A Complete Hot Tub Care Guide

By Blue Cube on Sunday, 27th Nov 2016 in News, Troubleshooting - Hot Tubs, User Guides.
Hot Tub and Spa

The warm water of a hot tub can provide the ideal breeding ground for potentially harmful micro-organisms and therefore water needs to be regularly treated and maintained. Bacteria, airborne spores, algae, and even viruses can find their way into the water, as transference is relatively easy.

The way to healthy hot tub water is not just by adding chemicals, it is a combination of regular cleaning, water change, personal hygiene, and filter cleaning or changes too.

By sticking to a regular spa pool maintenance regime you can increase the use of your hot tub and eliminate potentially harmful bacteria.

What causes chemical staining? The unsightly brown stains…


Chemical staining can take up to several months to show and requires a combination of factors to appear. Oils collected above the water line and in areas where the body comes into direct contact with the liner such as shoulders and neck, also along the top of the spa were people have rested their arms; can often lead to unsightly brown stains. These stains appear as if by magic due to the oxidization process caused by the combination of chemical, heat and UV exposure from the sun.

To eliminate this potential problem we recommend showering before use and regular cleaning of the inflatable hot tub throughout (once a week) and thoroughly cleaning and drying before storage. This should also include removing all body lotions, fake tans, suntan oils, etc. before entering the tub as these can sometimes result in staining and contribute to cloudy foamy water.

How to keep your water healthy with our Hot Tub Care Guide

To keep your spa or hot tub water healthy, clean and inviting it is very important that you treat it correctly and regularly with chemicals that will keep the water balanced, kill and prevent bacteria growth and remove non-filterable wastes. Click here for our downloadable spa care guide

There are seven important aspects of spa maintenance that are essential in keeping your spa water safe, healthy and inviting, these are:

  1. Circulation & filtration
  2. Testing your Spa water
  3. Water balance
  4. Sanitise your spa water
  5. Oxidise your spa water
  6. Cleaning
  7. Draining & refilling

1.      Circulation & filtration

The equipment supplied with spas varies from make-to-make but all spas have at least one pump and a filtration system. It is the pump that creates the flow (circulation) of water to and from the spa and built into the circulation will be the filter. As the water circulates through the filter, particles are removed and collected within the filter media. The combination of removal of particles by the filter and good chemical water treatment is essential to keep your spa water clear, clean and healthy.

Please be guided by the instructions within the manufactures manual supplied with your spa as to the ideal circulation running times for your particular make of spa. It is likely that the circulation of your spa will be taken care of automatically by the spa management systems.

Depending on what type of filter system you have you can regularly clean your filter cartridges or replace them periodically. Most spas are supplied with a cartridge filter, which will contain a cartridge element that removes particles from the water. The cartridge element will also collect oils and greases and over time the collection and retention of debris will begin to impair the filter efficiency and reduce the speed at which the water flows around the circulation system. It is, therefore, necessary to chemically clean cartridge elements typically every 4 – 6 weeks using either AquaSPArkle Immerse or Cartridge Cleaner. Or for a rapid intermediate clean use AquaSPArkle Instant Filter Cleaner.

2.      Testing your Spa water

Regularly testing your spa water is an essential part of spa maintenance, as without testing you will have no idea what the chlorine or bromine, pH, total alkalinity and calcium hardness levels are. For the testing of domestic spas, test strips or pool testers are normally used. It is important that you test your spa water regularly, ideally every day.

3.      Water balance

Establishing and maintaining the correct water balance is important for a number of reasons:

  • Chemical efficiency
  • Bather comfort
  • Protection of spa and spa equipment
  • Water quality and appearance
  • Makes it easier and less time consuming to look after the spa

4.      Sanitise your spa water

The reason that sanitisers are used in spas is to ensure that the water is healthy by preventing and killing bacteria. This is achieved by continuously and consistently maintaining a level of sanitiser (disinfectant) in the water with either chlorine or bromine.

5.      Oxidise your spa water

Regularly oxidising spa water, ideally weekly, will pay dividends in the prevention of water problems. Bather wastes such as perspiration, urine, and cosmetics can build up in spa water providing nutrients for bacteria and algae. A weekly oxidising treatment or shock dose will destroy these wastes and help maintain comfortable bathing conditions.

6.      Cleaning

Floating debris such as suntan lotion, cosmetics, grass, and insects will collect on the water surface and spa sides providing a source of food for bacteria and algae. A weekly clean around the waterline using AquaSPArkle Spa Surface Cleaner will easily remove unsightly waterline deposits.

7.      Draining & refilling

Over time spa water can become ‘stale’ as it absorbs minerals, chemicals and other soluble materials that cause the total dissolved solids level (T.D.S.) to increase. When the T.D.S. level reaches 1,500mg/l it is time to drain the water out of the spa and refill it with fresh new water. As a broad guide, a spa will need draining and refilling every 2 – 3 months.