Liquid Lithium Spa Sanitiser Review (Pros, Cons, Where to Buy) 2024

Got a spa pool and thinking about using lithium sanitiser to keep the water clean, clear and safe? Keep reading to learn more about this product and if it’s right for you.

Liquid Lithium Spa Sanitiser

Spa pools are the ultimate relaxation retreat, offering a therapeutic and indulgent experience. However, to ensure a safe and healthy environment, proper water care is essential. That’s where sanitisers come in.

While numerous sanitising options are available, one technology that has gained significant attention is lithium sanitiser. Known for its effectiveness, ease of use, and minimal maintenance requirements, lithium sanitiser has emerged as a popular choice among spa owners.

In this article, we review lithium sanitiser and explain what it is, how to use it, its cost, pros and cons and more, to help you decide if it’s a good option for you.

What is lithium spa sanitiser?

In the past, lithium was a available in Australia as a spa sanitiser in granular form. From about 2018 onwards, granular lithium became scarce due to the demand for raw lithium in the production of batteries for electric vehicles and electronic devices. Recently, an Australian company - Bond Chemicals has launched a new form of lithium sanitiser in liquid form. Liquid Lithium is formed with only two ingredients - lithium and water.

This product has a number of advantages, firstly it is very pure with no other ingredients or additives other than lithium and water. It is very easy and effective to use a sanitiser and it works extremely well in the warm water found in spa pools and swim spas.

Read on to learn more about how lithium spa sanitiser works.

How does lithium spa sanitiser work?

Lithium spa sanitiser works as a disinfectant to kill bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms present in the water. Here's how lithium sanitiser works:

Hypochlorite Formation: Lithium sanitiser contains lithium hypochlorite as its active ingredient. When added to water, lithium hypochlorite dissociates, releasing hypochlorite ions (OCl-) and lithium ions (Li+).

Disinfection Reaction: Hypochlorite ions (OCl-) are the active agents responsible for the disinfection process. They react with organic and microbial contaminants in the water, including bacteria, viruses, algae, and other microorganisms.

Oxidation: The hypochlorite ions function as strong oxidizing agents. They break down the cellular structures of microorganisms by oxidizing proteins and enzymes essential for their survival and reproduction.

Breakdown of bacteria and micro-organisms: The oxidizing action of hypochlorite ions damages the cell membranes of microorganisms. This disrupts their ability to control osmotic balance, leading to the leakage of essential cellular components. The hypochlorite ions also damage the genetic material (DNA and RNA) of bacteria and microorganisms. This interferes with their ability to replicate and carry out vital cellular processes.

This disinfection process reduces the microbial load in the water, making it safe for recreational use.

Chlorine Residual: After the disinfection process, some residual hypochlorite ions remain in the water. This residual chlorine serves as a secondary safeguard against the growth of new microorganisms that may be introduced into the water over time.

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clear water in a Jacuzzi spa pool

What are the pros of Liquid Lithium Sanitiser?

1. Powerful and Effective Sanitisation: Lithium sanitiser comes in a concentrated form that is highly effective in killing harmful bacteria. Lithium sanitiser effectively kills most contaminants in spa pools and ensures a safe and hygienic environment for spa users, reducing the risk of infections or skin irritations.

2. Long-lasting Sanitising: The unique composition of lithium sanitiser allows for a slow release of sanitising agents, providing extended protection against bacteria and contaminants. This characteristic ensures that spa pools remain clean and sanitised for an extended period, reducing the need for frequent sanitising.

3. Reduced Maintenance: Compared to other sanitising methods, lithium sanitiser requires less maintenance. Its slow-release formula reduces the frequency of sanitiser application and minimises the need for constant monitoring, allowing spa owners to spend less time on maintenance tasks. In addition, the pH of lithium sanitiser is more stable, reducing the need for monitoring and adjusting water balance.

4. Reduced corrosion on spa components: Lithium sanitiser is less corrosive compared to other sanitising options like chlorine or bromine. Its composition and slow-release properties help maintain a balanced pH level in the water, which can prevent excessive acidity or alkalinity that often contributes to corrosion. By minimizing the risk of corrosion, spa owners can enjoy longer-lasting spa components, reducing the need for frequent repairs or replacements.

5. Improved water clarity: Lithium sanitisers come in a concentrated solution ensuring maximum effectiveness in eliminating contaminants and bacteria in spa pools. Because there are minimal fillers or other products added, lithium sanitiser helps maintain water clarity, as fillers in other products can cause cloudiness or residue.

The absence of fillers has a positive flow-on effect on spa equipment maintenance. By reducing the total dissolved solids (TDS) in the spa water, spa owners will experience less buildup of material in the plumbing system which can potentially harm filtration and circulation.

6. Less Harsh on Swimmers: The disinfection process of lithium sanitiser, particularly when compared to some stronger chlorine alternatives, can result in a sanitising effect that is less aggressive on the skin and mucous membranes of swimmers. This can lead to a more comfortable swimming experience without the sensation of dry or irritated skin.

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What are the cons of Lithium Sanitiser?

1. Cost: Lithium sanitiser is generally more expensive than traditional chlorine or bromine sanitisers. However, considering its long-lasting nature and reduced maintenance requirements, the overall cost may balance out in the long run.

2. Limited Availability: Depending on the region, lithium sanitiser may not be as widely available as other sanitising options. Since around 2018, much of the world’s production of lithium has been diverted into lithium-ion batteries for smartphones, laptop computers and electric vehicles.

This can make it challenging for spa owners to acquire the product locally, potentially requiring them to order it online or through specialty stores. In Australia, Lithium has not been readily available as a sanitiser for some years, however recently it has become available again as the ‘Liquid Lithium’ product.

3. Hazardous for shipping and storing: A drawback of using lithium sanitiser is its classification as a hazardous material for shipping, which can pose challenges and restrictions during transportation. Strict packaging and labelling requirements must be met, leading to additional costs and procedures to comply with safety regulations.

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Is lithium spa sanitiser gentle on the skin?

Lithium-based sanitisers, particularly lithium hypochlorite, are often touted as being gentler on the skin compared to other chlorine-based sanitisers. The following sections explain why this is the case;

1. Reduced Skin and Eye Irritation: Individuals with sensitive skin or those prone to skin issues may find lithium sanitiser to be a more suitable option. The reduced likelihood of skin irritation and the reduced chlorine odour can make the swimming experience more enjoyable for individuals with specific skin sensitivities.

2. pH Stability: Lithium sanitiser often has a higher pH than other forms of chlorine, such as trichlor or dichlor. This higher pH can contribute to water that is less likely to be aggressive on the skin and less likely to cause pH-related imbalances in the body's natural acid-base equilibrium.

3. Minimized Chloramine Formation: Chloramines, formed when chlorine reacts with organic and nitrogenous compounds in water, can contribute to skin and eye irritation. Lithium hypochlorite tends to produce fewer chloramines, leading to a lower likelihood of these compounds causing discomfort.

Do I still need to balance my water with lithium?

Yes, you still need to measure and balance your spa water pH and alkalinity. Some customers find it easier to manage water balance with liquid lithium than with other sanitiser products such as chlorine. This is because there are fewer additives in liquid lithium that can impact water balance.

In general, lithium hypochlorite sanitisers tend to have a relatively high pH compared to other chlorine-based sanitising products, this means your water is not in danger of becoming too acidic.

The pH of a typical lithium hypochlorite sanitiser solution can range from around 10 to 12. This higher pH indicates that the solution is more alkaline or basic.

Maintaining the proper pH level in your spa or pool is essential for both effective sanitisation and user comfort. A pH level that is too high or too low can impact the effectiveness of the sanitiser and potentially lead to skin and eye irritation, equipment damage, and other water chemistry issues.

Is there a residue left in the spa after using lithium sanitiser?

Lithium-based sanitisers, like lithium hypochlorite, are added to spa water to disinfect and sanitise. When these compounds react with contaminants in the water, they undergo chemical reactions that break down their molecular structure. In the case of lithium hypochlorite, the hypochlorite ions are the active sanitizing agents.

During this disinfection process, the hypochlorite ions react with contaminants, and in doing so, they break down. This means that they are consumed as they react with the substances they are intended to disinfect.

In essence, the active hypochlorite ions are not expected to stick around after they have finished dealing with bacteria and microorganisms in your spa water!

When using a properly dosed and maintained lithium-based sanitiser, there should not be a significant residue of lithium left in the spa water.

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Where can I buy liquid lithium spa sanitiser in Australia?

The only lithium spa sanitiser available in Australia is ‘Liquid Lithium’ It is available to purchase from the Spa World online store. (It is not stocked in Spa World showrooms)

It is also available in various pool supply stores around Australia.

How much does liquid lithium spa sanitiser cost?

Liquid Lithium is available from Spa World in 500ml, 1 litre and 5 litre containers.

The prices at the time of writing were: 500ml $28.95 1 Litre $44.95 5 Litre $137.99

These prices do not include shipping. Please check latest prices on the Spa World website.

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Lithium spa sanitiser in summary

We’ve discussed lithium as a suitable sanitiser for spa pools and swim spas. Here’s a summary of the benefits of lithium spa sanitiser.

  • Effectively eliminates bacteria and microorganisms.
  • High concentration of active ingredients and no fillers, resulting in improved water quality
  • Long-lasting in warm spa water
  • Gentle on skin - Minimizes chemical-related discomfort for sensitive individuals.
  • Higher pH contributes to balanced water and skin-friendliness.
  • Produces fewer chloramines, decreasing skin and eye irritation.
  • Enhances equipment performance, reducing maintenance needs.

Although lithium costs more than other sanitisers, its long-lasting nature and effectiveness mean it may end up costing less in the long run.

Want to experience the difference for yourself? Try Liquid Lithium Sanitiser and see the results in your own spa!

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