I don’t know about you, but I am not a chemist. So how do I figure out what chemicals I need for my hot tub? How do I know what to use them for, how often, and how much?

Hot tubs are supposed to be relaxing, and the idea of keep the pH of the water balanced and the chemical levels right had me thinking my new not tub wouldn’t be so soothing. Fortunately, it’s not as complicated as it seems. Actually, a spa chemical guide like this one helped me get the chemicals I need and to stop stressing about keeping the water clean.

Most of my hot tub maintenance is pretty simple. Chemicals like chlorine and bromine help keep the water sanitized. Bromine is the popular choice since it tends to be more stable in hot water, but both work well. I like to keep things simple by using kits that are specifically made for hot tubs. They come with clear instructions on how much to use.

Other chemicals that you need to keep your hot tub water clean include solutions to keep the filter working properly and something called a “shock treatment” to remove contaminants. If the names of the products sound confusing, the instructions make them simple. I also keep in stock an alkalinity increaser, a spa cleaner, and a pH decreaser to make sure the water is properly balanced. I’m actually starting to sound like a chemist.

To know how and when to use the right hot tub chemicals, this guide also has a nice list of common hot tub water issues, how to diagnose the problem and what solutions to use.

You don’t have to be a chemist to know how to keep your hot tub water clean and pure. Having good information handy and the right chemicals in stock makes the hot tub experience exactly what it’s supposed to be—relaxing.