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Why Can’t I Use Household Bleach In My Hot Tub?

Hot Tub

Hot Tub

After a little bit of online research, a lot of hesitation, and some more back and forth, we finally decided to get ourselves a hot tub. We researched TubHQ to make sure we got the best model within our budget and finally had it installed last week. However, we forgot to properly research how to care for a hot tub. I had assumed that household bleach would be enough to disinfect the tub, but apparently, I was dead wrong. Several hot tub service shops and hot tub owners told me that bleach was not recommended. Which begs the question, why can’t I use bleach in my hot tub?

Aren’t Public Swimming Pools And Hot Tubs Chlorinated?

The reason I assumed that bleach was appropriate for us in hot tubs is that I’ve always heard that public water bodies like pools and hot tubs are chlorinated. If bleach contains chlorine, why not use it? It made sense at the time, but apparently, that’s not the full story. Granted, chlorine is chlorine no matter where it comes from, and the disinfecting properties are the same. However, there are more factors to consider here.

The Main Problem When Using Bleach

Even if you use bleach at the appropriate concentration, there is still a major problem when using it to disinfect your hot tub. If you do not add Cyanuric Acid (CYA) along with bleach, the result would be too much chlorine in the water. The over-chlorination would cause damages to the hot tub cover and panels, which is the reason most manufacturers consider the use of bleach to void their warranty.

What Is CYA And What Does It Do?

The bad thing about chlorine is that it breaks down when exposed to UV rays (sunlight). When Cyanuric acid is added to chlorine bleach in a swimming pool, the two chemicals react with each other to form a new chemical that is much more stable and doesn’t break down when exposed to sunlight. The problem? The resulting chemical does not have the same sanitizing properties as chlorine bleach. Thus, using the two chemicals together defies the purpose of adding them to the water in the first place.


While chlorine bleach is a powerful disinfectant, it is not suitable for use in swimming pools or hot tubs. There are better, more effective chemicals that are specially formulated for use in hot tubs. These chemical sanitizers are able to disinfect without damaging the equipment, and have a lasting effect. Additionally, the specially formulated sanitizers are usually safer to use than chlorine, and can withstand higher temperatures as well. There is no need to mix them with other solutions, and there is very little calculation needed before adding the sanitizers to water.

The bottom line is, if you want to care for your hot tub and keep it for a long time, you will need to use those products that are specifically designed for use in a hot tub.