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How to Clean a Hot Tub: the complete guide

Cleaning your Hot Tub properly

Hot tubs can become filthy rather quickly. Even if you put the right chemicals in the water, grime will start to form. On this page, we are going to teach you how to clean a hot tub. Don’t worry. It is going to be far, far easier than you may think!

When should you clean your hot tub?

The process that we are going to talk about on this page should be done once every 6-months. When we are teaching you how to clean a hot tub, we are going to be teaching you how to do a deep clean of absolutely everything. However, you shouldn’t be waiting for six months to clean your hot tub. You will need to do a couple of checks every so often.

For example; every few days, you are going to want to check the hot tub over. The purpose of this check is to ensure that the chemical balance is just right. It will also allow you to quickly wipe down any grime before it gets embedded in the shell of the hot tub. If you do this right, it is something that should take no more than ten minutes every few days. It will help to keep your hot tub in pristine condition, and may even help to reduce the need for repairs later on down the line.

Every month or so (maybe every 15-days if your hot tub is getting a lot of use), you will need to check the filters of the tub. You will need to give these a complete clean. If you do not do this, then you will notice that grime will start to build up in the hot tub. If your filters are not working, then the water will start to become cloudier. If you leave it too long, then the water may start to turn green. We are going to teach you how to clean your hot tub filters in a short while.

As we said; the process that we are going to detail on this page should be done once every 6-months. It is going to take you a good half of a day to do everything here, so you don’t want to be doing it too often. Thankfully, you probably will not have to if you followed the recommended cleaning advice before.

Use line flush

Before you do anything, you will need to get your hands on some line flush. This is a chemical that you will be running through your hot tub system. The purpose of the line flush is to (essentially) flush out any bacteria that may have started to congregate in the plumbing of the hot tub. This is going to be pretty difficult to reach otherwise.

How you go about this process will be dependent o  the line flush that you have purchased. We suggest that you read through the manual to ensure that you get it right. It is important that you get all bacteria out now. If you don’t, when you refill your tub, later on, you are basically going to be adding bacteria to your freshwater. You probably don’t want that to happen, right?

Draining the hot tub

You now need to start draining the hot tub. Make sure that you have unplugged the hot tub from the power source before you do that. If you fail to do this, then you will be running the risk of electrocution. Remember, water and electricity really, really do not mix well with one another!

Draining your hot tub should be easy. However, it is important that you remember that even the smallest of hot tubs will have a lot of water in them. This means that you will not want to be flushing the hot tub in an area that you don’t mind getting a little bit wet. Also, you need to remember that there will be chemicals in the water. Even if you have not filled up the chemicals in your hot tub for a while, there will still be residue. This means that you want to ensure that you are not draining the water onto grass or soil (especially if you are growing things in that soil!).

Draining the hot tub is going to take a while, but you will want to keep an eye of things, just to make sure that it is draining correctly.

Cleaning the inside of the hot tub

For the next stage, you will need to get a hot tub cleaner. The hot tub cleaner will be used to clean all the grime left inside of the hot tub (as well as on the outside). When you are cleaning the inside of your hot tub, it is important that you use a soft sponge. You do not want to use anything too abrasive. If you do, then you will be running the risk of scratching the surface of the hot tub. This can cause issues later on down the line. These won’t just be aesthetic issues either.

While there are some people who will make up their own hot tub cleaner, we suggest you do not. Sure. Proper hot tub cleaner is going to be a bit more on the expensive side of things, but you will know that it has been specially formulated for the job.

There will be bits of dirt that can be tough to remove. Some people may use a pressure washer (at low pressure) to knock this dirt loose. It should then be a bit easier to remove with the hot tub cleaning solution.

Make sure that you do not leave a single part of the inside of the hot tub untouched. You do want to make sure that it is completely scrubbed clean. If it isn’t, then you will be repeating the job pretty soon.

Cleaning the hot tub filters

The next step of learning how to clean a hot tub is something that you are going to be doing fairly often. Cleaning your hot tub filters is something that you should be doing at least once per month. You can leave it a maximum of two months if you are using your hot tub infrequently but beyond that, your filters are prone to becoming clogged which can have a massive impact on water quality.

To start with, you will need to remove the filters. Don’t forget to consult the manual for your hot tub to find out exactly how to do this (it is going to be different for all hot tubs)

With the filters out, you can go into the filter housing and scrub everything down with your hot tub cleaner. Once again, there may be small amounts of residue which can be tough to remove. The best way to deal with this is to use low pressure on a pressure washer.

You can now point the pressure washer (still at low pressure) at the filters. This should remove almost all of the gunk build-up from the filters. Do not scrub the filters at all. This could actually clog them up even more. The only thing you should be doing is spraying them down.

You now need to do two things to your filters:

  • Put them in an oil cutting solution. Find out from your hot tub manufacturer what type of solution you should be using here.
  • Disinfecting the filters using chlorine. Adding a quarter teaspoon of chlorine to five gallons of water will create a disinfecting solution. This should help to kill off any remaining bacteria.

Once your filters are clean, you can put them back into the hot tub.

The Final Clean

If you haven’t done so already, you should take the time to clean the outer shell of your hot tub. You will also want to clean the hot tub cover. It is likely that the latter will have bacteria on it, so if you don’t scrub it down with your hot tub cleaning solution, that bacteria is just going to grow and cause you a few issues.

Refilling the Hot Tub

After this, it is just a case of refilling your hot tub. You should do this as per the manufacturer’s instructions. It is important that you use the correct balance of hot tub chemicals here. If you don’t, then all the gunk and grime that you just cleared away will start to build up again. This means that you will be cleaning your hot tub in a matter of months as opposed to weeks.

After this, just do regular spot cleans of your hot tub. You do not need to empty it every single time. If you spot some grime, then wash it down. As we said before; you should also be cleaning your filters once every month. If you spot that they are becoming difficult to clean, or they are not as effective as before, then do not be afraid to replace the filters. Sure, hot tub filters can be costly, but the repairs from poorly functioning filters can be even more expensive.

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