Can you put essential oils in a spa? (What to use instead)

Thinking of using essential oils in your spa? In this article, we'll discuss why you should never add essential oils to your spa water and what aromatherapy products you can use instead.

Unwinding in your spa is one of the most relaxing and refreshing things to do at the end of a long day. You can help wash away headaches, pains and the stresses of life with hydrotherapy treatment.

Another way to make your spa even more relaxing and appealing to your sense of smell is with the use of aromatherapy.

In this article we'll discuss the right and wrong types of aromatherapy products to use in your spa.

The main topics of this article are the following:

Can I put essential oils in my spa pool or swim spa?

No. Essential oils cannot be used in your spa pool or hot tub. Any product that is based on a plant oil extract (like lavender oil, eucalyptus oil and many others) should not be added to your spa or hot tub water. Many essential oil products also have a 'carrier oil' in them which can create havoc with the water quality in your spa!

These types of products may be OK to use in a bath where you empty the water straight after each use, but the oils that act as the base for most essential oils can clog your filtration system and plumbing within your spa pool and will be a real pain to clean out.

If you do wish to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy in your spa pool or hot tub, you should use a dedicated aromatherapy product that is not oil based. These dedicated spa aromatherapy products are designed to be used in spa pools, swim spas and hot tubs and will not negatively impact the quality of your water.

What can I put in my spa to make it smell better?

Since you can't use standard essential oils in your spa, there is a right way to help enhance the aroma in your spa and that is with dedicated hot tub aromatherapy products.

These specially formulated products come in the form of aromatherapy crystals, liquid and beads and will not upset the quality of water in your spa, while still appealing to your sense of smell to improve your relaxation!

What Type of Aromatherapy Products Are Safe to Use in my spa or swim spa?

You should only use dedicated hot tub or spa aromatherapy products that are designed to be used in spa pools or hot tubs. The best range of spa aromatherapy products are from Spazazz. They have been carefully formulated without an oil base so as not to clog your filtration system, create scum and oily residue

Back to top

Can you put lavender oil in a spa pool or swim spa?

No. Lavender oil and lavender plant extracts are not suitable for adding into a spa or hot tub. Lavender essential oil has a carrier oil which will clog your filtration system, create scum and contribute to excessive foam in your spa water.

Should I put the same amount of essential oils into my bathwater as I would put into my Spa Pool or Hot Tub?

No. You cannot use essential oils at all in a spa pool, swim spa, or Jacuzzi hot tub. Essential oils that are suitable for bathwater cannot be added to spa pools, swim spas or hot tubs.

What are the benefits of Aromatherapy in the spa or Hot Tub?

Relaxing in your spa has many health benefits - including the treatment of aches and pains with hydrotherapy. In addition, using the appropriate aromatherapy product in the hot tub can have significant other benefits to your wellbeing. The following is a short list of aromatherapy fragrances and the benefits that you may experience.

Back to top

Lavender fragrance is known to be calming

According to National Library of Medicine, the lavender flower has been used for many years by many cultures as a source of calm, relaxation and an aid for sleep. Studies have shown that the fragrance of lavender can have a calming benefit.

Eucalyptus extracts help clear the sinuses

Eucalyptus oil helps clear the sinuses and battle bacteria as well as providing pain relief for aching joints. Source:

Lime extracts contribute to stress relief

Studies have shown that Lime can contribute to stress relief and the anti-viral properties can also assist with boosting the immune system against colds and flu.

Source: and

Grapefruit can assist with weight loss

Fragrance of grapefruit can assist with weight loss


Other citrus fragrances may also offer various benefits.

How to Avoid Clogging Your spa Filter with Aromatherapy

Only use dedicated spa aromatherapy products that are not oil based.

What happens if I put essential oils in my spa pool or hot tub?

You should never add essential oils to your spa or hot tub. What might be intended to improve your relaxing experience, can in fact do the exact opposite!

Essential oils can clog up your filtration system and cause blockages in your spa pipes and pumps. The oils that form the base for aromatic oils are not soluble in water and so will form a slimy residue on top of your water, a buildup of scum around the edge of your spa shell and can cause excessive foam in your water when you turn your jets on.

If you do want to still enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy while relaxing in your spa, you can use a diffuser placed near the spa.

In addition, some oils may react with chlorine sanitiser or other chemicals in your spa pool, upsetting your water balance and making it harder to keep your water clean and clear.

Back to top

How do you remove oil from a spa?

If you have 'accidentally' added essential oils to your spa water, you will need to follow these steps;

  1. Remove your filters
  2. Run a pipe cleaner / degreaser product through your spa plumbing
  3. Completely drain your spa
  4. While your spa is empty, wipe it down thoroughly with a cleaning cloth and spa cleaning product like BioGuard Squeaky Clean to remove all traces of oil residue
  5. Soak your filters in an approved filter cleaning solution and then rinse your filters thoroughly to remove all oil and scum residue
  6. Refill your spa with fresh water
  7. Re-balance and sanitiser your spa water

Click the button below to learn how to correctly drain and refill your spa.

Are there any side effects from using essential oils in a spa pool?

Aside from the problems with your water quality as we explained previously, some people may experience side effects from the use of pure essential oils related to the direct application of a plant into your skin.

Pure essential oils or non-diluted essential oils can be very strong and if directly applied can cause irritation, sensitivity and stinging on skin.

If you experience any adverse reaction from "swimming" in an essential oil pool make sure you rinse and cleanse your body thoroughly with fresh water.

Back to top

Need help choosing the right product for your spa?

Talk to us on or email us your spa questions and we'll be happy to help!

Five Star Trust Pilot Rating

We are proud that Spa World customers have given us a Five Star Trustpilot rating.