We’ve all spent years being warned away from chemicals. We hear it so often that it can seem little more than a tagline that is used by everyone from plumbers to cleaning supply companies to sell their products. Just put “chemical-free” on the label of your drain cleaner, and the product will practically walk off of the shelves. But there is a reason that the idea has become so popular. People are tired of unwittingly putting toxic substances into their bodies, and they are ready for products to change.

But what does chemical-free truly mean and how do you create an environment where you are only exposing yourself and your family to beneficial things? This is a major concern for most families when they are choosing everything from the home they are going to live in, to the cleaning products they use. And rightfully so! 

It’s also something to think about when you are shopping for a hot tub. Hot tubs have stayed virtually the same for so many years that many people might not even question whether they are part of a healthy lifestyle or not. But most traditional hot tubs still use lots of harmful chemicals to clean the water. This is even true for saltwater hot tubs, which try to market themselves as being a healthier alternative. Let’s take a closer look at the chemicals that are often used in hot tubs, why they are used, and what can be done better to make hot tubbing a healthier pastime. 

What Are “Chemicals”, and Are They Bad?
If we were to get technical about it, everything that we can see, touch, and taste, has (or is made from) chemicals. Chemicals can be naturally occurring or man-made, but that doesn’t give you a hint as to whether they are dangerous. After all, the chemicals in apple seeds are all-natural, but eat too many and you’ll get cyanide poisoning. But did you know that even the water that you drink is made out of chemicals? They are called hydrogen and oxygen and they are essential to life.

But the scientific meaning is not what we’re talking about at all when we say something is “chemical-free.” We’re just referring to products that are “free of any chemicals that are harmful or toxic to humans, animals, or the environment.” Since that definition is a mouthful, it’s easier to just abbreviate it to “chemical-free.” 

We know that not all chemicals are bad, but some are very harmful. And sadly, we find these toxic chemicals in many of the products we use every day. If you search for a list of highly toxic chemicals online, chlorine is going to be right up there with some of the most dangerous. Yet, it’s still the primary way that popular hot tub manufacturers purify the water in their hot tubs. 

Chemicals in Hot Tubs, the Good, Bad, and the Ugly
If chlorine is so toxic, why is it used in hot tubs (or even your drinking water)? It’s because it gets rid of contaminants that can be dangerous, and even deadly. Without some sort of purification system in place, a nice, warm hot tub would be the perfect breeding ground for bacteria that can cause serious illness. Getting your water clean isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. But exclusive use of chlorine or bromine can cause health problems over time, too. When you soak in a hot tub, the warm water causes your pores to open. When your pores open up, it’s easier for your body to absorb the chlorine in the water, which can be bad news for your skin and your other systems. 

Chlorine also has a much lower boiling point which means that it will be present in any vapors that you breathe in while you are enjoying a soak. You’ll be getting a concentrated dose of that chlorine in your lungs, which can lead to respiratory problems. That’s why you simply don’t want bucketfuls of it in your hot tub, especially if you use it every day, and it’s even a good idea to check the levels of chlorine in the water you use to take a shower. 

Rising To the Challenge of Creating a Chemical-Free Environment in Your Hot Tub
Ozonator technology for “chemical-free” tubs has been around for years, but most manufacturers simply don’t go that route because it’s more expensive to produce this type of hot tub. Plus, they would be cutting out the most lucrative source of income for hot tub companies: hot tub chemicals. However, more and more people are realizing that they would rather spend more money on a tub that contributes to their health instead of one that detracts from it. So chlorine tubs are starting to lose their edge. 

Some people have turned to saltwater tubs which sounds a lot more beneficial when you first hear the name. But you’re not soaking in a chlorine-free environment. Saltwater systems produce chlorine right there in the tub. It’s better than a chlorine tub because you’re not getting as much chloramine (the foul-smelling byproduct you get when you mix chlorine with oils, bacteria, and more), but it still isn’t the best. 

The best way to get a clean and chemical-free soak is by using a combination of good filtration, an ozonator, and dry shock. An ozonator is something that generates and injects ozone into the water of your tub. It effectively kills any germs or contaminants that it comes into contact with. It needs to work in conjunction with filtration because a good filter can skim off hair, oils, and other contaminants that float to the surface of the tub. Then the ozonator doesn’t have to work as hard to eliminate any bacteria, viruses, or other substances that are leftover. Any other contaminants can be removed by using a small amount of dry shock in between soaks. 

You might be wondering if you can still enjoy a chemical-free soak in your tub with the use of dry shock. After all, doesn’t it have the same chemicals we’ve been warning you about in the past few paragraphs? It’s easy to explain: Dry shock is always used after you soak in your tub. That means that you will never be exposing your skin to any toxic chemicals, and you won’t be breathing chlorine vapors into your lungs. Dry shock burns off in the water within a couple of hours, leaving the water completely free of toxic chemicals by the time you use the tub again, as long as you follow the instructions. 

Making Ozonators Even Better at Wind River Spas
At Wind River Spas, we’ve taken the theory of ozonator purification and filtration and gone a step further. Most ozone generators produce a decreasing amount of ozone over time and only last about two years. But our corona discharge generators produce twice as much ozone at a consistent rate for the extent of its lifetime, which is about 5 years. We also have skimming filtration which runs 24/7, continuously keeping hair, oil, lint, and other contaminants out of the tub.

It might not be possible to avoid all toxic chemicals all the time. But eliminating them out of some of your most commonly used items can make a huge difference in your overall health. Having a chemical-free environment in your hot tub can make soaking in your spa something that contributes to your overall health. You’ll be able to enjoy the stress-relieving aspects of your tub, as well as the muscle relaxation, improved sleep, improved cardiovascular health, and pain relief without getting the negative effects of chlorine exposure. Hot tubbing should make you feel relaxed, not sick, so it’s time to say goodbye to toxic chemical-based systems forever! Wind River Spas’ chemical-free environments with ozonator technology are now the new standard for hot tubs.