Will Epsom Salt Ruin a Hot Tub? (Yes, unless you do . . . )

Both hot tubs and Epsom salts are known for healing pain and relaxation. But after researching online, I began to wonder will Epsom salts ruin a hot tub?

Here’s what I discovered:

Epsom salts are typically added at 20,000 parts per million (ppm). But levels above 1500 ppm begin to corrode the plumbing in a hot tub. Epsom salts also make it impossible to balance the pH resulting in ineffective sanitizer. But Epsom salts also can cause flash burns when added to chlorinated or brominated water.

But that’s just the beginning, so let’s dig in a little further.

It may seem like a no brainer that you can put Epsom salts in your hot tub.  However, while many people use pure Epsom salts in their bathtub at home, it may not be a good idea to put them in your hot tub.

In fact, there are some real dangers unless you follow the exact steps I outlined below. But there are also some great alternatives to Epsom salts to enhance the feel and smell of your water too.

Keep on reading to find out more!

How much Epsom salt do I put in my hot tub?

You should put zero Epsom salts in your hot tub.

It is not okay to put Epsom salts in a hot tub. They can cause damage and destroy your hot tub, costing you thousands in repair or replacement.

Epsom salts are a chemical composition called Magnesium Sulphate, which is an Alkaline chemical compound.

For a long time now, Epsom salts have been thought of as having healing properties. That is why many people all over the world soak parts of their bodies in them. People have reported relief of sore muscles and joints, increased ability to flush toxins, and relief from joint problems.

However, you should never add Epsom salts to your hot tub! This is because salt levels above 1500 ppm can be corrosive in a spa depending on the pH level. In fact, the chemical nature of this alkaline compound features mildly acidic properties, which means it will mess up your pH balance.

Then, an unbalanced pH level in your hot tub can cause other issues, such as corrosion of the hot tub equipment (gaskets, seals, plastic pieces, metal parts, etc.) and reduced performance of the hot tub sanitizer.

In fact, chlorine (one of the most commonly used hot tub chemicals) and magnesium should NEVER MIX! These two chemical compounds, when mixed, cause a reaction that would create flash burns on your skin.

Epsom salt in your hot tub will also cause the buildup of Total Dissolved Solids. In turn, this causes scale to build up, which damages your hot tub.

Now if you’re wanting your hot tub water to be silky smooth and better smelling, that is totally possible!

In a recent article, I get into all the possible reasons your hot tub water might not be spa-like and gotten cloudy and smelly. I even get into some of the products you can add to your hot tub water to enhance the relaxation similarly to Epsom salts.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Is it OK to put Epsom salt in a Jacuzzi?

No, as previously stated, it is not okay to put Epsom salt in a hot tub or a Jacuzzi hot tub.

The chemical reaction between Epsom salts (Magnesium Sulphate) reacts badly when mixed with chlorine. Flash burns can be created.

Additionally, high levels of salt (1500 ppm) can be corrosive to your hot tub or jacuzzi machinery. This could cost you hundreds or thousands in repairs.

In fact, Epsom salts increase the Total Dissolved Solids in your hot tub. This means that if you put Epsom salts in your hot tub frequently, scale will begin to build up. This will cause more damage and ruin your hot tub experience.

Now, Jacuzzi also makes jetted bathtubs.

So those are probably fine to add Epsom salts to as you would not typically be treating the water. But always consult the manufacturer’s website or owner’s manual first.

Just wanting silky soft and cleaner smelling water?

My favorite product for that is called Silk Balance Natural Hot Tub Solution (click to see it on Amazon). It softens the water and eliminates bad odors from it, creating a more spa-like experience.

Does Epsom salt corrode pipes?

Yes, Epsom salts absolutely corrode pipes.

The recommended level to get the most out of Epsom salts is 20,000 ppm. At 1500 ppm salt becomes corrosive to the hot tub and its pipes and machinery.

So, in other words, most people use 13 times more Epsom salts than you could safely add to a hot tub.

If you really are adamant about having Epsom salts in your hot tub, you would need to empty it and put in freshwater with no chlorine in it. However, it would still corrode your pipes unless you changed the water again afterward.

To remove Epsom salt from pipes, the whole system needs to be flushed and then pumped on the inside. Without proper flushing, salt can remain in your plumbing system and will slowly eat away at the metal.

If you are really set on having an Epsom salt bath in your hot tub, here is what to do.

First, you’ll need to dump out the chemical-filled water. Next, fill your hot tub with fresh water. Do not add chemicals such as chlorine or bromine!

Then, add the Epsom salt. Do not put too much in! It will corrode the inside of your hot tub or jacuzzi. Once you are done with your Epsom salt session, you will need to dump the water out. Then thoroughly clean and flush your hot tub.

Finally, add in more water. Measure out the proper amount of chlorine and all necessary chemicals. Wait until the chemical levels of your hot tub are safe to enjoy.

Wondering how often you should change your hot tubs water or how I drain mine in just 15 minutes?

I get into how often to change it, and how to do it quickly and efficiently in this recent article. I even get into the 1 mistake most new hot tub owners make with draining their water.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Can you put Epsom salt in an inflatable hot tub

Unfortunately, similarly to regular hot tubs, Epsom salts can harm inflatable hot tubs. They should never be placed in them.

While it’s true that inflatable hot tubs don’t have the complex system of PVC pipes that traditional hot tubs do, they do still have some plumbing and the heater.

Plus, you also have the danger of mixing the Epsom salts with water treated with chlorine or bromine.

If you’re dead set on doing it, it is a little easier than with a full-sized hot tub due to the portable nature of an inflatable hot tub.

Just follow the same steps I outlined in the section just above where I detail how to safely use Epsom salts in a hot tub.

What about essential oils or bath bombs in a hot tub?

You should also never place essential oils or bath bombs in your hot tub. Unfortunately, your hot tub isn’t built to circulate and filter thick substances like these oils. Adding oils that are not designed for hot tub usage can cause build-up and damage to your hot tub over time.

Some oils can cause a photosensitive reaction on your skin.

This means that after your skin has been exposed to the essential oil if it is exposed to sunlight or other UV lights, you may experience a rash, blisters, or darkening of the skin, similar to a bad sunburn. Photosensitivity is mostly caused by citrus essential oils.

Additionally, bath bombs should not be used because they come filled with glitter, confetti, or even flower petals. While it makes the hot tub look cool, these can damage the jets of your hot tub. The particles clog up the jets, which causes them to malfunction or stop working.

You can stop this from happening by wrapping the bath bomb in a nylon sock and putting it in the water. This way the coloring still happens, but the little pieces of glitter, confetti, or flower petals won’t clog up the jets.


Bath bombs can also leave behind oil. You’ll need to clean your hot tub to get rid of it. If not, it will cause damage to the pipes.

 If you find any bath bombs without confetti or glitter, these can be used safely in your hot tub. However, overall it seems like a lot of extra work or risk, so it isn’t recommended.

However, there are some essential oil-type products and other scented items that totally work in a hot tub!

Luckily, I break down all of them in this recent article. Just click that link to read it on my site.

Dangers of mixing Epsom salt and bromine or chlorine

You should never mix Epsom salts with your hot tub!

This is because Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, an alkaline chemical compound, that is dangerous when mixed with chlorine. The reaction between magnesium sulfate and chlorine can result in serious injury caused by flash burns.

The same can be said of mixing Epsom salts and bromine.

There will be a reaction that can cause flash burns on your skin. For your safety, you should never mix Epsom salts with chlorine or bromine.

Did I cover all you wanted to know about whether it’s OK to add Epsom salts to your hot tub?

You should never put Epsom salts in your hot tub.

Salt levels above 1500 ppm can be corrosive in a spa depending on the pH level. And most people who use Epsom salts use a whopping 20,000 ppm!

Additionally, Epsom salts raise the total dissolved solids in your hot tub. This means that scale builds up, and will also your hot tub.

However, the most important reason that you shouldn’t add Epsom salts in your hot tub is that magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) and chlorine or bromine, when mixed together, cause dangerous and painful flash burns.

For this reason alone you should never put Epsom salts in your hot tub.

However, there IS a product on Amazon designed for a spa-like aromatherapy experience!

It’s called InSPAration Hot Tub Spa & Bath Aromatherapy (click to see it on Amazon). An Amazon’s Choice product with tons of awesome reviews. Best of all, it contains no oils to gunk up the water or filter and it WON’T change the pH or throw other chemicals out of balance.

Free shipping too!

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, hot tub lover, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market.

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