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Best Hot Tub Chemicals 2021 – Why is it necessary to shock my hot tub water?

Do you sometimes question the quality of water in your hot tub?

Anybody would do the same especially if you are not sure what chemicals have to use in the water. But, when you are sure of the chemicals you are using in your hot tub water, you will rest your worries to relax and enjoy the feel of that water.
Do you also know that the chemicals you use will determine the durability of your hot tub equipment and fittings?
To take care of your hot tub fittings and also to keep the water clean, free of microorganisms and other contaminants would mean to use some of the best hot tub chemicals in the market.

Maintaining high-quality and safe water for your hot tub can be easy if you have the right chemicals and know how to use them. The quality of your hot tub water will depend on the pH balance.
Listed in our review are the best hot tub chemicals. Further, we have provided you with a buying guide to enlighten you on the factors to consider when buying the chemicals.
First, have a look at the summary of the products that are in this review.

Top 10 Best Hot Tub Chemicals Summary Review

Product Name Its Use Base Rating out of 5
Leisure Time Spa Shock Renew Sanitizer/Shock Bromine 4.5
Clorox Pool & Spa 23006ClXCA Xtra Blue Sanitizer/Shock Chlorine 4
SpaChoice 472-3-5081 Chlorine Granules Sanitizer Chlorine 4
Hot Spring Spas Freshwater Ag+ Sanitizer Mineral 4.5
Leisure Time 22339A Spa Up pH up Sodium bicarbonate 4
EcoClean Pool & Spa pH Reducer pH down Bisulphate 4
Leisure Time Enzyme Clarifier Polymer 4.5
Oh Yuk Healthy Hot Tub Cleaner Hot Tub Cleaner 4.5
Kem-Tek 2815-6 1-inch Chlorinating Tablets Chlorinating Chlorine 4.5
Hot Tub Water Clarifier by Impresa Clarifier Polymer 4

#1 Leisure Time Spa Shock Renew Non-Chlorine Shock

This chemical is essential as a shock oxidizer to eliminate odors as well as contaminants and to clear cloudy water. It destroys all odor-causing elements such as microorganisms, body oils, soaps, body wastes, ammonia, and other substances.
It will not interfere with bromine, chlorine, minerals, or ozone to continue working in purifying the water. Instead, it will boost their effect.
You can use the Leisure Time Spa as a shock oxidizer weekly or daily after your hot tub use if using the chemical as a sanitizing system. Leisure Time Reserve in conjunction with Leisure Time Renew is bromine-based which you can use as a sanitizing solution.
As a shock oxidizer and while working on 250 gallons of water, you need to add 4 tablespoons for the chemical. While using it as a sanitizer, you need to add 8 tablespoons in the same capacity of water that is 250 gallons.


#2 Clorox Pool & Spa 23006ClXCA Xtra Blue Chlorinating Granules

Clorox Xtra Blue is a sanitizing, algaecide, and shock chemical. It is powerful in eliminating contaminants and clearing the water of all organics. The Multifunctional chlorinating granules work effectively as shock and as a sanitizer whereby it kills all bacteria and therefore improves water quality.
The good thing about this chlorine-based chemical, it does not irritate the skin and neither the eyes. Also, it does not produce the chlorine odor, unlike other chlorine-based chemicals.
It does not matter whether it is in the summer. You will continue enjoying your fun and relaxation in the water while using Xtra Blue. It is protected against sunlight for maximum effect.
The granules dissolve fast for a maximum and quick solution in keeping your water free from algae, bacteria, contaminants for clean and safe water.
Xtra Blue is an active chemical against germs but gentler on your skin and eyes. One pound of these granules can treat 53,000 liters of water which is economical.


#3 SpaChoice 472-3-5081 Chlorine Granules for Spas and Hot Tubs

SpaChoice is a sanitizer in granules form. The granules dissolve entirely and quickly for fast effect for safe water. The sanitizer is chlorine-based to effectively eliminate all the bacteria and other organic contaminants while controlling algae growth.
The granules are stabilized to endure the sunlight without getting affected by ultraviolet radiation to maintain chlorine durability.
Due to chlorine as the base of these granules, you can experience cloudy water or foam from oils, body soap, and lotions reacting to chlorine sanitizer but which clears after a while.


#4 Hot Spring Spas Freshwater Ag+ Continuous Silver Ion Sanitizer

For effective sanitizing, Hot Spring is the choicest sanitizer to use. It is compatible with chlorine and bromine without affecting their usefulness in the water.
Based on silver ions it is potent in eliminating microorganisms, bacteria, and other water contaminants leaving your water sparkling clean.
It is easy to use sanitizer which leaves your water fresh without the chemical smell or feel. When using Hot Spring, you won’t need to use too much chlorine or bromine, but still, have significant experience.
The sanitizer is the best choice if you don’t like too much chemical in your water. It is user-friendly but harsh on bacteria and other microorganisms.


#5 Leisure Time 22339A Spa Up

The best pH level in hot tub water should be between 7.2 and 7.8. When it tips lower than that, then there is an imbalance between acidic and alkalinity. In such a case, the water is acidic high which is a risk not only to your health but to corrosion of hot tub equipment and fittings.
Leisure Time Spa Up can correct the situation by maintaining the pH of your hot tub water to 7.2 to 7.8 and therefore preventing wearing of equipment and scale formation.
Leisure Time is a household name in hot tub chemicals and still holding its name through this Spa Up product. It adjusts and ups alkalinity to level acidity and therefore balance pH level.
The granules in the chemical dissolve fast for quick effect so that you can get to enjoy your hot tub relaxation.


#6 EcoClean Pool & Spa pH Reducer

As mentioned earlier, balancing and maintaining the chemistry in your hot tub water is vital. When the pH level of your water is high, it means there is an imbalance between acidity and alkalinity whereby the alkalinity level is higher.
Bacteria, algae, and other microorganisms will thrive more on alkalinity high-level water. In such a case, the water can turn cloudy and dull an indication all is not well.
Also, imbalance of water chemistry can affect the effectiveness of other chemicals in the water besides risking health complications.
However, bringing down the pH levels of your hot tub water may sound complicated, but, it is the easiest. Bisulfate is the base of pH-reducing chemicals which mostly come in granular form.
The sodium bisulfate granular pH reducer dissolve fast to achieve a quick effect in lowering the pH level. The balanced pH level will, therefore, work well with other water chemistry. Also, it will prevent skin issues and damaging of equipment through corrosion.


#7 Leisure Time Enzyme

You will need to use Leisure Time Enzyme when you notice your water is foaming due to soap and oils. This unique polymer action will neutralize the scum and odor in the water by breaking down lotions, soaps, oils which are the result of the unsightly dirty water.
It will not only leave the water clean and fresh but will help to reduce frequent maintenance of filters and other equipment.
You can use it on your weekly hot tub care program even when you don’t notice the scum so that you may prevent your water from collecting that kind of dirt.
It does not disrupt the effect of bromine, chlorine, ozone, and biguanide sanitizers but rather boosts their usefulness and you can use alongside them.


#8 Oh Yuk Healthy Hot Tub Cleaner

This is the most frequently forgotten hot tub chemical among many. It is vital since it cleans the tub and its systems. After emptying your water to change, you will need this product to clean out the hidden contaminants in the inner system.
Cleaning your system is vital to prevent damaging equipment due to residues and contaminants which find their way in them. After washing your system using Oh Yuk Healthy Hot Tub Cleaner, you will notice better filtration and the positive effect on the other equipment as well.
Using Oh Yuk will, therefore, increase the life of your equipment by reducing frequent maintenance.
After the systems are clean and you refill your hot tub with water, you will experience less foaming, clear water, and chemical efficiency.


#9 Kem-Tek 2815-6 1-inch Chlorinating Tablets

If you have a problem with algae formation in your hot tub water when the pH level is well balanced, then you need to incorporate Kem-Tech chlorinating tablets among your sanitation chemicals.
The method is easiest in chlorinating water in your hot tub. The chlorinating tablets are concentrated and do not crumble. Instead, they dissolve slowly to provide an extended sanitation effect. Therefore, as long as you are using Kem-Tek chlorinating tablets, there will be no more algae contamination in your water.
The chlorine effect in these tablets is not affected by the sun’s ultraviolet rays since it has been stabilized to continue to maintain strong chlorine residual.


#10 Hot Tub Water Clarifier by Impresa

Are you wondering how you can maintain crystal clear water? Don’t wonder any more but get yourself Clarifier by Impresa to realize your desire. Contaminants such as body oils, lotions, soap, shampoo and others are the result of cloudy water.
Clarifier will, therefore, begin working on these contaminants to eliminate them by using polymer technology. It will then clear your water to leave it brighter, fresh, and sparkling clean.
The formula does not interfere with the chemistry in the water such as bromine, chlorine, ozone, sanitizers, and others. It is specially formulated for the use of hot tub water so that it can assist the filtration system. It will compatibly work along with other chemicals in the water to fulfill its purpose of clarifying and purifying your water from all impurities for a healthy soak.
Since time is of essence especially when looking forward to relaxing, the clarifier works instantly to allow you the use of your hot tub immediately.
It has checked standards and quality since it is a US product. Follow the instructions for excellent results.


Buyer’s Guide

One thing you should ask yourself before you embark on buying your hot tub water chemicals is its purpose.
The good this is that it is easy to know the chemical to use even without being an expert in chemistry. All you need to learn is the classification of the hot tub chemicals to understand their usefulness.  They are in four main classes of hot tub chemicals which are:

Water Sanitizers

For your hot tub water sanitation, there are chlorine-based, bromine-based, or mineral-based sanitizers. They will either be in the form of tablets or granules.
This class of chemicals is used to disinfect your water against bacteria, microorganisms, contaminants, viruses, and germs.
Chlorine is the most common of the three, the cheapest, and the easiest to use. It comes in granules form which you drop in the water and then stir them to allow dissolving which they do so fast. It is the best method in shocking water to destroy organic matter and prevent cloudy water.
Bromine on the other hand is a sanitizer in tablet form. You insert the tablets into a bromine feeder which dissolve slowly to disseminate for continuous sanitation. Bromine leaves odor which can irritate.
Some people may react to both chlorine and bromine by getting skin and eye irritation. Also, excessive use of these two halogen sanitizers may wear the underside spa cover and can bleach swim clothes.
Minerals sanitizers are the best choice for many people because they do not irritate the skin, wear the underside cover, or fade swim clothes. Also, mineral-based sanitizers don’t leave odor after use.
Some sanitizers use minerals in conjunction with either chlorine or bromine for a powerful effect.

Balancing pH Level

When the water has low pH then it means it is high on acid. Such water can cause implications like irritating your skin and eyes, cause corrosion to your water fittings and equipment. Also, high acidity water will prevent other chemicals such as sanitizers from working effectively.
When the pH is high, then it means it is low on acid and high on alkaline. Such water will be a hive of contaminants since it has poor sanitization.
In these two cases then, you need chemicals to balance the pH level. These chemicals are:

pH Up or Increase Chemicals

The type of chemicals used to up the pH level will have sodium bicarbonate as their main ingredient. This ingredient will raise the alkalinity level which is lower than 7.2 to 7.8, in this case, to balance with the acid level.

pH Down or Lower Chemicals

These are chemicals that lower the pH level of the water. It happens when alkaline is high than 7.2 to 7.8.
There are different types of chemicals in the market to lower or down the pH level, but they must have sodium bisulfate as their main ingredient for reducing the pH level.

Water Shock Treatments

This type of chemicals is for breaking down contaminants which find themselves in the water such as body oils, lotions, soaps, body waste, shampoos, and many others after heavy use. These contaminants result in dirty and awful smelling water.
The chemical will oxidize the contaminants to destroy them and leave your water and equipment clean. Your equipment will therefore have an extended lifespan due to less maintenance procedures.
Some shock treatments will be chlorine-based, and others are non-chlorine which are oxygen-based and sodium dichlor-based.
Using shock chemicals every week for a tub that is regularly and heavily used is essential to keep the water clean and assist sanitizers to work effectively.
For a hot tub that has not been in use for some time, you need to shock it a day earlier before using it to eliminate contaminants such as algae.

Easy to Use Chemicals

You will need to use different chemicals on a regular basis. It is, therefore, essential to choose the ones that are not complicated and with straightforward instructions.

Action Time

The action time is the duration it takes for the chemical to work and the tub is safe to use. Some chemicals work instantly for immediate while others may take a short while to be safe.
So, the less the action time the better it would be for you to enjoy your water moment.


This is the top most point to consider when buying your product. User and environmental friendly chemicals are the best and safest to use.
You will know how safe the chemical is by carefully reading the label checking its side effects such as allergies and the rest.


Even though you are supposed to store chemicals away from children, see that they are well packaged with childproof safeness in case they come across it. Check on this safe measure which is vital to avoid chemical accidents.

Expiry Date

Every chemical should have an expiry date on its label. You don’t need to end up with a chemical that long expired its use. Also, avoid the one that is near to expire since you might take time with it in your storage.

Hot Tub Type

The hot tub type will determine the chemicals to use according to your tub’s manufacturer. If you are in doubt about your choice of chemical and whether it is compatible with your hot tub, you can reach out to your manufacturer for clarification.


Always check the cost of the chemical and question yourself whether it is worth the amount and whether you can afford it. If you are comfortable with the price, then go for it.


Find out what other users are saying concerning the chemical of your choice. You can either ask your neighbors or search through the internet to see the reviews concerning that particular product.


Q: Why is it necessary to shock my hot tub water?

After a while use of Hot tub water, it collects contaminants which make it dirty, cloudy with a bad smell even when using sanitizers. You don’t have to spend your relaxing moment in such water.
Therefore, apart from sanitizing your water you need to shock treat it to break-down contaminants and other organic waste. Shocking your water will produce fresh and clear water for your comfort

Q: How would I know which is the best time to shock-treat my hot tub?

Maintaining your water free from contaminants is the reason for shocking the water. Depending on how frequent you use your water and the traffic use of the water, will determine the right time to shock-treat it.
To be on the safe side, once a week on a warm season and bi-weekly in the cold season assuming the hot tub is not frequently used would be ideal.
Please note to shock-treat your water in the evenings to give it enough time of at least 12 hours for the chemical to work.

Q: How do I clear cloudiness from my hot tub water?

Contamination is the cause of cloudiness of the water. Proper water treatment using the right chemicals such as sanitizers, chlorine, or clarifiers will work on the contaminants to leave your water crystal clear.

Q: Why do I need to change or empty my hot tub?

A hot tub has high-temperature water unlike a pool, and therefore water gets contaminated quickly and easily. If you leave your water for an extended period such as six months, it will be unsafe to use no matter the chemicals you use to cleanse it. We can say the water becomes ‘tired.’

Q: How often do I need to empty my hot tub?

Ideally, following this formula would be more articulate than guessing the time to change the water.
You need to know roughly how many people use the hot tub for a span of 20 minutes every day. Also, find out the water volume in liters in your hot tub. If you are not sure, check on its manual or ask your manufacturer.
Therefore, divide the volume of water with the number of people using the tub for a session of 20 daily. Take that result and divide it by 12. The figure you get will be the days it takes between each change.
Simply, it means that for a family-tub, you should drain it every quarter of a year.

Q: What does it mean water is not balanced?

It means the pH of your hot tub water is either low or high. When the pH is low, the water is high on acid which can wear your equipment and fittings. When it is high, it means that alkaline is high and therefore you water is prone to contamination and algae growth.
Some useful chemicals that can balance the pH level depending on where it is tipping.

Q: What does PPM stand for and what does it mean?

PPM is Parts per Million, and it is the unit that measures chemicals that you use in your hot tub. Some chemicals use mg/l measurement which means milligrams per liter.
Be keen to use the measurement as instructed to realize the effectiveness of the chemical and again to be safe against overdosing your water with the chemical.

Final Verdict

It not easy to identify a certain chemical to be the best more than the others since most of these chemicals are assorted for different uses.
However, Leisure Time Spa 56 rises above the rest for its unique use in both sanitizing and shocking water. It is quick in dissolving its granules and therefore fast in action. It is non-chlorine but compatible to work with chlorine and bromine in the water. It is the best value for budget and therefore economical to use.

What chemical would be your best pick? Please leave us your comments here below.

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