Is It OK to Use Bath Bombs in an Outdoor Hot Tub?

Jennifer Rhodes

By Jennifer Rhodes · Updated

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Looking for a way to enhance your hot tub experience? Wondering if you can try that new bath bomb next time you go for a soak in your spa?

Unfortunately, it is not advisable to use regular bath bombs in a hot tub. Bath bombs are often made with ingredients that can clog filters, disrupt the water's pH balance, and cause lasting damage to equipment inside the spa.

So even though you may be tempted—bath bombs are fun, fizzy, and nice smelling after all—they can actually do major damage to your hot tub.

How can bath bombs damage a hot tub?

Many bath bombs are made with essential oils. Although these are great for creating that soothing aromatherapy-like experience, unfortunately that second word "oil" is not your hot tub's friend.

Hot tubs aren't designed to circulate thick substances like oils. Over time, these substances can build up in your hot tub's filtration system. At best, these are going to be hard to clean up, and at worst they could lead to broken components—costing a pretty penny to fix.

On top of that, a lot of bath bombs contain other materials like glitter, confetti, flower petals and even small toys. Like oils, these are also going to be difficult to remove, as well as potentially causing damage by clogging the filter or getting stuck in the jets.

That's why it's a good idea to follow this general rule: if a product isn't specifically designed to go in a hot tub, don't use it in one.

Which bath bombs can you use in a hot tub safely?

If you want to use bath bombs in your spa—but in a way that is safe for both you and the tub—you're in luck.

There are some options for spa-safe bath products that can give you a fun aromatherapy experience while also not damaging your spa.

Spa bombs

First up, these InSPAration SpaBombs are pH neutral and water soluble, plus they're infused with vitamins E and C, spa-safe Epsom salts and aloe vera extract to leave your skin soft:

InSPAration SpaBomb 6pk Gift Box
InSPAration SpaBomb 6pk Gift Box
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These are perfect for celebrating your birthday or any other special occasion. The package is so nice that they would make the ideal gift, too!

Spa crystals

Another option is these InSPAration bath crystals (I love the lavender scent), which are made specifically for hot tubs and jetted baths. Used in outdoor hot tubs, these sleepy-scented salts can help mask any chemical odors from chlorine or bromine for the ultimate relaxing pre-bedtime soak:

InSPAration Lavender Crystals, 19 oz, Purple
InSPAration Lavender Crystals, 19 oz, Purple
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The best part is that these products won't corrode or damage fiberglass, plaster, acrylics, or woods—while still relaxing your muscles and leaving your skin silky smooth.

Other bath products you should avoid putting in your spa

Bubble bath

When put under running water, bubble bath is designed to foam up, so I'm sure you can imagine why bubble bath and hot tub jets do not mix!

Not only do you risk clogging your hot tub components up with products that they aren't designed to handle; you may end up with an overwhelming amount of foam due to the powerful hot tub jets.

Bath oil or essential oils

As we mentioned, no type of oil is good for your hot tub. Unfortunately, essential oils are a common ingredient in bath products, including bath salts, bombs, or just directly on their own.

Hot tubs are not designed to circulate and filter oils, so any oil-based bath products are better saved for your regular indoor bathtub.

Epsom salts or other kinds of bath salts

Epsom salts have a ton of different healing properties that are great for your skin, but you must be careful when considering these types of bath products for your hot tub. The main ingredient, magnesium sulfate, can alter your tub's water chemistry and make it highly corrosive to your spa's components.

What's even scarier is that combining Epsom salts and chlorine can cause skin burns, causing damage to not only your hot tub, but to your body as well.

So, unless you are using a verified hot-tub-safe product, avoid adding Epsom salts or bath salts to your spa.

Shampoo and body wash

When you take a bath, you might wash your hair and use a body wash or bar soap. So you may be wondering: is it okay to use shampoo or body wash in a hot tub?

There are several reasons shampoo and body wash should not make it into a hot tub:

  • These products often contain ingredients like essential oils that can damage a hot tub's equipment
  • Most shampoos and body washes contain foaming agents, so you could end up with a backyard full of bubbles on your hands (ever tried putting dish soap in the dishwasher?)
  • It's always a good idea to shower before using your hot tub, to keep as many contaminants—like oils, lotions or deodorants—out of the tub as possible

Be mindful of what you put in your hot tub

Keeping the water in your hot tub properly balanced, sanitized and crystal clear is important for its ability to both function properly, and be safe for you to bathe in.

When properly maintained, hot tubs are fun, relaxing, and can do a lot of good for relieving tension. But they require specific treatment to remain safe and functional.

So don't go shopping for fun hot tub scents at Bath & Body Works. Instead, stick with a spa-safe product that will leave both your skin and your tub happy and healthy.

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