Hot Tub Maintenance 101: Your Complete Guide to Spa Care

Before you can sink into the warm water of your new hot tub, it’s a good idea to learn about hot tub maintenance and care. After all, once you experience it, chances are you’ll be hooked and want to enjoy the warm water over and over.

To ensure your hot tub lasts and functions safely and efficiently for years, use the hot tub maintenance tips found here.

The Importance of Hot Tub Maintenance

Putting time and effort into hot tub maintenance is important for your system if you want it to last as long as possible. When you invest in proper maintenance for the system, it will run efficiently and safely for years.

If you don’t invest in regular hot tub maintenance, your system will have to work harder than necessary. Proper maintenance can keep all the components running smoothly and ensure that small issues don’t become bigger problems.

Failing to maintain your hot tub means you won’t be able to get in and relax because the water may not be free from algae, debris, or dirt. With proper hot tub maintenance, though, these issues are eliminated. It’s essential to ensure you have good water quality before spending any time in it.

The Benefits of Hot Tub Maintenance

Proper hot tub maintenance will ensure your water is clean and circulating the right way. If the water circulates well, the chemicals can work the way they should. You want to keep the hot tub safe to use, right? If so, proper circulation is a must. It is what makes the hot tub relaxing and appealing. You can feel confident the water is circulating properly by providing the needed maintenance.

Also, regularly maintaining your hot top will optimize its performance and efficiency. During maintenance, you can find and fix any small problems that may make the unit work harder than it has to.

Cleaning and balancing the water means it will be safe to use and won’t cause irritation or other issues.

The good news is that maintenance for your hot tub doesn’t have to be too difficult. Keep reading to learn more.

The Supplies and Water Care Essentials You Will Need

When you are ready to clean your hot tub, it is best only to use products specifically labeled for this job. While this is true, many spa owners prefer to use household cleaning products, which is also fine.

If this is the path you choose, you will need the following:

1. Water and Vinegar

Mixing water and vinegar gives you a practical and effective solution to clean your hot tub’s shell. Mix one part water to one part vinegar in a spray bottle to create the right concentration. Once mixed, spray the tub’s surface and let it sit for about 15 minutes. After that, rinse well.

You can also clean problem areas on the surface, like water lines or organic material, with the vinegar solution. This is also a safe option to clean the underside of your spa cover.

2. Diluted Bleach

If you don’t want to use vinegar, you can make a water and bleach solution to clean your spa’s shell while it is empty. Bleach also sanitizes the surface.

However, don’t mix bleach with anything but water since it can cause a hazardous chemical reaction. Be sure to rinse the interior of your hot tub exceptionally well to remove any leftover residue.

3. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a gentle abrasive, and practical solution for stains and scum lines. You can create a paste with baking soda and apply it using a damp cloth. Rub the affected area until the scum is removed, and then rinse the baking soda using water.

4. Water Testing Kit

Part of hot tub maintenance involves testing the water. You can purchase water testing kits online or at a local retailer. Ensure you have this on hand to ensure you have the right mix of chemicals in the water.

Hot Tub Maintenance Routine: What to Do & How Often

Now that you know what you need to clean your hot tub, it’s time to learn what to do and how often to do it.

It doesn’t matter how often you use your hot tub or if it appears to be clean; regular hot tub maintenance is still needed.

Draining the Tub

You should drain all the water from your hot tub and clean it every three to four months. If you use it often, it may be necessary to clean it more often than this.

Along with cleaning it every few months, it’s also smart to schedule a cleaning if you notice tinted water, algae, cloudy water, scaling, or adding more chemicals than usual.

Clean the Spa Filter

The filter is found under the skimmer basket and can usually be removed at the side of your spa. It may also be in a small tank assembly that you open under the spa.

Once you remove it, you can rinse the filter to remove any stuck dirt and debris. It’s also recommended that you change the filter every 12 months.

Clean the Tub

Cleaning the shell seems like a simple process, but you need to make sure you use spa-safe products. Be sure to scrub the shell, removing stains, water lines, and other issues present. While this may require some elbow grease, the result is a clean, dirt-free hot tub.

Refill Your Hot Tub with Fresh Water

When filling your hot tub, try to use pure water. This will help to reduce the amount of work you have to put into ongoing hot tub maintenance. Minerals and other contaminants that occur in water naturally may start to consume the chemicals needed to balance the water, such as sanitizer. It may also cause water quality issues and result in murky water. One example is iron. If this is present, it can oxidize and cause yellow and green tinges and murky water.

If you can, fill up your spa using soft water. This will help to reduce the contaminants in the water.

Maintaining Your Hot Tub’s Water

Along with cleaning the shell and filter, it’s also important to ensure the water remains balanced.

Balancing the Water

Since you don’t drain your hot tub every time it is used, chemicals have to be added to sanitize them. This also helps to keep the water clear and clean.

However, some chemicals may cause skin rashes. Two that are common for this include chlorine and bromine. Because of this, you must balance hot tub waters to achieve the proper levels.

Water pH

The goal of maintaining the water is to achieve a balanced pH. This means the water is not acidic or alkaline. The proper pH range for spas is between 7.2 and 7.8. If your water levels are too high or too low, you will need to use the right products to even it out.

Water Hardness

Another important factor is water hardness. If the water is too soft, it may become corrosive and damage spa components. It can also create foam and feel sticky. It’s best to get a hardness level that is between 175 and 250 ppm. You can purchase a test kit or test strips to test the hardness.

If you need to increase the hardness, the process is pretty easy and just requires you to add a calcium hardness increaser. If the hardness is too high, you have to fix this, as it can cause murky water and scale on the spa surfaces. However, it is harder to deal with high hardness levels, so it is best to avoid these if possible.


To keep your hot tub healthy, you must sanitize it. Chlorine and bromine are the most popular chemicals used for this. Just be careful since these can cause skin irritation. Another option is lithium, which isn’t as bad for the skin. Unfortunately, it is more challenging to get because of the high demand for it in car batteries.

Contact St. Cyr Pool and Spa for Hot Tub Maintenance Services

Maintaining a hot tub can be a lot of work. If you don’t have the time or ability to do this on your own, it is best to hire professionals. Our team is here to help you with all your hot tub maintenance needs to ensure things continue to work properly and efficiently.

If you want to have years of enjoyment with your hot tub, the proper maintenance schedule is a must. We can also provide regular service, which will take the hassle off you.

To learn more about these hot tub maintenance services or to schedule an appointment, contact us today. We are spa and hot tub experts and here to help you.

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