A hot tub is an investment in both your home and yourself - it's good for your muscles and helps you unwind after a long day. It’s a great way to enjoy your deck with friends and since you can use it on cool days, it extends the time you can use your outdoor area. It’s important to protect your investment with regular maintenance. Just like with pool maintenance - it’s important to follow the three C’s of hot tub care: Cleaning, Circulation, and Chemistry.
Clean Those Filters!
If your hot tub filter is working properly, it should be running any time your hot tub is in use. You should regularly rinse your hot tub filter using warm water. In addition, your filter should also be sprayed with a hot tub filter cleaner at least once a week — be sure to rinse them before reinstalling. When your filter is past its prime, replace it with a new one. It’s better to do this sooner rather than later to keep your hot tub in tip-top shape. With standard use, a typical hot tub filter will last about a year.
Circulate Your Hot Tub Water
Depending on the type of hot tub you have, it may have an auto circulation that runs a few times a day. Check your manual to see if you need to set the circulation schedule or if it’s preset. A standard cycle would run for about 20 minutes to ensure that all of the water in your hot tub has run through the filter.
Manually Clean Your Hot Tub
Unfortunately, both indoor and outdoor tubs are prone to developing mold and mildew. It’s just part of having anything water-related. An outdoor hot tub also collects debris such as fallen leaves, sticks, bugs, etc. Regularly remove any debris and at least once a week, wipe down the tub with a sponge and vinegar-based cleaner. Vinegar helps reduce the growth and build-up of mildew. If you feel like it needs a little extra oomph, you can use a bleach-based cleanser to remove any visible scum.
It’s All About the Chemistry
Regularly check up on your pH levels. For a healthy hot tub, you want to shoot for a pH between 7.4 and 7.6. Anything too much lower than this will make your hot tub too acidic. Water that is too acidic can cause a multitude of problems including irritation to your skin and eyes and the deterioration of the hardware in your hot tub.
When it comes to alkalinity, you want to aim for 125 ppm to 150 ppm. You will notice if it’s much higher than this as it typically causes water cloudiness and discoloration. You can do a quick and eas ph check with liquid test kits or hot tub chemical testing strips which are both relatively inexpensive and user-friendly methods. It is recommended to test the water weekly during periods of regular use.
Cover It Up
In addition to your maintenance routine, you want to make sure to always keep a hot tub cover on your hot tub when it’s not in use. This will minimize the debris that can get in and anything else that may affect the chemistry of your hot tub.
Bonus Tip: Add tennis balls to your hot tub after use. Hot water naturally extracts oils and dirt from your skin and clothes. The fuzzy tennis ball fibers will attract the oils and help keep your water clean!