Having a hot tub is a true luxury — but only if you keep it in good shape. That means conducting regular maintenance and avoiding any potentially damaging substances. So, can you put bath bombs in a hot tub?
Bath bombs that aren’t specifically made for hot tubs should not be used in them. Their contents can throw off the tub’s pH balance, clog the filters, and damage delicate equipment. If you’ve used one already, drain the hot tub and then carefully clean the shell, jets, and filter.
Let’s take a closer look at what happens if you put a bath bomb in a hot tub. We’ll also look at some safer alternatives and review some other things that shouldn’t go in your hot tub.
What Happens if You Put a Bath Bomb in a Hot Tub?
At best, putting a bath bomb in your hot tub is going to throw off the pH balance and make it difficult to clean. At worst, it can damage the filters and other equipment inside the hot tubs.
The reason for this is that hot tubs are only made to circulate water, and thicker substances often found in bath bombs — like glitter and oil — can make it difficult for the hot tub to operate.
Bath bombs are generally designed for bath tubs, where everything can go down the drain and you don’t have all of the mechanics to worry about — and no chemical balance in the water to maintain.
Can Bath Bombs Damage Your Filters?
Bath bombs can indeed damage the filters. The filters in a hot tub aren’t made to be able to handle all of the extra material in bath bombs, which can cause them to get stuck in the filters and clogged.
At worst, if you keep using bath bombs, the clogs can cause the filters to stop working, which means you’ll have to replace them. They can also clog the pump.
Are There Safer Alternatives?
Fortunately, there are some spa bombs made for hot tubs that are a much safer alternative to regular bath bombs. These are widely available and don’t run the risk of disrupting the chemical balance, causing harmful interactions with chlorine (as high-magnesium bath bombs do), and clogging the filters.
Here are some safe options for your hot tub:
InSPAration Spa Bombs
InSPAration spa bombs (on Amazon) are specifically curated to work with your hot tub. They mask the odors that may come with a hot tub (like the stench of chlorine) but don’t disrupt the balance, making them perfect for use.
They are water-soluble and formulated for systems with jets too, so you don’t need to worry about any aspect of them being harmful to the hot tub.
InSPAration also has a line of crystals (on Amazon) you can use in your hot tub. Much like the bombs, they’re designed to work with the chemicals in a hot tub, so they provide a pleasant scent without doing it any damage.
Can You Add Bubble Bath to a Hot Tub?
Bubble bath may not be actively harmful to your hot tub, but it can clog up over time. Plus, bubble bath is designed to foam, so as the jets shoot out, they’re going to create a massive amount of foam that may make it very difficult to relax! You should avoid adding bubble bath to a hot tub since this isn’t its intended use.
At best, you’re going to struggle with the amount of foam created — and at worst, it’s going to get into the filters and make them very difficult to clean.
What About Epsom Salt?
As much as Epsom salt is relaxing, it’s not a good idea to add it to a hot tub. This is actually one of the most dangerous substances to put in there.
The reason for this is that the salt is acidic, which means it will mess up your tub’s pH balance. It also has high magnesium levels that can interact with the chlorine. Furthermore, it has the potential of getting into the filters and clogging them.
If you use a lot of Epsom salt in the hot tub over time, you could even cost yourself thousands in repairs. It’s best to stay far clear of it.
What Else Should You Never Use in a Hot Tub?
As well as regular bath bombs, bubble bath, and Epsom salt, there are some other substances you should never use in the hot tub.
Just like Epsom salt, essential oils may be relaxing but they won’t be relaxing after being added to a hot tub. Hot tubs just aren’t designed to be able to circulate oils, meaning they’ll get stuck in the filters and it may be very difficult to clean them out.
Cleaning products for people should also never be brought into a hot tub, including:
- Body wash
- Shower gel
- Makeup remover
The reason for this is that each of these things can contain harmful chemicals to the hot tub’s system, throwing off the chemical and pH balance. They could also contain foaming ingredients (much like bubble bath does) that create too much foam for you and your hot tub to handle.
In fact, it’s a good idea to shower and make sure you rinse thoroughly before actually getting in your hot tub. This keeps the amount of dirt, chemical, and oils to a minimum, and means you’ll have to clean your hot tub and fix or replace the equipment less often.
How to Clean Your Hot Tub After Using a Bath Bomb
If you did use a bath bomb in your hot tub because you didn’t know the risks or thought it might be worth it, it’s crucial to clean the tub properly after. Here’s how you do that.
Drain the Hot Tub
It’s a good idea to drain the hot tub entirely. Flushing everything out will make sure you get rid of any residue that’s left and allow you to clean around the tub thoroughly.
To drain a hot tub, you’ll have to turn the power off at the circuit breaker. Then you can place the pump inside of the spa and let it drain out.
Make sure you don’t drain it into the street, as most places have laws against this due to it being a high amount of water. Into the yard or directly into the sewer system is best, using a vacuum hose.
Clean the Shell
Clean the shell of the hot tub with a cleaning solution (on Amazon), scrubbing it down to make sure you get rid of any residue. Make sure you also rinse it thoroughly so nothing is left on the walls when you refill it.
There’s also a chance that a bath bomb might cause stains in the tub. Although most bath bombs shouldn’t cause staining (as they’re made with baking powder), some are made with other ingredients that can leave colors in the tub.
To get rid of these, use a microfiber cloth and a cleaning solution. Any stains left by bath bombs should wipe away pretty easily.
Clean the Jets
It’s also important to make sure there’s no residue left in the jets. You can do this by taking a toothbrush and lightly scrubbing around the inside of them. Make sure not to be too thorough or you could end up causing damage, but you should be able to see if there’s any residue left from the bath bomb inside. Keep going (gently) until it’s gone.
Clean the Filters
You should also remove the filters and be sure to clean them. You can do this by setting them out on a flat surface and lightly spraying them down with the hose to get rid of any initial grime. Afterward, very lightly brush the filter to get rid of any residue that’s left.
You can also buy a hot tub filter cleaner (on Amazon) and let your filter soak in it according to the directions. Make sure you spray it down again to rinse it off before putting it back in the hot tub, as you don’t want any chemical residue from the cleaner getting into the refilled water.
What to Do if a Bath Bomb Has Damaged Your Hot Tub
If you’ve used a bath bomb that seems to have damaged your hot tub (or you’ve been using a lot over time because you didn’t know it wasn’t safe), you should immediately follow the cleaning steps above to see if they fix things. If there are clogged jets, this might do the trick.
If there’s damage that you can’t resolve on your own, you should call in a professional, as you don’t want to make anything worse. The cost will depend on the extent of the damage so it’s best to be preventative in the future.