Frequently Asked Questions About Hot Tub Enzymes
If you’re looking into hot tub water sanitation, there’s a chance the phrase “hot tub enzymes” has entered the conversation. You may wonder how it’s different from the chlorine or bromine that you routinely add to your spa water or what it even does. Well, if you’re looking for that (and more than you probably bargained for), here’s some information about hot type enzyme treatments.
What is an enzyme?
You may be familiar with the word, but you may not know what it really is. Let’s take a little step back into high school chemistry, shall we? Enzymes are known for being a biological catalyst (or bio-catalyzers) in chemistry. A catalyst is something that either causes or accelerates a chemical reaction or change without undergoing the change itself. Enzymes are important in human digestion because they break down food into bits and pieces (nutrients) that our body can absorb. Without enzymes, we couldn’t survive. Enzymes are also responsible for alcohol fermentation and decay of organic material like wood and leaves.
Why use enzyme treatments in a hot tub?
A gross thing happens when a hot tub gets used frequently. A film builds up on the water that is an accumulation of body oils, grease, and other human byproducts (yuck) that are washed off from bathers. Lotions, shampoos, and hair products all add to this problem. This film often accumulates and forms scum rings along the waterline of your spa and will eventually gum up your hot tub filters.
In the past, people would use soap to try and deal with the water gunk, but overuse of soaps (or surfactants) often leads to foaming and throwing the water chemistry out of whack. The pool industry then set out to develop a serviceable alternative that incorporated enzymes and could be added to the water to break down all the unwanted stuff in and on the water.
This project faced a few difficulties. First, the enzyme had to be in liquid form so that it could be quickly incorporated into the water, and the enzyme that was chosen for its ability to break down oils and greases (lipase enzyme) was not entirely shelf-stable in liquid form. This meant that the enzymes would break down in the bottle before it could ever be used.
The second problem was that doses of traditional sanitizers like chlorine or bromine would destroy the enzymes so a new form of enzyme-based products were developed that were shelf stable and able to work in the water along with bromine, chlorine, biguanide, ozone, or non-chlorine shocks. The enzymes now work in conjunction with these sanitizers and actually boost their performance. The enzymes are positively charged to attract oil, organic particles, and any unwanted byproducts in your spa and hot tub. They then bond to these contaminants and dissolve them away to be filtered out of the water.
What are the benefits of using hot tub enzymes?
Untreated contaminants build up quickly in hot tubs which have a relatively small area of water and high water temperatures. Using a hot tub enzyme treatment like Natural Enzymes or EZ Enzyme will break down the organic waste that can then be filtered out without gumming up the works. Left untreated, contaminants can clog filters and shorten their life cycle.
There are some added benefits to using enzymes in your spa water. Hot tub enzymes also help with chemical smells that traditional sanitizers may cause. It also breaks down any irritants in the water that may result in eye and skin irritation (usually urine forming chloramines with chlorine in the water). The water will also feel smoother on your skin because it breaks down minerals and keeps them from building up along the water line.
As an added bonus for anyone who’s earth-conscious, consumers will be glad to know that this product is biodegradable and the only active ingredient in them is all natural. Enzymes work very well in spas and hot tubs because the warm water helps to speed up the degradation process. The end product of the process are harmless, inert, and there are no residues to build up. It’s a great, natural way to boost your sanitation system.