hot tub with a view over the countryside

Water quality plays a pivotal role in maintaining the health and longevity of your hot tub. But can you use softened water in your hot tub? The delicate balance of water chemistry can make or break your hot tub experience, and the type of water you use plays a vital role in maintaining it. 

So, is soft water a viable option for your hot tub, or are you better off sticking with hard water? First, let’s understand the difference between hard and soft water. 


two people sat in a hot tub outsidetwo people sat in a hot tub outside

Hard Water vs Soft Water

To put it simply, hard water contains a higher concentration of minerals like calcium and magnesium. In contrast, soft water has been treated to remove these impurities, typically through ion exchange. 

There are many benefits to installing a Kinetico water softener in your household, such as eliminating limescale, softer and healthier hair and skin, better-tasting water, and so much more. Soft water allows those living in hard water areas to prevent the unwanted build-up of scale in their pipes and appliances, reduce cleaning time, and enjoy a better overall water system experience. 

That said, soft water may not be the best choice for hot tubs - let’s explore why.

6 signs you have hard water in your home6 signs you have hard water in your home

Is Soft Water Bad for My Hot Tub?

While having soft water in your household has many benefits, its use in hot tubs can lead to various complications. Although hard water can cause stains and scale, soft water lacks the necessary minerals to buffer the effects of heat and chemicals, making it unsuitable for hot tub use. When calcium levels are too low, like in soft water, the equipment is at a higher risk of corrosion. 

Side Effects of Using Soft Water in Your Hot Tub

  • Corrosion - soft water’s lower mineral content can contribute to the corrosion of metal components within your hot tub, leading to costly repairs and diminished performance over time.
  • pH instability - the absence of minerals in soft water can cause pH levels to fluctuate erratically, creating an environment ripe for bacterial growth and skin irritation.
  • Foaming - without the mineral content found in hard water, soft water is more prone to excessive foaming.
  • Filter clogging - soft water can cause scale deposits in your hot tub’s filters, reducing water circulation and filtration efficiency. 

How to Combat Soft Water Issues in Hot Tubs

Fortunately, there’s a solution that allows you to enjoy the benefits of softened water indoors without compromising your hot tub’s water quality. By installing one of our water softeners at the interior point of entry for your home’s water supply, you can ensure that the water used in your hot tub remains untouched by the softening process. 

This approach leaves your outdoor tap/water source with hard water, which is better suited for hot tub use. However, you’ll still enjoy all the advantages of soft water in your home!


how do water softeners workhow do water softeners work

Why Use Hard Water in Hot Tubs?

Hard water is brilliant for hot tub maintenance due to its natural balance of minerals essential for stability. It provides a robust buffer against pH fluctuations, promotes optimal filtration efficiency, and reduces the risk of clogged filters and costly repairs. 

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of installing a water softener system without compromising on the hardness of your outside water source, visit Kinetico today.