Your hot tub is not a bathtub. While the dirty water drains out after a bath, your hot tub retains the same water until you drain and refill it. Antimicrobial filters and chemicals in the water keep most bacteria at bay, but they aren’t flawless measures, and dirt can build up in your hot tub with time. If your hot tub has sat unused for a while, has been used more frequently lately, or has constantly cloudy water, it’s time for a thorough hot tub cleaning.

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Cleaning and Sanitizing Your Hot Tub

You should clean your hot tub at least four times a year. Basic cleaning to remove residue on the shell or cloudiness in the water is simple enough you can easily do it yourself with the proper tools. However, an in-depth cleaning session is best handled by a professional. If you choose to perform the basic maintenance on your own, here’s what you can expect to be doing: 

  1. Flush the lines
  2. Drain the tub
  3. Clean and/or replace the filter
  4. Scrub the shell 
  5. Refill the tub

1) Flush the Lines

Biofilm, bacteria that bind to dirt in your hot tub water, form a revolting film on the inside of your hot tub and pipes. If you don’t properly flush your hot tub lines with specially formulated cleaner, you run the risk of allowing the bacteria to continue thriving and potentially make you sick. Water alone can’t wash the film off. Before you drain your hot tub, add the sanitizing agent and allow it to circulate through the pipes for at least 20-30 minutes. Your hot tub may begin to smell as the biofilm is dissolved. Once enough time has passed, you’re ready for the next step.

2) Drain the Tub

Cut off all electricity to the hot tub, attach a hose to the drain, and wait for the water to drain out. Alternatively, connect a sump pump to drain the water much faster, and empty the water down a sewer drain. Don’t use the spare water for your plants unless you’re sure they can withstand the chlorine and cleaning solutions in the water.

Pro Tip: Never dump your spa water down a storm drain, since they lead directly to untreated bodies of water and the chemicals can harm wildlife. Drain the water down the sewer so it can be treated properly.

3) Clean and/or Replace the Filter

Your spa’s water filter may just need a quick cleaning, or it may be so filthy that it’s simpler to just buy a new one. For a deep clean if you’re keeping the filter, soak it in a mixture of water and filter cleaning product for 24 hours. Bacteria can build up on the filter too–don’t neglect it in a spa cleaning.

4) Scrub the Shell

Depending on how dirty your spa is, you can scrub the hot tub shell with a specialized hot tub cleaner or a mild wash such as vinegar. Scrub the shell with a soft cloth until all the residue is gone. Once you’re done, rinse the shell thoroughly and drain all the rinse water to remove any last remnants of the grime. If your filter is clean or replaced by this point, you’re ready to refill the tub!

5) Refill the Tub

Once your spa is thoroughly cleaned and ready to be used again, refill the tub. Connect your hose to the filter compartment and let the spa fill to the appropriate level. Turn your spa pumps back on, add any chemicals you need, and test the water for the appropriate pH balance. Let your hot tub circulate with its fresh water and chemicals for about 24 hours before using it again.

Enjoy Your Clean Spa!

Your hot tub is an amazing place to relax, but without the proper care, it can also provide a place for bacteria to grow and make you sick. Reclaim your relaxation time with a thorough sanitizing session several times a year and keep yourself safe.

Connect with us to learn more about keeping your hot tub clean and comfortable.