotes and helps improve conditions.
- Help you get over certain diseases. Athlete’s foot, toenail fungus, and gout are some of these diseases. These are uncomfortable diseases and really take time to heal. But with the use of Epsom salt these diseases are shown to improve greatly.
- It volumizes your hair. If you add Epsom salt to your conditioner it helps you get rid of excess oil.
- Sunburn relief. The properties of Epsom salt makes it a great tool for alleviating inflammation caused by sunburns.
- Dry or chapped lips. Combining Epsom salt and Vaseline or petroleum jelly, and adding the solution to your lips helps with removing dead/dry skin, leaving you with healthy and fuller lips.
- Bug bite relief and bee sting remedy. Epsom salt helps with relieving common insect bites.
- Splinter removal. Removing these can be a real pain. Which is why Epsom salt makes it easier for splinters to be removed. Plus, it helps stop the pain.
How should I take Epsom salt?
Use exactly as directed on the label in the packaging, or as prescribed by your physician. It can be taken by mouth (orally) or as a soak. Drink plenty of water when you’re taking Epsom salt.
And, here come the other questions.
Can you use Epsom salt in the hot tub?
The answer is no. It is not recommended because of its risks. It can cause chemical reactions.
The disadvantages of Epsom salt are not related to your bodily health, instead, where you actually use it. For instance, your hot tub spa. Putting this element into chlorinated water can lead to corrosion, which eventually, can lead to reducing the quality and durability of the product.
- Epsom salt is corrosive. You should not add Epsom salt to your bath. The salt levels are above 1,500ppm (parts per million), and can drastically change the pH in the water. Unbalanced pH level in your tub can cause other issues, and this includes corrosion of the hot tub, seals, gaskets, plastic and metal parts.
- Chlorine and Epsom salt should never be mixed. Chlorine is one of the widely used chemicals in a hot tub. Mixing these can cause a reaction and create flash burns on your skin. Epsom salt and chlorine will also cause a buildup called Total Dissolved Solids, which can also lead to damages to your hot tub.
- Epsom salt increases Total Dissolved Solids. To prevent buildup in the surfaces of the hot tub and equipment, manufacturers recommend draining the hot tub when the Total Dissolved Solids reach the 1,500ppm (parts per million).
- High-temperature requirements. Putting salts in a hot tub requires a temperature of 60 Fahrenheit and trying to maintain that naturally to keep producing chlorine is hard.
Can I put Epsom salt in my jacuzzi?
Yes, you can, if you use plain water. Since there is no chlorine in the plain water, the Epsom will not cause any injuries. To avoid any casualties, only add the recommended amount of Epsom salt.
Salt is a very corrosive substance and can potentially damage your hot tub. So, don’t be tempted to add more than what is recommended by the manufacturer.
How about bath salts?
Yes, you can use bath salts. However, it is recommended to use plain bath salts that do not contain any added oils.
Is Epsom salt bad for my plumbing?
Prolonged plumbing exposure due to high levels of Epsom salt can cause damage to your pipes. Although, with the right usage, Epsom salt will not cause any damages and will not harm your plumbing.
Where else can I use Epsom salt?
- You can use it in washing pots and pans. The abrasive textures of the salt crystals makes it easy to remove stuck-on food, without damaging pans or cookware.
- You can use it as a grout cleaner. You can mix equal parts of salt and liquid dish detergent to make a tile and grout cleaner.
- Washing machine cleaner. Epsom salt helps in removing unwanted dirt or gunk and keeping your washer clean and running efficiently.
- You can use it in the yard or garden! It helps in greening up your yard and making some great fertilizer for your plants, as well as removing pests and unwanted bugs.
Then, what are some alternatives to putting Epsom salt in a hot tub?
Since there are more disadvantages rather than pros to putting salt into your spa or hot tubs, here alternatives to putting salt in your spa and still get the benefits.
- Aromatherapy. You can get aromatherapy crystals that will give you benefits just like Epsom salt, all the while maintaining the integrity of the materials of the hot tub. These are formulated minerals, natural herbs, vitamins, moisturizing nutrients, and more. It promotes the same therapeutic benefits.
- Hot tub elixirs. These are great alternatives to Epsom salt in a hot tub, especially due to the skin moisturizing and water softening benefits.
- Hot tub bombs. These have the same features and benefits of a bath bomb.
Epsom salt can be helpful and useful in many ways. It is good for the body as it aids in relieving muscle pains, soreness, inflammations, constipation (used as a laxative), promotes good sleep, and reduces stress. It also increases and overcomes magnesium deficiency, when taken as a supplement.
Overall, Epsom salt helps in your bodily health, household and yard or garden uses.
However, Epsom salt is not good for other uses such as the hot tub, as it can damage and cost you a lot to have it repaired or replaced. You can put it in plain water if you use only the manufacturer’s recommended amount.
If you’re using it in chlorinated water, it would not be a wise decision to do so as it can damage your hot tub. Also, it has been agreed upon by many that in most cases, it would be a fool’s errand to be putting Epsom salt in your hot tub. There surely are pros and cons to this. But the latter just outweighs the former for this common practice.
More research is needed to be able to prove the benefits and effects of Epsom salt. Although, people who use Epsom salt stand by their beliefs when it comes to the usage to Epsoms salt and the detoxifying benefits, because it promotes relaxation, pain relief, and a way to reduce stress and anxiety. Adding Epsom salt can be part of a healthy routine for relaxation. So, to answer the question in the title: NO, putting Epsom salt in a hot tub is not a good idea.