Are bath bombs safe for use in hot tubs?
Bath bombs are one of the most sumptuous, coolest add-ons that take our bathtubs to the next luxury level.
Ranging from adding glitter and delicate flower petals to exquisite scents and aromas, bath bombs create an atmosphere that allows our senses to be thoroughly overwhelmed as we relax, soaking in opulence and without a care in the world.
It is no wonder people are interested in tossing them into their hot tubs to add further luxury at hot tub time!
But, are they safe for hot tubs?
They can be added to your hot tub, but adding them requires a word of caution regarding the type you use and also adds a bit more work on your part.
Bath bombs are best added roughly once per fortnight for that special experience you crave and never more than four additions between water changes.
The problem with using bath bombs in a spa or hot tub is the products they are made of…
Coconut oil, coco butter and shea oil are some of the ingredients most have as bonding agents, along with other essential oils to provide aromas, which, when added to your hot tub, will form a thin oily scum floating around the water level and attaching itself to the walls and cover, so definitely needs more vigorous cleaning at water change times.
This oily residue is also added to the skin fauna escaping from the occupants, which in turn adds to the bacteria feeding properties within a hot tub.
It needs removing to keep your hot tub safe for all occupants.
Every two months is fine for a thorough wash-down if you wish to use bath bombs in your hot tub, but if you are wanting to try it for the first time, we recommend doing it not long before a water change is due, that way you will see whether you wish to do it again as you have the option of being able to clean it out with the water change.
That’s the oil side of it, but there’s more to it than that…
Bath bombs can be produced from many different items in different parts of the world as can be seen in the sample of ingredients when you check the labels.
They generally use, Sodium Bicarbonate to provide the fizzing, Citric Acid to help combat the alkalizing effect of sodium bicarbonate, Magnesium Sulfate, Grapeseed Oil, Olive Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Vitamin E, Touch of Fragrance, FDA Approved Colorants, Flower Petals, Glitters, Aqua etc. etc.
Not all are included in every recipe, but they are fine as they provide a slight alkaline balance to the acidity generally produced with other additives, but this can also vary the pH reading by providing a lower pH (raised alkalinity) which is generally more suited to raising bacteria levels over more than a week if left unshocked.
Because of this mixture you will see there is sodium bicarbonate present and that is one reason for using bath bombs seldom as they can create one heck of an imbalance in your water chemistry if you use them frequently, so make sure you don’t go tossing them into you hot tub like they were confetti or going out of fashion.
You noticed the alkaline reading suits greater bacteria production and acidity promotes more corrosion?
So getting the pH reading right is basically the crux of sensible hot tubbing sessions, and for this we recommend testing the water regularly.
The tester we use is a pHin Smart Water Care Monitor to get our reading exactly right with least fuss.
It’s just a matter of checking our phones and adding the recommended chemicals as they are needed. We even get the dose shown right in front of our eyes… Couldn’t be simpler, could it?
These can stain the inside of your hot tub or change the color a little especially with the alkaline build-up, so best go in for less vivid colored ones and test them out before adding more for the fizzing effect.
Now, moving on to the flower petals and glitters…
If you are a lover of bath bombs like I am and really have a need to add them to your hot tub, these small particles within the bath bomb can do an awful lot of damage to any jets in your hot tub, but this can be overcome by using a small fabric bag – popping them in an old sock or nylon serves the same purpose, that way stopping those extra bits of grit and abrasives from being carried around in the water and eventually wearing or blocking any jetting you may have.
From this, you will see they are better suited to inflatable hot tubs where no jets are involved and regular water changes are done more easily, meaning you will not end up with a semi-useless hot tub that you paid a small fortune for.
Of course, if you are really into bath bombs, you’ll want to know the ins and outs about bath bomb safety and what other damage they may cause in your hot tub or spa.
World-wide, people are learning the pleasures associated with bath bombs, and you can be sure your hot tubbing experience will be enriched all the more and you will not end up with an expensive repair job.
So, if you want to use bath bombs in your hot tub, make a point of containing the bath bombs in a small porous bag, regardless of the hot tub you use, that way any particles are trapped and cannot cause unwanted problems.
You’ll still experience the exhilarating fizziness along with utter relaxation and whatever special scents you have chosen.
Doing it this way works well and allows up to four bath bomb sessions between water changes, but you will definitely need to clean the sides to remove any oil build-up and also shock your hot tub water weekly with chlorine.
This shocking using SpaGuard Enhanced Spa Guard 6 is basically overloading the chlorine in your water, which kills off most bacteria, before evaporating off within an hour or two, providing your pumps are running and the lid is left off.
The chlorine granules you normally add to floating dispensers are to keep the water balanced gradually since when you use a hot tub, you are naturally adding alkalinity from any soaps, gels, sprays and the likes you have used and not washed off before entering the spa.
Another point is, the shocking, whether your original set-up was done with either chlorine or bromine, is done in exactly the same way. Simply adding a shocking boost of chlorine kills off most present bacteria before the surplus evaporates off.
Any bacteria is then captured by your filters, so these need washing out roughly every two weeks or replacing roughly every two months, although some hot tub suppliers have their own recommendations in that regard.
Another consideration is you do not want to have too many bubbles being produced in the softened water as this is a sure sign of alkalinity, so best choose low foaming additives like Leisure Time Foam Down to combat this.
Any bath bombs you use in your bath will be fine providing you stop those larger particles escaping into the water of your hot tub.
You’ll still get the pleasure they give, but keeping them under wraps will stop the jets in your hot tub being clogged up and rendered useless.
Protect Your Hot Tub Jets
They are the main source of ruining hot tub jets where people had either not known what their bath bombs contained, or took no sensible precaution to avoid this damage and sadly, they found out in as little as three or four hot tub sessions that their hot tub jets failed.
To avoid any potential problems to jetting, possible pump scouring and staining, manufacturers have come up with the above bath salts specifically for spas and hot tubs, giving the same aromatherapy and skin benefits you crave, but without the damaging extras, so we recommend giving those a try before you add any bath bombs.
One more thing not mentioned so far is will these bath bomb particles possibly puncture your inflatable hot tubs if they get underfoot?
It should state on the wrapper or box what is inside your purchase so it is just a matter of checking the ingredients first, that way your hot tub with be safe.
Bath bombs are safe to use in hot tubs, but try to use them in a limited fashion and choose the least foaming ones otherwise you will end up with a bubble bath.
Proper cleaning is essential owing to the oils being added to your water.
Bath bombs do change the alkalinity of your water, so this needs checking regularly, otherwise, bacteria will develop substantially.
The oils being carried around in your water can also stick inside the piping and the sludge tends to block the flow a little, especially to your jets. Again, this needs removing and we recommend using AquaAce Spa Hot Tub Jet Line Cleaner periodically.
Spa salts are specifically made for hot tubs and spas, so these are far better options to use and you will feel very little difference between these and bath bombs, plus doing it this way will avoid any potential problems developing in your hot tub and there will be no down-time for costly repairs.