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Thread: Using Hydrogen Peroxide as a sanitizer

  1. #1
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    Using Hydrogen Peroxide as a sanitizer

    Can anyone tell me if they have used hydrogen peroxide in a Softub hot tub before? I know it voids the warranty and I'm not concerned about that, but wondered if it was compatible with the liner and didn't cause degradation, or damage to plumbing. I'm not as familiar with the Softubs but am considering purchasing a used one, if and only if, I can use the hydrogen peroxide.
    I've used it in a fiberglass tub before and it worked great! And also provided wonderful oxygenating benefits as well as sanitizing.

  2. #2
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    Re: Using Hydrogen Peroxide as a sanitizer

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    We do not recommend it as a stand alone sanitizer (neither does the government).

    Do a search for it at the top and you will find some information. Here is one link:
    alternative-sanitizers-and-chemical-free-pools-the-truth-t3025.html?
    Hydrogen peroxide is NOT effective as a stand-alone sanitizer. To have a high enough level of hydrogen peroxide in the water to act as a sanitizer would cause extreme bather discomfort, to say the least! In the US it is used as an oxidizer in conjunction with biguanide.
    Why do you think that is the only type of sanitizer you want to use?
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  3. #3
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    Re: Using Hydrogen Peroxide as a sanitizer

    I am very sensitive to the smell of chlorine and bromine and have read of some of the harmful, long-term effects. I'm sure many people after swimming in a pool or soaking in a hot tub with these chemicals will agree that they tend to dry out our skin and the chemical smell lingers until we rinse off again.
    Granted the use of H2O2 is not econimically feasible for a swimming pool, because we aren't talking about the 3% H2O2 available at the drug store. I'm talking about the 35% grade which has to be handled with extreme care because it will burn the skin and is used at approximately 1 cup/250 gallons (initial shock is more), and has to be added each time you use the tub. I get mine for around $65/gal. It is a known disinfectant and has many other health benefits. My only question is whether it can be used in a Softub without harming the liner.
    I currently use it to treat the water of my catchment tank (no county or well water here), and the recommended amount is 1 oz/1000 gal. weekly. But I do NOT drink the water and only use it for showers and laundry.
    Here's one interesting article I found: http://foodgradeh2o2.com/pool-uses/samp ... -category/
    Anyone out there use it in a Softub?
    Thanks!

  4. #4
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    Re: Using Hydrogen Peroxide as a sanitizer

    You can get Baquacil Oxidizer which is 27% hydrogen peroxide and is stabilized and easier to handle than the 35% concentration. You can get it here for $14 per gallon or here for $21 per gallon both of which are less expensive than what you plan to use (even factoring in the concentration difference).

    However, since you just want to use this in a hot tub and don't want to use halogens (chlorine, bromine), why don't you use the Nature2 Spa system which uses silver ions along with non-chlorine shock (MPS) and is EPA-approved for spas so kills bacteria quickly? That's the more common non-halogen system used for spas (the other is Baquacil/biguanide/PHMB). You may still need to use chlorine once in a while every week or two to keep the water clear, but not for every time you soak. Note however that MPS can be irritating for some people, but the silver ions in the Nature2 react with the most irritating minor component in MPS so it's not usually a problem.

    There are only four EPA-approved disinfectants for use in spas: chlorine, bromine, Baquacil/biguanide/PHMB and Nature2 with MPS. Hydrogen peroxide is not approved in the U.S. (for commercial/public spas/pools; residential has no regulations except that no unapproved products can make any disinfection claims for pools/spas). When used, it has to be at rather high levels (50 ppm for pools; 100 ppm for spas) for it to be even within the ballpark in disinfecting capability and at this level it can be irritating to the skin. Most disinfectants that are strong oxidizers will be irritating to the skin. Even the Baquacil/biguaide/PHMB disinfectant uses hydrogen peroxide as its oxidizer (though at a lower level) but note that it is not the disinfectant and cannot be used alone in commercial/public pools in the U.S.

    By the way, people who use chlorine properly hardly notice the smell. In a residential spa, chlorine users typically start their soak with 1-2 ppm FC and also have 30-40 ppm CYA in the water (via the Dichlor-then-bleach method) that moderates chlorine's strength by at least a factor of 6 even at high spa temperatures making the active chlorine level far lower than found in tap water. Are you unable to tolerate taking a bath or shower due to the chlorine in your municipal water supply? Do you have a chlorine water filter on your shower or for your entire house? If not, then you aren't as sensitive to proper use of chlorine as you think and instead have just been exposed to improperly managed pools and spas, including many commercial/public ones and residential ones (but not those from people on this forum).

    See also Softtub manual says I have to use their chemicals and hydrogen peroxide as a sanitizer. Don't say you haven't been warned.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Using Hydrogen Peroxide as a sanitizer

    islandgypsy, I'm going to add my question here because the answer might interest you as well if you're willing to consider alternate sanitation - I share some of your struggles in terms of finding the right fit for my skin, winter maintenance, and sanitation (in the summer it's easy to just use bleach as I am maintaining my pool daily...in the winter, I'm looking for a slightly more reliable way to maintain a background residual)

    ChemGeek, as you know, I've also been wrangling with sanitizer solutions for my small hot tub, which is harder to control than a large hot tub At 220 gallons, would nature2 release toooo much silver? I've never tried it. Also, the product specifies that the hot tub must run four hours a day. Mine automatically circulates the water every 20 minutes, but not for long. Do you think this would be adequate for background sanitation?
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme

  6. #6
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    Re: Using Hydrogen Peroxide as a sanitizer

    Update:
    ^ BTW, after further digging/experimentation this a.m., I stand corrected. My spa is 300 gallons, I have been able to confirm with MFG. Also, the "slower" feeder appears to be working, so that last week has only used less than 1 1" trichlor tab, meaning I'll have a good 10-12 weeks or more before I need to worry about draining due to high CYA. So I'm likely all set if I stick to bleach to oxidize after a soak

    Islandgypsy, just fyi, with stabilized lower background chlorine (eg. 2.5 ish) I do not feel you will "smell" chlorine at all, on your skin or while in the tub. If you want to give it a try, let me know, and I'll give you the details. Most times, the problem is that dispensers dispense too much chlorine.

    What helped me in this experiment was to find a tablet container that would allow more complete control over how much, or how little, of the 1" chlorine (trichlor) tabs were released. Here's a link if you're interested -- this one lets you "dial it down" to the most minute opening possible: http://www.amazon.com/Pentair-R171090-C ... m_sbs_lg_2
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme

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