Owning a hot tub is a great way to bring a little bit of spa-like luxury to your own home – but despite all of the benefits a hot tub can offer, they can be difficult to maintain. If you’re not careful, your dirty hot tub can even make you sick, since the warm water is a breeding ground for harmful mold and bacteria.
However, there are several great tricks you can use to keep your hot tub clean. While there’s no one best way to clean a hot tub, these tips will help you ensure your tub is safe, treated, and ready to use so you can relax in the soothing water and let your worries drift away.
1. Flush the Lines
Before you start cleaning the actual tub, pick up a line flush kit from your local pool supply store. Run this specialized cleaner through the lines to clear out any mold or bacteria that may be building up inside the tub’s inner workings, to make sure your hot tub continues to run efficiently.
After the flush is complete, turn off the power to your hot tub before you drain the water. If your pump kicks on while you’re trying to clean, there won’t be enough water for the pump to function properly, and you could cause permanent damage to your hot tub’s motor.
2. Drain the Water
Your tub should have directions that show you how to remove all the water from the hot tub. Most manufacturers will recommend that you leave some water in the foot-well of the tub, but to ensure you’ve completely drained the line cleaner from your tub, it’s a good idea to drain it completely and rinse it out before adding fresh water to the foot-well.
3. Scrub the Surface
There are a number of cleaners available at pool supply stores that will cut through the grime that may have built up on the surface of your hot tub without causing any abrasive damage to the shell. Use a bit of water to keep the surface damp, and scrub until the surface is clean.
Make sure you rinse the surface carefully and wipe it down with a towel so that there is no residue left on the tub. Any leftover cleaner can influence your tub’s chemical balance – making your water look murky or contributing to the growth of new bacteria or mold.
4. Clean Your Filters
Check your instruction manual to see where you can access your filters. There should be a cabinet or access panel somewhere near the pump that you can open up to remove the filters and hose them down. If your tub requires you to unscrew or remove fasteners, it’s a good idea to take a picture before you take it apart so you can ensure it gets put back together properly.
Use a hose to spray the filters down and remove any residue that may have accumulated on them. Then, scrub the inside of the filter cabinet with cleaner to ensure any organic matter that may be growing in the cabinet is removed before you put the filters back in.
Soak your filter for an hour or more in an oil-cutting solution. The recommended solution for your tub should be listed in the manual, but you can also ask at your local pool supply store if you’re not certain which solution is right for your hot tub.
After the oil-cutting soak, use a chlorine solution to disinfect your filters and remove any remaining grime. You can also run the filters through your dishwasher using a normal amount of detergent – your instruction manual should tell you if your filters can hold up to the sanitizing heat of a dishwasher. If you choose this option, run two cycles and flip the filter between the cycles, to make sure it is thoroughly cleaned on all sides.
5. Prepare for Use
Once your filters are clean, reinstall them according to the pictures you took of the panel before you removed them. Run water through the filters, then add water to the designated line of your hot tub. Fill the reservoir with clean, fresh water, and turn the power back on. Listen carefully to make sure everything sounds like it’s operating correctly, then treat the fresh water with the recommended chemicals until your chlorine and pH levels are balanced.
Remember to perform routine maintenance on your tub to keep it operating safely and efficiently.