Hey, y’all! We all know that the chemicals you use to keep your pool or hot tub nice and balanced are an absolute necessity. They help to keep away algae, bad smells, and all sorts of general unpleasantness. But do you know the best conditions to store these chemicals in to ensure they have a long shelf life? If you don’t (of even if you think you do), I compiled some info on the best pool and spa chemical storage practices.
Test strips and spa chemicals are the most sensitive to moisture and extreme temperatures. Keeping them stored in the right location can make a huge difference in their overall effectiveness. Here are some basic guidelines to help you get the most out of your products.
Secure Your Lids
After you’ve used a product, make sure you’re fully tightening all lids and caps before storing. Granules, tablets, powders, and algaecide containers all need to be sealed properly to make sure you’re not creating dangerous gases, exposing them to possible water leaks, all while helping to sustain their shelf life.
Also wash away any spillage with water and clean off the sides of your product to make sure you aren’t getting chemicals unnecessarily (and sometimes dangerously) mixed in together.
Many of your common chemicals, cleaners, and test strips can get damaged or destroyed in extreme weather, hot or cold. In hot weather, test strips can degrade and electronic accessories get damaged to the point that they cease proper function. When cold, bottles can burst and liquids get de-homogenized making them virtually unusable.
If you live somewhere with extreme temperatures and humidity, you should probably keep everything stored indoors where the temperature ranges from 55-70 degrees Fahrenheit.
No matter how you keep your chemicals, make sure they’re in a dry environment out of direct sunlight for maximum chemical longevity. Moisture is one of the leading causes of not only chemical degradation, but avoidable chemical hazards. A number of pool chemicals become a problem when exposed to small amounts of water. According to the EPA, water leaking onto chemicals or being stored on a wet floor has led to the release of toxic gas and can even become a fire hazard. Making sure everything stays dry and off the ground is imperative.
One good option is to keep your chemicals stored in a tightly sealing bin in a high (and dry) location.
There are several options when looking to store your pool chemicals. As I just mentioned, a sealing plastic storage bin is sometimes the best and simplest available choice. It can be stored up high to keep chemicals away from potential water leaks as well as kept out of the reach of children and/or household pets. It also makes it convenient to carry all the chemicals from somewhere safe inside to outdoors so you can balance your pool/spa with ease.
If you're looking to make your life easier, some websites suggest using a clear shoe organizer (the ones with individual slots) placed over a door to both save space and store everything within reach.
A locking cabinet is a great possibility for households with children.
A lot of companies make spa steps, too, that lead up to hot tubs that have hidden compartments where you can store everything. If you don’t live in a temperate climate, however, this may not be your best option.
Here is some additional information to help you take the best care of your products.
Chlorine and test kits are the most sensitive to heat.
If you use muriatic acid to balance your water, make sure you store it separately from your chlorine.
Granule chlorines have a longer shelf life than liquid ones.
Bleach goes bad over time. The higher the concentration, the quicker its strength will deteriorate (i.e. 6% lasts a year, 10% 4-5 months, 12% 2 months).
And just so we cover all our bases, here are some safety reminders to help keep you and your families safe!
Make sure that you’re not cross-contaminating your chemicals. Use different tools/rags/measuring devices for each chemical.
Keep away from pets and children.
Avoid contact with eyes when using pool and spa chemicals.
Wash all spillages with water immediately.
Dispose of empty containers safely and according to the guidelines on the bottle. Most of them shouldn't just get tossed in with the rest of your trash.
Be precise when mixing—many pool chemical-related hazards are caused by improper combinations.
We hope this post helps you take care of all those pool and spa chemicals so that they last as long as possible! Remember to always use them properly and according to their directions.