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Chlorine Vs. Bromine - Hot Tub Sanitizer Options

Chlorine or bromine - which is the best sanitizing chemical to use in your hot tub? What other options do you have? To answer that question, it will depend on your hot tub needs. This guide will help you weigh your options and pick the sanitizer best for you, hot hot tub, and your skin.

First of all, what is the difference between chlorine and bromine? Chlorine and bromine are both popular sanitizer options that are commonly used to get rid of bacteria or viruses in your hot tub or pool. So how do you know which one is right for you? Let's break down each chemical a little further and the pros and cons of each.


You may be familiar with chlorine as it relates to swimming pools, but the truth is, putting chlorine in your hot tub is just as important. In both cases, chlorine is a form of sanitizer that is used to control the bacteria that is in your hot tub or pool water.

Pros: Chlorine is the most common spa sanitizer. It's more cost-effective, easy to manage and apply, & effectively kills bacteria and algae through oxidization.

Cons: Chlorine can have a strong smell and can feel harsh to those with sensitive skin. It will also require more frequent water treatments compared to bromine.


Pros: Bromine tends to be better at killing bacteria and viruses, produces a lower chemical smell, is less irritable on the skin, and has a lower pH than chlorine which makes water balancing easier. Unlike chlorine, bromine doesn't oxidize. Instead, bromine ionizes the contaminants. Bromine is available in both tablet and granular form.The tablets can be used in a floating bromine feeder to help simplify spa sanitizing.

Cons: Bromine is a bit more expensive than chlorine. It does last longer than chlorine though, thus requiring fewer water treatments. Bromine also works more slowly, so it takes longer to kill bacteria. Bromine is also un-stabilized, so when exposed to sunlight it will burn off quickly. For that reason, it is recommended for indoor hot tubs or those that are not regularly exposed to a lot of direct sunlight. Bromine cannot be stabilized the way chlorine can.

What other sanitizer options do you have besides chlorine and bromine?

Alternative hot tub sanitizer options

There are some alternatives to chlorine and bromine as well as methods to reduce the amount of chemicals used. If you are trying to avoid chlorine and bromine altogether, there are alternative sanitizers that may better fit your needs. Biguanide is an effective sanitizer that is gentle on the skin and doesn't have the chlorine smell. There are also products that allow you to maintain a lower level of sanitizer, these could be physical products like UV bulbs and ozonators or it could be additional mineral or silver sticks.

So which one is better?

Choosing which sanitizer works best in your spa will depend on your specific needs & priorities. Factors such as how frequently your spa is used, your budget, and the time that will be spent on maintenance. If you are not sure which sanitizing option is best for your unique situation, our hot tub experts are happy to answer your questions and suggest the correct chemicals for your spa. Give us a call at 866-546-8882 and we will be happy to discuss the chemical options that will best fit your needs.

Can you use your hot tub without chemicals altogether?

No, unless you plan to drain your hot tub after each use as you would a bathtub, it is dangerous to use your spa without chemicals. The water sitting in your hot tub will be a perfect place for bacteria to grow. Not only will your water quickly lose it's sparkling clear appearance, but it could also actually make you and your family sick to soak in the contaminated water. Chemicals are used to keep your hot tub safe for use. Sanitizers such as chlorine and bromine kill the bacteria and keep the water safe to soak in. While the name "chemical" might sound scary, when used safely and correctly, they are your friends.

While it definitely isn't recommended to avoid chemicals altogether, there are alternatives to chlorine and bromine and there are methods to reduce the amount of chemicals used. If you are trying to avoid chrlorine and bromine altogether, there are alternative sanitizers that may better fit your needs. Biguanide is an effective sanitizer that is gentle on the skin and doesn't have the chlorine smell. There are also products that allow you to maintain a lower level of sanitizer, these could be physical products like UV bulbs and ozonators or it could be additional mineral or silver sticks. Our Frog @ease products reduce the sanitizer requirement to .5 ppm instead of the typical 3-5ppm. 

The Hot Tub Sanitizer Products We Recommend

Once you've made the decision which sanitizer system you will use in your hot tub, you will still need to decide which brand and type to use. While that decision will be unique to your needs and budget, here are some we highly recommend and use in our own spas.

If choosing to sanitize your hot tub with chlorine:

SpaGuard Chlorinating Concentrate

SpaGuard is a brand you’ll come across a lot on our website. It is one of our favorite and most trusted brands to use for all hot tub-related needs, and for good reason. SpaGuard spa chemicals are easy to use and contain the best solutions that are safe for yourself and your spa water. They may be a little more pricey than some of the cheaper brands available, they are highly concentrated, therefore you may end up using less and saving money overall. They are also very high quality formulas. 

This particular product provides you with concentrated chlorine in the form of granules that quickly dissolve into your spa water. This makes it easy for you to apply the granules directly to your hot tub without having to pre dissolve or prep the chemicals beforehand.

They are made with 99% active ingredients and have a few different uses: super chlorination, sanitation, or shock. The label instructions should be followed closely so that you know how much you should place in the hot tub.

You can also choose the product in different sizes including: a 14 oz. bottle, a 2 lb bottle and a 5lb bottle.

FROG @Ease Floating SmartChlor Chlorine Floating Dispenser

The FROG @ease spa chlorine sanitizing system is simple sanitizer system you can use to maintain your hot tub water. It uses a SmartChlor chlorine cartridge along with a mineral cartridge that sanitizes the spa water while using up to 75% less chlorine than a traditionally chlorinated hot tub. The floater flips upside down when the SmartChlor cartridge is ready to be replaced, which lasts approx 3-4 weeks. 

If choosing to sanitize your hot tub with Bromine:

SpaGuard Brominating Concentrate

SpaGuard Bromine is an organic alternative to chlorine without the normal chlorine chemical odor. This is a concentrated granular hot tub sanitizer is easy to use and can be added directly to the spa water. This product is designed to work as both a spa sanitizer and as an oxidizer/shock. This can be used with bromine tablets to top up sanitation levels or on it's own.

SpaGuard Brominating Tabs

SpaGuard Bromine Tablets are designed for use with brominators and floating dispensers or feeders. This product is designed to provide a slow release of bromine sanitizer into your system to help maintain your sanitation at appropriate levels.

About LeisureQuip

LeisureQuip has quickly become the online destination of many to purchase their hot tub and pool supplies, chemicals, and accessories online. We have made sure to carefully curate the highest quality pool and spa brands and products as well as created a resource center full of educational articles, FAQs, tips, dosage guides, and more to make sure our customers are able to use these chemicals and equipment regardless of their prior level of pool and spa care knowledge. We also have pool and hot tub technicians available to answer any questions you may have and to help you find the right products for your specific and unique needs. 

There are so many different hot tub chemicals that exist on the market. Having a hot tub should be an all around enjoyable experience and this includes the cleaning process as well. If you browse through the products in our store, you can find best selling products from brands including: SpaGuard, FROG, BioGuard, Clear Spa, LeisureQuip and much more. These are the brands and products we at LeisureQuip use and trust in our very own pools and spas. 

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