Can You Use Hot Tubs With Cold Water?

By Calvin | Last Updated: June 1, 2021 | Guides / Hot Tub 101

What if you don’t want a hot bath? Hot baths are great and all, but there are times when you are so tired due to the stroking heat and all you just want to do is relax in cold water with a glass of chilled cocktail. I know, I’ve been there too.

So you might be wondering– can you use hot tubs with cold water? You sure can. You need to turn down the temperature of the tub and ensure the water is cold enough for you.

But there is more to using your hot tub cold than just filling it with cold water. You need to know how cold your water should be, what chemicals to add, and if at all cold baths are good for you. Let’s take a trip into the world of “cold tubs” to find out. See what I did there, “cold tubs!”

So, should you add cold water to your hot tub? Yes, if that's what you want. Spa's with cold water is good, but don't overdo it.

Can You Use Hot Tubs With Cold Water?

Yes, your hot tub can be used with cold water. Though the hot tub is commonly used with hot and warm water, you can still enjoy a cool refreshing dip in your tub. Some hot tubs come designed with a cool-mode or cold-mode on the temperature panel that allows you to alternate between warm and cold baths.

If yours doesn’t have that feature, it’s no big deal. You can simply switch off the heater, remove the hot tub cover, drain the warm water in the tub, and add cold water into the tub.

If you don’t feel like draining the water, you can also turn off the heater or lower the temperature of the tub on the temperature panel, remove the cover, and turn on the jets. The jets keep turning the water till it cools. When you have the desired level of cool, you can enjoy that cool refreshing bath you are longing for.

Most hot tubs give the user the luxury of turning down the temperature of the water to as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius). Once you have lowered the temperature using the temperature panel, you can enjoy a cool and refreshing bath. Well, that’s what we are made to believe.

In actual fact, the water in your hot tub is not going to get as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius). Most hot tubs will keep the water temperature at about 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius) to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) even when you adjust the temperature panel to the lowest degree.

The 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) water temperature might not make much difference for you especially during the summer period when the weather is usually hot. So, what do you do to get your water temperature lower? There are different ways to go about this. Keep reading to find out how.

Can You Put Ice in Your Hot Tub?

This is a controversial subject when it comes to using hot tubs. Most people believe adding ice to their hot tubs will hamper the effectiveness of the tub. Will it? No.

What about ice? Can you put ice in your hot tub? Yes, you can. If you want to lower your water temperature faster, then you can throw some ice into the water.

Contrary to what most people think, adding ice to your hot tub will not damage the hot tub in any way. You can put blocks of dry ice in your tub if you feel the need to or if the water from your tap isn’t cold enough for you. Though I highly doubt that.

Adding ice to your tub is a great and fast way to lower the temperature of your tub quickly. If you want to, you should switch off the heater and drop the blocks of ice in the tub. You will notice a drop in the water temperature on the panel display. However, we wouldn’t advise it regularly.

Ice baths are largely suited for athletes who perform strenuous activities so they can recover faster and even they do it under close supervision.

How To Lower the Water Temperature in Your Hot Tub Faster?

There are two main methods to easily lower the water temperature in your hot tub.

Switch To Sleep Mode

For starters, you can switch your hot tub from the standard mode to the economy or sleep mode. If you didn’t know this, then you probably have been raking in high power supply bills for your home.

To do this, simply turn off the heater, leave the cover off and switch the hot tub to sleep mode. The economy or sleep mode helps to save the amount of electricity or energy that your hot tub uses to keep the water at a sizzling temperature for you.

Luckily, this feature can also help to reduce the temperature of your hot tub, though the temperature isn’t just going to drop drastically. It will take a while, usually a day or two.

Related Read: Can You Put Hot Tubs On Grass?

Add Cold Water

You can also add cold water to your hot tub. This method is apt if you are in a hurry or if you can’t wait a day for your hot tub to cool down.

Simply drain the hot tub and fill it with cold water from your tap. The water from your tap will always be colder than the water in your hot tub.

The water from your tap will range between 49 degrees Fahrenheit (9 degrees Celsius) to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius) depending on where you stay and how cold it is there.

So, if you need that cool refreshing bath, adding cold water to your hot tub might just be for you.

Before you submerge yourself in that cold refreshing water, you should add some chemicals and sanitizers to the water. Don’t sweat it. These aren’t chemicals that would harm you.

How Cold Can My Hot Tub Be?

Generally, you should keep the cold water temperature in your hot tub between 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) and 82 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius). This water temperature will feel very pleasant and cold enough for you.

However, it is still not that simple. While this water temperature should be good enough for just about anybody, you still need to consider some factors.

Do I Need to Add Chemicals to a Cold Water Hot Tub?

Yes, you need to add chemicals to your cold water hot tub before submerging yourself in it. The chemicals are required to treat the water in the tub to ensure it is clean, safe for you and also to maintain the tub. Chemicals help to prevent bacteria, germs, and algae from forming and growing in your water.

The germs do not only pose a threat to you but the tub too. A poorly maintained tub will start to show signs of discoloration and corroding after time.

Without treating the water in your tub, the tub is going to become a breeding space for all sorts of germs especially bacteria. If you feel using cold water in your hot tub would kill or get rid of the bacteria, you probably did not pay attention in biology class.

Bacteria can withstand colder temperatures than humans. This means regardless of how cold you set up your cold water hot tub, as long as you can bath and stay in it, the bacteria can withstand the cold too. Therefore, you need to treat the water regularly with chemicals so you don’t have to worry about hot tub-related infections.

The water in your hot tub is different from that in your bathtub. With your bathtub, you drain the water or empty the tub after having your bath but the water in your hot tub is left there for weeks and months in some cases. Luckily, treating cold water hot tub isn’t as lengthy as treating hot water.

What Chemicals Should I Add to My Cold Water Hot Tub?

The chemicals used to treat hot tubs are generally called “spa chemicals.” Basically, with your cold water hot tub, you just have to worry about the cleanliness and maybe the pH level. The question now is what chemicals should you add?

You can add chemicals, but that chemicals can you add to cold water? You can add sanitizers such as bromine or chlorine, and you can add pH increase or decreases.


The sanitizer is hands down the most important chemical to be added to your hot tub. The sanitizer is what keeps the water clean, germ-free, and safe.

Still, you just don’t go out there and get the first sanitizer you see. There are different types of sanitizers to choose from. You can pick “Chlorine” which is the most common due to its pocket-friendly cost and effectiveness in getting rid of germs.

You can also vie for “Bromine”, “Minerals”, “Biguanide” and some people use the “salt-system”. Any of these will do a good job. We wouldn’t dive into the types of sanitizers here. We will discuss that in another article on this website.

Ph Increaser or Decreaser

You have to ensure that the cold water in your hot tub isn’t too acidic. If it is, it can eat away and discolor the working parts of your hot tub.

If you are planning on using your hot tub with cold water for just a brief period, you can bypass the whole process above by getting a water clarifier. A water clarifier will ensure the water is clean and good enough for you to submerge yourself in.

Water clarifiers are however not a substitute for the normal care and cleaning process of your tub. You should only use them for temporary purposes. If you want to buy one, any of the “Leisure time” water clarifiers will be a great choice. You can get them for as low as $15 on Amazon.

Related Read >>> Does a Hot Tub Make Your Tired?

3 Reasons to Use Cold Water in Your Spa

The simple answer is yes, doctors have advised people to add cold baths to their daily routine especially if their daily activity involves a lot of tiring tasks. Cold water is good for you but not every time. After a strenuous activity or a stressful day, you are advised to have a cold bath.

Cold baths are great especially for your blood circulation, they are also very good to reduce soreness. So, yes we recommend using cold water in your hot tub.

The cold water helps to speed up recovery and reduce pains and soreness in the limbs and other parts of the body. This is why athletes take ice-baths after a match, run, or any activity of the sort. Cold water holds a lot of benefits to the human body.

Related Read: Jacuzzi vs Hot Tub

It Improves Blood Circulation

Cold baths help to improve the blood flow in your body. Let’s have a short biology class reckon. As your body gets colder, your heart pumps more oxygenated blood, which keeps your body functional.

The blood is transported through your veins to keep your internal organs warm (remember we are warm-blooded). If you schemed through that short session, then you don’t like biology.

As your body gets colder in simpler terms, more blood is circulated in your body system to keep your body warm.

This serves as a workout session for your internal organs. Are you clear on that now? Cool. Let’s move on.

Cold Baths Reduce Inflammation and Soreness

After a long day walking about, your body might feel sore and weak. A cold water bath will reduce inflammation, soreness, and pain.

Cold Baths Give Energy

Don’t panic, we are not having another class session. It is simple. More blood flow means more energy.

There you go. If there is any part of using your hot tub with cold water that you feel we haven’t discussed, kindly let us know by leaving a comment below.

Related Read >>> Are Inflatable Hot Tub Good in Winter?

Hi, I'm Calvin Hall, the owner of Hot Tub Wiki. I worked at a local Spa Service for a few years before creating this website. I have owned several hot tubs and fixed a thousand of them. So, I know a thing or two about hot tubs.