Best Hot Tub Chlorine: Top 10 Options

Published on

March 14, 2024

Finding the best hot tub chlorine is key to a clean and safe hot tub experience. Chlorine keeps your tub free of germs and algae.

But with so many options out there, how do you choose?

This guide will help you understand what makes a chlorine product stand out. Dive in to discover your best choice for a sparkling, inviting hot tub.

What Is Hot Tub Chlorine?

Hot tub chlorine is a special cleaner for your hot tub. It's a chemical that kills germs and bacteria. When you put it in the water, it works immediately.

This full salt system keeps the hot tub water clean and safe for you to enjoy. Think of it as a tiny, invisible cleaning crew for your hot tub.

The Science Behind Chlorine in Hot Tubs

Think of chlorine as a tiny army. When you drop it into the water, it starts to break apart. This split creates new parts called "chlorine ions." These ions love to fight germs and bacteria.

The chlorine ions attack and destroy 99% of the germs in your hot tub. This keeps your hot tub clean and safe for you to enjoy.

But the chlorine doesn't stop there. It continues to guard your hot tub, always ready for the next batch of germs. It only stops when it's used up and there's none left.

That's why you need to add more chlorine from time to time. This keeps your chlorine army strong and ready to keep your hot tub clean.

Remember, too little chlorine, and germs could take over. Too much, and it might irritate your skin or eyes. You want to keep the right amount for a happy, healthy hot tub experience.

Possibility and Implications of a Chlorine-Free Hot Tub

Can you have a hot tub without chlorine? Yes, you can. But is it a good idea? Let's think about that.

Having a chlorine-free hot tub might sound appealing. No chemical smell, cloudy water, and less skin irritation. But you can't forget about cleanliness.

Chlorine kills bacteria. Without it, your hot tub could turn into a giant petri dish. You wouldn't want to relax in a germ soup.

There are alternatives to chlorine, like both chlorine and bromine, ozone, or saltwater spa systems. These can kill bacteria too. But they may not be as effective as chlorine. Plus, they come with their own downsides.

10 Best Hot Tub Chlorine Solutions

Here are the 10 best chlorine options for hot tub use:

  1. Chlorinating granules
  2. Chlorine tablets
  3. Chlorine concentrate
  4. Chlorine shock
  5. Liquid chlorine
  6. Dichlor chlorine
  7. Trichlor chlorine
  8. Sodium hypochlorite
  9. Lithium hypochlorite
  10. Lithium hypochlorite

This table lists the key aspects about them.

Type of Chlorine Key Properties Best For
Chlorinating Granules Quick-dissolving, convenient for regular sanitizing and shock treatments. Hot tub owners who want a quick and easy sanitation solution.
Chlorine Tablets Slow-dissolving, provides long-lasting sanitation, often used in floating dispensers or feeders. Hot tub owners looking for a low-maintenance, long-term sanitation method.
Chlorine Concentrate Highly concentrated form, quick-dissolving, ideal for shock treatments. Those needing powerful sanitation for heavily used or neglected hot tubs.
Chlorine Shock Powerful sanitizer, used periodically to kill bacteria and algae, removes chloramines. Hot tub owners who want to perform periodic deep cleaning of their hot tub.
Liquid Chlorine Effective sanitizer, easier to use but has a shorter shelf life. Hot tub owners who prefer a straightforward, easy-to-use solution, and who use their hot tub frequently.
Dichlor Chlorine Stabilized form of chlorine, dissolves quickly, good for both regular sanitizing and shock treatments. Those seeking a versatile, fast-acting chlorine product that can handle everyday use and shock treatments.
Trichlor Chlorine Very slow-dissolving, stabilized, often used in floating dispensers or feeders, not recommended for hot tubs due to its high acidity. Not typically recommended for hot tubs due to its high acidity, but may be suitable for certain pools.
Sodium Hypochlorite Active ingredient in liquid chlorine, effective but degrades faster under sunlight. Hot tub owners who use their tub frequently and are able to replenish chlorine levels regularly.
Lithium Hypochlorite Fast-dissolving, suitable for regular sanitizing and shock treatments, less common due to higher cost. Those looking for a fast-dissolving, easy-to-use solution and who don't mind a higher price point.

1. Chlorinating Granules

Chlorinating granules are a type of pool and hot tub disinfectant. They are small, concentrated grains of chlorine that you add to your hot tub water to kill bacteria and other germs.

When these granules come into the water, they dissolve fast. It's like adding a team of tiny cleaners to your hot tub to keep it fresh and safe for your relaxation.

How to Use Chlorinating Granules

Using chlorinating granules is quite easy:

  • Measure the right amount based on your hot tub's size. You can usually find this information on the product's label.
  • Sprinkle the granules into the hot tub while the jets are on. This helps spread the chlorine evenly in the water.

Benefits of Chlorinating Granules

Chlorinating granules have several benefits:

  • They dissolve fast, which means they start working right away.
  • They're also easy to measure, so you can adjust the amount to suit your needs.
  • Because they're concentrated, a small amount can go a long way.

Downsides of Chlorinating Granules

  • Chlorinating granules can sometimes be a bit harsh. This means they might irritate your skin or eyes.
  • Because they dissolve fast, you may need to add them more often to keep your hot tub clean.

Who Should Use Them

Chlorinating granules are great if you use your hot tub often. They're also a good choice if you need to boost the chlorine level fast.

If you're comfortable adjusting the amount you use based on your hot tub's needs, chlorinating granules can be a good fit for you.

2. Chlorine Tablets

Chlorine tablets are a type of pool and hot tub sanitizer used to keep the water clean. They're solid tablets made of a compound called trichloro-s-triazinetrione. This is a stable source of chlorine.

Think of chlorine tablets as a slow-release cleaning agent. Once in the water, they do their job, so you can relax and enjoy your hot tub without worry.

But remember, it's still important to regularly check your hot tub's both chlorine levels and pH levels to keep the water balanced.

How to Use Them

Using chlorinating tablets for your hot tub is simple:

  • Make sure your hot tub is filled with water.
  • Put the tablets in a floating dispenser or your tub's chemical feeder.
  • Don't put the tablets directly into the tub. This can bleach your tub's lining.


Chlorinating tablets work slowly, so they keep your tub clean for a long time.

They're easy to use. You don't have to measure out the amount like with granules. They're also compact and easy to store.


But there are downsides too. Over time, these tablets can lower your tub's pH. This can make the water acidic, which isn't good for your tub or your skin.

Also, they don't work as quickly as some other types of chlorine. If you need a quick fix, tablets might not be your best option.

Who Should Use Them

If you use your hot tub often, chlorinating tablets could be a great choice. They give a steady supply of chlorine, which means you don't have to add more every day.

Remember to keep an eye on your water's pH.

3. Chlorine Concentrate

Chlorine concentrate is a powerful form of chlorine that you use in your hot tub. It's like concentrated juice; a small amount goes a long way.

How to Use It

Using chlorine concentrate is simple:

  • Add a small amount to your hot tub's water.
  • The water in the hot tub helps spread the chlorine around.
  • Think of it like adding sugar to a cup of tea. The water helps distribute the sugar evenly.


One major benefit of chlorine concentrate is how long it lasts. Because it's strong, you don't need to use a lot.

This means a single bottle can last a hot tub owner a long time. It's also quick to work, helping to keep your outdoor hot tub both clean and safe.


Despite its strengths, chlorine concentrate can be harsh on the skin and eyes if you don't use it correctly.

Who Should Use It

If you're someone who uses your hot tub often, chlorine concentrate could be a good fit.

It helps keep the water clean. But remember, you should always handle it with care to avoid any irritation.

4. Chlorine Shock

Chlorine shock is a type of cleaning product for your hot tub. It's a high dose of chlorine you add to the water. Think of it like a deep cleaning treatment for your hot tub.

How to Use Chlorine Shock

Using chlorine shock is simple:

  • Measure out the right amount according to the product instructions.
  • Sprinkle it across the surface of the water in your hot tub.
  • Wait. It needs a few hours to work its magic.

Benefits of Chlorine Shock

The benefits of chlorine shock are clear:

  • It destroys bacteria and algae in the water.
  • It breaks down any other nasty stuff like dirt, oils, or lotions.
  • When you use it, you get a sparkling clean hot tub.

Downsides of Chlorine Shock

But there are some downsides. It's strong stuff. That means you need to be careful when you handle it.

You also have to wait before you can use the hot tub again after a shock treatment.

Who Should Use Chlorine Shock?

If you own a hot tub, you should use chlorine shock, especially after intense use. You should also use it when many people have been using it all at once.

It's a key part of keeping your hot tub clean and safe.

5. Liquid Chlorine

Liquid chlorine is a strong solution used to clean and sanitize hot tubs. Think of it like soap for your hot tub that gets rid of germs.

How to Use Liquid Chlorine

Pour the recommended amount directly into the hot tub while the jets are running. It's similar to adding soap to a bath, but remember, always read the label first!

Benefits of Liquid Chlorine

Liquid chlorine has two major perks:

  • It works instantly. This means your hot tub gets clean fast.
  • It's straightforward to use. You don't have to worry about dissolving tablets or granules.

Downsides of Liquid Chlorine

But there are some downsides. Liquid chlorine can lose its strength if stored for a long time. It's like old baking soda that doesn't make your cakes rise anymore.

Also, it's heavier and more cumbersome to carry than other types of chlorine.

Who Should Use Liquid Chlorine

If you use your hot tub often, liquid chlorine could be a good choice. It's also helpful if you need to sanitize your hot tub quickly.

It's like having a speed-cleaning service for your hot tub. But if carrying heavy jugs or storing big containers is a problem, you might want to consider other options.

6. Dichlor Chlorine

Dichlor chlorine (Sodium Dichloro-S-Triazinetrione) is a type of chlorine used to sanitize pools and hot tubs. It comes in many forms but it has many benefits compared to other types.

How to Use Dichlor Chlorine

To use Dichlor, measure out the correct amount for your hot tub size. Sprinkle it into the water. Make sure to spread it around so it can work its magic. Always handle it with care, as it's a strong substance.

Benefits of Dichlor Chlorine

Dichlor Chlorine has many good points:

  • It dissolves fast, meaning it starts working right away.
  • It's stable, so it won't break down in sunlight. This makes it last longer in your hot tub.
  • It's like the hard-working student in your class, always getting the job done.

Downsides of Dichlor Chlorine

Like all things, Dichlor Chlorine has a few downsides:

  • It's quite strong, which means it can irritate your skin or eyes.
  • It lowers your hot tub's pH level. This means you'll need to monitor your water balance closely.

Who Should Use Dichlor Chlorine

If you use your hot tub often, Dichlor Chlorine could be for you. It's also good if you want a sanitizer that works fast.

But remember, if you have sensitive skin, it may not be the best choice.

7. Trichlor Chlorine

Trichlor chlorine (Trichloroisocyanuric acid) is a type of chlorine used to sanitize and disinfect water. This includes swimming pools or hot tubs. In simple terms, it's a very strong cleaning agent.

It works by killing bacteria, algae, and other microorganisms that can make the water unsafe or unpleasant to use. Think of Trichlor as a very tough cleaner that fights off the tiny, unwanted guests in your hot tub.

How to Use Trichlor Chlorine

Using Trichlor is simple. You put it in a floating dispenser that floats around your hot tub, slowly releasing the chlorine. Like a tea bag, it steeps in your hot tub, spreading cleanliness in its path.

Benefits of Trichlor Chlorine

Trichlor comes with many benefits. It's long-lasting, giving you less work and more relaxation time.

Plus, it's strong and powerful, wiping out unwanted germs effectively. It's like having a superhero in your tub, keeping you safe.

Downsides of Trichlor Chlorine

Trichlor has its downsides too. It can lower your hot tub's pH, which means you'll need to check and adjust the pH often.

It's a little like having a pet. It does a great job but needs some care.

Who Should Use Trichlor Chlorine

Trichlor is great for you if you don't use your hot tub daily. It's also a good fit if you don't mind monitoring your hot tub's pH regularly.

If you are a casual hot tub user who likes things clean and is okay with a little pH balance balancing, Trichlor is your friend.

8. Sodium Hypochlorite

In the context of hot tubs and pools, sodium hypochlorite is used as a form of chlorine to disinfect the water.

It helps eliminate harmful bacteria and algae, ensuring that the water remains safe and clean for use.

It's usually sold in a liquid form, which can be directly added to the water in measured amounts.

How to Use It

Use a test strip to find out how much chlorine your hot tub needs. Then, carefully add the right amount of sodium hypochlorite. Always follow the instructions on the label. Safety first!


Sodium hypochlorite kills bacteria fast to keep your hot tub safe. It's also easy to find and usually costs less than some other types of chlorine.


Sodium hypochlorite can lower your hot tub's pH. This means you might need to add other chemicals to keep the pH balanced.

Also, it's not as stable in hot water as some other types of chlorine.

Who Should Use It

If you use your hot tub often, sodium hypochlorite could be a good choice. It works fast to keep the water clean.

But remember, you'll need to check the pH regularly.

9. Lithium Hypochlorite

Lithium hypochlorite is a type of chlorine that is often used for sanitizing pools and hot tubs. It comes in a granular form and is known for dissolving quickly and efficiently in water.

When it dissolves, it releases hypochlorous acid, which acts as a disinfectant to kill bacteria and other microorganisms. This keeps the water chemistry in your hot tub clean and safe.

How to Use It

Using lithium hypochlorite is easy. You just sprinkle the powder into your hot tub. Make sure the hot tub is running so it mixes well.


Lithium hypochlorite has a lot of good points. It doesn't have a strong smell like some types of chlorine.

It's fast-acting, which means it kills germs quickly. And because it dissolves easily, it doesn't leave any oily residue behind in your hot tub.


But there are some downsides. Lithium hypochlorite can be more expensive than other types of chlorine. And it's not as strong, so you might need to use more of it.

Who Should Use It

If you want a fast-acting, easy-to-use chlorine that doesn't smell, and you're okay with the cost, lithium hypochlorite could be a good choice for you.

It's also a good pick if you use your hot tub often because it's gentle on your skin and eyes.

10. Calcium Hypochlorite

Calcium hypochlorite is a chemical compound often used as a disinfectant. It is commonly used to sanitize public swimming pools and disinfect drinking water.

In the context of a hot tub, calcium hypochlorite acts as a sanitizer that kills harmful bacteria and algae, keeping the water clean and safe for use.

It's typically found in a granular or tablet form, making it easy to measure and distribute in the water.

How to Use It

Using calcium hypochlorite is straightforward. You should dissolve it in water before adding it to your tub. You'll add it to your hot tub water, following the instructions on the label.


Calcium hypochlorite works quickly. It's a powerful germ killer that keeps your water clean.

Also, it's great for 'shocking' your hot tub - a deep clean you do every now and then.


Despite its strengths, calcium hypochlorite isn't perfect. It's a strong chemical, so you need to handle it with care.

Also, it can make your water a bit cloudy if you use too much. It's like a detergent that leaves streaks when overused.

Who Should Use It

If you need a powerful, quick-acting chlorine, this might be a good choice. But remember, always handle it safely, and keep an eye on your water clarity.

It's like picking a strong dish soap - great for tough jobs, but use it wisely!

How To Choose Hot Tub Chlorine for Hot Tub Water

Choosing hot tub chlorine depends on factors like your tub's size and usage frequency. A larger hot tub shell, or more frequent use of a hot tub requires more chlorine to maintain a clean and safe water environment.

Getting the Best Value for Your Money

Look for high-quality products that provide excellent sanitizing power and long-lasting effect. Cheaper options might require more frequent application, which could eventually cost more in the long run.

Catering to Your Specific Needs

Consider your skin sensitivity and the preferences of those using the hot tub.

Some people are more sensitive to certain types of chlorine. For instance, Dichlor is often recommended for people with sensitive skin as it has a nearly neutral pH and dissolves rapidly.

Making an Informed Purchase Decision

Researching and reading reviews can be beneficial. Understanding the experiences of other users can help guide your decision.

Tablets often have slower dissolution rates, making them a great option for long-term maintenance. Granules or shocks work rapidly and are best used for immediate sanitizing needs.

It's crucial that many hot tub and spa owners have to strike a balance between efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and comfort for the best hot tub experience.

Reducing Chlorine Usage with O-Care

O-Care is a beneficial additive for maintaining water quality in your hot tub. It breaks down and prevents biofilm, microscopic organic matter that can accumulate in hot tub systems. It's like a specialized janitor, targeting areas often overlooked.

The Role of O-Care in Reducing Chlorine Usage

O-Care’s biofilm control reduces the overall demand for sanitizing chemicals, such as chlorine.

With less biofilm, there's less for chlorine to fight against. So, as you'd need less soap to clean a slightly dirty plate than a very dirty one, you'll need less chlorine with O-Care on your side.

Additional Benefits of O-Care

Aside from reducing chlorine demand, O-Care offers additional benefits. It softens the water, leading to a more pleasant feel on the skin and fewer calcium deposits in your hot tub owner's system. It also helps minimize foaming, a common problem in hot tubs.

Making O-Care Part of Your Routine

We recommend an application at least every two weeks, along with regular testing of your water's balance.

Like maintaining a healthy diet, regularity in hot tub maintenance is key. O-Care keeps your hot tub in peak condition while optimizing your chlorine usage.

Final Thoughts

You can enjoy a more pleasant and healthier soak by taking care of your hot tub with O-Care. You won't just be reducing the amount of chlorine needed but also enhancing the water's softness and reducing foaming.

O-Care is the secret ingredient to a more enjoyable and low-maintenance hot tub experience.

Take the first step towards a better hot tub experience today. Invest in O-Care and feel the difference in your next soak.

You'll be wondering how you ever managed without it. Get your O-Care now and make the most of your hot tub time!

Here are other tips to enhance your hot tub bathing experience: 

Here are other tips to enhance your hit bathing experience: 

  1. Download the O-Care app for weekly maintenance and step-by-step problem-solving.
  2. Use our online water assistant to diagnose your water quality issues.
  3. This article covers more situations if the app didn't help solve your problem.
  4. I need to solve an underlying contamination issue in my hot tub; maybe it's biofilm?
  5. How to avoid future problems and keep your hot tub clean?
  6. What kind of sanitizers can I choose from?
  7. What is the best way to maintain my hot tub water?
  8. How to test the water in my hot tub?