Many hot tub chemicals can help keep the water in your spa clean and clear. However, one of the most effective products for removing organic materials and boosting sanitizer efficiency in the spa technically is not a chemical at all – it is a protein! When we talk about using proteins in the hot tub, we are talking about hot tub enzymes.
If you are not very familiar with spa enzymes, you may wonder how they differ from the bromine or chlorine you regularly use in your hot tub. You may also want to know whether enzymes can replace all the chemicals you have been using in your spa. In this article, we will answer all the questions you might be having about spa enzymes.
What Are Hot Tub Enzymes?
Enzymes are proteins that act as biological catalysts. They speed up chemical reactions but are not changed or broken down by the reactions. In the human body, enzymes play a key role in the digestive system where they break down the food you eat into nutrients that can be easily absorbed by your body.
In the case of hot tubs and spas, enzymes attach themselves to the non-living organic materials in the water, including cosmetics, dead skin cells, dirt, lotions, body oils, and other unsavory substances – all these organic materials end up in the water as a result of regular hot tub use. After attaching to the organic substances, the spa enzymes work to break them down into smaller particles, making it easier for the sanitizer to act on them.
Can You Replace Hot Tub Chemicals with Hot Tub Enzymes?
If you are wondering whether it is possible to have a chemical-free hot tub by using enzymes instead of chemicals, you should know that this is not possible. This is because enzymes do not react with living bacteria – this means that they will not disinfect the hot tub.
As noted earlier, the enzymes are only capable of transforming non-living organics in the water to help the hot tub sanitizers do their work and to reduce the chances of scum rings forming in your spa. What this tells you is that you will still need to use hot tub chemicals when using the enzymes.
How Long Will the Enzymes Last in the Hot Tub?
Once the enzymes break down the organic materials present in the hot tub, the enzymes become free to start working on the next contaminant. The molecular structure of the enzymes does not change during the chemical reactions, meaning that they will remain in the hot tub water for continued use.
Unlike sanitizers, the enzymes do not get used up. For this reason, most hot tubs will only require a small weekly dose to maintain an effective enzyme level.
Do Hot Tub Enzymes Have Any Negative Effects?
Enzymes used in hot tubs have zero negative effects. They are non-corrosive, non-toxic, friendly to the environment, biodegradable, and hypoallergenic. The end products resulting from the break down of organic materials in your hot tub water by the enzymes are harmless and inert.
Benefits of Using Enzymes in the Hot Tub
1. The Enzymes Prolong the Hot Tub Filter Lifespan
Regular hot tub use will result in the accumulation of various organic materials that are washed off from the bathers. If not taken care of, the organic materials will accumulate on the water surface and along the hot tub waterline as a greasy scum layer. Not only does this look unappealing, but the scum may also clog the hot tub filter over time.
As noted earlier, enzymes break down the organic materials and hence ensuring that the scum rings do not form on the water surface. This helps keep the hot tub filters clean and hence prolonging the hot tub filter lifespan.
2. The Enzymes Maintain the Hot Tub Chemistry
In the past, hot tub owners would use soap to deal with the water gunk. However, overuse of soaps often leads to excessive foaming (requiring you to use hot tub defoamers) and also throws the hot tub chemistry out of whack. This is the main reason the hot tub industry came up with a serviceable alternative that incorporates enzymes and can be added to the hot tub water to break down the unwanted stuff without changing the hot tub chemistry or causing foam formation.
3. They Reduce Sanitizer Demand
You can think of the spa enzymes as a natural digestion aid for your hot tub. Once the enzymes attach to the non-living organic materials and break them down, it becomes much easier for sanitizers like bromine or chlorine to eliminate them from the hot tub. This means that less sanitizer will be needed in the hot tub to keep the water clean and clear.
4. The Enzymes Get Rid of Unpleasant Smells and Irritants
Hot tub enzymes can help with chemical smells that some of the traditional sanitizers may cause in your 2-person hot tub. The enzymes also help break down the irritants in the water that could cause both eye and skin irritations. Some of the irritants result from the reaction of urine and chlorine – this reaction forms irritants known as chloramines.
5. Enzymes Make the Water Feel Smoother
Once you start using enzymes in your hot tub, one thing you will notice is that the water feels smoother on your skin. This is because the enzymes break down minerals and keep them from building up along the hot tub’s waterline.
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Spa enzymes only break down non-living organic materials. This means that they won’t kill bacteria and other living organisms in the water. To keep your water clean and safe, you will need to use hot tub chemicals together with the enzymes.
Using enzymes in the hot tub does offer numerous benefits. Acting as foam preventers, odor eliminators, helping with scum removal, and even reducing the amount of sanitizer you need to use in the hot tub, the enzymes are ideal for all types of hot tubs.