How to Reduce Chlorine Levels in Your Hot Tub

Written by: Zach Riggs



Time to read 4 min

If you own a hot tub, you know the importance of having the correct sanitizer levels in your spa. You also understand that it’s essential to test your water regularly, shock your hot tub on occasion, and add maintenance spa products.

But do you know what to do if you have too much chlorine in your hot tub? If this happens, it can cause a myriad of problems, including:

  • Corrosion of your pipes and other equipment
  • Skin rashes and eye irritation
  • Issues with your hot tub cover and even the headrests

We want to help you manage the issue, so this article provides information on reducing chlorine levels in your hot tub for the best soaking.

First, let’s take a look at some information on chlorine levels.

What Should My Chlorine Levels Be?

Generally, you want your chlorine concentration to be one to three parts per million (ppm). A water test is the best way to learn whether you have too much chlorine in your spa.

In addition, if you notice a strong chlorine smell from your hot tub water, you most likely have chlorine levels that are too high. Some hot tub owners might also see that their eyes are irritated and their skin is itchy. This can also signal too high chlorine levels.

If your chlorine levels reach four ppm, that is too high. Although, not everyone will be sensitive at this level. But once it gets up near ten ppm, everyone will notice an issue with their eyes and skin.

What Makes Your Chlorine Levels Get Too High?

There are several reasons your chlorine might need to be balanced.

  • You may have over-shocked your hot tub while you were regularly maintaining it.
  • It could be that you had high bather loads.
  • You may have also added the wrong chemicals or the wrong amounts. For example, you may have added too much shock or sanitizer.

Now, let’s uncover possible solutions.

Spa Products to Reduce Chlorine Levels

There are several ways to bring your chlorine back into balance.


Let the hot tub do it on its own.

If your water test shows your levels are higher than three ppm, and you don’t have anyone who wants to soak right away, you can let the hot tub reduce the chlorine levels slowly on its own.

If you're not using your spa for a few days, you can run your jets and let the sun deplete your chlorine. Don’t add more chlorine to your hot tub during this time. If you use a device that regularly adds sanitizer, turn it off.


Add new water.

Remove your hot tub cover and let some water evaporate for this fix. Then add a bit of freshwater, circulate the water, and test it. If this doesn’t work, and your water has been in your spa for three or four months, it’s time to drain and refill.

Refill your hot tub.

Another option is to drain your hot tub water and add all new water. You want to do this anyway several times each year. Don’t forget to test your water again after adding your fresh water and hot tub chemicals.

Add a chlorine neutralizer to neutralize your chlorine.

If you are shocked by your spa or added too much chlorine and want to use your hot tub, you can use a hot tub chemical called a chlorine neutralizer to reduce chlorine levels.

A neutralizer helps you deplete the chlorine quickly. Follow the directions on the bottle carefully and test the water before soaking.


Use an oxidizing agent.

You can also add an oxidizing agent to help break down the chlorine molecules and remove them from your spa water. Again, follow the directions carefully.

How Long Does It Take to Reduce Chlorine Levels?

This depends on the temperature of your water and the amount and type of chlorine in your spa. Usually, it takes about 24-48 hours for the chlorine to drop enough for soaking.

How to Avoid High Chlorine Levels

Now that you know how to reduce your chlorine levels, let’s look at how to avoid the problem.

The most important thing you can do is create a water plan and stick to it. Create a weekly calendar, so you have a constant reminder of what to do and when. Avoid chlorine issues by taking care of your water chemistry regularly.

Run your filter daily.

You should run your filter for about an hour a couple of times daily. You can sanitize your water if you or anyone else is soaking it. Do check your manufacturer’s instructions for directions.

Clean your filter weekly.

Weekly, clean your filter using a spa product called a filter cleaner. You also want to test your water weekly for chlorine, pH, sanitizer, and total alkalinity. Always test before you add any hot tub chemicals.

Drain and refill three to four times per year.

Throughout the year, you want to drain and refill your hot tub. You also want to flush your hot tub lines and jets. This helps get out any “sludge” and bacteria.

Next, clean your hot tub shell and replace your filter cartridges before you add new, clean water. Finally, test your water, add the appropriate spa chemicals, and shock your hot tub.

Final Thoughts on High Chlorine Levels

Chlorine is vital in your hot tub because you need it to sanitize the water and keep it healthy and clean. Hot water is the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and multiply, so it’s pretty important to maintain proper chlorine levels.

You want the right amount of chlorine so you don’t damage your hot tub or cause issues for bathers.

The key here is to use your test strips regularly to stay on top of your chlorine levels for the health of hot tubbers and your hot tub.

You've come to the right place if you want quality spa chemicals shipped to your door. At Pool Goods, we are here for you to help you make every day better in your hot tub with the best hot tub chemicals and spa products!