Keeping your hot tub clean is an important part of the bather experience. Not only will it look aesthetically pleasing, you’ll have a certain peace of mind knowing that your shell is immaculate. It doesn’t get that way on its own. A hot tub environment’s natural tendency is to accumulate gunk that will build up in the water and gum up your system. To help you avoid that, we’ve compiled a guide to hot tub cleaning that will make your spa the nicest one on the block.
1. Cover Up
First of all, you should always keep your hot tub covered. This is your first line of defense against debris and foreign materials that can harm your system. Covers also trap heat and will cut down on the money you spend heating the water, refilling it, and keeping it sanitized. A cover is the first step in maintaining a clean system.
2. Water Chemistry
The second step is to always keep your water balanced and sanitized. You should check your pool at least weekly, more so if you’re a heavy spa user and have many bathers who use the hot tub on a consistent basis. Make sure you keep your pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and sanitizer levels where they should be at all times to avoid major cleanliness issues.
3. Debris Free
There are several aspects that go into manually cleaning your hot tub. After covering up and balancing your water chemistry, you’ll need to be good about keeping the surface clean. Hopefully if you have a cover, this won’t be a major problem. But if you do get matter on the surface of the tub, use your skimmer to remove floating debris. Check your skimmer basket at least once a week and make sure to keep it emptied. Organic material that decomposes in the basket will affect your water chemistry.
4. Cleaning the Waterline
In between major cleanings, you should regularly brush and vacuum the spa, particularly if you have a tendency to get calcium deposits along the waterline.
You can also clean the waterline of oil and scum that builds up by using something like SpaPure Cleaner. This product is fast-acting and is great at breaking down oils and debris at the waterline and making them easy to wipe away. Unlike most household cleaners, SpaPure Spa Cleaner is totally compatible with your spa’s chemistry. You can also prevent waterline buildup by using SpaPure EZ Enzyme—a natural product that has enzymes that break down oils and eliminate them from the surface of the water.
5. Flush the System
Flushing your hot tub’s plumbing system is a necessary step before draining your tub and cleaning your shell. If you skip it, you’re likely to have the same water chemistry problems you’ve had in the past because there is still significant matter built up in the pipes and on the jets. Natural products like SeaKlear Spa System Flush clean out mold, organic matter, or bio-film from the plumbing lines. Just add to the water the night before draining and let it go to work. It will clean out the pipes and jets and you can start over with a truly clean system. By removing the built up oils your spa will be less likely to form foam, the water will be easier to clean and keep balanced, your waterline won’t gunk up as easily, and your hot tub filter will require less maintenance. Drain your hot tub after letting the product do its work.
6. Clean the Shell
Since you’ve drained your hot tub, it’s time to give the good shell cleaning. NOTE: you should only be draining your hot tub every 3-4 months to conserve water. If you’re maintaining your water chemistry like you should, it shouldn’t be necessary before then.
Cleaning the tub is easy because acrylic shells are a non-porous surface that don’t allow for dirt, film, or germs to penetrate it. NOTE: Use an appropriate cleaner for the job. Something like Gel Gloss or Fast Gloss are a great all around cleaner for a shell. It’s thick and effective in removing oils, dirt, and scum from all spa surfaces. It won’t scratch the surface, either, and will protect the surface while repelling dirt.
Whatever cleaner you use, make sure it’s not something that will foam, create bubbles, or leave behind suds. Suds are the worst thing you can have in your hot tub because they’re difficult to
rinse out and create a lot of chemistry problems. Use your cleaner on the surface and wipe down the shell with a damp sponge or soft rag to remove the dirt buildup. You can also use baking soda as a non-abrasive cleaner. Rinse out the tub once it’s been wiped down and pump out the water or remove it with a wet/dry vac and refill. DON’T use a harsh cleaner, stiff brush, or bleach as they may destroy the coating on the acrylic. If you need to clean off scum or calcium deposits, use a soft nylon brush.
It’s typically easiest to clean the spa from inside of it so you’re not leaning over the side. If you don’t want to get inside, you can use a soft bristle brush on a pool pole. This is helpful when the tub abuts a wall or you can’t walk around all sides.
Take this time to clean your filters and the cover, too. Any job worth doing is worth doing well. Refill your spa, sanitize and balance the water and you’ll be ready to soak again in no time!