How to clean my hot tub? Tips from professionals
Hot tubs can provide an environment for bacteria to grow. A biofilm can build up in the tub that can result in lower water quality. To prevent this, you need to clean your hot tub regularly, even when it is filled with water. Once in four months, you need to drain and clean the hot tub. In case of heavy bather load, ensure to clean the tub interior at least once a week. It is better to rub down the tub interior before you treat the water to avoid the dirt removed by wiping down the shell, disturbing the water sanitation.
How to clean my hot tub:
To clean a hot tub with water, use a soft brush or some cloth. Do not use any cleaning agents, so the pH balance is not disturbed. With regular use, you have to empty your hot tub every three to four months. Before draining, use a flush clean agent to clean the pipes. When drained, use a suitable cleaning agent. Weekly check and clean the filters when needed.
This blog post will explain how to clean your hot tub, both when it is filled with water and when it is drained. It will also show how to clean the hot tub filter, shell, and pipes. And I included a handy table with a hot tub cleaning schedule.
- 1 How to clean your hot tub
- 1.1 – Cleaning a Hot Tub filled with water
- 1.2 – Cleaning a hot tub after draining it
- 1.3 – Regularly clean hot tub filters
- 1.4 – Deep clean your hot tub filter
- 1.5 – Clean the hot tub pipes
- 1.6 – Clean the shell of your hot tub
- 1.7 – Clean the hot tub cover and the cabinet
- 1.8 – Hot tub cleaning schedule
- 2 What can I use to clean my hot tub?
- 3 What is the best cleaner for hot tubs?
- 4 How do you deep clean a hot tub?
- 5 Is it OK to use baking soda in a hot tub?
- 6 Can you use bleach to clean a hot tub?
- 7 Can you clean and reuse hot tub filters?
- 8 Can you pressure wash the inside of a hot tub?
How to clean your hot tub
Cleaning a hot tub has to be done both when it is filled with water and when you have drained it every 3 to 4 months.
– Cleaning a Hot Tub filled with water
When you clean the tub filled with water, do not use a cleaning agent. Using one will unsettle the pH balance of the water when it is mixed in the water. Using detergents or other cleaning agents to clean a tub filled with water may even lead to tub users experiencing irritation to their skin later.
To clean your hot tub, first, scrub down the interior of the tub and the seats. You may use a brush with soft bristles to do this. Do not use a hard brush which may result in scratch marks on the shell. Mostly, the hot tub filters will take care of the dirt removed by the brush. But in case you notice any debris after cleaning, use a skimmer to remove them.
You may take out the filters to spray-clean them. Also, use a flexible brush to clean the pipework after removing the filters to the extent possible. Wipe the headrest and control panel with a disinfectant to keep them clean.
After the cleaning, treat the water as usual to kill the bacteria dislodged into the water. This way, you maintain the correct pH level of the water.
– Cleaning a hot tub after draining it
You need to drain and clean your spa once in three to four months. The exact cycle depends on how often you use it. You may decide on when to drain and clean your hot spa based on water quality also. If the water turns out cloudy and stinking despite regular maintenance, you may need to drain, clean, and refill your hot tub.
Before draining, add a flush clean agent to the water to deep-clean the pipework of the hot tub. After the nasties come out, you can drain the water. Then use a mild detergent or cleaning agent to wipe down the shell and other parts of the shell. Make sure that the scum which was purged does not get dried and stuck on the shell. Use a non-abrasive soft rug to wipe down the shell after draining the spa.
To clean your hot tub, use cleaning agents like vinegar, MILD detergent, and line flush chemicals to ensure that the hot tub parts are free from bacteria, algae, stains, and dirt buildup over some time.
Different parts of a hot tub need separate cleaning regimes. The frequency of cleaning cycles depends on the frequency of hot tub use and bather load. Filters of your hot tub need to be cleaned more often than the pipework inside the tub. See the cleaning schedule further on the post for this.
– Regularly clean hot tub filters
Filters are the most frequently cleaned hot tub components. Depending on the quality of water and the frequency of hot tub use, you need to clean filters at least weekly.
If you are a heavy user of your hot tub with daily soaking, you need to clean filters at least once in two days. Filters help trap particles and other debris which get into the hot tub water.
If more people soak more frequently, the hot tub filters are working overtime to keep the water clean. It calls for frequent cleaning of filters. If you don't clean the filters regularly, it may lead to clogging, rapid decline in water quality, and additional strain on the pumps.
– Deep clean your hot tub filter
To clean hot tub filters, you need to detach them from the hot tub and spray water with a garden hose. At least once a month, deep clean the filters. To do this, you need to submerge them overnight in a solution of white vinegar or any filter degreaser like Leisure Time Filter Cleaner.
Spray the filter pleats thoroughly with a garden hose before placing them back into the hot tub. If the filter pleats are not thoroughly cleaned before fitting them back, it may lead to suds in the hot tub water.
– Clean the hot tub pipes
Hot tubs have an elaborate set up of pipework underneath their shell. This also needs to be cleaned thoroughly. The easiest is to do this before you drain the tub once in 3 or 4 months. I also recommend doing this when a hot tub is left unattended for an extended time. To clean the pipework, you need to use a line flush chemical agent like Ahh-Some. It will purge the bacterial biofilm colonies inside the pipework thoroughly.
You need to add the line flush agent to the hot tub water. Let the jets run for 30 minutes. Keep the water circulating overnight. During this time, the line flush agent will purge the biofilm colonies and other nasties in the pipework into the tub water in the form of brown scum. Ensure to remove it from the hot tub completely. Then drain the tub to get rid of the bad water. Never use the hot tub with the line flush agent present.
– Clean the shell of your hot tub
The shell of your hot tub needs to be cleaned regularly. Oils, sunscreen, lotions, shampoo residuals, and the calcium hardness in the water can lead to slimy buildup on the tub shell if not cleaned regularly. This dirt can easily reach the water when you use your tub.
I recommend you use a non-abrasive soft rug or magic eraser to wipe down the tub shell.
You may use a mild soap solution or a diluted vinegar solution to remove the dirt buildup on the shell wall. Wiping down the shell after a purge is important to ensure that the biofilm does not stick to the shell, contaminating the water again. Similarly, rinse the shell thoroughly to remove any soap or cleaner residue before filling the tub.
– Clean the hot tub cover and the cabinet
To keep the hot tub healthy and running, ensure to clean the tub cover periodically. Use an anti-mold spray or a solution of vinegar onto the cover to clean it. You need to pull out the core foam of the cover to clean any mildew growth due to the trapped moisture.
Use mild soap solution to spray the cabinet surface of the hot spa. Hot tub cabinets may show stains and residue buildup after months of hot tub use. Wiping down after spraying the soap solution will remove stains and residue. Do not use abrasive chemicals or solvents which can impact the cabinet surface.
– Hot tub cleaning schedule
The following table shows the recommended schedule for cleaning different parts of your hot tub:
Daily or after each use
Check pH level and sanitizer levels. Use a skimmer to remove any floating debris like cloth fibers or dry leaves
Take out and clean the filters by spraying with a garden hose.
Remove any tide lines or dust buildup using a damp cloth.
Shock tub water
Wipe down with mild disinfectant
4 to 6 months
Use a line flush agent like Ahh-some top deep clean the pipework of the tub before draining the spa
Wipe down the tub shell with mild detergent using a soft rug
Rub down seats and other parts of the tub interior
What can I use to clean my hot tub?
A commonly used domestic cleaner for hot tubs is white vinegar. It is useful as a descaling agent and as a solution to deep clean filters. You can also use specific tub cleaning products sold by hot tub manufacturers. But often, the basic ingredients of these fancy hot tub chemicals are available at a lower price.
Hot tub owners also use bleach to clean the hot tubs and keep the sanitizer levels in the hot tub water. You can use detergents to remove the stains on the shells. If you have calcium buildup or water spots showing in the shell of your hot tub, use a mixture of 1 part vinegar to two parts warm water to remove it.
What is the best cleaner for hot tubs?
For purging the biofilms out of a hot tub during your drain-refill cycle, there are several options. Ahh-some is a very effective line flush cleaner. It is also effective in purging hot tubs which were left unused for some time. There are other similar products like SpaGuard System Flush. But I think Ahh-some is very effective in deep cleaning to get rid of the nasties inside the tubes of the hot tub.
For other cleaning and descaling the tub shell, vinegar is very effective. The cleansing efficiency of the vinegar would depend on the concentration it has. A vinegar solution is recommended for deep cleaning hot tub filters as well. A sodium triphosphate solution also can be used for this purpose.
How do you deep clean a hot tub?
Shock is effective in eliminating germs in the hot tub water. But it will not deep clean the tubes of the hot tub. The tubes of the hot tub are the areas where the bacteria in the tub water create biofilms that are difficult to reach and clean. Shock is generally not powerful enough to get these biofilms off the inner tubes of the hot tub.
A line flush like Ahh-some is much more effective in eliminating these biofilms. Mix Ahh-some to the hot tub water and let the hot tub run overnight. The line flush will go through the tub tubes and clear off the biofilm colonies from inside. Drain the water after using it, and clean the whole hot tub thoroughly.
You would find it in the form of brown gunk on the waterline. Ensure to remove this gunk from your tub if it sticks to the shell after draining the water. Use a non-abrasive wipe to remove any gunk remnants from the tub shell.
Is it OK to use baking soda in a hot tub?
It is safe to use baking soda in a hot tub. Baking soda can be used in hot tubs as an alkalinity adjuster for hot tub water. It is the major ingredient of many of the fancy, expensive hot tub chemicals you purchase to keep the alkalinity of the hot tub water in equilibrium. If you know what you are doing, I recommend using the cheaper, domestic version of baking soda for the same purpose. Baking soda which you use in the hot tub should not have any color ingredient in it.
Can you use bleach to clean a hot tub?
Many hot tub owners use bleach to keep the hot tub clean. It is safe to use bleach to clean your hot tub. Bleach is basically chlorine and a sanitizer. You can use bleach to clean the hot tub shell as well.
Using bleach also helps to keep the sanitizer level in the hot tub water at satisfactory levels. You may need to use at least two teaspoons of bleach per 200 gallons of tub water. However, mixing bleach with vinegar to clean a hot tub will not be a good idea. Use them separately to clean the hot tub. Mixing bleach to the tub water will raise the pH level of the hot tub water.
Remark: if you do not know what you are doing, ask a professional for help.
Can you clean and reuse hot tub filters?
The filters of a hot tub can be cleaned and reused for at least a year. To do this, clean them at least once a week. Filters of your hot spa sieve out debris but also deal with dust and oils in the water. The oil grime and mineral buildup in the filter need to be deep cleaned to reuse them.
Use a standard filter degreaser for deep cleaning the filter. Submerge the filter in the degreaser overnight. Spray the filter's pleats thoroughly the next day to rinse off soap residue and to dislodge any sticky debris from the filter pleats.
Can you pressure wash the inside of a hot tub?
Certain parts of your hot tub can be pressure-washed. A high-pressure water stream helps to remove stains on the shell and the exterior of the hot tub. However, a high-pressure water stream may damage the control panel of a hot tub. Using a pressure wash on the jet nostrils may also damage them. If you use a pressure washer, always use a low-pressure setting or a low-pressure nozzle.