How to Maintain Your Hot Tub

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Hot Tub Maintenance

Hot tubs are a great addition to your home or cabin – providing hours of relaxation and health benefits.  But before you make the investment, you’ll want to know how to take care of it.

If you want to get the most out of your hot tub, in terms of both value and enjoyment, you’ll need to properly clean and maintain it. A bit of ongoing effort will help your hot tub provide many hours of warmth, relaxation, and fun memories for years to come.

Cleaning and maintaining a hot tub isn’t difficult but does require consistent effort.  You’ll want to avoid troublesome issues like jammed filters, mildew, bad water, or other things that can be a headache (and an expense) if you don’t consistently maintain your hot tub.

We make it easy to maintain your hot tub with these simple tips

Detail view of luxury beautiful hot tub for relaxing

Maintain Water Quality

Hot tubs are much easier to maintain than pools since they use a lot less water.  But you’ll still want to make sure your hot tub stays clean.  To keep water quality clean and consistent, it’s recommended that you change your hot tub water 3 to 4 times a year.

For overall water maintenance, follow the three C’s: circulation, cleaning, and chemistry. Let’s take a look at each one.

The Three C’s – Circulation, Cleaning, and Chemistry

#1 – Circulation

Circulation is vital for hot tubs which move water through filters to clean the tub.  Filters are powerful features to remove debris and particles from the water.

You’ll want to regularly change filters. In between changes, it’s smart to pull the filters out once a week to rinse them. This can help extend their lifespan while also keeping your tub clean.

Circulation will also help ensure that chemicals are properly mixed into the water.  Poorly maintained hot tubs can become home to bugs, algae, and other pests.  So make sure the water is circulating properly. Pumps and filters may jam up, which could interfere with or stop circulation and filtering altogether.

Some hot tubs have automatic circulation systems that will run twenty minutes a day, twice a day. It’s best to get a spa with automatic circulation features. If your hot tub isn’t equipped with automatic circulation, run it manually twice a day for at least 20 minutes each time.

#2 – Cleaning

In addition to maintaining water circulation, you’ll want to clean your hot tub every time you drain it.

Cleaning your hot tub is simple but there are different products you can use depending on your preference.  Avoid using powerful chemicals as they could cause issues for both your hot tub and your skin when you refill the tub.

Throwing some sponges or even tennis balls into your hot tub when it’s not in use, by the way, will help absorb oil and dead skin cells. Also, use a net and skim your water, removing debris or leaves, as needed.

To keep your hot tub clean, it’s best to take a shower prior to soaking.

Best Cleaning Solutions for Your Hot Tub

  • Water mixed with a bit of white vinegar is a simple and inexpensive way to clean your tub.
  • Baking soda – use a bit on a sponge with water.  Particularly useful if you have a scum issue.
  • Household bleach – bleach can be used mixed with equal parts of water. This should be reserved for when your hot tub needs to be both sanitized and cleaned.  Make sure to rinse the hot tub with fresh water before and after using bleach to avoid any bleach residue which is harmful to the skin.
  • Household products like Oh Yuk are made specifically for hot tubs and pools.
  • A more natural option and one that can be used for multiple cleaning uses like  Simple Green are also effective for your hot tub.

Don’t Forget the Exterior and Cover

Don’t overlook the exterior of your hot tub by occasionally spraying it down with a mixture of 90 percent water and 10 percent bleach. You’ll want to scrub the surface to prevent or kill mildew.

Make sure you test your spa’s exterior materials, however, by wiping down a small section and letting it rest. Harsh chemicals including bleach can damage materials like wood or stone.  You might need a milder cleaning solution.

Don’t forget to maintain your hot tub cover to prevent mildew.  The cover should be kept clean and dry and out of direct sunlight to keep it in good condition for many years.   Since you have invested in your hot tub, it’s important to care for the exterior and cover to protect your investment.

#3 – Chemistry

Spa water is not just plain old water from the tap. Don’t get us wrong, the water in your spa or even your pool, for that matter, may have come from the tap originally. But if your hot tub is properly maintained, it should contain a variety of chemicals and additives to kill off microbes and to ensure a balanced Ph level, among other things.

If you own a hot tub, you need to get good testing kits and the proper chemicals to add to the water. You’ll need pH increasers and decreasers, a sanitizer (such as chlorine or bromine), a non-chlorine shocking solution, and a variety of test strips.

It’s smart to test your water at least once a week. If the Ph levels are off, then you can adjust them. Likewise, if you’re noticing a lot of scum or other problems, you might shock your pool or consider adding a bit more of your sanitizer.

Getting the chemistry right is tricky. But if you don’t get it right, your spa could end up quite dirty. Worse, you might expose your family members to dangerous microbes. That said, good testing kits go a long way and make it relatively easy to maintain your water.

Fortunately, chemicals for spas are relatively inexpensive. With a small spa, you’ll likely only spend about $20-30 bucks a month on chemical maintenance.

Hotel staff worker cleaning the hot tub

Regular Maintenance and Cleaning

Hot tubs are a significant investment.  But with proper maintenance, your hot tub could last for many years to come. Over their lifetime, they actually offer a great value for relaxation, socializing, and health benefits.

While hot tubs are often easier to maintain than pools, you still need to dedicate time to cleaning and caring for them. If you don’t, you’re more likely to experience serious issues. Your hot tub could end up permanently damaged and you may need to pay for a professional spa or hot tub repair company to clean or fix it.

Regular spa maintenance may seem like a chore, but in the long run, it’ll reduce headaches and problems while also help you keep costs low.

The enjoyment you and your family get from the hot tub will far outweigh the cleaning and maintenance it requires.

If your household budget allows, a hot tub company can also provide some of these services for a fee. Hot tub maintenance from a professional company will help ensure that your water is clean with the right Ph levels and is being well maintained.  But with a little effort, you can maintain your it yourself for less expense.