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Can I Use Bleach to Shock My Hot Tub?

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Can I Use Bleach to Shock My Hot Tub?

Shocking your tub will clean out small contaminants like hairs and dead skin cells, get rid of any lingering smells, and kill any remaining bits of bacteria (some of which can make you very sick). It’s important to do it regularly for both your comfort and your health, but can you do it with regular household bleach?

Weighing Your Decision

Technically speaking, all you need to shock your hot tub is an oxidizing agent. Bleach qualifies as such, so it will get the job done if you choose to use it. However, it’s not the only option you have, so it’s a good idea to go over the pros and cons involved before you commit to doing this.


There are several reasons why one might choose to use bleach for this job even though specially formulated products exist as well.

  • It’s easy to find (you probably have some already lying around your house).
  • It’s relatively inexpensive.
  • It’s easy to acquire more of it without having to go to a specialty store to do it.

These positive attributes mean that bleach is a good choice for people who need to shock their hot tub on a budget or on short notice. It will almost always be available to you in a pinch and you won’t have to look very hard to get more.


Shocking your hot tub with bleach may be a good idea in some cases, but the method isn’t without its downsides.

  • It doesn’t come pre-measured or with instructions to let you know how much to use, so you’re left to figure that out on your own.
  • It may raise your hot tub’s pH levels too much – this causes calcium to build up inside the tub, forcing you to clean it more often and potentially damaging some of the internal components.
  • It may irritate your skin if you use too much.

You can avoid some of these negative effects by using only as much bleach as you need and by testing and correcting your water’s pH levels when you’re done shocking the tub. This takes time, though, and buying the chemicals needed to correct the pH levels will add to the cost of this strategy.

So – Should You Use Bleach or Not?

The final verdict on this matter is that you can indeed shock your hot tub with bleach if you want to, but it will require a little more work than using a formulated product from a pool store. If you’re truly set on doing it, make sure that you know what you’re doing and that you’ve checked the final state of the tub once you’re done. Doing this carelessly can have unpleasant consequences.

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