Winter is a great time of year to enjoy your hot tub. It isn’t the best time of year for properly cleaning and maintaining a hot tub, however. This makes spring the ideal time of year to reset and give your hot tub a deep cleaning. Today, we will give you our step-by-step guide to giving your hot tub a proper spring clean!
Draining Your Hot Tub
The first step in giving your hot tub a spring clean is draining it. Draining your hot tub allows you to both clean the entire surface of the hot tub and refresh your bathing experience with new fresh water. Before you drain the hot tub, however, you’ll first want to add in a plumbing cleaner.
How To Clean Your Hot Tub Plumbing
Over time, water-loving bacteria known as biofilm builds up in the plumbing of hot tubs. Biofilm greatly decreases your sanitizer’s effectiveness as the sanitizer residual in the water is constantly being used up trying to get rid of the biofilm. This means that your water will go through more sanitizer than it needs to and will turn cloudy very easily. You may also notice a visible ring at the waterline or discolouration on your filter.
While the standard drain and clean procedure does help to keep your water clean and clear, it doesn’t solve biofilm build up in the hot tub plumbing. How do you clean the plumbing? For that, you’ll need a hot tub plumbing cleaner like Spa Flush or EZ Flush.
To clean your plumbing with a hot tub plumbing cleaner, simply add it to the hot tub water around 30-60 minutes before draining your hot tub. Make sure you remove your filter, and your jets are on (with the air off) during this time to allow the cleaner to flow through all of the plumbing.
After a couple of minutes, you should notice a thick foam start to build up on the surface of the water. This foam will be dark grey, brown or black in colour. Suck up this foam with a shop vac until it begins to turn white. Once the foam is white the biofilm has been removed and you can begin draining and refilling your hot tub.
Note: It is not necessary to clean the plumbing every time that you drain and fill the hot tub. Depending on how often you use the hot tub, you should clean the plumbing once per year. This makes it an ideal job to include in your spring clean.
How To Drain Your Hot Tub
To drain the hot tub, you must first turn off power to the hot tub. Once the power is off, you can attach a garden hose to your hot tub’s drain. Once your hose is attached, put the other end of the hose where you want the water to go and open the drain valve to start draining the hot tub.
Note: In some cities you are not able to drain your hot tub or pool into the street. Fortunately, low levels of chlorine or bromine won’t affect your grass and other plants. If you’re worried about your lawn, just test the water before draining to ensure that the bromine levels are 10ppm or below (5ppm or below if using chlorine).
Once the hot tub stops draining, get a shop vac to remove the remainder of the water in the hot tub. You can also put the end of the shop vac hose up to the jets and suctions to remove some of the water in the plumbing.
Note: Gravity drains in hot tubs can take several hours to drain the hot tub and will often still leave a significant amount of water in the hot tub. To make the draining process easier we recommend getting a submersible pump. These can be purchased relatively inexpensively and can drain fully drain a hot tub much faster.
Cleaning The Surface Of Your Hot Tub
Once you have drained as much of the old water as you can, it’s time to start cleaning! Clean the surface of your hot tub with a soft cloth and a cleaner specifically designed for hot tubs. If you don’t have a hot tub cleaner and have stubborn stains, you can also use bleach that has been diluted in water (use gloves if you do). Give the hot tub a quick rinse and vacuum up the remaining water. Avoid using household cleaners when cleaning any part of your hot tub as they often contain sudsing agents that cause foamy hot tub water; forcing you to do another drain and refill.
Clean The Jets
Along with cleaning the surface of the hot tub, we also recommend removing and cleaning the hot tub jets while the hot tub is empty. Most hot tub jets are able to be removed with a simple counter clockwise turn (ask your retailer if you’re unsure).
Once removed, give the jets a quick rinse to remove any grit that has built up in the threads of the jet. If there is any other debris (usually bits of grass or other small debris) still caught in the jet after rinsing, remove them with a sharp tipped object or a pair of tweezers.
Cleaning your jets this way will ensure that your jets can open and close smoothly, and will extend the lifespan of the jet by reducing wear and tear on the threads that hold the jet in place.
Filling The Hot Tub
When refilling your hot tub, it is important to fill it from the filter area. This allows the pump to fill with water first and will prevent potential airlock issues when you turn the hot tub back on. If you have a hot tub with a pressurized filter, such as a Hydropool Self-Clean, then you will want to fill the hot tub from the skimmer to achieve the same effect.
When the hot tub has been fully filled, turn the power back on and let the hot tub start to heat up. When the hot tub has heated to around 70 degrees Fahrenheit you can add in your initial chemicals.
How To Clean Your Hot Tub Filters
Your hot tub’s filters are key to the overall filtration system. To keep your hot tub running efficiently, prevent water quality issues and avoid potential damage to the hot tub pump, you need to regularly clean the filter.
To clean your hot tub filter simply remove it from the hot tub every 3-4 weeks and rinse it off with a hose or in your laundry tub to remove any dirt or debris caught in the filter.
Along with these basic cleanings, you should also chemically clean the hot tub filters every 3-4 months to remove trapped oils and lotions. To chemically clean a hot tub filter, you will need to purchase a hot tub filter cleaner. Simply add the filter cleaner to a bucket of water large enough to fully submerge your hot tub filter. Put your filter in the bucket with the cleaning solution and let sit overnight. When the time is up, remove the filter and rinse it with a garden hose. It is then ready for use.
Cleaning Your Hot Tub Cover
The last part of your hot tub that you should clean is the cover, especially the underside of the cover. Because the underside of the cover is in a hot, damp environment there is a tendency for mildew to grow on it over time, especially in the seams.
To clean the hot tub cover, simply spray it with a non-sudsing hot tub cleaner like Clean & Perfect and wipe it off with a paper towel or cloth. Once the cover is clean, you should also treat the topside of the cover with a UV protectant. UV radiation from the sun will damage the vinyl skin of your hot tub cover over time; making it brittle and reducing its lifespan. UV protectants will both clean the cover and protect it from UV damage; extending the life of your hot tub cover.
Read More: How Do You Know When It Is Time To Replace Your Hot Tub Cover?
Spring is the perfect time of year to ensure that your hot tub is fully cleaned and working at peak efficiency. Following this step-by-step guide will ensure that your hot tub will run smoothly and efficiently through the summer months.