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Hot Tub Water Chemistry 102

Hot tub water chemistry goes beyond just balancing pH and alkalinity and making sure your preferred sanitizer is within range (for a look at our blog for Hot Tub Water Chemistry 101 click here).  Other items pictured above and further below may not just help with your overall hot tub experience but may also contribute to the long-term health of your hot tub and how long it lasts.  Here are a few products that you may want to keep in your products bin going forward…


Possibly the most widely-used product outside of the “Big 3” that is pH, alkalinity and sanitizer, clarifying agents such as 5n1 Clarifier improves the overall look of your water, and more.  This product surrounds particles that can not be filtered, giving them mass, allowing them to be picked up by your cartridge filter.  Also, this process also will reduce or eliminate your scum line and improve your filter efficiency.  Additionally, clarifiers can reduce or eliminate oils from lotions, etc. that wash off your skin.

Cost:  $8.95

Dosage:  1 oz. per 500 gallons

Recommended Scale (out of 5 rating):  4 out of 5


Foam in your hot tub is obnoxious but it’s usually caused by user error.  Most, if not all, causes of foam is from lotions or other skin care/beauty products that washes off your body into your hot tub water.  In rarer cases, residual laundry detergent may not have fully rinsed out of your bathing suits and can be the cause of foamy water.  Whatever the source, Foam Away is a great option to alleviate it.  The key with Foam Away is to utilize a “one second squirt.”  Too much of this product can cause your water to become extremely fizzy.

Cost:  $6.95/Pint, $11.95/Quart

Dosage:  “One Second Squirt”

Recommended:  4/5


Depending on your source water, you may or may not have metals in your water that can cause issues in your hot tub.  High levels of copper and iron can leave deposits on your spa shell, creating a sandpaper feeling.  Thankfully this is merely a deposit and not a defect in the shell.  Using Control will gradually dissolve the metal deposit and continued use will prevent any future deposits.

Cost:  $7.95

Dosage:  1 oz every 1-2 weeks, depending on metal content of source water

Recommended:  3/5


Testing your water is vital.  There is no way to understand your water chemistry without it.  Test strips and reagent drop kits are the two most common types of water testing equipment for home use.  It is recommended that you test your water *at least* twice per week for accuracy and to detect any potential water chemistry issues as soon as possible.

Cost:  Starts at $8.95 and goes up

Usage:  Test at least twice per week

Recommended:  5/5


Prestige Pools and Spas has yet to find a better hot tub cover protector on the market.  303 Aerospace Protectant is the product for minimizing the effects of UV damage to your spa cover.  Accept no substitute (Seriously:  Prestige Pools and Spas cannot recommend this product enough!).  Often, customers will try to elongate the life of their spa covers by applying products such as Armor-All™.  Not only is that not recommended, Armor-All™ will have an adverse effect on your cover and will encourage the cover to dry out faster.

Cost:  $16.95 and worth it at twice the price

Usage:  Apply every 3-5 weeks, per the bottle

Recommended:  6/5 (Just buy it already!)


No matter how well you keep your water chemistry balanced, and how often you drain and clean your hot tub, you’re going to get a build-up in the plumbing.  Jet Clean is a great way to keep your tub free of organics, dirt, oils and minerals.

Cost:  $10.95

Usage: Prior to each spa draining

Recommended:  3/5


Every owner’s manual for hot tubs recommend the user bathe prior to each hot tub usage.  As that is rather unlikely to happen a build-up of oils will likely appear on the surface of the water.  Freshen is an all natural enzyme formulated to help break down oil-slicks and improving the overall appearance of your water.

Cost:  $8.95

Dosage:  1-2 oz every few days when oils are visible, 1-2 teaspoons per week for maintenance.

Recommended:  2/5


Aromatherapy is pretty cool.  Spazazz fragrant crystals come in a dozen or so smells (Prestige Pools and Spas typically carries approx. 6 at any given time).  We prefer the crystals over the liquid version, as the crystals yield up to 20 applications whereas the liquid yields less than 5.  Either way, this product will not affect your water chemistry.

Cost:  $17.95

Dosage:  1 Tablespoon

Recommended:  N/A (Feel free to enhance or not enhance your hot tub experience).


Let us know if we can help in any way.  We offer free chemical analysis in-store or can answer questions via email at  Or you’re welcome to call us at 314.821.6660.

Happy hot tubbing and good luck moving forward,

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