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Learn How to Maintain a Hot Tub: Pro Maintenance Tips!

how to maintain a hot tub
Written by Kai Michel
Last Update: August 10, 2023

Proper and constant maintenance is needed to keep your precious hot tub clean and in good condition. If you are unclear about how to maintain a hot tub, don’t worry. We’ve got your back.

The basic maintenance involves cleaning the spa regularly; this includes both the filter and the cover of the spa. You’ll also need to check the level of chemical and add up chemicals if necessary. This article will go through all the thing you need to maintain in order to enjoy a hot relaxing bath every time. Let’s dive right in.

Regular Hot Tub Maintenance

Regular Hot Tub Maintenance Tips

Testing & Applying Chemicals to Your Spa

  • We recommend the use of test strips to check out chemical level in the spa

Carry out a proper check and adjustment on the level of your chemical; this can be done 1 – 3 times weekly. You can easily get an affordable test strip from a department store next to you, or check online. Once you have your strip ready, place it in the spa for 15 seconds, and then observe the outcome.

  • Use one chemical

When carrying out adjustments on the chemical level, we recommend adding one chemical and then wait for some length of time (around 2 hrs) to observe the outcome of the previous chemical before adding another chemical.

Sustaining the proper chemical level is extremely important since excessive usage can lead to corrosion on your hot tub and it’s equipment. Corrosion gives room for the growth of bacteria, increasing your chance of getting sick.

Doing this allows the previous chemical to disperse itself around the spa and create enough effectiveness. Waiting can also reduce the danger that is accompanied by reactions of chemicals.

Ensure the cover of the spa is off for 15 – 20 minutes after adding the chemicals.

  • Sanitize the hot tub with bromine or chlorine

Ensure you use the test strips; this will help maintain an average chemical level. Though the use of chlorine is an old fashioned style of sanitizing a spa; however, bromine has replaced the use of the latter chemical. And this is due to its less reactiveness with the sink and the rate of smell it has.

  • If you intend to use chlorine, you will need to add two tablespoons, which most time is approximately 30ml in the spa water. Do this as recommended to get a stable chlorine level, which ranges from 1.5 -3 PPM.
  • On the other hand, if you want to use bromine, the result on your strip should range from 3.0 -5.0.
  • Check out the level of calcium hardness

The use of soft water in a tub is one of the cost-effective ways to check out for calcium hardness. Once the tub is overexposed to calcium hardness, the formation of scales will be inevitable. In such scenarios, we recommend the use of defender products to help regulate and control scale formation. Conversely, if you have a tub that lacks calcium hardness, the water you used will extract minerals from other external sources; this can be most time be iron or aluminum. In cases like this, we recommend the use of calcium booster to help strike a balance in the level of calcium hardness.

  • If the spa used is acrylic finished, the level of calcium can be between 100-250. And if you have a spa with a plaster finish, the calcium hardness level should range from 250 -450.

Check out the level of pH: add sodium bisulfate (spa down) or sodium bicarbonate (spa up) if necessary. Make sure you have a pH level that ranges from 7.2 -7.8. If this is off, you will need to stabilize the level of alkalinity in the spa. Afterward, ensure you add the right amounts of bromine/ chlorine to the spa. If the pH concentration remains off, spa down or spa off or use products to balance the pH level.

Cleaning Your Filter and Cover

Cleaning Hot Tubs Filter and Cover

  • Clean up your filters in two weeks interval

If you want the filters of your spa unclogged and cleaned properly, you will need to remove the used cartridge from the filter. Use a hose to run enough water across each pleat and clean off any form of foreign matter or dirty from the filter. Ensure the filter is air-dry after cleaning before replacing it.

  • Once the spa filter is damaged, we recommend replacing it immediately.
  • If you are using a dish washer to clean up the cartridge, ensure try to off the inbuilt water heater. This is advisable because water heated above 60 °C (140°F) can lead to damage on the surface of the filter.
  • Using granular filters to clean the hot tub thrice in a month

It is also advisable to use the cleaner found on the filter each time you want to replace the water in a spa tub. Replace each dirty filter with a new and clean filter.  You can use cleaner also on your filter, cleaners like Trisodium Phosphate, which are the main component element in most detergents. Measure out a cup of TSP and add it to five gallons of distilled water to create a solution you will use to clean the filter.

  • Clean up the cover of the hot tub once in a month

Securing the cover of your spa is one of the first steps to maintaining your spa; this is important because the cover carries 75% of the activities. Ensure the cover of the hot tub is thoroughly cleaned before the application of vinyl protector. If the cover of your tub is made for acrylic, then you don’t have to condition, all you will need to do is to clean it ones or twice a month. You can do this with a gentle clean, or a soft sponge to wipe off the dirt on the cover.

  • Avoid the use of dish detergents, soaps, or abrasives to clean up the covers; doing this will lead to damage on the coats and will result to quick deterioration.
  • Wash the cover in a warm and sunny day and allow to air dry.
  • Clean up the mildew found inside the covering if it has a problem

Spotting a problem with the mildew is quite easy because once it becomes faulty, it generates awful smell. The first step to this is to ensure the cover is unzipped correctly, then take off the interior path of the foam away from the used cover.

Use a multi-surface cleaner to spray the inner and outer part of the cover. Next, scrub it using a soft sponge and clean its surface. Rinse the entire cover properly. Use a soft fabric to dry the cover outer and inner parts properly.

  • Expose the cover to the sun, and air dry it for two days; this will help reduce the mildew.
  • It is has a plastic barrier; we recommend cleaning and spraying the plastic sheet.
  • If the core of the foam is rotted or waterlogged, replacing it will be the viable option.

Keeping Your Spa Running Well

Keeping Your Spa Running Well

  • Have a good shower before stepping into the tub

It is vital to rinse both the body and hair to wash away all forms of body care products and cosmetics before using the spa.  If condition permits, avoid the use of cloths too. Often time’s microfibers from costumes and clothing can clog the entire filters. If the water in the spa has a foam formation or appears murky, this can result from body lotions and care products that are wash off from people in the tub.

  • If the spa is used often, the use of an enzyme clarifier will help protect and keep the spa clean from lotions, gels soap, and other things used by people in the spa.
  • Water should be changed in an interval of four to six months

Although this is solely dependent on the type of spa and how often it is used, a total change of water is recommended at least four to five times a year. To drain off the water in the tub, we recommend adhering to the instruction that comes with the spa tub. If the spa is family used, then refilling and changing the water in the spa in 3 months interval will be recommendable.

Long-Term Hot Tub Maintenance

Monthly Hot Tub Maintenance

Carrying out hot tube maintenance once a month will help reduce those gritty accumulations that are found in the filters and jets. Away from this, you can also carry out a water test.

  • Use chemicals to rinse the filter. The use of cleaning chemicals will help clear off more ick and crud when compared to the use of water alone.
  • Seek the attention of a professional to check the spa water: one of the significant advantages of pros is that they have access to more sophisticated testing equipment that can be used to solve water issues that affect the quality of water before it becomes disastrous.

Quarterly Hot Tub Maintenance

On a four months interval, you will need to carry out an in-depth cleaning on your spa tub. Empty the tub, clean it properly, and ensure its all in good working condition. Make time to drain and then refill. You can also clean up the cover.

  • Clean the cabinet with hot tub: cleaning the tub on a quarterly basis will make it look great and help prevent structural and cosmetic damage.
  • Soak the filter with a chemical: this is another version of chemical rinse, and doing it will help you boost the appearance of your filter and help reduce the rate of contamination in the hot tub.
  • Drain off and clean up the tub: while the tub is drained, you can carry out any form of repairs on it and reduce chemical and gunk build-up, which can affect the performance of the tub once accumulated to a certain level.

Yearly Maintenance

Most of the steps, as mentioned earlier, could also be carried out on annual bases with less impact on the hot tub. For optimum performance, we strongly recommend they be carried out on a monthly and quarterly basis.

You can carry out the following task once every year or better still regularly.

  • Flush out the line to kill and reduce biofilms and bacteria: it is a perfect idea to adopt the use of line flush whenever the spa is drained before the proper refill.
  • Check out the tub’s wiring and hardware: check out damages that are likely caused by tears and wears, chemical imbalance, and pests.
  • Call the attention of a professional for a tune-up: professionals will help check out the wiring and hardware for issues that are likely to occur beforehand.
  • Check out the cover: check out physical damages, absorption, moisture, and mold or mildew infestations.


It is vital to reduce the temperature whenever your hot tub is not in use but ensure its running always. The entire tub should be enhanced with the use of circulating pumps to help circulate water around it. The pump will help control and algae build-up by filtering the water. This circulation keeps the pool clean.

Hopefully, you have a pretty solid idea about how to maintain a hot tub by now. Regular maintenance is the key to enjoying a refreshing hot bath and the health benifits that come with it. Maintain you hot tubs regularly for a clean, safe, and relaxing bath whenever you want.


1: How often do you need to change the water in a hot tub?

On average usage, it is advisable to change the water in your tub with an interval of 7-8 weeks. The more often you use the tub, the higher the chance of contamination in the water. To this effect, it advisable to change the water frequently.

2: What chemicals do I need for a hot tub?

Bromine/chlorine is one of the most commonly used chemicals. It is important to bear in mind the chemical ranges with the balance of water in the hot tub.

3: How can I maintain my hot tub without chemicals?

Sanitizers work in tandem with silk similar to bromine or chlorine. One of their advantages is a cozy, natural feel within your hot water bathtub. It’s practically impossible to use a hot tub in the absence of chemicals, but it’s possible to use it without a harsh effect with the right silk balance. Keep this in mind when setting up the tub.

4: Is it safe to put essential oils in a hot tub?

The use of essential oils when it comes to hot tubs, depends of how fast the oil evaporate and when they do evaporate, they don’t stick to the wall of the tub or it plumbing. Aside from the use of essential oil, other forms of oil are not advisable.

About the author

Kai Michel

Hello, this is Kai, addressing homeowners in need of some help with their home renovation projects. I’ve worked on numerous toilet repair projects over the years that incorporated a wide variety of tasks, from repair to renovation and maintenance. Besides acquiring a degree on the legal codes and procedures, I gathered vast insights into bathroom settings, toilets, showers, fittings, and other household appliances, fixtures, and components. This helps me guide my clients through their home improvement and interior development plans. Since maintenance is my area of expertise, I can assist people in all phases of the actual ‘improvement’ process. To get my messages even further, I contribute to this site through my blog posts. Check my content here for expert suggestions!

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