Homeowners think of their spas as therapeutic, and the last thing they want to do is soak in a tub full of chemicals.

Retailers have picked up on this and started actively promoting “green” alternatives for sanitizing hot tub water. In the past nine months, our stores have focused on a completely green line of water-care products.

In keeping with our eco-friendly approach, we chose the SeaKlear Spa water-treatment line.

What it is

The line includes brominating tablets, a natural clarifier, chlorine-free shock, self-floccing defoamer, a filter cleaner and degreaser, a stain and scale control product, and a spa particle removal system. We carry the full line, and retail prices range from $10.95 to $45.95.

We selected this line for four reasons:

  • It’s made in the same state, so we’re reducing our carbon footprint by decreasing the transportation required to get the product, not to mention freight savings.
  • A best seller in the line, SeaKlear Spa Natural Clarifier, is made from recycled crab and shrimp shells, which would have otherwise been dumped into the sound or ocean.
  • The bottles are recyclable, and we give customers a dollar back for each.
  • The products are made in the United States, so we don’t have safety issues like our big-box competitors. We’re hearing that their chemicals have ingredients from other countries where quality control may be lacking, resulting in products that cause skin irritations and other problems.

Why she likes it

The products are easy to use, and the manufacturer has a toll-free number on the bottles with someone at the phones 24/7.

Also, the company’s rep, Terry Arko, has been phenomenal. A lot of manufacturers don’t bother having reps, so we appreciate the help he provides.

How she sells it

We keep seven display spas in each of our stores full of hot water that’s treated with green products, including a water-softening agent. We encourage people to test out the spas so they know exactly what they’ll be purchasing.

We don’t put lots of spa-care products on the shelves. There’s a fine line between having enough on display and having so much that when people come in to buy a new spa they think, “Yikes, this will be a lot of work!” We don’t have as much out as some retailers might. And as a result, we restock frequently.

We feature the spa water-care products in our customer newsletter and in an e-store, not in newspapers. That’s for advertising other things, such as hot tubs.

Our sales come from spas, saunas, accessories, service, and the water-care and quality products. Water-care items comprise 7- to 10 percent of overall sales.