How to Clean and Maintain a Hot Tub? (4 Great Tips)

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Your hot tub is a very expensive investment and you want to be sure it lasts as long as possible. To that end, it’s imperative that you clean and maintain your hot tub appropriately and regularly. 

To clean and maintain your hot tub correctly, be prepared to test its operation and water chemistry daily, shock your water & clean your filter and cover weekly. Also, you should keep up regular maintenance of draining, cleaning, and refilling your hot tub at least quarterly throughout the year. 

Need more details on what you should be doing and what you should be using to keep your hot tub in tip-top shape? Just keep reading! 

How to Clean and Maintain a Hot Tub
Cleaning your hot tub regularly ensures it will last

Keep Up with Your Hot Tub’s Water Chemistry

Always keep a water sample container handy if you plan on taking your hot tub water to the pool and spa place to have it tested (like we do). If you are testing it yourself, you’ll be using test strips. Testing should take place about twice per week or whenever you add more water. Taking notes about this is a good idea, so you can take note of patterns. 

We have hard water here and so we use tap water to fill the hot tub, but then we have to always let it sit for the chlorine to evaporate a bit, and then we have to test it to figure out what we need to add to our spa water to keep it proper for our skin. 


Always test your water to ensure the right chemical balance

You should be checking the sanitizer (chlorine or bromine) levels in your hot tub daily along with the temperature, just to be sure nothing is going wrong. Weekly, you should be shocking the water. Shock is a specific concentrated form of chlorine, so you can’t substitute one for the other. You may also want to add stain and scale control if your water has issues with this. 

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Boost’s Tips

Remember, shocking the water is important, because shock prevents water from having a cloudy or murky look, removes harmful organic matter and bacteria, and reactivates your sanitizers already in the water.

Keep Proper Maintenance of Components Including Your Filter

For this part of the cleaning, you really just want to understand the parts of your hot tub so you can make sure everything is flowing like it should be and also clean out anything that you don’t see up top. This will also help in keeping your hot tub hot when you need it. Most hot tubs have a packet that comes with it, or you can find guides online for what each part is and how it’s maintained. 

If you want, you can pay folks from your local trusted pool and spa center to come out and go over everything with you once, so you can do it yourself from that point on. We had that happen when we bought our hot tub. 

The installers also went over everything we needed to know for cleaning and minor troubleshooting. We know how to test the jets and check for anything that could be a symptom of something that needs to be repaired.  

The most important part of maintenance is cleaning and changing out your filter when it’s needed. The filter clean-out should happen every couple of weeks or in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Normally the filter should be replaced once a year. 

If you think your water is clean and you can get away with not doing this, just remember that everybody loses dead skin cells and skin just naturally exfoliates in water. And the filter loses its ability to clean the water over time and usage. You really ought to clean that mess out to keep your hot tub sanitary. 

Fully Clean Your Hot Tub or Spa Quarterly & Spot Clean Between

You should fully drain and clean out your hot tub quarterly (4 times per year). And during this quarterly cleaning, you do a lot more than just clean the filter or change it out. You also use spa-friendly cleaning agents to clean every surface of your hot tub. 

This normally happens quarterly, but if you have a large number of people using your hot tub almost daily, that might need to be adjusted. A good rule of thumb that I found on several of the manufacturer websites was this: 

  • Gallons of Water in the Hot Tub ÷ 3 = Answer
  • Answer ÷ average number of Bathers = Number of Days 

you should go between changing your water out and cleaning your hot tub completely.  

So, you could end up emptying, cleaning, and refilling it as often as every month.

Your cleaner should keep out phosphates and nitrates (the opposite of what you want for your garden). You can get a special vacuum made for hot tubs. That’s for any grit or sand that has gotten into your hot tub. You can of course, also use paper towels to help with this. 

These vacuums can be used even with the hot tubs full of water, should you need to do some in-between cleaning. Also to be done in-between the major cleanings, you can use a skimmer net to get out any large debris like leaves and seeds. 

Air Out and Clean the Cover of Your Hot Tub

A lot of people forget about this and it’s important. Your cover collects moisture and it provides a warm, dark place for bacteria and mold to grow. So you need to keep a check on the cover and clean it regularly inside and out.

Mold & bacteria are the two things that you need to be very careful with. Some are hardy enough to survive shock and chlorine. So just be careful to keep your system clean. Also, remind people if you need to – that they should not drink the water or get it in their eyes or mouth. And for heaven’s sake, please always make sure everyone that uses your hot tub is clean. Children are especially a hazard, due to bad toiletry habits. 

In Conclusion

Having a hot tub is a wonderful and relaxing tool that can help ease aches and pains and also add a small luxury to an already nice outdoor living space for friends and family. But with this luxury comes responsibility for handling the cleaning and maintenance of this piece of equipment. Regular maintenance will also help keep your power usage at a minimum.

Keep things clean, and you keep your family healthy and happy with a hot tub that should last many, many years. 

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"Growing up a country-girl means you enjoy the outdoors as much as possible, and no matter where you go in life, the outdoors is always part of you. I began doing research on things I wanted to do to make my outdoor space my own, no matter where we moved. And that research led me to write this blog to share with you!"