13 Outstanding Salt Water Hot Tub Benefits

Published on

September 8, 2023

As wellness trends increasingly look to nature for inspiration, saltwater hot tubs have been garnering attention for their myriad potential benefits. Saltwater hot tubs are more skin-friendly and provide less chlorine exposure, which also reduces the unpleasant chlorine smell. They have water-softening effects, are easy to maintain, have lower long-term costs, and are environmentally friendly.

Apart from the therapeutic effects of salt, there are also some health benefits saltwater hot tubs come with, which include reduced eye irritation, soothing for muscles and joints, improved air quality, cardiovascular benefits, relaxation, and stress relief.

In this article, we explore these distinctive advantages of saltwater hot tubs and provide scientific insights into how they can improve health and well-being. We will also tell you how to use O-care to enhance these benefits and make your hot bathing experience even more enjoyable.

What is a Salt Water Hot Tub?

A saltwater hot tub, also known as a saltwater spa or saltwater system, is a variation of a jacuzzi that employs salt water instead of fresh water. 

Unlike what some may assume, the salt water used in these tubs is not sourced from the ocean or a salted lake. Instead, they use a freshwater salt system to transform regular fresh water into salted water through a process called electrolysis. This process separates sodium from chlorine, generating natural chlorine for disinfection. As a result, it differs from traditional hot tubs that typically require manual addition of chemical sanitizers such as chlorine or bromine.

1. Skin-Friendly

Saltwater hot tubs are often hailed as being gentler on the skin. Research suggests that the minerals present in salt water, like magnesium and potassium, may help improve skin hydration and reduce inflammation, leading to a more comfortable and potentially beneficial soaking experience.

As with any water system, the benefits can vary depending on the system's quality, the hot tub water used, and individual skin types and sensitivities. Some people may find saltwater systems more beneficial for their skin than others. As always, it's a good idea to consult with a dermatologist or other healthcare provider if you have specific skin concerns.

2. Less Chlorine Exposure 

Less Chlorine Exposure 

Hot salt water tubs generate chlorine from salt, lowering chlorine levels. This reduction can minimize exposure to high concentrations of chlorine, which are often associated with allergies and irritation.

The continual generation of chlorine from the salt in the spa water ensures the hot tub is always sanitized, which is a significant advantage over traditional chlorine systems. Traditional systems often experience peaks and valleys in chlorine levels, which require more frequent manual testing and adjustment.

3. Natural Water Softening

Natural Water Softening

One of the distinct advantages of saltwater hot tubs is their natural water-softening effect. Hard water, which contains high levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium, can cause various problems for hot tubs. In contrast, saltwater hot tubs solve these issues by naturally softening the water.

Hard water can be harsh on the skin, leaving it dry and irritated. Over time, this can result in flakiness or itchiness, especially for sensitive skin. Softer water is gentler on the skin, reducing the risk of such discomfort. Bathing in softer water can lead to improved skin texture.

Beyond these practical advantages, there is also a notable difference in the feel of the water. Many people find that soft water feels smoother and silkier against the skin. This luxurious sensation can significantly enhance the overall bathing experience, making each soak in a saltwater hot tub feel like a special treat.

Hard water can also leave mineral deposits on the sides of the tub and in the hot tub's equipment, potentially damaging it over time and causing unsightly buildup. Saltwater, by its softening effect, reduces these mineral deposits, helping maintain the integrity and cleanliness of the tub.

Softer water can also lead to a better performance of soaps and bath additives, allowing them to lather more effectively and rinse off more easily. This not only improves the effectiveness of any products used but can also add to the indulgence of your hot tub experience.

4. Ease of Maintenance

Ease of Maintenance

In traditional hot tubs, maintaining proper sanitation requires regular monitoring and adjusting of chemical levels. This can involve frequent testing, balancing pH levels, and adding chlorine or bromine. Such tasks can be time-consuming and even complex for those unfamiliar with the process. A saltwater hot tub automates much of this process. 

The salt cell in the system consistently produces the required amount of chlorine, maintaining a steady and optimal sanitizer level. This greatly reduces the need for regular chemical adjustments.

Of course, this does not mean that saltwater hot tubs are completely maintenance-free. Owners must monitor and adjust hot tub pH and alkalinity levels and clean the salt cell periodically to prevent scale buildup. Still, the maintenance routine is generally more streamlined than traditional hot tubs, leaving more time for relaxation and enjoyment.

Read more on hot tub maintenance here: Hot Tub Water Maintenance: Best Expert Advice

5. Long-Term Cost Savings

While the upfront cost of a saltwater hot tub system can be higher than a traditional chlorine system due to the need for a salt chlorine generator, many owners find that the investment pays off over time.

The main reason is that saltwater systems require less frequent purchases of sanitizing chemicals. Once the appropriate amount of salt is added to the hot tub, the system will continue to generate chlorine for a long period. In contrast, traditional hot tubs require regular purchases of chlorine or bromine, which can add up over time.

In addition, the reduced need for maintenance and the potential for longer-lasting equipment due to less chemical wear and tear can lead to additional savings in the long run. This makes salt water hot tubs a cost-effective choice for many users when considered over several years of use.

Saltwater systems can also help to reduce water replacement frequency due to their continuous sanitizing process, which further contributes to cost savings and environmental benefits.

Read more here: Cost of Hot Tub Maintenance: Best Expert Analysis

6. Less Odor

Less Odor

In saltwater hot tubs, chlorine generation is steadier and more controlled, resulting in fewer chloramines. This means that saltwater hot tubs tend to produce less of this characteristic odor, making the overall hot tub experience more enjoyable.

One of the common complaints associated with traditional chlorinated hot tubs is the strong, distinctive odor that they can produce. This smell is often described as the "chlorine smell," but interestingly, it's not caused by chlorine itself. Instead, it results from chloramines—compounds formed when chlorine reacts with organic matter such as sweat, oils, and urine.

Reduced odor not only improves the immediate environment around the hot tub, but it can also make the experience more pleasant for individuals with sensitivities to the "chlorine smell." This can be particularly beneficial for indoor hot tubs, where ventilation might be less efficient, and odors can accumulate more easily.

Read more here: Expert Advice: How To Remove Obnoxious Hot Tub Smells

7. Environmental Friendliness

Environmental Friendliness

A saltwater hot tub system can have a lower environmental impact than traditional chlorinated hot tubs. One significant reason for this is the reduced use of sanitizing chemicals.

In a traditional hot tub, you must add chlorine or bromine to keep the water clean regularly. While effective at sanitizing the water, these chemicals can harm the environment when the water is drained, and these chemicals are released into the ecosystem.

Saltwater hot tubs use a natural electrolysis process to convert salt into chlorine. Once the chlorine has done its job of sanitizing the water, it reverts to salt, and the cycle begins again. This process reduces the need for additional sanitizing chemicals, leading to less chemical discharge into the environment.

In addition, saltwater systems may also require less frequent water changes compared to traditional systems, further reducing water consumption. The potential for longer-lasting equipment due to less chemical wear and tear can result in less waste over time.

While no hot tub can be entirely "green," using a saltwater system can be a more environmentally-friendly option due to these factors.

8. Therapeutic Effects of Salt

Therapeutic Effects of Salt

Salt water therapy has been used for centuries, with numerous minerals in salt offering various potential health benefits. These benefits include muscle relaxation, improved nerve function, reduced arthritis symptoms, and detoxification.  

Magnesium, one of the minerals found in salt, is known to help with muscle relaxation and nerve function, which can enhance the soothing effects of a hot tub soak. A study published in 2018, has demonstrated that magnesium plays a crucial role in neuromuscular transmission and muscle contraction. Soaking in a saltwater hot tub can facilitate the absorption of this mineral, potentially reducing muscle tension and promoting relaxation.

Sulfur, another mineral in salt, is often associated with detoxification and can also aid in relieving conditions like arthritis and muscle pain. A 2023 study reported sulfur's potential role in treating arthritis and muscle pain, supporting a saltwater hot tub's benefits.

9. Reduced Eye Irritation

Saltwater hot tubs, with their lower levels of free chlorine due to continuous chlorine generation, tend to be gentler on the eyes, making for a more comfortable and enjoyable experience.

One common issue with traditionally chlorinated hot tubs is the eye irritation caused by higher free chlorine concentrations. High chlorine levels could cause irritant dermatitis and irritant conjunctivitis. 

10. Soothing for Muscles and Joints

Soothing for Muscles and Joints

The warm, buoyant environment provided by hot tubs, in combination with the natural minerals found in salt water, can be extremely soothing for sore muscles and joints. This effect can particularly benefit those with conditions like arthritis or after a strenuous workout. 

The buoyancy of the water reduces the pressure on the joints, while the heat can help increase blood flow and speed up the body's natural healing process.

A study published in 2022 reported that patients with arthritis experienced less pain and stiffness after participating in warm water exercise. While not a direct comparison, the principles are similar and highlight the potential benefits of salt water for those suffering from joint pain or discomfort.

11. Potential Cardiovascular Benefits

Potential Cardiovascular Benefits

Research has suggested that immersion in warm water could lead to physiological changes that mimic those achieved through mild exercises, such as improved circulation. 

According to a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, a hot bath can raise heart rate and lower blood pressure, much like cardiovascular exercise. While these benefits are not exclusive to salt water hot tubs, they certainly contribute to the overall wellness experience of hot tub use.

12. Improved Air Quality

In traditional hot tubs, the reaction between chlorine and organic matter can produce chloramines, resulting in poor air quality around the tub. In contrast, saltwater hot tubs tend to produce fewer chloramines, resulting in better air quality. 

Chloramines are a byproduct of the reaction between chlorine and organic matter, which can affect air quality and cause respiratory discomfort. By reducing chloramine production, saltwater hot tubs offer users a healthier, more pleasant environment.

13. Relaxation and Stress Relief

Stress reduction and relaxation are major benefits of any hot tub. Still, saltwater hot tubs can enhance this experience with mineral-rich water and gentle water movement. 

The relaxation benefits of saltwater spas are more than just anecdotal. A recent study found that immersion in warm water can lower cortisol levels, a primary stress hormone. Whether used as part of a wind-down routine after a long day or a quiet self-care moment, a saltwater hot tub can be a significant asset for mental well-being.

Common Misconceptions About Salt Water Hot Tubs

Common Misconceptions About Salt Water Hot Tubs

There are several misconceptions surrounding saltwater hot tubs that can lead to confusion or misunderstandings.

  1. Salt Water Hot Tubs are Chlorine-Free: Contrary to popular belief, salt water hot tubs are not entirely chlorine-free. These hot tubs use electrolysis, which converts salt into chlorine to keep the water clean. So while they reduce the need for manual addition of chlorine, they do contain chlorine.
  2. Salt Water Hot Tubs Require No Maintenance: While saltwater hot tubs require less frequent addition of sanitizing chemicals, they are not completely maintenance-free. Routine care is still necessary, including monitoring water chemistry and cleaning the salt generator cell.
  3. Salt Water Hot Tubs are Like Bathing in the Ocean: Some may believe salt water hot tubs replicate the ocean swimming experience. Still, the salt concentration in a saltwater hot tub is much lower than in ocean water, resulting in a softer, less irritating bathing experience.
  4. Salt Water Hot Tub Systems are Prohibitively Expensive: While the initial cost of a saltwater system can be higher than traditional systems, the long-term cost savings from reduced chemical use and potential longevity of equipment can make it a cost-effective choice in the long run.

Read more here: The New Truth About Salt Water Hot Tubs: Myths & Benefits

Enhancing Your Saltwater Hot Tub Experience with O-Care

Enhancing Your Saltwater Hot Tub Experience with O-Care

O-Care is a product designed to reduce the amount of sanitizer required in hot tubs, enhancing water safety and comfort. It helps prevent biofilm buildup, contributing to cleaner, clearer water. It is designed for use with both regular hot tubs and saltwater hot tubs. It can enhance the hot tub experience regardless of your type of hot tub system.

Here are some benefits of using O-Care in your saltwater spa:

  • Water Softening: O-Care can help to soften the water in your hot tub. This makes the water feel smoother against your skin, and it can also help to prevent issues with your hot tub equipment.
  • Prevents Biofilm: Biofilm is a common problem in hot tubs. It's a slimy film that can build up in the pipes and equipment, leading to decreased performance and potentially causing health issues. O-Care can help to remove and prevent biofilm.
  • Easier Maintenance: By helping to keep your hot tub clean and preventing issues with biofilm and hard water, O-Care can make it easier to maintain your hot tub. This can save you time and potentially also save you money on repairs and replacements.
  • Skin Care: As O-Care contains minerals, it can benefit your skin. It makes the water feel more pleasant, and it can also help to keep your skin moisturized and healthy.

User Experiences and Reviews

Numerous testimonials highlight the effectiveness of O-Care in enhancing the saltwater hot tub experience. Users often report improved water quality and a noticeable reduction in chemical smell.

"I have sensitive skin, and using O-Care has made a significant difference in my saltwater hot tub experience. My skin no longer feels itchy and irritated after a soak, and the water feels so much softer. I can't imagine not adding it to my saltwater hot tub!" - Sarah, saltwater hot tub owner.

"I've been a long-time saltwater hot tub owner and have tried various products over the years to make my maintenance routine more efficient. But nothing has quite matched the performance of O-Care. It truly simplifies the cleaning process. Biofilm buildup, which was once a regular nuisance, is no longer a problem. Most importantly, my skin feels softer and more nourished after every soak, making the entire hot tub experience much more enjoyable. I highly recommend O-Care to any hot tub owner." – David, saltwater hot tub owner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are salt water hot tubs suitable for all climates?

Yes, salt water hot tubs can be used in various climates. The salt chlorinator system operates effectively across a wide range of temperatures. In colder climates, it's crucial to consider winterization procedures to protect the hot tub from freezing temperatures and ensure proper functioning during the colder months.

Can I still use traditional hot tub chemicals in a salt water hot tub if needed?

While the salt chlorinator system eliminates the need for traditional hot tub chemicals, there may be instances where additional chemical adjustments are required. In such cases, it is generally recommended to use products specifically designed for salt water hot tubs and follow the manufacturer's guidelines to maintain the system's optimal performance.

Can I convert my existing hot tub into a salt water hot tub?

In many cases, it is possible to convert an existing hot tub into a salt water hot tub. Still, it is essential to consult the manufacturer or a professional to ensure compatibility and to follow the recommended conversion process. Some hot tubs may require specific modifications or additional equipment to accommodate the salt chlorinator system.



Saltwater hot tubs offer a variety of potential benefits, from skin health to environmental friendliness. By choosing a salt water system and enhancing it with products like O-Care, you can maximize your hot tub's wellness offerings and enjoy a soothing, healthful experience. Individual experiences may vary, and it's important to conduct personal research and consult with professionals when making decisions regarding health and wellness.

Here are some additional links to help you improve your hot tub 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?