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Hot Tub 101
Hot Tub Maintenance

Guide: How to Clean a Hot Tub Filter

Hot tubs don’t clean themselves, as much as we might hope they did. Even with occasional chemicals added, there’s more to it to create a lasting, comfortable, and healthy experience. It’s just as important that the inner workings (like the filter) are clean. Find out why it’s so important to clean your hot tub and how.

What can dirty hot tub water lead to?

Sitting in unsanitary hot tub water can lead to skin irritation and rashes, illness, reduced hot tub performance, shorter hot tub lifespan, and an unpleasant experience. Unclean water can happen due to a number of factors. We list some below.

  1. A person entering the hot tub with body and hair products on them that will mix into the water and affect the chemical levels. Incorrect chemical levels can lead to bacteria, algae blooms, and white-water mold.
  2. Frequent or infrequent use. Leaving a hot tub sitting idly for a long period of time will affect the quality of water just as much as using it a lot will without keeping pace with cleaning and chemicals.
  3. Topping up the water if it gets low can introduce the wrong chemicals into the water depending on the source. If the right methods aren’t used to top up a hot tub’s water levels, the pH level can be thrown off and the water’s cleanliness will fade.

How often you clean your hot tub has an impact on the overall safety of using it. In a hot tub, we inhale water droplets and steam that rises from the water. If the water isn’t clean, that means dangerous bacteria is flowing into the lungs, which can cause breathing problems, illness, and allergies.

For the long-lasting enjoyment of your hot tub, it’s important to know how and when to clean a hot tub filter, what hot tub cleaning products to use, and how to use that hot tub cleaner to address the cleanliness of the cover and lining of the hot tub.

How to clean hot tub filters

Knowing how to clean a hot tub filter can help reduce the risks of unsanitary water and prolong the life of your hot tub and its parts. Each time the hot tub is used, check the chemical levels using a test strip and make sure the proper chemicals are added to the water in advance. Keep on top of this process to lower the amount of work to do when it’s time to clean a hot tub filter.

Just because this last step is done, doesn’t mean the filter isn’t still building up with grime and bacteria. Remove the filter and give it a rinse. Then soak it in a filter-specific hot tub cleaner overnight. After that, give it another thorough rinse. To address any larger pieces of debris or tougher spots, use a cleaning wand. Put the filter back into the hot tub.

How often to clean a hot tub filter
Depending on how often the hot tub is used, it’s a good idea to clean a hot tub filter every one to three months. Between deep cleanings, consider doing quick rinses to ensure it continues to function optimally.

Also, consider fully replacing the filter every year as it’s done a year’s worth of filtering the hot tub water and could use a full refresh. Have the right hot tub cleaning products on hand to make these processes easy and safe.

How to clean a hot tub cover

Just as it’s possible to breathe in contaminated water droplets when sitting in the hot tub, that same contamination can settle on the inside of the hot tub cover whenever it’s closed. Here’s how to clean a hot tub cover to ensure it lasts and doesn’t host bacteria or mold.

  1. Remove the cover and lay it down flat.
  2. Spray the inside of the hot tub cover with water to rinse away any chemicals and grime.
  3. You can do the same with the exterior of the hot tub cover later.
  4. Use hot tub cleaning products, such as vinyl cleaner on the exterior of the hot tub cover or a vinegar and water solution.
  5. Rinse the entirety of the hot tub cover again to remove any lasting debris, chemicals, or hot tub cleaner.
  6. Wipe it down with a microfiber cloth and let it air dry.
  7. Use UV vinyl protection spray on the exterior of the hot tub cover to protect it from cracking or drying out under the sun.
  8. Put the hot tub cover back on the hot tub.

How to keep a hot tub fresh with hot tub cleaner

Another issue that might arise that affects the cleanliness of the hot tub is calcium buildup or hard water stains.

How to remove hard water stains from a hot tub
Method #1
This method can work on hard stains on the hot tub shell but not build up in the jet lines if that’s a concern.

  1. Drain the hot tub.
  2. Dry out the inside and remove any other residue. The hot tub should be completely dry.
  3. Use a white vinegar and water solution to spray the hot tub and let it sit for five minutes.
  4. Scrub the hot tub with a nylon brush. Use more solution as needed.
  5. For sections that need more work, make a paste with baking soda and distilled water to scrub the stains then wipe out any residue.

Method #2
This method works for both the inside of the hot tub and the jet lines. It doesn’t require as much scrubbing but it can be more time-consuming.

  1. With the water line higher than the jet openings, throw half a cup of dishwasher detergent and one cup of bleach into the water.
  2. Turn the jets on high for fifteen minutes.
  3. Drain the water.
  4. Refill the hot tub with hot water.
  5. Turn the jets on high for fifteen minutes.
  6. Drain the hot tub again and refill.

To get ahead of having to use these methods at all, prevent the buildup altogether. Clean your hot tub and its parts regularly to prevent calcium buildup. Make sure the water’s pH balance and alkalinity are always in the right range.

  • pH: Between 7.4 and 7.6
  • Alkalinity: Between 80 and 120 parts per million

Take advantage of hot tub cleaners to make regular cleaning and maintenance as simple and effective as possible. Become familiar with how to clean a hot tub filter, how to clean a hot tub cover, and how to remove calcium buildup in a hot tub. Check out The Cover Guy and do some browsing today.