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Hot tubs and Epsom salts are synonymous with relaxation and pain relief for sore joints and muscles. Wouldn’t it be great if you could combine the two? Of course! In fact, many people use pure Epsom salts in their bathtubs at home. But can you put Epsom salt in a hot tub? In most cases, the answer is NO. Here’s why.
Pure Epsom salts are an alkaline compound also known as Magnesium Sulphate. The mildly acidic properties of Epsom salts can very quickly disrupt the total alkalinity and pH balance of the water in your hot tub. Unbalanced water can launch a cascade of other problems, including reduced sanitizer performance and corrosion of your hot tub equipment (metal parts, plastic pieces, seals, gaskets, etc.).
When using a regular bathtub, the standard recommendation is to add 2 cups of Epsom salts to feel the full therapeutic effects. Now, let’s think about that for a minute. The average bathtub holds about 80 gallons of water. On the other hand, the average hot tub holds about 400-500 gallons. To reach the same concentration level in your hot tub would require 10-12 cups of pure Epsom salts. That’s a lot of solids being added to the water! A bathtub can be drained quickly and easily, and the water is only used once. Unfortunately, a hot tub can’t be drained as often or as easily, which leads us to our next point.
To avoid scale buildup on spa surfaces and equipment, many spa manufacturers recommend draining and refilling a hot tub when the level of total dissolved solids (TDS) reaches 1500 ppm or higher. Failure to do so can potentially void the warranty. High TDS levels can also cause problems with cloudy water. Using our previous comparison, adding 10-12 cups of Epsom salt to your hot tub will quickly raise the TDS reading far past the 1500 ppm maximum threshold. Spa heaters usually sustain the most damage from scale buildup, but water lines, jets, pool pumps and tub surfaces can also accumulate scale if proper water balance is not maintained.
Rather than pour pounds and pounds of pure Epsom salts into your spa, risking long-term damage to the tub, plumbing and equipment, why not try a safe yet effective alternative instead?
Hot tub aromatherapy products offer many of the same benefits as Epsom salts. In fact, most aromatherapy crystals use Magnesium Sulphate (Epsom salt) as the primary ingredient. The key difference is that spa aromatherapy crystals have been specially formulated for use in spas and hot tubs. Smaller quantities are needed to achieve the same effects, and they don’t negatively alter the water chemistry or cause problems with spa equipment. Most spa crystals are also formulated with vitamins, minerals, moisturizing nutrients and natural herbs and botanicals. And of course, there’s the unique aromatherapy experience that can elicit any desired benefit or mental state. De-stress, detoxify, rejuvenate, reduce pain and inflammation, breathe easier, boost energy levels or promote a better night’s sleep - anything is possible with aromatherapy.
There are also alternatives to aromatherapy crystals that promote the same therapeutic benefits. Spa elixirs help you to relax while also softening the water and moisturizing your skin. Revolutionary new spa bombs offer the same benefits as the increasingly popular bath bombs. However, unlike standard bath bombs, spa bombs won’t damage your hot tub equipment, alter the water chemistry or clog up your filter.
In most cases, you should never add pure Epsom salts to your hot tub. Despite this warning, if you still want to try, just be sure to drain and thoroughly clean the hot tub immediately after you’re done soaking to avoid long-term damages to your spa. You can achieve the same therapeutic effects by using spa aromatherapy products, which are specifically formulated for use in spas and hot tubs. These products won’t upset fragile water balance, harm the equipment or cause scale buildup on tub surfaces. Hot Tub Works carries dozens of aromatherapy products from top brands like Cover Valet, PharmaSpa, Spazazz and Zodiac.