There are more than 7.3 million hot tubs across the United States. But people and businesses alike struggle to keep them in good shape. 80% of public water venues were in violation of at least one health ordinance.

Of course, this doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It’s easy once you know how to keep a hot tub clean.

And why wouldn’t you want to? A dirty hot tub will have a shorter lifespan overall. Even worse, it puts its users at risk of an illness or infection.

Preserve your money and health by keeping your hot tub clean. Not sure how? This guide will give you the basics.

How to Keep a Hot Tub Clean

If you don’t know what you’re doing, maintaining your hot tub can be a real hassle. Thankfully, it’s not as hard as you might think.

These five hot tub maintenance tips will keep your prized possession clean year-round. 

1. Monitor the Water Levels

Do you remember the last time you drained your hot tub? The same water remains in the hot tub for months at a time. To ensure it’s safe to use, you should test the water in your hot tub at least once a week.

This can be done with a comprehensive water testing kit or water test strips. A water testing kit comes with plastic tubes, which you’ll fill with hot tub water. Then you’ll add special chemicals that change color to indicate certain water qualities.

If you choose water test strips, you can skip the chemicals and tubes entirely. The plastic strip will change colors when you dip it in the water. A test strip may only measure one dimension of the water, but you can also get a test strip that examines several at once.

There are four major water markers you need to watch out for. Measure for alkalinity, hardness, chlorine, and pH.

It might sound like a hassle, but it only takes a moment to test these water levels. With proper hot tub maintenance, you’ll have to clean the hot tub less often.

And that’s much easier overall.

2. Use a Sanitizer

Want to know the surefire way to keep a hot tub clean? Make sure the water always has enough sanitizer. When you perform a weekly water test, you’ll know if you need to add more.

In general, you want to add sanitizer once every two days. You can also purchase a floater, which will slowly release the sanitizer over time, so you don’t have to worry about it.

And when it comes to a good hot tub sanitizer, you have several options.

Everyone is familiar with chlorine. Chlorine is a powerful and inexpensive sanitizer for your hot tub. However, it can be aggressive on the skin and comes with that distinct and nostalgic chlorine scent.

A popular alternative is a bromine. Although bromine is more expensive, it’s softer on the body and doesn’t come with a sharp odor.

Are you trying to keep a hot tub clean naturally? Skip the chemicals and choose a sanitizer with colloidal silver. This mineral is a natural way to kill germs lingering in your hot tub water.

3. Don’t Forget the Hot Tub Cover

When your hot tub isn’t in use, leave the cover on. This will help regulate the water quality by keeping contaminants at bay. And by preserving the quality of your hot tub water, you won’t have to add chemicals or minerals as often.

Plus, it’ll keep out larger debris such as twigs, leaves, and even insects. These can gunk up your hot tub filter which means you’ll be cleaning it far often than usual.

Be sure to purchase a hot tub cover as soon as possible if your model didn’t come with one. Pre-owned hot tubs aren’t likely to have a cover in tow. But since you’ll save compared to buying new, it’s a very affordable addition.

If you’re interested in pre-owned hot tubs, you can find more here.

4. Clean the Hot Tub Filter

You should clean your hot tub filter twice a month. Failing to do so will lead to water imbalances and could even damage its inner workings. You’ll know it’s time to clean your filter when it’s filled with debris.

To clean a hot tub filter, simply spray it clean with your hose or sink. Don’t return it to your hot tub until it has dried completely.

When the time comes to give your hot tub a deep clean, don’t forget the filter. Give it a soak according to the directions on the filter cleanser of your choice.

And always keep an eye out for signs of wear and tear. If you spot a hole or other type of damage on your hot tub filter, it may be time for a replacement.

5. Drain the Water Regularly

Your hot tub’s water will need to be drained and replaced even with great maintenance. It can be a big project, but thankfully it only needs to be done every three or four months.

So how do you know when it’s time? When your water levels change drastically and require more chemicals than before, that’s a good sign that it’s time to refill the hot tub.

Drain your tub according to your model’s directions. For the deepest clean, use a spa system flush beforehand. However, if you prefer natural hot tub maintenance, you can skip this step.

Once your hot tub is empty, clean the interior of the tub before filling it with new soft water.

A Hot Tub is Worth the Effort

This might seem like a lot to take in. When you wonder how to keep a hot tub clean, just remember it relies on frequent monitoring. If you detect unsafe water levels, simply pour in whatever agent your hot tub needs.

And every three or four months, you’ll want to give your hot tub and its filter a thorough cleaning. Your hot tub will remain clean and functional all year so long as you stay on top of these simple tasks.

It all starts with a decent water test kit. Decide whether you’d prefer the bottles or the strips, and then set up a regular testing schedule to ensure your hot tub remains in peak condition.

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