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How To Use Hot Tub Mineral Sanitizers (And Why You Should)

The cleanliness of hot tubs is usually reliant on a sanitizing chemical such as chlorine or bromine

But did you know that mineral systems can be implemented to lend a hand in cleaning the water? 

Similar to how vitamins and minerals can help the human body perform at its best, hot tub minerals can do the same for your spa.

What Are Hot Tub Minerals?

There are a wide range of minerals such as potassium, calcium or sodium, but hot tub mineral systems use only two: silver and copper.

Copper is used for its effectiveness against algae. In fact, most algaecide products are copper-based for exactly this reason.

As for silver, it’s been a proven antibacterial agent for centuries. Silver not only kills bacteria, but it destroys fungi and some viruses as well.

Hot tub mineral systems are preloaded sticks of silver and copper that either float in the tub, or are added to the cartridge filter or inline port. This allows the minerals to be released as the water passes through them.

This slow-release nature prolongs their lifespan, meaning replacement is only required every 4 months.

Why Use Hot Tub Mineral Sanitizer?

With silver and copper providing sanitizing power, what effect will using minerals have on your tub?

  • Less sanitizer needed. Depending on the sanitizer you’re using, the ideal level of chlorine in a hot tub is between 1 and 3 parts per million (ppm), and bromine is between 3 and 5 ppm. When you use minerals, only 0.5 ppm of chlorine needs to be present in the water, or 1 ppm of bromine. This will save you money in the long run, as you won’t need to use as much sanitizer.
  • Gentler water. Sanitizers like chlorine and bromine can be harsh, not only on the bather’s skin, hair, and eyes, but on their swimwear as well. With less of these harsh chemicals in the water, the minerals provide softer water in the tub that most people find much more enjoyable.
  • Less expensive. Not only do you use less chlorine/bromine (which saves you money), but the cost of replacing the mineral system every 4 months is cheaper than the money you’d spend on adding large amounts of traditional sanitizer every week.
  • Easier to use. When you add any chemicals to your water, you normally have to test the water, determine its current chemistry, then calculate the correct dosage required. With mineral sticks, there’s none of that. You simply add it to your tub and it’s ready to go, dosing the correct amount every time.

Why NOT Use Mineral Sanitizer?

Are there any drawbacks to using minerals in your spa? Here are a few reasons you may not want to add them in.

  • Can cause green water. Did you know the outside layer of the Statue of Liberty is made of copper? And yet, the statue appears green. This is due to copper oxidizing when it’s exposed to air, which is what happens to copper when it’s in water. If your water source has a high level of copper already, adding even more copper to it through the use of minerals will turn the tub a nice shade of green.
  • Staining can occur. When copper oxidizes in water, it can leave stains in the tub. To eliminate this problem, you can use a metal sequestrant to keep the copper from settling on any surfaces. Just be careful with the dosages, as too much sequestrant can render the minerals ineffective, causing your tub to become very dirty.
  • You still need to use sanitizer. Minerals help clean the water and reduce the level of chlorine or bromine you need to keep in your tub, but they can’t be your only sanitizing agent. There are too many micro-pollutants that minerals are ineffective against. Keeping a low level of chlorine or bromine is your only protection from getting ill in a mineral hot tub.

How To Use Mineral Sanitizer In A Hot Tub

There’s a few ways you can add minerals to your tub. Let’s take a look at each and walk you through how to add them in.

Way #1. Inline Mineral System (Cartridge)

This simple mineral distributor from Frog is designed for use with hot tubs that have a built-in inline system. 

It uses a mineral cartridge (lasting 4 months), as well as a SmartChlor cartridge containing 0.5 to 1 ppm of chlorine (lasting 3 to 4 weeks). Both are inserted into the spa’s inline port and left to do their thing.

This system also comes with a 4-month pack of test strips, as well as a Jump Start shock product that is added to the tub when you first use the system.

How to add minerals using this method:

  1. Start by testing and balancing your hot tub water using the provided test strips. Ensure that your pH level is between 7.4 and 7.6, the total alkalinity is between 80 and 120 ppm, and calcium hardness between 175 and 250 ppm.
  2. Pour the packet of Jump Start shock into the tub.
  3. Set the cartridges to their correct setting. For the mineral cartridge, it’s dial needs to be at 6. For the SmartChlor cartridge, consult the instructions to set it to the corresponding gallon size of your tub. 
  4. Snap the mineral cartridge into the top half of the inline holder, and the SmartChlor cartridge into the bottom half.
  5. Insert the inline holder into the inline port of your hot tub.
  6. Turn on your tub and enjoy your soak.

Way #2. Mineral Sticks

Mineral sticks are probably the easiest way to add minerals to your hot tub. This stick is preloaded with everything you need, and all you have to do is insert it into your cartridge filter. 

The water that passes through the hot tub filter will pick up the minerals and send them into the tub via the return jets.

How to add minerals using this method:

  1. Test the water and balance the pH, alkalinity and calcium levels. Add in the proper amount of chlorine/bromine as well.
  2. Open your cartridge filter.
  3. Drop the stick in.
  4. Close the filter and turn on the tub.

Way #3. Floating Dispenser

The floating dispenser is another product from Frog that makes it easy to turn your tub into a mineral system.

It comes with a mineral cartridge as well as a bromine cartridge, both of which connect to make a singular device that floats in the water when the tub isn’t in use.

Like the inline system, it comes with Jump Start shock, test strips, and the cartridges last an average of 3 to 4 weeks for the bromine, and 4 months for the minerals.

How to add minerals using this method:

  1. Test your hot tub water using the provided strips and balance the pH, alkalinity, and calcium levels.
  2. Connect the mineral and bromine cartridges to the floater.
  3. Set the mineral cartridge to 6, and consult the instructions on what number to set the bromine cartridge to (the dose is calculated according to the size of your tub).
  4. Place the floater into the tub and you’re done!

Have You Got The Minerals?

Hot tub mineral systems are not only easy to use but they’re also inexpensive and give your water a better overall feel. 

The addition of minerals in the water can not only give you a happier, healthier tub, but you’ll probably never go back once you make the switch.

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