When you love a good long soak in the hot tub to relax, sensitive skin can be a real spanner in the works.
Many cleaning solutions feature the kind of irritants that will send you into a flare-up before you can say “bubbles!”
Of course, it’s pretty difficult to maintain a nice tubbing experience if you don’t thoroughly and regularly clean it, but how is that possible without ending up with itchy, red and rashy skin afterward?
Not to worry! We’re here with a list of five fantastic hot tub cleaning products, each offering a natural solution to the abrasive ingredients found in commonly used cleaners. No need to start brewing up your own homemade hippy version.
If you’d like to know more about which chemicals you should be avoiding for the sake of your skin before you make your purchase, we’ve laid out everything you need to understand in a clear, concise Buyer’s Guide.
Should you still be seeking answers after that, it’s possible you’ll find them in the FAQs right at the end, where we’ve collated the most frequently asked customer queries. Perhaps yours will be one of them!
Seeking Sensitive Chemicals ASAP? Here Are Our Top Picks:
Best Hot Tub Chemicals For Sensitive Skin
OUR TOP PICK
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To eliminate your need for chemical cleaners and prevent rashes, itches, coughs and sneezes (as well as keeping your swimsuits fresh and fade free!) look no further than this treatment solution from iONRx. It’s our number one choice for sensitive skin!
Having been used for over a decade in commercial tub cleaning, the safe, natural solution using patented technology is now available for domestic usage.
It’s so skin friendly, you could soak all day every day and never feel a thing… except wrinkly!
Suitable for any hot tub system, whether that’s an inflatable model or your fanciest spa, you only need 4oz of the solution to thoroughly clean a hundred gallons of water – eliminating the need to shock away staining, scale and bacteria.
Bear in mind, however, that iONRx is not compatible for use with bromine or enzyme treatments, and that it’s highly important you ensure there is absolutely none present before you start using.
Otherwise, it’s rendered useless!
- Hot tub water so natural you can soak all day, every day
- Perfect for people with sensitive skin. Eliminate rashes, dry, itchy skin, etc
- No chemical smells. No funky smells. Just crystal clear water
- Not compatible with Bromine or enzyme treatments
- Must be measured and mixed according to package and gallons in hot tub
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SpaPure Simply Soft Hot Tub Chemical for Sensitive Skin is a water treatment system that uses a combination of polymers and enzymes to help reduce the effects of hard water, chlorine and other chemicals on your skin.
It also helps to eliminate skin irritation by reducing the amount of free chlorine in your hot tub.
This product is designed for use with all types of spas, including those with softeners or salt systems.
It can be used as part of an ongoing maintenance program or as part of a spa cleaning process. This treatment will not change the pH level in your hot tub.
- Increases bather comfort
- Leaves water feeling softer
- Doesn’t mess with the spa’s balanced chemical levels
- Does not come with a safety seal
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Highly recommended as an alternative by hot tub manufacturers and dealerships, SilkBalance is a once a week treatment that effectively cleans without relying on complicated chemical processes.
Thanks to Peak Products’ unique technology, it immediately starts to adjust your water’s properties by removing excess metals and minerals, whilst remaining mild. It also contains mineral salts that leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated!
Far better for sensitive skin AND the environment, providing users with a sparkling clean, pH balanced hot tub. You’ll achieve all of the benefits of a soak at the spa, in the softest and purest water possible.
If you do want to continue to use bromine or chlorine cleaning products alongside your more natural option, don’t worry!
SilkBalance works alongside both chemicals and won’t be inhibited by their presence.
- Naturally cleans and balances your hot tub water
- Contains salts that actually cleanse and support soft skin
- Can be used in conjunction with chlorine or bromine products
- Pricier than traditional cleaners
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As a non-halogen spa system that is not just soft and gentle, but very easy to use, SpaGuard’s Soft Soak Hot Tub Cleaner is ideal for those looking to sanitize their tubs without using chlorine or bromine.
Utilizing the ever popular Biguanides, which won’t degrade with sunlight or temperature, nor will it alter your water’s pH level, this cleaner makes for soft and supple water that feels like it belongs in a fancy spa pool.
Naturally attracting and removing contaminants, the polymeric action of their chosen cleaning compound works to relieve your tub’s built-in filter, not just cleaning the spa overall but also prolonging its lifespan!
Non-corrosive, stain free and avoiding that unpleasant chlorine smell, you’ll still successfully control the bacteria present in your hot tub, without experiencing a skin flare up.
It’s also not as expensive as some of the other natural alternatives!
- Works wonders to clean tubs and spas when you have sensitive skin
- No harsh chemical smell – just soft water!
- Enhances water quality whilst improving filtration
- Will not work alongside bromine cleaners – cancels each other out!
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Eradicating dry, irritating and itchy skin, The Natural Hot Tub Company’s Water Treatment softens and conditions your spa water by using the natural power of enzymes to protect those with sensitivities to chemicals.
For up to three months’ softness, one 16 ounce bottle can treat up to 500 gallons of water, both stabilizing pH and reducing or eliminating your need to use harsh chemicals in order to properly sanitize your hot tub.
It also contains medical grade lanolin, an ingredient that leaves even the driest skin feeling soft and supple after a hot tub soak, offering a luxurious experience every single time.
Thinking of giving up your spa? Try this first!
Compatible with all other cleaners, including bromine, chlorine, UV systems and ozonators, it can be introduced into any hot tub cleaning routine, without the need to flush away residue from previous choices.
- Eliminating rashy, irritated skin after hot tub use
- Three months’ soft, clean water in just one treatment (or longer)
- Utilizes medical quality lanolin
- Must circulate for AT least eight hours a day, five days in a row – pretty extensive process!
Best Hot Tub Chemicals For Sensitive Skin Buying Guide
Chlorine and Bromine: Ingredients To Avoid
Hot tub rash, scientifically referred to as folliculitis, is a result of using cleaners that utilize chlorine or bromine in their formulas.
An unfortunate side effect of bleaching your tub clean is that they can also break down special enzymes in the skin.
Made of proteins, these organisms protect your hair follicles from being irritated, and once chemicals have eaten away at them, your skin can feel the side effects of using
these caustic cleaners. If you’re prone to flaring, it’s best to avoid them from the off.
Chlorine is also known to be abrasive more generally, attacking layers of the epidermis to remove essential oils that protect us and eradicating the naturally produced sebum we need to avoid dry and cracked skin.
Likewise, too much bromine is an irritant to the eyes and our natural mucus membranes, which can result in unpleasant and painful skin lesions that will take forever to heal up. Not what you want if you’re already sensitive!
Instead, it’s recommended that you make use of one of the alternatives that we’ve listed above, which treat the water in your tub without using chlorine or bromine. These have been tested to ensure they will not cause irritation of the skin.
Alternatives To Sanitizers
Not all chemicals evoke reactions from your skin, but the easiest way to avoid them is to forego chemicals altogether.
One popular alternative is to harness the power of UV light purifiers, which lend radiation from the sun to cleanse your water of nasties.
However, such systems can be expensive, so you might prefer to use an ionizer, made up of naturally occurring copper and silver ions to kill any algae or bacteria present in your tub’s water and prevent irritation of your sensitive skin.
Similarly, using biguanides (full title polyhexamethylene biguanide), which are a gentler cleaning option, can also help avoid post hot tub rashes. However, if you ever return to chlorine, you can’t allow the two to mix as it is highly dangerous.
In order to switch back to cleaning with chemicals, you’ll have to perform a thorough cleansing process first, and it can be pretty tricky.
Be sure to find a trustworthy guide to support you throughout this process!
Another option is to purchase an ozonator, having been scientifically proven to outperform those harsher traditionally used chemicals.
Some on the higher end are more expensive, but it’s possible to get smaller, cheaper models at hot tub stores.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you run a hot tub without chemicals?
As we’ve outlined above, it is possible to maintain your hot tub without resorting to the use of chemicals, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to regularly clean it!
Failing to take any action will result in a buildup of dirt, algae and nasty bacteria.
Seeking alternatives is fine, but bear in mind that these are typically much pricier than your commonly used hot tub cleaner, and those that aren’t might not clean your tub thoroughly enough to be a suitable solution.
Why is my hot tub giving me a rash?
If you’re failing to properly clean the water in your hot tub, it’s likely that you’re succumbing to Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, otherwise known as the bacteria that causes hot tub rash, typically found in dirt or water occurring naturally.
You’ll usually find this flares up a day or two after soaking in an improperly maintained hot tub; it’s an uncomfortable red rash with bumps, and at its worst, blisters filled with pus can form around your hair follicles.
Though it will clear up naturally in a couple of days (provided you’ve only got a mild case – if you’re worried, consult your doctor), it means your cleaner of choice isn’t doing its job properly and allowing dirt and organisms to fester.
At what temperature do you add chemicals to your hot tub?
You’re going to want to heat your hot tub up to clean it, as the chemicals will not perform optimally in cold or lukewarm water.
According to experts, around 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature for a good, thorough sanitization.
Will vinegar naturally clean my hot tub?
Unfortunately, we can’t recommend this commonly suggested household item as a sufficient cleaner for your tub.
Unless it’s been specifically designed for the purpose of sanitization, don’t use it, otherwise your whole system is at risk!
Not only can it drastically alter the pH level of your tub, given vinegar’s natural acidity, but it also isn’t capable of getting rid of the nasty scum and scale that can build up in hot tubs after continuous use without cleaning.
You might also find that continuous use of vinegar to clean results in a lingering and especially unpleasant smell.
Considering you’re supposed to be relaxing, a gross odor is not exactly conducive to a nice soak in the tub!