From basic surface cleaning to impeccable pipe maintenance, here’s how you can expertly clean a hot tub and make sure that algae, mold, mildew and bacteria stay away.

Tools Required

For all your cleaning needs, make sure to have a garden hose and grounded extension cord handy for the shop vacuum. Also be prepared with some microfiber or other non-abrasive cloths as well as a standard 5-gallon bucket. Don’t forget the ever important shop vacuum!

Materials Required

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Step 1: Drain the hot tub

  1. For safety reasons, it is essential to shut off the power supply near the tub or at your main service panel before beginning any work. Doing so will protect you and those around you from possible electric shock.
  2. Connect a garden hose to the drain connection and aim it at your desired draining location. The water should not damage any foliage, provided that bromine levels are lower than 10 parts per million (ppm) and chlorine is below five ppm.
  3. Unleash your drain’s full potential. Here’s a pro-tip: Leverage the power of a sump pump to drastically reduce draining time compared to traditional gravity drains for hot tubs.
  4. If the water ceases to flow, utilize a shop vacuum in wet mode to eliminate any residual liquid from the lowest parts of your tub. Additionally, make sure you suction out any remaining H2O left inside the jets.

Step 2: Clean the shell

  1. To clean your hot tub, spritz its interior with a hot tub surface cleaner.
  2. Utilizing a fresh cleaning cloth, wipe down all areas with care. Be sure to pay special attention to the spa jets, retainer rings, filter case and control panel – but don’t spray cleaner directly onto it!

Please refrain from using white vinegar instead of a cleaner; it could impact the pH level once you refill your tub and might terminate your warranty.

Step 3: Clean the filter

To ensure your hot tub works at its optimum, a clean filter is essential.

  1. For optimal performance, clean out any debris from the filter every three to four weeks by spraying it with a garden hose.
  2. Every few months, give your filter the attention it needs and deserves. Remove it from its housing, submerge in a bucket with water and cleaning product overnight before rinsing thoroughly prior to re-installation.

Step 4: Clean the cover

  1. For thorough cleaning, liberally spritz the hot tub cover with surface cleaner and wipe dry using a cloth.
  2. Carefully observe the underside of your cover where it folds. Creases are a breeding ground for mildew when conditions become warm and moist, so be sure to give this area extra attention.

Step 5: Refill the hot tub

  1. Make sure to close the drain securely and insert the fill hose into either the tub or filter housing, depending on your manufacturer’s requirements. To avoid hydro locking in the pump, always double-check with your manual for specific instructions on positioning of this hosing.
  2. When the water submerges above the jet nozzles, activate the power for optimal results.
  3. When the bath water is at least 70°F, add your desired chemicals.
  4. Once the tub is full, make sure to check that chemical levels are in the right range.

Step 6: How to clean hot tub plumbing and jets

Biofilm, otherwise known as bacteria, builds up on the interior of hot tub plumbing and coats it with a slimy layer that chlorine and bromine sanitizers are unable to penetrate. To combat this issue effectively, give your jets an annual cleanse before cleaning any other part of the hot tub – you’ll be happy you did!

Here’s how:

  1. For the perfect spa experience, fill your tub with water and turn on the jets. Then, following manufacturer instructions carefully, add plumbing cleaner for a deep cleaning soak.
  2. Let the cleaner flow for anywhere between a half hour and an hour.
  3. To keep your workspace looking spotless, use a shop vacuum to easily clear away the brown foam that forms on the surface.
  4. When the foam turns white, it’s time to begin draining and cleansing your hot tub as outlined above.
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