Crystal-clear hot tub water is a surefire sign of a healthy, well-balanced spa, and knowing how to keep it clean will ensure your hot tub is ready to ease your aching muscles every time you lift the cover!
Your water plays a significant role in the lifespan of your hot tub and can wreak havoc on your entire system if it’s not kept clean.
Dirty water can even leave you with itchy, irritated skin and lead to corrosion or scale buildup on your shell, heating element, and in your pipes, and water pump!
Learning how to take proper care of your hot tub water is essential, and with a few easy steps, your filters will be able to work efficiently and combat any common buildup in the water.
Better yet, by taking a few extra steps when using your spa, you’ll be able to easily minimize the contaminants in your water and reduce the work needed for your system to maintain its quality.
Keep reading to find out how!
Basic Water Maintenance For Your Hot Tub
The health of your hot tub water will be heavily influenced by your maintenance routine. If you fail to properly care for your water, you’ll face significant struggles, leading to stressful, unpleasant spa experiences.
When it comes to your water, there are a few things you should ensure you include in your routine to keep it at its best.
Check Your Water’s pH Levels Regularly
Your water’s pH and alkaline levels will fluctuate over time, requiring you to balance them periodically using pH up or pH down.
Ideally, you should test your water twice a week to monitor the levels and track their fluctuations.
To test the pH of your water, use pH strips, a digital monitor, or a water test kit. Your pH levels should always be between 7.4 and 7.8, while your alkalinity should remain between 80-120 ppm.
If your water is unbalanced, it can become too acidic, causing corrosion to your shell and throughout your system or result in scale buildup. If left unmanaged, this can lead to unnecessary damage and costly repairs in the future.
Don’t Forget to Sanitize
Your sanitizer, such as chlorine, fights the bacteria in your water, keeping it clean and safe to use.
If you forget to regularly sanitize your water, you could end up with a heavy buildup of bacteria, which can lead to irritation or even infections.
The great news is, keeping your water healthy is easy, and your sanitizer will do all the heavy lifting.
How often your hot tub is used will determine your sanitation schedule.
A simple water test can show you the free chlorine levels in your water and signal if it’s safe to use or requires treatment. Your free chlorine levels should be between three to five ppm at all times. If it’s below this range, you shouldn’t use your spa until it’s been rebalanced.
These tests will also show if your water has been over-treated. If it has higher levels of free chlorine than expected, avoid soaking in your hot tub until it’s returned to normal. To bring your chlorine levels down, you can try a few things:
- Wait it out – Over a couple of days, the chlorine will lower on its own
- Take off the cover so that it can evaporate more quickly
- Partially drain and refill with fresh water to dilute it
Typically, high chlorine levels occur when people close the cover of their hot tub directly after adding it to their water. This effectively locks in the gas it produces as it works, causing it to reenter the water and increase its levels.
Avoiding this is as simple as leaving your cover off for half an hour after you’ve treated your water, giving the gas somewhere to go.
Oxidizers are an important part of your hot tub’s water care and work alongside your sanitizer.
As you use your hot tub, organic matter will enter the water, such as any cosmetics, hair products, body lotion, or perfumes.
Your sanitizer struggles to break down this matter, and if it continues to accumulate, you may discover cloudy water or a foamy surface in the near future.
This is where an oxidizing treatment comes in.
Oxidizers work to break down organic matter, helping your sanitizer effectively do its job of cleaning the water. By including one in your regular routine, you can easily banish foamy and cloudy water and minimize the risk of its quality deteriorating.
Maintain a Routine Cleaning Schedule
No matter how well you care for your water, it will need to be changed at regular intervals.
Ideally, you’ll want to drain and clean your hot tub every 3-4 months. This will help ensure your water is fresh and doesn’t become overloaded with products, causing harm to your system or your spa guests!
When you drain your water, you’ll also want to include a deep clean on your shell. This means giving your entire hot tub a good scrub while it’s empty.
Once you’ve cleaned all the surfaces and have thoroughly rinsed off any excess cleaning products, you’re ready to refill your spa and rebalance your water.
5 Tips To Keep Your Hot Tub Water Clean
1. Shower Before Your Soak
As you enjoy a quiet evening soak, the water of your hot tub will be exposed to any contaminants on your skin.
If you have lotion on your body, have makeup on, and use mousse or hairspray when doing your hair, you’ll be leaving those products in your water after you’re done.
These can build up in your water and leave it cloudy or foamy the next time you use it, causing unnecessary work and putting your spa plans on hold for the evening!
This is something that can be easily avoided, and the answer is as simple as a pre-soak shower!
Showering before you enter your spa will ensure all the product that is on your body is rinsed off. This will easily minimize the amount of organic matter that contaminates your water, making it easier for you to maintain your water quality long-term.
2. Keep Baseball Caps and Hair ties Nearby
If you enjoy having company over or simply don’t want to wash your hair every time you use your spa, hats and hair ties can be a great way to protect your water from unnecessary contaminants.
If you and your guests are able to easily keep their hair out of the water by tucking it under a baseball cap or throwing it up into a messy bun, you’ll be saving your water with barely any effort at all!
Invest in some hats and hair ties and leave them in a big bowl near your hot tub, or hanging nearby, so you and your guests can easily access them and avoid the risk of forgetting about them before leaning back for a quality massage!
3. Use Tennis Balls
This may seem like an odd thing to pair with your hot tub, but tennis balls are actually incredibly effective in keeping your water clean.
After you’ve finished your evening dip, simply throw in a few tennis balls, close the cover, and let them go to work.
As they float around, they’ll absorb any oils that may have gotten into your water and help keep it clean.
These are a great, cost-effective way to support your water balance and minimize the oils that end up in your water over time.
4. Circulate Your Water Every Day
Whether you use your spa every day or opt for a few sessions a week, circulating your water through your filters every day is essential.
This will keep your water clean and prevent it from going stagnant over time.
As it moves through your hot tub’s filtration system, your filters will pull any contaminants out of the water, ensuring every time you lift the cover for your regular soak, your water is clean and ready to use.
This also helps ensure the bacteria in your water won’t have the chance to sit still and build up, making your regular maintenance routine easier and more efficient.
If you live somewhere with tiered energy rates throughout the day, set your system to circulate the water during the cheapest times of the day, such as the late evening or early morning.
5. Invest in a Quality Hot Tub Cover
A hot tub cover is for more than just maintaining the heat of your water.
It also protects it from unnecessary contaminants when you’re not using it, ensuring rainwater, dust, and debris don’t get into your water.
The more your water is exposed to the elements, the harder your system will need to work to stay clean. This makes your regular maintenance more difficult and can even cause you to spend more money on sanitation products as your regular treatments are less effective.
There are many covers on the market, and which one you choose will depend on your climate and your personal values.
If you want something that maximizes ease of use and has a long life expectancy, a Covana cover will likely be your best option. However, if you simply want your water protected with maximum heat retention, you’d want to consider a traditional insulated cover.
Boise Hot Tubs Near You
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Our team of hot tub experts can help you discover everything you need, from top-of-the-line spas to essential hot tub supplies.