DIY Cleaning & Organizing

How To: Clean a Hot Tub

Nothing says relaxation quite like a bubbly soak in a hot tub. While the prospect of cleaning a hot tub may seem stressful, you can get the job done well, with minimum hassle, by following these simple steps.
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How to Clean a Hot Tub


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Owning your own hot tub is an affordable luxury. But while the bubbles may be relaxing, maintaining the unit takes work. For yours to operate correctly, last a long time, and remain sanitary for the duration, it’s critical that you clean the hot tub as needed. Follow the steps outlined below in order to do a thorough job.

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Step 1

To clean a hot tub with any modicum of success, it needs to be empty. However, there’s one step which requires there to be water in the tub. Since over time the unit’s plumbing conduits can accumulate buildup, it’s necessary to administer a product that flushes the lines. Not so creatively known as line flushes, these products are readily available for purchase online or at your local pool supply store. Different products work somewhat differently, but generally speaking, line flushes are added, in a specified amount, to a hot tub in operation. Then, after the recommended period of time has elapsed, drain the hot tub according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Be prepared for a surprising amount of gunk to come out! In the future, add line flush consistently to minimize accumulation.

How to Clean a Hot Tub - Bubbly Water

Step 2

With the hot tub empty, proceed to spray down its interior surfaces with a hot tub cleaning product (these, too, are sold online and at pool supply stores). Note that many household cleaners, including Windex and Soft Scrub, often may be used as an alternative. But to be on the safe side, double-check with your hot tub manufacturer that it’s OK to use an all-purpose cleaner. After spraying, wipe down the tub with a towel, thereby eliminating the cleaner residue that, left in place, would later cause the water to foam. Clean the hot tub cover the same way, wiping it down with a towel once finished.

Step 3

Next, remove the hot tub filters. Being designed to remove grime and grit from the water, these filters quickly accrue debris. If yours are relatively new, simply spray them down with a garden hose, go over them with hot tub cleaner, and rinse. If you haven’t changed the filters in a year, replace them.

Step 4

It’s time to refill the hot tub. Your manufacturer’s instructions may say otherwise, but with most models, it’s a matter of placing a garden hose into the filter well. Once filled, turn on the hot tub and add the chemicals (e.g., shock) that comprise your regular water treatment program. Finally, cover your clean hot tub and allow time for the water to balance over the course of the next 12 hours or so.

Step 5

Having allowed a sufficient amount of time to elapse, return to the hot tub and test its chlorine level. Ideally, there would be between 1ppm and 3ppm of free chlorine (or bromine, depending on your choice). Meanwhile, the pH should be in the range of 7.2 to 7.8. Add chemicals as needed to adjust.