If you're sensitive to chlorine and own a hot tub or are thinking about purchasing one, it may be a good idea to look at alternatives to keep your water sanitized. Read on to learn more about non-chlorine alternatives that are still effective at keeping disease-causing bacteria at bay.
Bromine is the most common chlorine alternative used in pools and hot tubs. Like chlorine, it's a strong oxidizer and sanitizer. In addition to being an effective chlorine alternative that will keep your water free from bacteria and improve its clarity, it also has a few advantages over chlorine. The gas produced by bromine is odorless, which eliminates the problem with harsh-smelling chlorine coming from your water. In addition, it also lasts longer in the water than chlorine, which means you don't need to add it as often as chlorine.
The main disadvantage of bromine compared to chlorine is that it breaks down quickly when it's exposed to ultraviolet light. If you switch your hot tub to bromine, make sure that you keep its cover on during the day in order to protect the bromine in the water from sunlight. This allows it to continue doing its job of keeping your water sanitized.
Bromine works best when you shock the water weekly with potassium monopersulfate (MPS). Bromine alone often can't oxidize all of the organic compounds that build up in the water, which can eventually lead to the water becoming cloudy. Organic components include things like body lotion that wash off into the water when you're bathing in it. MPS is a strong oxidizer that doesn't contain any chlorine, and it will destroy all of the organic compounds and improve the clarity of your water.
Biguanide is a chemical compound that's a very strong sanitizing agent. It's used in contact lens solutions to prevent bacteria from growing on the lenses, and it can also be used to keep the water in a hot tub free from bacteria and algae. It's more expensive than both chlorine and bromine, but it's an effective alternative for people who are sensitive to both.
You can't use biguanide and chlorine in the water at the same time, so you'll need to either replace the water in your hot tub, add a chlorine neutralizing agent or wait for all the chlorine to evaporate completely before you add biguanide. The reason for this is that biguanide and chlorine will react chemically and form deposits that can clog your pump and filter.
You'll still need to periodically shock your water when you're using biguanide in order to eliminate organic buildup in the water. You can use either MPS or hydrogen peroxide for this purpose, as both are compatible with biguanide.
If you're sensitive to chlorine, choose one of the alternative sanitizers above and make the switch. Both are effective at eliminating disease-causing bacteria, keeping you safe when you're relaxing in the water. Without the chlorine in the water, you'll have a much better experience using your hot tub. Reach out to a hot tub manufacturer to learn more.