How to Clean Hot Tubs? – Useful Tips for 2021

Owning a hot tub is a form of an affordable luxury that can make you forget life problems and also keep you healthy. Most of the time, the hot tub runs for some months before cleaning.

How to Clean Hot TubsThe water even becomes unclear. While enjoying yourself in a warm bath, do you even think about how to clean hot tubs? Probably not.

The Ways on How to Clean Hot Tubs

Most people don’t want to think about it since the prospect of cleaning hot tub seams stressful. Right? But for your information, you can do all the cleaning with a minimal hassle by following the steps below.

1) Drain the Hot Tub

Drain the Hot TubThe first step on how to clean hot tubs is getting rid of the dirty water. But before you can do that you need to flush the pipes and also turn off the power line. Here are the steps to follow for a successful water draining.

1) Flush Those Lines

When we bath in a hot tub, our bodies introduce new contaminants that are washed away by the warm water. But have you ever asked yourself where these contaminants go? Most people think chlorine takes care of them. Yes, it does, but not all.

Some of them like the lotions, body oils and many more are carried away to the pipe where they stick and form a layer of bacteria and fungi. The bacteria and fungi then form a biofilm to protect themselves from the dangerous chlorine while also feeding on it. The bacteria will then go back to your hot tub and reduce the chlorine in the water, thus exposing your body to diseases.

For you to prevent this, you have to flush the hot tub line using a unique plumbing cleaner ideal for removing the biofilm. While at it, ensure you follow the directions on the package to use the right amount for your tub capacity. Allow the flushing to go along for around 20 minutes before going to the next step.

2) Turn the Power Off

Next step is to prevent electric shock by flipping your hot tub’s circuit breaker. You have to locate the circuit which supplies the power to the hot tub and turn it off.

3) Drain the hot tub

Now it’s time to drain the hot tub. There two methods you can use to remove all the water inside the hot tub. One is by using the unit’s drainage outlet, and the other is using a sump pump.

a) Using the drainage system

Use of the drainage system is the most low-cost option but also a time-consuming way of getting rid of the water inside your hot tub. It is also the easiest as all you need is connect your hose to the drainage outlet and direct the water in a safe place like the garden.

b) Using a Sump Pump

A sump pump, a submersible device designed to pump water in flooded areas, will help get rid of all the water inside your hot tub in minutes. All you need is to connect the sump pump with the ideal hose, dip it inside the hot tub water, and switch on to do the magic. Ensure you direct the tube well since it can flood one area in seconds.

2) Cleaning the filters

Hot tub Cleaning the filtersAfter draining the water, next is cleaning the hot tub filters. For a proper tub filter cleaning, you have to follow the following series of steps.

a) Remove your filters

The filters are often accessible from the tub’s access panel or cabinet door located around the hot tub pump. For some hot tubs, you will need to unfasten or unscrew catches that hold either the cover or the filter casing in place.

b) Spray your filters off with a jet of water

Once they are out, you need to spray them off with a jet of water. A standard high-pressure hose nozzle is enough to remove all the residue and debris from your filters. Never use a brush here as it can cause the dirt to be deeply entrenched.

c) Scrub the filter cabinet

Next step is to scrub the filters cabinet interior with the ideal tub cleaner or using a 50ppm dichloride or water solution. The organic matter or bacteria such as mold and mildew can grow inside the filter housing. You need to scrub it well to keep it clean.

d) Place the filters in oil-cutting solution

Next, place the filters in an oil cutting solution for around an hour or two. The solution breaks down any stubborn dirt on the tub filters. Never use a bleaching agent. Your ideal solution for your hot tub model or make is likely in the instruction manual. If not, you can ask at the local pool supply store to help you find the right solution for your hot tub.

e) Disinfect the filters using a chlorine solution

Once all the dirt is gone, it’s time to disinfect the filters. Use a 50ppm chlorine solution to clean and also break up any remaining grime. For you to make this solution, you need to mix ¼ teaspoon of the dichloride inside a 5-gallon of water, which is around 19 liters. Keep the filters in for approximately 10-20 minutes.

f) Reinstall the filters

Once all that is done, you need to reinstall them. It’s as easy as sliding the filters into a coupler and press the cover panel back in place. If you had unscrewed or unfastened anything during removal, you have to screw or fasten them again to ensure everything is back in its place.

3) Cleaning Your Hot Tub: Interior, Shell, Jets, and the Cover

The next step is giving your hot tub a good bath. Here you need to clean the interior, the shell, jets, and the cover. For you to do it right, you need to spray some hot tub cleaner on the surface. A good tub cleaner will cut through the dirtiness, loosen it and leaving for you to wash it away. The cleanser will also protect the tub’s shell from damages which can be caused by the abrasive particles in cleaners.

You need to spray down the hot tub interior using a hose to moisten it. While at it, scrub the cleaner using a rag or a sponge. For the acrylic shells, you can use a mild general-purpose home cleaner. These types are quite resistant to germ aggregation and buildup. Do the same to the cover and wipe it out using a towel.

For thorough cleaning, you can use a chlorine solution which is 50ppm (Parts per Million). You can also create it yourself by mixing a ¼ teaspoon dichloride inside 5 gallons of water. Once you have done all that, your tub interior will be free of marks and buildup.

Next, you have to thoroughly rinse the cleaner away with water, and wipe it down using a highly absorbent towel. Make sure no detergent is left behind as it can affect the water chemical balance or foam a lot when the jets are on. It can also create a breeding area for mold and bacteria.

If there some areas with stubborn dirt or marks, you can use a vinegar plus water solution to force it out. Also, you can use baking soda as it also works great at bursting the organic and gunk matter out too. Either will help your rag or sponge to cut through the dirtiness. The best part is, the solutions are gentle and leaves the shell unaffected.

If there is sap or pitch on the shell or the cover, you need to apply some olive oil on it, rub it there to break it up. Next, wipe the surface using a rag/sponge, mild soap, and water.

4) Refilling and Sanitizing the Hot Tub

The last step on how to clean hot tubs is refilling and sanitizing it. Here you need to supply the hot tub with fresh water. Ensure the circuit breaker is still off.

a) Refilling the hot tub

Use a hose filler to reduce the number of impurities in the water such as copper and calcium. If not careful, these contaminants will affect your water chemistry and also the overall health of your hot tub. Using a filler will allow you to start with fresh water and also minimize staining risks and mineral deposit buildup.

Begin by inserting the water supply hose inside the filter cabinet and turn on your spigot. It helps in forcing the trapped air out of the tub’s circulation system to prevent airlock inside the spa.

While doing this, try hard and avoid overflowing. When water overflows, it can cause severe problems such as backflow around the heater when the system is switched on. If it does overflow, then make sure you drain the excess water straightaway.

b) Sanitizing the hot tub

Once the hot tub is full of freshwater, you can now flip the circuit breaker back on and add the sanitizer and other necessary tub chemicals. You have to keep the air valves off, that is if your hot has them. That will prevent them from disrupting the proper chemical distribution.

If your water supply is a well or you’re using the city water, you must add some metal sequestrate. These water supplies have high metal content, and the metal sequestrate will help prevent stains and other mineral buildups.

Once you’re done, it’s time to test the water chemistry. Here you have to adjust the alkalinity, calcium hardness, and the pH if needed. And to ensure the water chemistry is balanced correctly, you need to cover the hot tub for a day to allow all the chemicals to circulate all through the water. During this time, the temperature should be between 80-104 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you use a saltwater system for chlorine production, I recommend you wait till the water is fully balanced before you can add the salt. Allow the water to achieve the ideal pH and alkalinity before you start the chlorine production.


Cleaning the same water, again and again, can be quite unpleasant, regardless of the quality of your sanitizer. Therefore, it is recommended to empty and change the water every 90 days. Between water discharges, be sure to scrub the surface of the bathtub to prevent dirt. Cleaning the bath filter and replacing it once a year should be mandatory. Also, pool builders offer pool covers that can help prevent insects and lost leaves from entering the water. Clean the pool cover regularly.

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About the author

Sharif Miah

Hi! I'm Sharif, the founder of Globo Pool® and I have been working in the pool & hot tub industry for the last few years. I love to share my experiences with people & hope you are enjoying my information and lessons!

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