How to Clean a Hot Tub in 10 Easy Steps (Secrets Revealed)

There is nothing more comforting than chilling in your hot tub after a long tiring day. However, if your tub is dirty and mucky, it will not be relaxing to dip in it. Fortunately, some techniques and cleaning schedules allow you to get your tub squeaky clean and prolong its life. Here we will learn how to clean a hot tub on your own.

Cleaning Frequency of Hot Tub

This is a question that pops up a lot. To answer this in detail, we have broken up the process.

After each use

  • Make sure you clean the tub using a damp cloth after use. Use a tub scrubber for stubborn stains
  • Check the pH level and add home-based sanitizers like chlorine or bromine


  • Clean the filters 
  • Check the pH level and add sanitizer
  • Take out a measured amount of water from the tub


  • Use a pipe cleaner to clean the pipes
  • Drain and refill the tub
  • Keep the tub’s interior clean


  • A yearly cleaning service helps in keeping the tub clean. 

Once you have your cleaning schedule sorted, let’s move on to the actual process of how to clean a hot tub:

how to clean a hot tub
how to clean a hot tub (step-by-step guide)

How to Clean a Hot Tub (Updated Guide for 2021)

Step 1: Empty the Tub

To clean a hot tub correctly, you first need to empty it. However, there must be some water left in the tub to facilitate the cleaning process in one step. With use, a tub’s plumbing unit accumulates buildup. You will require line flushes to flush out this buildup. 

However, the hot tub must be in operation when line flushes are added. Once the time prescribed has been elapsed, drain the tub following the manufacturer’s instruction.

Don’t be surprised at the amount of gunk that comes out. Line flushes must be added in regular intervals to reduce the buildup. 

Step 2: Spray with Cleaners 

Once the hot tub is empty, spray the interiors with hot tub cleaning products. Certain household cleaners can be used as alternatives if you don’t have any specified hot tub cleaners. 

However, before you use any substitute cleaner, check with your tub manufacturer if it’s safe to use it. Once done spraying, don’t forget to wipe it with a towel. This will eliminate the cleaner’s residue from building up, which will later cause the water to foam. 

Step 3: Sanitize the Surface

Make sure you clean and sanitize the surface. Mostly, hot tubs are made from acrylic material. Thus these can be cleaned well with standard bathroom cleaners.

However, choose nonabrasive cleaners and do a spot test first. After cleaning, make sure you are rinsing thoroughly. Remember, any residual cleaner can change the water’s chemistry. 

Step 4:  Clean the Pillows

Do not forget to clean the pillows. If possible, remove them and clean them gently with the same cleaners. Generally, the pads gather the most body oil and organic body waste than the rest of the tub. 

Step 5: Target the Filters

In this step, you target the filters. The filters are mainly designed to remove grime and grit from the water. Thus, these collect debris very quickly.

However, if your filters are relatively new, clean them with a garden hose. Use a hot tub cleaner, and then rinse it well. In case you have not changed the filters in a year, change them. 

Step 6: Refill the Tub

Once through with the cleaning part, it’s time to refill the tub. Though different manufacturers have different instructions for this part, you can simply use a garden hose to get the work done.

Once filled, turn the hot tub on and start adding chemicals that treat the water. Finally, let the water rest and balance for 12 hours. Don’t forget to cover the tub. 

Step 7: Check the Water’s Chlorine Level 

After allowing enough time for the water to elapse, check the water’s chlorine level before you use it again. Ideally, there should be 1ppm and 3ppm of chlorine. Meanwhile, the bromine range should be between 7.2 to 7.8. If the levels are not in the ideal range, go ahead and add more chemicals. 

Step 8: Clean skimmer basket

Make sure to clean your skimmer basket every 2-3 weeks. Unscrew the basket, pull it out and remove any debris. Ideally, you should turn off the spa before you remove the basket. 

Step 9: To Clean the Panel Well

  1. Use a nonabrasive cloth along with neutral detergent to wipe the panels clean.
  2. Make sure all the solution is wiped away.
  3. Never use a hosepipe directly on the panel as the water can easily damage the electro-mechanical parts behind them

Step 10: Clean Covers

Only cleaning the tub won’t be enough; you need to clean the covers too. 

  • Use a high powered hose pipe to remove any debris or loose dirt
  • Wipe it down with a damp nonabrasive cloth 
  • Use a good hot tub cover cleaner. Follow the instructions on the package

Additionally Tips on Cleaning a Hot Tub

  • Ensure your tub is turned off at the isolator before you start draining the unit
  • It’s advisable to use cleaning products specially manufactured for cleaning tubs
  • Stick to the manufacturer’s guidelines while cleaning the tub or picking the chemicals and cleaning agents
  • Ensure your eye, mouth, and nose are protected. The chemicals can be harsh, so wear suitable clothing like rubber gloves and safety glasses
  • Keep the cleaning products away from the reach of kids and pets and other chemicals
  • Do not mix chemicals or cleaning solutions
  • Avoid using the hot tub while cleaning it 

FAQs: How to Clean a Hot Tub

Can you use bleach to clean your hot tub?

Harsh chemicals like bleach can damage your hot tub and are not suitable for your skin. 
It’s always advisable to use products specified by the manufacturer or has been tried and tested for cleaning hot tubs. Household products often cause foaming in the water and affect its pH balance.

Why is my hot tub water cloudy?

The cloudiness of water is caused by particles that are too fine for the filter to catch or soap. You can use any flocculant to treat cloudy water.
The chemical clumps the particles together so that the filter can grab them easily. Make sure you clean the filter well after using this chemical or replace them if required. 

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