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The 5 Best Chlorine Alternatives For Your Spa

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In this post, we are going to share some great chlorine alternatives for your spa. By the end of this post, you should have a better idea of which option is best for you.

Who should use Chlorine alternatives?

Do you get rashes, irritated skin, or itchy eyes when you use your spa? There is a good chance your body could be responding negatively to the Chlorine in the spa’s water. If that’s the case (or you just don’t like the way chlorine smells), you’ll want to read the rest of this post!

For most people, chlorine is a great option for keeping your spa water clean and sanitary. It is highly effective and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Unfortunately, not everyone can or should use chlorine.

You should not use chlorine if it:

  • Gives you a rash
  • Dis-coloring of hair or bathing suit
  • Causes major itching
  • Irritates your eyes
  • You hate the way it smells

Our Top Chlorine Alternatives

While it is hard to find a good 100% Chlorine free alternative out on the market, they are out there. Some of the options we will mention will help you use LESS chlorine, but may require it in small amounts. With that in mind, here are some of our choices for alternatives to using chlorine in your spa:

Bromine –

Bromine is a great alternative. It is used pretty commonly amongst pool and spa users alike. Some of the pros to using bromine are: Less harsh on your skin and eyes than chlorine, It’s simple to use, It doesn’t have a strong odor like chlorine, It cleans/operates similarly to chlorine.

Bromine works great in hot tubs specifically and is compatible with most other spa care products on the market. So, if you want something similar to chlorine, but with less harsh chemical properties, Bromine is a great option for you.

Recommended Bromine Product: Bromine Starter Kit

Ozonators –

Ozonators are devices that release Ozone into the spa water in order to sanitize it. There are many ozones available on the market, but we recommend the Freshwater® III CD Ozonator. The Freshwater III CD produces ozone differently than the typical ultraviolet style ozonators found today.

The corona discharge method of ozone generation will crank out a higher concentration (PPM) of ozone and that concentration level won’t decrease over the years like the ultraviolet style ozonators. It is relatively easy to install and will give your spa water a “rain fresh” fragrance.

Recommended Ozonator: Freshwater 3 Ozonator Corona Discharge

Silver Ionizer –

Ionizers are not a 100% replacement for chlorine, but they do drastically reduce the amount of chlorine you will need to use to keep your spa water clean and clear. Silver Ionizers are cylindrical cartridges that release silver ions into the water.

The ions help fight bacteria and algae over the course of about 4 months. After 4 months, the cartridge must be replaced. Using a silver ionizer is simple and will usually float in the filter area, or go inside the filter standpipe.

Recommended Ionizer Product: Freshwater AG+ Silver Ionizer

Polyhexamethlylene Biguanides –

For all you science lovers out there, polyhexamethylene biguanide is a sanitizing chemical that is used in a multitude of products including some contact lens solutions. You can use Biguanides to keep your spa clean. It is known for being gentle on skin and eyes, which is why it is such a great alternative.

This chemical is effective, but it cannot be mixed with chlorine. You will still need to occasionally shock your spa using a non-chlorine/non-bromine spa shock. If you try using Biguanides but end up not being a fan, you will need to drain your spa completely, clean it thoroughly, and then refill with fresh water to start using a different sanitizer.

Enzymes –

Enzymes are a great and natural alternative to chlorine. They help keep the water clean by dissolving oil, dirt, and other organic matter that is introduced into the spa’s water. Certain enzymes can be mixed with sanitizers like bromine and ozonators.

In some cases, you may need to use small amounts of chlorine to help keep the water chemistry of your spa balanced. Make sure you read the product label for the detailed instructions and limitations for that specific enzyme.

Recommended Product: Spa Guard NATURAL SPA ENZYME

Are Chlorine Alternatives as Effective as Chlorine?

The short answer: It depends.

The long answer: Chlorine is still the most commonly used spa sanitizer because of its simplicity and power. For most of the alternatives to be as effective, it requires a combination of different sanitizing products. And, in some cases, you will still need to use some chlorine in your spa.

If you have tried all of the alternatives and just aren’t happy, here are a few tips to ease your chorine woes.

  • Don’t soak in a chlorinated spa for too long.
  • Rinse off immediately after soaking in your spa.
  • Use eyedrops after soaking.
  • Find a nice lotion you like and use it right after you dry off.

Recommended Chlorine Product: Chlorine Kit

For more water care products, check out the water care section on our website.


Hopefully, now you have a better idea of what chlorine alternative options are available to you. One thing that is very important to remember is to always maintain a good water chemistry balance. Staying on top of your water chemistry will ensure a safe experience for you and your fellow soakers.

If you want to drop chlorine from your sanitizing equation, we recommend using a powerful ozonator and a silver ionizer. This combo will drastically limit (and possibly eliminate) the need for chlorine in your spa.

If you have any questions about water chemistry, spa parts, or any spa questions in general, feel free to give our tech support a call at (805) 541-9000.

We hope you have enjoyed this post.

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