How do I stop my hot tub from foaming? Tips from professionals
Typically, adding anti-foam agents or clarifiers help remove the foam from your hot tub water. But this is a temporary solution, not a permanent fix. For instance, anti-foam blocks the foaming process. But it does not remove the substances in the hot tub water that causes foaming.
How do I stop my hot tub from foaming:
You can temporarily stop foaming in your hot tub with anti-foam blocks. To permanently fix excessive foaming, you need to identify and avoid reasons for foaming. Generally, the reason for foaming in your hot tub is the presence of detergents, fabric softeners, or similar substances. They get in the tub water from swimwear or other clothes. The presence of body lotion, hair shampoo, dead skin tissue, drink spills, or other organic residues in the hot tub water may also cause foaming.
In this blog post, I will further explain how you can stop your hot tub from foaming. And show you a five-point rule set to tackle excessive foaming in the hot tub.
- 1 How do I stop my hot tub from foaming
- 2 What causes excessive foam in a hot tub?
- 3 – What does it mean when your hot tub is foamy?
- 4 – How do you get rid of foam in a hot tub naturally?
- 5 – Does high pH cause hot tub foam?
- 6 – What causes yellow foam in a hot tub?
- 7 – Why is my hot tub green and foamy?
How do I stop my hot tub from foaming
If your hot tub experiences excessive foaming, you can use an anti-foam block to stop it. But you should see this only as a temporary fix. To really fix the foam issue, you should find and remove the real reason. For this, you can use the following five rules:
– Rule 1: Quick showers before hot tub soaking
Ask bathers to take a quick shower before soaking in the hot tub. Do not use soaps or body lotions before getting into the hot tub. Wash off any body cream or soap residue on their body before they soak.
I also recommend taking a shower wearing their swimsuit to wash off any detergent residue. Apart from avoiding foaming from soap residue, this practice would also keep the hot tub water hygienic.
– Rule 2: hot tub only swimsuits
To avoid foaming from detergent residue from the clothes, ensure that you do not get into the hot tub with too many clothes on. It does not mean you should insist on a 'go nude' policy. Bathers may use swimsuits, but ask them to ensure that it is rinsed well in clean water to wash off any detergent residue from it.
It is also effective to keep a pair of swimsuits only for hot tub use. This pair should only be rinsed thoroughly in clean water instead of washing with soap. This will avoid the foaming issue to a great extent.
– Rule 3: No debris policy
Apart from quick showering and clean clothing, general hygiene would include avoiding foodstuff inside the hot tub. Despite the water getting filtered, foodstuff or drinks spilled in the hot tub water can leave oil and other organic residues in the water, eventually leading to foaming. So it is better to discourage eating and drinking inside the hot tub. No debris rule also applies to other foreign substances like dirt and leaves in the case of outdoor hot tubs.
– Rule 4: Test and balance hot tub water regularly
To keep your hot tub water in optimal condition, it is essential to ensure that the sanitizer level in the hot tub water is adequate at all times. Check your hot tub water regularly using a pH level kit. Keep it between 7.2 to 7.8. If the hot tub water has low or high pH levels, it may lead to foaming and other issues.
If you plan to hold a hot tub party, you need to check and increase the daily sanitizer dose. Toss in a capful of sanitizer per bather after the party. It will maintain adequate sanitizer levels in the hot tub water. If you mess up sanitizer levels in the hot tub, it could also lead to foaming.
– Rule 5: Clean the hot tub filters regularly
Hot tub filters may not directly help you avoid the foaming issue due to detergents. But filthy filters can aggravate the issue.
For instance, when the filters are not cleaned regularly, they become less effective in keeping the water clean. It would lead to other serious reasons for foaming, like algal or bacterial growth. So ensure to clean your filters regularly by hosing them down. Deep clean them once a week by submerging them in a water and white vinegar solution to remove residues from the filter pleats.
Cleaning filters is a must, especially after adding clarifiers to hot tub water to fight the foaming issue. Clarifier helps to clump organic residue in the water, which eventually gets trapped in the filter.
What causes excessive foam in a hot tub?
Excessive foam in the hot tub water is generally due to high amounts of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in the hot tub water. TDS in the hot tub water functions as surfactants and traps atmospheric air to make bubbly foam. Surfactant presence declines when the tub water is properly balanced and sanitized.
When there is a heavy bather load and an absence of an adequate amount of sanitizer in the tub water, it leads to more surfactants and foaming. So to stop your tub water from foaming, you need to toss in your sanitizer dose daily. Double it when there is a heavy bather load, like a hot tub party.
Detergent or soap residue in the hot tub water is the primary culprit behind excessive foaming. It may come primarily through clothes and swimsuits used by hot tub users. In some cases, traces of mild detergents used for cleaning the hot tub shell during a drain and refill may also lead to suds even just after refilling.
Other factors which lead to excessive foaming are body lotions or creams used by bathers that get dissolved into the tub water.
Nature of the foaming issue
Should you worry?
White bubbly foam (dissipates after jet stop running)
Nothing to worry
This is a normal situation but check water softness.
Wait for a bit, the foam will clear on its own.
If the water is too soft, add some calcium.
Floating White froth
Mild issue with water quality
Soap, detergent, shampoo, etc in the tub water
Skim off the foam and remove some surface water.
Use anti-foam and clarifier agents or use a water bobble like Zorbie.
Yellow or green tinted water
Mild issue with water quality
Presence of high traces of metals like iron, copper or magnesium
Change your water source after testing the water to ensure metal presence
Use a sequestrating agent like Metal gon to bring down the metal presence in the water
Serious issue with water quality
Algal growth in the hot tub water
Drain and refill after thoroughly cleaning the hot tub
Add enough oxidiser. Shock the hot tub water well. Maintain adequate sanitizer level in the water
Brown foam with slimy gunk
Very serious issue with water quality
Bacterial biofilms in the hot tub water and the pipework
Drain and refill after a deep purge
Use a powerful jet cleaner like Ahh-some to deep clean the hot tub. Refill new water.
– What does it mean when your hot tub is foamy?
Usually, hot tubs may have minimal bubbly foam on top of the tub water when the jets are running. There is nothing to worry about as it will disappear after a while. However, excessive foaming indicates poor water quality or the presence of contaminants in the hot tub water.
In some cases, the foaming can be due to very soft water with low calcium levels. If you find foam in your hot tub, check to see if calcium levels in the hot tub water are adequate. Optimal calcium levels are necessary to prevent the formation of bubbles.
– How do you get rid of foam in a hot tub naturally?
The natural way of getting rid of the hot tub foaming is to ensure that detergents or soapy substances do not get into the tub water. But even with the proper precautions, it can still happen.
To naturally remove the foaming issue of your hot tub issue, you need to skim off the foam from the water surface along with some surface water. Skimming it off with a skimmer or a bucket would be effective if the detergent residue is the culprit. You would notice that the foaming subsides in a while.
However, if the foaming is due to other factors like algae or gunk in the plumbing, skimming off the surface water will not solve the issue. It will keep producing more foam as the jets run. In this case, you may try draining and refilling. But if the nasties inside the hot tub plumbing are causing the issue, you need to depend on chemicals as there is no natural way to deep clean.
– Does high pH cause hot tub foam?
Generally, hot tub water with poor chemical balance will lead to foaming. When the hot tub water has a high pH level, it is difficult for the sanitizer to stay in the water. Test your water and treat it accordingly. Keep the pH value between 7.2 to 7.6. Having a high pH level in the water will also lead to calcium build-up, making the water appear cloudy.
– What causes yellow foam in a hot tub?
Generally, biofilm residue from the bacterial colonies inside the hot tub plumbing can lead to the hot tub water getting yellow foam. But there can also be several other factors that may lead to your hot tub water turning into a yellow, foamy mess.
A common cause for yellow foam or yellowish hot tub water in hot tubs with a bromine system is the high bromine residue or high metal content in the water. Low pH levels in the hot tub water may also result in yellow foam. In both these cases, if you properly balance the pH and Total Alkalinity in the tub water, the yellow coloration will disappear.
In some cases, a poorly maintained outdoor hot tub may develop yellow foam due to debris from surrounding vegetation trapped and decomposing in the hot tub. Undetected mold or mildew growth on the hot tub cover may also cause yellow floaters in the hot tub water.
– Why is my hot tub green and foamy?
The usual reason for green foamy hot tub water is algal growth. If it is not slimy but just green, it may be due to the presence of metals like copper or magnesium. Algae grow in your hot tub water if you are not adding enough sanitizer and keeping the water balanced.
If you leave your hot tub unattended for an extended period, it may lead to algal growth in the hot tub water. If this happens, you may find the water cloudy and green. It will develop stinky foam when you run the jets. It will sometimes lead to slimy residue on the shell and waterline. To avoid this, add enough sanitizer to the hot tub water.