When To Lower Bromine Levels In A Hot Tub?

  • By: Adam
  • Date: September 4, 2022

Chlorine might be the chemical most people associate with cleaning water. But in recent years, bromine has become a common substitute. 

Although not many of us can claim to know all that much about chlorine, chances are that you know even less about bromine.

If you have bromine in your hot tub then you will almost definitely know about it. If you’re looking to lower bromine levels, then it’s probably because it’s causing some kind of irritation or even a bad smell. 

Bromine is no better than chlorine but it has a stronger and more unpleasant smell. It can also cause skin irritation and has a dark color.

So it’s understandable that you would want to reduce the bromine in your hot tub, if not get rid of it entirely.

Here’s the best way to reduce the levels of bromine in your hot tub: 

Do nothing

This might be a slightly frustrating option but leaving your hot tub alone can be the easiest course of action. As you probably already know, it’s important to regularly add sanitizer to your hot tub. 

This is because the levels of sanitizer, whether bromine or chlorine, will naturally decrease. This is why you have to keep topping up the sanitizer.

So, if you leave your hot tub alone for a while, the bromine levels will decrease all on their own. Then, you can start using another sanitizer that won’t cause you so much hassle.


If this is too slow a process for you, you can dilute the water. To do this, you will have to empty out some of the water in the tub and then replace it with fresh water. 

This will balance out the water to bromine ratio. It won’t get rid of the bromine entirely. But a diluted amount will cause less irritation, smell less, and have a lighter coloring. 

Continue this process until the bromine is at your preferred level. (Read on or scroll down for our guide to testing the water in your hot tub).


If the level of bromine in your hot tub is still too high, then the only answer may be to replace the water entirely.

If you choose to do this, remember to clean the inside of the tub and as much as the piping as you can. 

The bromine will have been wherever the water has been. So you will need to clean it thoroughly if you want to get rid of the bromine entirely. 

This is an especially good idea if you want to start sanitizing the water with chlorine. Chlorine and bromine will react if mixed together.

So it’s still better to make sure all of the bromine has gone before adding another chemical. 

How to Test the Bromine Level in Your Hot Tub

Although it can cause irritation, bromine isn’t necessarily a bad substance to use in your hot tub. The recommended bromine to water ratio is 1 to 3 parts per million (ppm).

It’s very easy to test the bromine levels in your hot tub as you can easily find water testing kits online.

If you can, try to find a kit that tests for several different chemicals and minerals. This will give you a good idea of what is in your hot tub water.

This is an especially good idea if you are experiencing some irritation after using your hot tub and only suspect that it is the bromine.

There could be something else that you are having an adverse reaction to. So it’s easy enough to find a test kit that will give you a broader idea of what’s in your tub. 

Regularly testing the bromine levels in your hot tub will also give you an idea of when it needs topping up.

If you prefer using bromine in your hot tub and are simply reading this article because you accidentally added too much, then you will eventually need to add more. 

Maintenance Tips

Keeping your hot tub clean and well-maintained is very important. It needs to be cleaned and cared for just as much as your bathtub and shower.

So, as well as sanitizing your hot tub, here are a few ways to maintain and care for your hot tub, so you can have the best experience possible. 

  • Regularly change the water. Although you will be regularly adding sanitizers (such as bromine) to kill the bacteria in your hot tub, it’s still important to regularly replace the water. The regularity will depend on your usage but it’s a good idea to change the water at least once every three months. 

  • Sanitize weekly. As you only need to change the water every few months, it’s important to regularly sanitize and add chemicals to your hot tub. If you have accidentally added too much bromine to your hot tub, you might be able to leave it a little longer. But if you have entirely removed the bromine, you will need to add a different chemical. Chlorine is the most popular option.

  • Clean the filters regularly. Another reason why you only need to change the water every three months is due to the water filters. But, as their name suggests, they will eventually filter so much that they will need cleaning. If you don’t clean the filters regularly, their effectiveness will reduce and your hot tub will gradually become dirtier. You should clean the filters every three months.

You should do this when you change out the water. Clean the filters by soaking them overnight in filter cleaner. Then rinse or hose them down with water and replace them. 

  • Use bromine or chlorine tablets. If you plan to stop using your hot tub for a while or are going away, you still need to keep it clean. Of course, you can just add a lot of sanitizer when you use it again but this isn’t the best idea. You can easily add bromine or chlorine tablets to the filter. This will gradually sanitize the hot tub.