8 Steps to Cleaning Your Hot Tub
Cleaning your hot tub or spa may seem like a daunting task, best saved for the professionals. But, with a few simple tips, this undertaking can be easy. Spas should be cleaned every three months or so, depending on use, climate, design, size, and other factors.
If neglected too long, your hot tub may develop a persistent contamination problem in the form of a slimy biofilm containing mold, bacteria and other unfriendly micro organisms. I’m all for a hot tub party, but I generally leave unfriendly micro organisms off the guest list. Here are some tips on how to clean and maintain your hot tub, so it’s always ready for you to climb in and soak.
- Purge the spa. Before draining the spa, put a spa purge agent into the hot tub. This will remove organic waste form your pipes and pumps. Organic waste comes from oils, lotions, cosmetics and even sweat.
- Drain the hot tub. Always remember to turn off the power at the breaker before you work on the spa. Attach a hose to the outlet or drain off point and run it to a safe disposal point. Remember, the chemicals used in the spa may be harmful to plants and vegetation, and it is illegal to drain chemicals into the gutter and storm water system.
- Clean and sanitize the surface of the spa. Most hot tubs are made of acrylic materials and will clean up well with standard bathroom cleaners. Use non-abrasive cleansers and always do a test spot first. Pay special attention to the water lines where buildup is common. After cleaning, be sure to rinse thoroughly. Any residual cleaner may alter the chemistry of the water or damage the tub itself.
- Clean the pillows. Remove the pillows, if possible, and clean them gently with the same cleaners. Pillows often have more of the body oils and other organic waste than the rest of the surface of the spa.
- Clean and protect the cover. Remove the cover and spray it off with a hose. Use an appropriate cleaner (most covers are vinyl) and clean the top and sides of the cover. Treat the cover with a vinyl protectant. Inspect for any tears or cuts, as this could reduce the energy efficiency of the spa.
- Clean the exterior. Spray and wipe down the whole outside. Remove dust, dirt, debris, cobwebs, etc. Check all the pipes, fittings, wires, electrical boxes, and all other parts for any damage or excess wear.
- Clean or replace the filters. Depending on the spa you have, different cleaning procedures may be needed. Consult the owner’s manual for the specific instructions. Most hot tubs have filters that are very easy to clean. After the filter is removed, wash with pressurized water to remove any dirt particles or other debris. Soak it in a gentle spa cleaning solution to ensure the cleanliness. If the filter is over a year old, or damaged in any way, it may need to be replaced. Remember to check and clean the filter housing as well. Cleaning the filter should be done on a weekly basis to prolong the life of the filter and to keep the spa sanitary between cleanings.
- Fill. Fill and balance the water. Set the heater at its lowest setting at first, to make sure it doesn’t burn out if there is an air pocket.
Although spas are very sensitive, they are designed to be maintained in a way that is convenient to an average home owner. Remember to consult the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure proper cleaning methods are followed for your particular brand and model.