Would a Bath Bomb Ruin a Hot Tub?

Spa background with bath bombs, aromatherapy salt,handmade soap bar and seashells.Top view.

As hot tub owners, we are always looking for new things to enhance our spa experience. These include things that improve the feel or smell of the water. But would a bath bomb ruin a hot tub?

This is what I have found out from experience and a little research.

Bath bombs will not ruin a hot tub. But they can clog the filter, especially if they contain glitter. Additionally, if they contain high levels of magnesium, that can cause a dangerous interaction with chlorine which can become unsafe.

Ask yourself this. What is it you are trying to achieve by adding a bath bomb?

Adding some fizz and bubbles or just trying to hide a bad smell? Either way, there are other ways of achieving this without resorting to bombing!

To find out how to do this, read on.

Can you put bath bombs in a Lazy Spa (or other inflatable hot tubs)?

Bath bombs can be used in all inflatable hot tubs, including those by Lay-Z-Spa. But avoid bath bombs containing confetti, glitter, or flower petals as they can clog the filter and pump. Additionally, avoid bath bombs containing magnesium, as that can cause an unsafe reaction with chlorine.

These may look great, and the kids would love it, but they will do nothing but harm to your plumbing.

Inflatable hot tubs are great fun, especially for the kids, and it is natural for them to want bubbles and bath bombs, but that is not necessarily good for the spa.

Jets will get clogged up, and this will cause the pump to burn out – a very expensive play-time for the kids.

All bath bombs have the same basic ingredients – bicarbonate of soda and citric acid, but some contain Epsom salts. I wrote about using Epsom salts in your hot tub in a recent article.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

So, you need to be really careful and read the label before adding anything to your hot tub, or better still, don’t put anything in there that is not made specifically for hot tubs, inflatable or otherwise.

If I put a bath bomb in my hot tub, do I need to drain it after?

A bath bomb only containing bicarbonate of soda and citric acid does not require draining after use. However, most bath bombs have added extras such as Epsom salts, essential oils, and cosmetic products such as titanium dioxide and sunscreen which do require draining if used.

This latter kind is what causes the damage.

They build up a biofilm that clings to the pipework and blocks the jets. You don’t always need to drain the tub in these cases, but you do have to do some serious cleaning up.

The filters will have to be taken out and soaked overnight in a cleaning solution.

The solution I use to clean my filters is Power Soak on Amazon – a non-foaming, fast-acting, heavy-duty granular cleaner that you mix with hot or cold water. And if you use hot water, you only have to soak for 1-hour!

However, if it sounds as though the pump is straining when you turn the jets on, the chances are you will have to change the water.

But you should be changing the water regularly anyway.

I talked about how often you should change the water in your hot tub and how to clean it in a recent article. After all, some manufacturers say every 3 months while others say every 6 months. But there’s 1 sure-fire way to know.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Do bath bombs have too much oil for a hot tub?

Most bath bombs do contain too much oil for a hot tub, but they can also contain magnesium, Epsom salt, and they are often filled with glitter or confetti all of which are not suitable for hot tubs.

The simple fact is, most bath bombs are made for baths – hence the name – not for hot tubs.

There is one exception that I have found – the SpaBomb by InSPArations on Amazon. These fizzing bath bombs do not cloud, foam, bubble, color the water or leave any unwanted oily residue.

Made with Epsom salts, Aloe Vera extract, and added vitamins, they are available in 12 scents, including jasmine, eucalyptus, and lavender.

One of the ingredients of bath bombs that cause the most damage is salt. Anything above 1500 parts per million (ppm) can lead to corrosion, and bath bombs can contain 10 times this amount.

Making matters worse, magnesium sulfate-based salt can react with the chlorine in the hot tub, which can burn your skin.

In a recent article, I discussed the use of bath salts in a hot tub. I explained how they are dangerous for a hot tub. But I also get into the 1 way you can use them safely.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Is there a safe alternative to bath bombs for my hot tub?

The InSPAration Hot Tub Spa & Bath Aromatherapy products are a hot tub-safe alternative for bath bombs. But there are many products you can use in your hot tub rather than a bath bomb that are safer for soaking and for the filter and equipment, including a homemade option.

Make your own bath bombs using 2 cups baking powder and 3 TBS apple cider vinegar. You can add a fragrance as long as it is oil-free.

But remember, the addition of anything acidic is going to change the pH and alkalinity.

One of the best products on the market is the InSPAration Hot Tub Spa & Bath Aromatherapy, which you can get on Amazon. It works well with chlorine, bromine, and all saltwater spas and has over 500 ratings with near-perfect reviews.

So, I’m not on my own in endorsing this product.

For less than $60, you get an assortment of 24 different scents in 50 individual sample pillow packets, so you can choose which ones you like the best and only order those next time you need some.

One packet will easily serve a 6-seat 300-gallon hot tub, and it will not create foam, cause cloudy water or leave an oily residue.

It seems some users bought these to hide a chemical smell and then complained that the water was cloudy after using them for a while. This product may mask some hot tub odor.

But, if you are getting a bad smell from the water, you need to deal with that first.

Why are bath bombs bad for hot tubs?

Bath bombs are bad for hot tubs as the oil can clog the filters, magnesium can cause a bad chemical reaction with chlorine, and confetti and glitter can clog the filter and plumbing. Additionally, the acidity can also alter the pH and alkalinity.

Bath bombs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with all kinds of stuff inside to provide great visual effects.

And this is what causes damage to your hot tub. Yes, some can be used safely, but you shouldn’t overdo it. My advice is to stay clear of them altogether. Don’t risk having a problem.

Another ingredient of bath bombs is salt, and not just Epsom salts.

This salt will not fully dissolve in water and the surplus will find its way into the filter, clogging the pleats. Some clumps will find their way into the pipework, adding to the biofilm build-up and increasing the chance of corrosion.

If you get those bath bombs containing bits of paper, flower petals, and glitter, you are asking for trouble. All of this is bad for your hot tub and must be avoided.

Given that there are alternatives that don’t cause these issues, you have to question why anyone would add a bath product to a hot tub.

Conclusion

So now you know not to use bath bombs in a hot tub.

There are plenty of other products that can enhance your spa experience without damaging the pump and pipework, and if all you want to do is hide a smell, you are going about it the wrong way.

Always deal with issues of bad odor, don’t try and disguise it. Smells equal problems – so solve the problem.

If there is anything I missed or you have any questions on this subject, drop me a line and I will do my best to answer it. And don’t forget to check out the other related articles here on my site. Just click on the links.

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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