Hot tubs are relaxing spaces, but owning one also comes with the responsibility of taking care of it. This involves owners educating themselves on how to take care of the tub, as well as what they can safely put into the water. So, what about Epsom salt — can that safely go in a hot tub, and if not, are there any products that can mimic it?
Although Epsom salt might feel great in a bathtub, you should avoid putting it in a hot tub. It can clog up the pipes and jets for one thing, but it also throws off the pH and chemical balance of the water. The high magnesium content can even be dangerous when it reacts with chlorine.
Let’s take a closer look at the consequences of Epsom salt mixing with a hot tub, as well as the alternatives to using it if you’re looking for the same relaxing qualities.
What Happens if You Put Epsom Salt in a Hot Tub?
There are a couple of things that can happen if you put Epsom salt in a hot tub, and none of them are good.
For one thing, it will throw off the pH and chemical balance of the water. Hot tubs rely on having the right chlorine balance and a pH of around 7.2 to 7.8 to keep the water safe and relaxing.
If the pH thrown off a lot, it can not only be difficult to return it to its normal level, but it can be irritating. It can actually even be dangerous for those with pre-existing respiratory conditions.
It’s not just people it’s dangerous for, though — it’s also dangerous for the system. Epsom salt will clog up the jets and get into the lines, meaning you’ll have to drain the tub to clean them (and that’s the best-case scenario). If you consistently use Epsom salt, it can even damage the tub and leave you paying for expensive repairs.
What About Saltwater Hot Tubs?
Because saltwater hot tubs don’t rely on the same chemical composition, you might be wondering if you can use Epsom salt in those — but unfortunately, the answer is still no.
Epsom salt is no less damaging to a saltwater tub’s system than the regular one. You’ll still find yourself having to clean the jets and lines almost right away, as the Epsom salt will clog them up and they may not work properly.
Replacing hot tub equipment can be time-consuming and expensive since you’ll likely need to pay for labor too, so you don’t want it to get to a point where you need to find a fix. It’s best to avoid Epsom salt in any hot tub, saltwater or not.
What Are Some Safe Alternatives?
You don’t have to be tempted to use Epsom salt or bath bombs in a hot tub. There are some safe alternatives available that don’t run the risk of irritating your skin or causing damage to the components of the tub.
InSPAration Pillow Packs
InSPAration Pillow Packs (which you can find on Amazon) offer that same aromatherapy scent and feel while being completely safe for the hot tub. They’re made of substances that won’t throw off the chlorine or pH balance, nor will they get stuck in the jets or filters. They don’t foam, bubble, or leave behind residue.
InSPAration crystals (also found on Amazon) are also made up of chemicals that won’t throw off the balance of the water or get stuck anywhere in the hot tub equipment. They come in a variety of different sets, so you can pick the one that suits you.
In general, you should never put anything in a hot tub that isn’t specifically formulated for one. Even if the substance doesn’t have any harmful chemicals, there are other things some people may not realize are harmful to the system.
For example, some substances can foam up and this foam can collect in different parts of the hot tub and cause issues.
Using the hot tub for water alone is best, or buy some aromatherapy products specifically formulated for a spa. If you have accidentally used a product that may be damaging, make sure to drain out the hot tub and clean it thoroughly, including the jet lines. One time shouldn’t cause too much of an issue, but it’s best to avoid it altogether.