How to Clean a Hot Tub
How to Clean a Hot Tub
Imagine all of the body oils, lotions, cosmetics, sweat, and other contaminants you wash off when you soak in a nice, relaxing bath. Now imagine taking a bath in that same water a few days later. This is essentially what happens in a hot tub, especially if you're a hot tub owner who skips out on a pre-spa shower.
Used water can sit in your hot tub for weeks or months at a time. Sure, you're treating it with sanitizer regularly, but it's still the same water. All of these oily, filmy contaminants circulate, pass through your hot tub's filter, and ultimately settle on the surface of the hot tub shell.
Many online cleaning tips default to telling you that the best way to clean a hot tub is with a special hot tub cleaner. More often than not, these are simply a more expensive version of dishwasher detergent. But instead of using three different products to clean the shell, jets, and filters, it's much more convenient to use just one all-encompassing product for all three.
Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner is aggressive on heavy soils and greasy residue without being harmful to the surface of your hot tub shell, the jets, or the filters. The orally non-toxic* and biodegradable cleaning product won't leave behind toxic residue to circulate into your spa water.
On top of getting dirty, your hot tub's plumbing can develop biofilm. Biofilms are communities of bacteria living together in a protective sticky film of oils and greases. Bacteria feed on these soils and can use them as a shield from your hot tub sanitizer. These bacteria can then end up in your water, eat up the chlorine, and expose you and your family to other contaminants, such as Legionella, which causes Legionnaires' Diseases. This can be fatal if left untreated.
Before you drain and clean your hot tub, add a plumbing cleaner (also known as a line flush product) specially formulated to flush the lines and break the oils and greases down. Follow the label's directions to ensure you use the right amount and let it circulate in your tub for at least 20 minutes. If possible, leave it for a few hours or even overnight.
It's a good idea to drain, clean, and refresh the water in your hot tub about every 4 months, regardless of whether it looks like it needs it or not.
What You Need
- Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner
- Garden hose
- Empty spray bottle
- Soft cloth or non-scratch nylon scrubber
- Soft bristle brush
- Empty bucket or large container
Directions for Cleaning a Hot Tub:
- Flip your hot tub's breaker. This will cut all power and eliminate the risk of electric shock.
- Drain the water. Many cities require you to drain your hot tub into the sewer system. You'll usually have sewer access through a specific drain somewhere on your property. If you don't have sewer access, you can run a garden hose into the drain in a utility sink or use the old water to water your lawn or garden (if you've allowed the chemicals to dissipate). Never dispose of your water in a storm drain, as these lead to natural bodies of water where it could harm fish and other wildlife.
- Clean the hot tub jets.
- Remove each jet unit from the spa tub.
- Mix ½ a gallon of water with 1 ½ cups of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner in a bucket or large container.
- Let the jets soak in the solution for about 10 minutes.
- Use a soft bristle brush to scrub the internal gears.
- Rinse the jets with clean water.
- Screw each unit back into place.
- Clean your hot tub filters.
- Remove the dirty filter cartridges and lay them flat on the grass.
- Coat the filters in the same Simple Green solution you used in Step 2.
- After soaking the filters for 10 minutes, gently scrub with a soft bristle brush.
- Rinse with a hose.
- Clean your hot tub shell.
- Mix 2 ½ cups of water with ¼ cup of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner in an empty spray bottle.
- Spray the solution onto the hot tub shell in sections, paying particular attention to areas where mildew, algae, or bacteria could be hiding.
- Use a soft cloth or non-scratch nylon scrubber to remove residue.
- Rinse each section well.
- Drain the water to prevent foaming when you refill the tub.
- Refill your hot tub. Make sure the drains are closed, and the breaker is still off, then use your hose to add fresh water to your hot tub. Insert the hose into the filter compartment and turn on the spigot. This will help force any trapped air out of the circulation system. You may want to use a hose filter when refilling your hot tub to reduce impurities like calcium and copper. These can affect your water chemistry and overall spa health.
- Turn the hot tub breaker on.
- Turn the hot tub back on. This includes adding sanitizer and other start-up chemicals. Turn off any air valves, and add a metal sequestrant, if necessary. Test your water's pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness, then cover the spa for 24 hours to allow the chemicals to circulate and the water to heat up.
TIP: Don't worry if you see a small amount of loose suds along the top of your hot tub for the next day or so - this is safe for swimmers and will dissipate.
*Orally non-toxic formula per the Federal Hazardous Substances Act and the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. Readily biodegradable per OECD 301D testing.