Relaxing in the hot tub after a long day of work or play is a nice way to unwind. But the lick, dirty water, and buildup of grime can make even the fanciest tubs look unsightly. By keeping your hot tub clean, you may find that keeping it that way is much less difficult than you imagined. Plus, after cleaning your hot tub, even your neighbors will want to take a bath!
Part 1 of 4: Drain the Jacuzzi
Step 1. Consider purging your hot tub pipes before draining it
Hot tubs operate at a temperature that is conducive to the growth of many types of mold, bacteria, and other organisms that could accumulate on the internal parts of the hot tubs. You can keep your hot tub cleaner by circulating a special cleaner through its pipes, a process known as "descaling the pipes" to remove and clean bacteria and dirt.
- You can probably buy a product to clean your pipes at a pool supply store, but it is also likely that you can get it at a local hardware store. Be sure to specify that you need a pipe scaler for a hot tub, as there are different types of products for cleaning pipes.
- Note that the application process may vary, depending on the type of pipe cleaner you purchase. Typically, you will add the cleaner to your hot tub while keeping it running for the amount of time indicated on the product label.
- Pipes with buildup could result in a lower pressure jet, cloudy water, or higher pressure and stress to the pump motor. Descaling the pipes will help the hot tub to function properly and efficiently.
Step 2. Unplug the hot tub
Forgetting to unplug it could result in the pump starting when there is not enough water, which could damage the pump motor and the hot tub's filter mechanism. In order to make sure that it is completely off, you may want to go to the fuse box and cut off the electricity supply to the circuit that feeds it, putting it in the "OFF" or "OFF" position.
Disconnecting the circuit breaker, like turning off the hot tub, could prevent other people from accidentally turning it on if you take a break while cleaning it or while shopping for more products. A damaged pump can represent an excessive and unnecessary expense
Step 3. Drain the hot tub
You should do this by following the instructions in the hot tub user manual. Most often, this will involve the use of a built-in drain pump or plugged drain to remove water from the hot tub reservoir. Many manufacturers also recommend leaving the foot area of the hot tub filled with water.
If a cloudy liquid came out when you descaled the pipes and made the water dirty, you may have to drain all the water from the hot tub. After doing this, rinse the tub well to remove any remaining particles. You can then refill the foot area of the hot tub, if necessary
Part 2 of 4: Cleaning the hot tub
Step 1. Apply a hot tub cleaner to the surface of the hot tub
In many cases, specially formulated hot tub cleaners will remove the dirt. These specialty cleaners will also protect the tub from damage that might be caused by abrasive particles found in other cleaners. Spray the inside of the hot tub with a hose to moisten it, then scrub it with the cleaner and a cloth or sponge.
- Hot tubs with fiberglass tubs are resistant to buildup and germs. If your hot tub has an acrylic tub, you can probably clean it with a mild all-purpose bathroom cleaner.
- For a more thorough cleaning, you can mix in a 50 parts per million (ppm) bleach solution. Create this mixture by simply adding 1/4 teaspoon of dichlor to 5 gallons of water.
- After you have cleaned the inner cover or hot tub, rinse it carefully and wipe it with an old towel. Be aware that leaving cleaner residue on the surface can affect the chemical balance of the hot tub, which could cloud the transparency of the water or create an environment for mold or bacteria to grow.
Step 2. Remove and carefully clean the filter
These are often accessible through a panel or cabinet located around the pump. Some filters may require you to unscrew or open the clamps that hold the filter cover in place. It's a good idea to take a picture of how the filter is assembled before you begin to disassemble it, so you will know what it looks like when fully assembled. Once you have removed the filter, you should do the following:
- Spray the filter with a stream of water. A high pressure garden hose tip should be sufficient to remove most of the debris from the filter. Do not use a brush to clean it, this could cause the particles to penetrate deep into the filter.
- Scrub the inside of the filter cabinet with hot tub cleaner or a 50 ppm dichlor and water solution. Be aware that bacteria or organic materials such as mold can grow in the filter cabinet. Even if it appears to be clean at first glance, give it a good wash to keep it that way.
- Soak your filter for at least an hour in a grease-cutting solution. The right solution for your hot tub material and model is likely to be specified in the user manual, but if not, a salesperson at your local pool supply store will be able to help you find the right product for your hot tub..
- Sanitize the filter in a bleach solution. A 50 ppm chlorine solution will work very well to disinfect and remove any dirt that has remained after soaking in the product to cut grease. You can make this mixture simply by mixing 1/4 teaspoon of dichlor with 5 gallons of water.
Step 3. Wash the filter in the dishwasher
This is an alternative to soaking it in a grease-cutting solution and disinfecting it with a dichlorine rinse and water. You will first want to remove as much dirt as you can by using a hose with a high pressure water jet. Once you've cleaned it as well as possible, put the filter in the dishwasher, then do the following:
- Use the normal amount of detergent and disable the heat dry cycle. Wash the filter twice in the dishwasher for best results.
- Between wash cycles, you will want to turn the filter over. This will ensure that it is completely washed all over.
- Check your owner's manual before trying to wash the filter in the dishwasher. Some hot tubs may not be designed to withstand the sterilization temperatures of your dishwasher.
Step 4. Reinstall your filter
This could be as simple as sliding it into a coupling and pressing the cover panel into place, but you may need to refer to the photo of the filter you took before disassembling it if it has a more complicated design. Make sure all necessary parts and clamps are secured in place.
Step 5. Cover problem areas with effective cleansers
You can better clean some types of dirt from the hot tub by using specific cleaning agents. For example, the white lines produced by watermarks can be dissolved with a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water. Simply apply the solution to the stained area with a sponge or cloth and rub to clean. It is also recommended that you do the following:
- Use baking soda to remove grime and slimy organics. The extra abrasion of the baking soda, added to its cleaning properties, will help you remove the grime with the cloth or sponge, but at the same time it will be soft enough not to mistreat the acrylic tub.
- Apply olive oil on the sap or sticky substances that are in the jacuzzi or on the cover of the same. Rub the oil over the stained area until the sticky parts begin to dissolve, then wipe the surface with a cloth, mild soap, and water.
Part 3 of 4: Refill the Jacuzzi
Step 1. Add water up to the designated water line of the hot tub
You will want to first pass the water that you add to the jacuzzi through the filter. Place the hose inside the inlet of the filter, so that it flows through it towards the pipes and, finally, towards the water reservoir of the same.
Step 2. Reconnect the hot tub
If you cut the power from the fuse box, you will need to turn it "ON" or "ON" before activating the hot tub. Let the hot tub run for a few minutes while you listen to the pump and filter to detect any unusual noises. This could indicate that you have reinstalled the filter incorrectly or that you did not properly tighten the clamps that hold the filter in place.
You will also want to turn off all the air valves in the hot tub. This will prevent the hot tub from getting too airy when you treat the water
Step 3. Treat the water with the chemicals recommended for your Jacuzzi
Keep in mind that the recommended combination for your hot tub will vary by model, but you can generally assume that you will need a shock agent, a disinfectant, and potentially a pH regulator. Cover your clean Jacuzzi after adding the chemical treatment and wait the time indicated in the instructions.
Try the hot tub when the shock and disinfection treatment timeout has expired. Make sure the chlorine and pH levels are acceptable for the hot tub. Acceptable levels will generally be indicated in the Jacuzzi user and instruction manual
Part 4 of 4: Keeping the hot tub clean
Step 1. Sanitize the hot tub weekly
Depending on the size of the hot tub and the chemicals you are using to treat the water, there are many small differences in the way you can do it. In most cases, you will only need to put a chlorine or bromine tablet in the hot tub every week to keep the water clean and clear.
Never mix treatments that are not specifically listed as compatible. Be aware that using the wrong mix of chemicals to treat your water could be a serious hazard
Step 2. Clean the hot tub filter once a month
The filter is a part of the hot tub that is intentionally designed to trap particles. This being the case, it is recommended that you clean it at least once a month, although you might consider cleaning it every two weeks if the hot tub is used very frequently. A clean filter will not only ensure proper hot tub operation, it will also extend the life of the filter.
Step 3. Clean the Jacuzzi tub every three months
Most acrylic tubs are resistant to bacteria, mold, and other types of build-up. However, by cleaning your hot tub frequently, you will avoid a build-up of residue before it becomes a thick, hard-to-remove layer.
Step 4. Clean the hot tub cover once a month
The outside of the hot tub cover is the most exposed to sunlight and the elements, so it is prone to collecting things such as dust and sticky substances such as sap. Clean the deck at least once a month. Commercial vinyl protectors for the outside of the hot tub cover will also help prevent unsightly cracks from developing.
Clean the back of the hot tub cover by removing it and flushing it with a hose. It is not necessary to use cleaners for this side of the deck
You may want to keep an additional filter on hand. There is no need to replace the filter every time it gets dirty. Frequent cleaning of it will extend its useful life. However, having an extra filter on hand to use while cleaning or soaking the one you have in use will allow the hot tub to remain in use during the cleaning process
- While a 50 ppm dichlor solution and water is an exceptional cleanser, it can irritate your skin, eyes, and lungs. Be sure to wear gloves, goggles, and long-handled brushes to prevent irritations. Also, avoid breathing the gases that this solution gives off.
- Remember to use mild cleaning agents, as abrasives can scratch the acrylic coat or dull its finish. Any bathroom cleaner will work best.