Hot tub and cleaning products

How to Clean a Hot Tub – Complete Guide

Enjoying the warm and comforting sensation of a hot tub is one of the best feelings, and keeping it clean is vital part of maintaining a hygienic experience.

Not only does proper maintenance extend the lifespan of your tub, but it also improves its overall performance.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the necessary steps and provide valuable tips to help you keep your hot tub sparkling clean.


How Often Should You Clean a Hot Tub?

If you own a hot tub or jacuzzi, you should do some basic cleaning every week and a deeper clean at least once a month.

Here’s a suggested maintenance schedule:

  • Weekly: Surface cleaning, filter rinsing, and water chemistry checks.
  • Monthly: Deep clean of the hot tub shell and cover, filter cleaning or replacement, and water replacement.


Can You Use Bleach or Vinegar to Clean a Hot Tub?

When it comes to cleaning your hot tub, it’s important to use products specifically designed for this purpose.

While bleach and vinegar are commonly used household cleaning agents, they are not suitable for cleaning hot tubs. Here’s why:


Don't use bleach on hot tub

Bleach is a strong disinfectant and cleaning agent used for various purposes around the house.

However, it is not recommended for hot tub cleaning.

Bleach can interfere with the pH balance of the water and disrupt the delicate chemistry required for a safe and enjoyable hot tub experience.

Additionally, bleach can cause damage to the hot tub’s surfaces, including the shell, jets, and filters.



Don't use vinegar on hot tub

Vinegar is often used as a natural cleaning solution due to its acidic properties. However, using vinegar for hot tub cleaning is not advisable.

Like bleach, vinegar can disrupt the pH balance of the water, leading to potential issues with water chemistry.

Furthermore, vinegar may react with certain components of the hot tub, causing damage or corrosion.

To ensure proper water chemistry and maintain a hygienic hot tub, it’s crucial to use cleaning products specifically formulated for hot tubs.

These products are designed to clean effectively without negatively impacting the water’s pH balance or damaging the hot tub’s surfaces.


Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Before diving into the cleaning process, it’s essential to gather the right tools and supplies. You’ll need a soft-bristle brush, pH test strips, and non-abrasive cleaners.

These items will be your trusty companions throughout the cleaning journey, ensuring efficient and effective results.

Remember to use products specifically designed for hot tubs and refer to your hot tub’s manufacturer guide for any specific instructions.


Step 2: Flush Out the Pipes

Whilst you’re cleaning your hot tub, you should consider cleaning the pipes at the same time. This will help eliminate dirt, bacteria, and build-up in your hot tub’s pipes.

Start by removing your hot tub filters, and proceeding to turn the jets onto the highest setting.

Pour the suggested amount of a pipe cleaner specifically made for hot tubs into the filter housing. Consider using this pipe cleaner from Pro-Kleen if you don’t have one already.

Leave the jets to run for about 30 min.  

Prioritise this step before cleaning the tub’s shell. Once done, proceed to drain the water completely.


Step 3: Drain the Water

You should drain the water from your hot tub at least every three months.

Before starting the draining process, ensure you turn off the power to the hot tub at the circuit breaker. This precaution prevents any potential damage to the pump motor and filter mechanism.

Some tubs have a drain valve located at the bottom or inside the cabinet, while others may require the use of a submersible pump.

Submersible pumps will sit at the bottom of the hot tub and can drain all the water in as little as 10 minutes.

For both methods, use a garden hose to connect one end to the drain valve or submersible pump, and the other end to a suitable drainage area.


Step 4: Clean the Shell and Jets

After draining the hot tub, use a damp cloth to wipe away sediments, dirt, and debris from the shell.

It’s highly recommended to use a hot tub surface cleaner along with a soft cloth for thorough cleaning. For tougher stains, a soft bristled brush can be more effective.

Avoid using regular household cleaning products, as they are not pH neutral and may damage the hot tub’s shell or cause water-related issues.


Step 5: Clean the Hot Tub Filters

Hot tub filters

Proper maintenance of hot tub filters is essential for optimal water circulation and filtration. Follow these steps:

  1. Remove the filter(s) as per the manufacturer’s instructions, and using a hose to rinse the filters in order to remove debris.
  2. Soak the filters in a filter cleaner solution to eliminate oils and other buildups.
  3. Rinse the filters thoroughly and allow them to dry completely before reinstalling or replacing them.


Step 6: Clean the Pillows

Hot tub pillows require regular cleaning and maintenance to protect them from dirt, mould, and mildew.

Remove the headrest cushions and any covers, wiping them down using a cloth soaked in warm water and mild detergent.

Rinse again and allow it to air dry completely before placing it back on the hot tub.

Pay attention to cleaning the acrylic shell behind the pillows, as dirt and mould can accumulate here.


Step 7: Clean the Hot Tub Cover

Start by spraying the hot tub cover with a high-powered jet cleaner or hose pipe to remove loose dirt and debris. Use a soft, damp cloth to wipe the surface clean.

Consider using an approved hot tub cover cleaner for a thorough cleaning.


Step 8: Refill Your Hot Tub

Using chlorine tab in hot tub

Each model and type of hot tub will have its own way of refilling, so you should refer to your hot tub’s manufacturer guide for specific instructions on how to refill your particular model.

However, as a general guide, you should position your hose pipe in the filter housing unit to ensure the internal pipework fills first and prevent any airlocks.

Once your hot tub is filled, it’s time to balance the pH and add a suitable sanitiser.

Before switching on your hot tub, make sure the drain valves are securely closed, replacement filters are properly installed, and the water level reaches the fill line or the bottom of the pillows.


Water Chemistry and Sanitisation

Maintaining proper water chemistry is crucial for a clean and safe hot tub experience. Consider these aspects:

  • Regularly test and balance the water’s pH, alkalinity, and sanitiser levels using appropriate test strips.
  • Adjust the chemical levels using recommended products to ensure clean and balanced water.
  • Choose the right sanitiser for your hot tub, such as chlorine, bromine, or alternative options, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for their usage and maintenance.


Safety Considerations

When cleaning or using a hot tub, always prioritise safety:

  • Follow the recommended temperature and time limits for hot tub usage to avoid discomfort or health risks.
  • Ensure proper electrical safety and grounding, and regularly check for any potential issues.
  • Take necessary precautions when handling chemicals and cleaning agents, following instructions and safety guidelines.