Hot Tub Care Tips for Beginners

posted by Chris Valentine

Hot tubs, also known as portable spas, are installations popular with those who enjoy relaxing in the water. They are basically compact swimming pools and require similar maintenance. While all swimming pools can be managed in essentially the same manner, caring for your hot tub is a bit different. In addition to general knowledge of maintenance, proper hot tub care requires specific knowledge about the particularities of your hot tub. This article provides some helpful tips for new hot tub owners.

Circulation and filtration

Hot tubs usually come with a filter system designed to keep the water clean by removing bacteria and other contaminants. Circulating the water ensures that it passes through the filter system and by extension, the cleaning process. While most modern hot tubs circulate automatically, some do not. Hot tubs that do not circulate by default must be turned for about 20 minutes once or twice daily to keep the water fresh and free of contaminants. The filters must also be kept in premium working condition through regular cleaning. Depending on how frequently the hot tub is used, filters should be thoroughly rinsed once or twice a week and replaced within one or two years.

Hot tub chemicals

For several reasons, learning how to use hot tub chemicals is a must for all hot tub owners. Due to the conducive environment a hot tub provides, bacteria and algae can easily populate a poorly maintained hot tub. Avoiding this requires utilizing sanitizers such as chlorine or bromine. However, as the efficiency of sanitizers depends on pH levels, it is equally important to invest in a pH increaser and decreaser to keep the pH level balanced. Sanitizers are most effective at a pH level of between 7.2 and 7.6. Other useful chemicals for hot tub owners include a defoamer and a calcium hardness increaser and decreaser.

General cleaning

Regardless of your hot tub’s location, regular cleaning is essential for its proper functioning. Just as wind-blown debris may settle inside an outdoor tub, muck from several sources tends to accumulate after a period of sustained use. A thorough scrub with a sponge should be applied to the inside and outside of the tub at least once a week or more if the tub is frequently used. Vinegar and a mixture of bleach and water may also be used for more effective cleansing.


While weekly cleaning helps in the short term, draining the hot tub is important for longevity. A buildup of chemicals, minerals, and other particles usually lead to impurities in the water and reduced efficiency of sanitizers. Depending on the frequency of use, the hot tub should be drained within a month or two and given the kind of all-around cleaning that cannot be achieved with water in it. A professional can even be approached for a technical evaluation of the spa’s overall condition.

Consistency is perhaps the most important thing when it comes to hot tub care. Make a list of the tasks, create a schedule around the list and stick to it. Also, make sure to follow instructions when using cleaning products to avoid injury. Proper maintenance of your portable spa makes it more likely to serve you for a very long time.

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