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

Published on

April 16, 2023

Salt water hot tubs are increasingly popular and provide a great way to relieve stress. Because of their low-maintenance hot tub water care, salt water systems are an excellent option for busy people.

Spa ownership has never been more accessible. A hot tub with a salt water system is a great choice if you want to purchase a new one because they provide an easy way to get clean water while not using too much chlorine.

This article explores the magical realm of hot tub salt systems. You will find out everything you need to know about their benefits, and we will debunk the myths surrounding them one by one.

What is a Salt Water Hot Tub?

A salt water hot tub is a type of jacuzzi that uses salt water instead of fresh water. This doesn't mean that the water in it comes from the ocean or a salted lake. A freshwater salt system makes fresh water salted. They are also called salt water systems.

Here is how a freshwater slat system works:

  • Saltwater is circulated through the tub and then returned to the saltwater tank.
  • The saltwater is then filtered and recirculated back into the tub.
  • Through a process called electrolysis, a salt water system generates natural chlorine by separating it from sodium.

A jacuzzi with a salt water system is not the same as a hot spring spa, but some people often confuse the terms. You can find hot spring spas near hot springs, while salt water spas can be located anywhere.

Just like a traditional chlorine water hot tub, regular maintenance is key for saltwater spa systems. Without upkeep, the system can become corroded. This leads to costly repairs down the line.

Hot tub owners need to check their saltwater systems frequently and replace parts as needed, to avoid problems.

Salt water hot tub in wooden shed
What is a Salt Water Hot Tub?

How Does a Salt System Spa Differ From a Traditional Hot Tub?

A traditional hot tub differs from a jacuzzi with a saltwater system in terms of maintenance and user-friendliness.

Regular hot tubs rely on traditional chlorine care to provide balanced spa water chemistry. This means you need to use bottled chlorine, while a salt system creates natural chlorine out of salt.

Jacuzzis with a freshwater salt system are often the superior choice because of their water softness and lack of chlorine odor. A proper chlorine level is maintained by default by the salt water system.

This table lists the main differences between a saltwater hot tub and a traditional spa.

Considerations Saltwater Spa Traditional Spa
Chemical Use Low High
Harsh on Skin No Yes
Unpleasant Odor No Yes
Maintenance Low High
Water Consumption Low High

Benefits of Saltwater Hot Tub

Spas with a freshwater salt system come with several benefits compared to regular jacuzzis:

  1. Increased buffering capacity
  2. Weight loss
  3. Clear complexion
  4. Improved circulation
  5. Relaxation

1. The increased buffering capacity of the water.

The increased buffering capacity is due to salt in the water. When salt is added to the hot tub water, it increases the number of ions in the solution. These ions help neutralize any acids or bases added to the water, making it more difficult for the pH to change.

As a result, saltwater jacuzzis require less chemical treatment than freshwater hot tubs. This can benefit people with sensitive skin or chlorine sensitivity, as fewer chemicals mean less irritation.

2. Weight Loss

Warm water can help increase metabolism and burn calories. The high salt concentration in the water can also help reduce water retention, leading to weight loss.

3. Clearer Complexion

Salt water helps kill bacteria and other organisms that can cause skin problems. It can also help remove toxins from your skin, providing a healthier complexion.

Salt water systems are less likely to cause skin irritation[1], as a result of lower chlorine concentration. Hot tub folliculitis is also less prevalent during salt water hot tub use.

As the water is chemical free, the spa water pH levels remain balanced to create more natural feeling water. Chemical-free means no dry skin[2] and hair, and less irritation[3].

4. Improved Circulation

The warm water helps to dilate blood vessels, which allows blood to flow more easily throughout your body. The salty air can help improve lung function, which allows more oxygen to be circulated throughout the body.

Five Saltwater Hot Tub Myths Debunked

There are some misconceptions about saltwater jacuzzis that make it hard for people to decide if they should choose one.

Here are the five most common freshwater salt system spa myths:

  1. Salt water spas are more expensive.
  2. Saltwater hot tubs are less sanitary.
  3. A freshwater salt system is more difficult to maintain.
  4. Saltwater hot tubs can cause corrosion and damage your plumbing system.
  5. Saltwater spas are less comfortable than regular jacuzzis.

Five Saltwater Hot Tub Myths Debunked

Myth 1: Saltwater Spas Are More Expensive.

The installation costs of salt water hot tubs are higher than with traditional jacuzzis, but the overall costs are similar.

Saltwater jacuzzies cost between $6,500 and $18,000 while the cost of a regular hot tub is between $3000 and $10.000.

The upfront costs for a saltwater system include the cost of the chlorine generator. This makes it a little more expensive than the traditional one.

The initial expenses are offset in the long run by reductions in daily operating costs and less time spent maintaining your jacuzzi.

Myth 2: Saltwater Hot Tubs Are Less Sanitary.

Saltwater jacuzzis are sanitary even if you have to use fewer chemicals for their maintenance. The chlorinator in their system generates chlorine in a natural form to kill bacteria and other contaminants.

There is a controversy regarding the concentration of natural chlorinated water with a hot tub water temperature below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. This involves the chlorinator's ability to generate chlorine at low temperatures. Keeping the water temperature above this limit removes suspicions regarding safety.

Myth 3: A Freshwater Salt System Is More Difficult To Maintain.

Saltwater tubs are low maintenance compared to traditional hot tubs because salt water systems generate chlorine. This eliminates the need to add bottled chlorine.

Saltwater spa owners can reuse the water in their tubs for up to a year, while traditional spas need to be emptied and refilled 3-4 times per year. Reducing spa drain makes saltwater spas more environmentally friendly. They need less maintenance overall.

Myth 4: Saltwater Hot Tubs Can Cause Corrosion and Damage Your Plumbing System.

The only way saltwater jacuzzis can damage your plumbing system is if they're used incorrectly.

Allowing the spa water salt concentration to rise above 3500 ppm can damage pump seals.

If the spa water is too acidic (below pH 7), there's a risk of corrosion. Salt makes spa water less acidic than traditional chlorine water care.

If the salt water spa is properly maintained, the damage and corrosion risk is minimal.

Myth 5: Salt Water Hot Tubs Are Less Comfortable Than Regular Hot Tubs.

People find saltwater spas more comfortable than regular jacuzzis because the water is softer on the skin. The water is free of harsh odors, such as the unpleasant chlorine smell.

The lack of harsh chemicals in the hot tub reduces eye and skin irritation which is why most people prefer salt water spas to regular jacuzzis.

The only time you might not want to use a saltwater hot tub is if you have open cuts or wounds, as the high concentrations of salt can sting.

Can you turn any hot tub into salt water?

Yes, any hot tub can become a salt water jacuzzi by adding a saltwater system.

Before you do this, it is best to consult your local dealer or manufacturer regarding the option to use salt water in your hot tub. Most hot tub owners are not familiar with the manufacturer's instructions and end up causing more damage to the system.

If your local dealer says you can't add a salt system to your hot tub, there is no need to panic. Our product can transform your hot tub water chemistry, providing similar benefits:

  • Safety: O-Care can reduce the amount of chlorine or bromine needed for hot tub maintenance by up to 78%. These chemicals can irritate the eyes, ears, and skin. As a result, O-Care is especially safe for children who love to go underwater.
  • Softness: Your skin feels soft and smells nice. The mixture of high-quality mineral salts leaves your skin feeling soft and odorless. No need to shower after bathing.
  • Simplicity: Just add the 2 compounds to the spa water once a week using the measuring cup included. The O-Care box will last 3 to 5 months.

Can you turn any hot tub into salt water?


Saltwater hot tubs have been around for a long time and are growing in popularity. There are many myths about them, but we've dispelled some of the most common ones here. In addition to being less likely to cause skin irritation, salt water can also help keep the water clean by killing bacteria. 

It's important to note that a freshwater salt system requires special care and maintenance to prevent corrosion. If you're unsure whether a saltwater hot tub is right for you, it's best to consult your local hot tub dealership before making a purchase.