Hot tub care and cleaning is fairly straightforward and simple, but it’s also imperative for the sake of health and your investment. Generally speaking, it’s better to avoid harsh chemicals, but sometimes people want or need to use commercial cleaners, so we’ll go over details on a few methods below.
Sanitization is Essential
People are naturally covered in bacteria. It’s everywhere. While much of it isn’t harmful, certain strains can cause illness or simply unpleasant situations. Given that hot tubs are warm and hospitable to bacteria, they offer an environment where it can flourish. This in mind, you’ll either need to drain the water every time, like you might a bathtub, or choose a method to ensure the hot tub stays clean. Since draining each time is wasteful and time-consuming, most people recycle the water and find ways to keep the bacteria in check.
Demand-Heated Hot Tubs Require Less Care
Wood fired hot tubs and other styles of demand-heated hot tubs are a bit easier to care for in two respects. First, they usually hold less water, which makes it easy to drain them on a regular basis and gives you a fresh start. Secondly, they have time to cool off between uses, which means bacteria doesn’t always have the ideal environment to grow.
Keep Your Hot Tub Cleaner by Being Proactive
If you take a proactive approach, you’ll naturally spend less time on hot tub care and cleaning. Work the steps outlined here into your routine and you’ll keep your water fresher for longer.
1. Bathe before use. If you go in cleaner, your water will stay cleaner.
2. Keep a foot bath by your hot tub or wear shoes until you’re ready to get in. It will ensure you keep grass, dirt, and other debris out of your water.
3. Drain the water and clean the tub on a regular basis. We’ll go over details on how to do this in just a moment.
4. Sterilize the water with a non-toxic cleaner each time you get out. Hydrogen peroxide or an ozone sanitizer work well for this purpose. It’s also a good idea to sanitize on a weekly basis if you keep your water in the hot tub for an extended period of time. (More on how to do this in just a moment too!)
Natural Sanitizers Are Ideal
While chemicals like chlorine and bromine are frequently used to keep hot tubs clean, they can also be hard on skin and contribute to breathing issues. Plus, some people are simply put off by their scent and the way they make the water feel. The good news is, oxygen actually works as a natural sanitizer; namely in the form of hydrogen peroxide. The oxygen atoms in it steal electrons from the cell walls of bacteria, causing the bacteria to collapse in on itself and die. This makes it a very effective sanitizer, but it’s also so safe that it won’t damage your grass or plants when you drain your tub.
Most people are familiar with hydrogen peroxide. It comes in brown bottles and is often kept in medicine cabinets to clean wounds. This is the same stuff that will keep your hot tub clean, but is only a 3% solution. You’ll want a 27% solution for your hot tub, but bear in mind that this highly-concentrated version can be harsh on skin, so you’ll also need a pair of gloves to wear while you’re handling it.
How to Use: Add 1/3 cup of hydrogen peroxide per 100 gallons of water in your hot tub each time you wrap up a session and weekly if you’re keeping the same water in. For some of the smaller Redwood Outdoors hot tubs, that works out to a little more than 1 1/3 cups and for some of the larger ones, it’s just under 4 cups. You can also add 1/8 cup per 100 gallons a little while before entering the water to freshen it up.
Where to Buy: Almost every store with pool supplies has hydrogen peroxide, but it may be sold as a shock treatment or oxidizer. Although we don’t endorse any brand over another, Clear Comfort Clarifier, Baqua-Shock, and Soft Swim-C are all 27% concentrations.
Hydrogen peroxide is arguably your best bet because it attacks bacteria on the surfaces of the tub, not just bacteria in the water. However, those who change their water with some regularity and don’t want to deal with hydrogen peroxide can use a machine called an ozone generator. It works on the same principle as hydrogen peroxide does—using extra oxygen molecules to steal electrons from bacteria cells.
How to Use: Plan to install the unit or spring for professional installation. Once it’s set up, it will need to run for 4-6 hours each day to be effective. Each unit is a bit different, so you’ll need to consult the instructions for the one you select to get more detailed information.
Where to Buy: Again, we don’t recommend one over the others. If you’d like an ozone generator, they’re readily available in stores that sell pool supplies or online. They usually start at about $100 and go up from there.
Daily Maintenance is Minimal
Most of your daily maintenance will surround caring for the water, but you’ll also want to wipe down any residue as it appears.
You can pick up test strips at any store that sells pool supplies. Just as there are specific strips for chlorine and bromine, you’ll find peroxide test strips too. Make sure your levels are high enough to maintain a hygienic environment.
You can find pH test strips paired with the sanitization test strips or by themselves. If the pH level is too high or too low, you may wind up with skin irritation and other issues. Check the pH level of your hot tub daily and keep stabilizer chemicals on hand to help rebalance it if it’s off.
Wipe Water Lines
Organic material, such as sweat and body oils, will collect on the surface of the water and can leave unsightly lines around the edges of the tub. If you notice any buildup, give it a quick wipe or scrub to keep your hot tub looking new. You can also check your local store for sprays or pastes that can help eliminate rings and prevent them from forming.
Additional Maintenance is Necessary at Longer Intervals
The amount of maintenance you need to do on an ongoing basis will vary somewhat depending on how long you keep your water, how often you use the hot tub, and the type of daily care you give it.
Examine the Hot Tub for Wear and Damage Monthly
Spend a few minutes inspecting the tub for signs of damage or wear. If you catch any cracks, dings, or breaks, get them repaired right away.
Add a Clarifier or Sparkle Agent Monthly
Clarifiers and sparkle agents attract particles suspended in the water and make it easier to filter them out, so your water stays crystal clear. Those who drain regularly may be able to get by without this step, but if you notice dingy water and all your other levels are good, you may want to try a clarifier.
Do a Deep Clean Every 4-6 Months
Every 4-6 months, you’ll need to drain the tub and give all surfaces a scrub. Again, don’t use harsh chemicals if you can avoid it. A basic scrubbing pad should do the trick, but if you’re worried about sanitization, you can use hydrogen peroxide for this process too. You’ll also want to take apart the filtration system and clean it as well. As you go through the deep clean, give everything a visual inspection too.
Order Your Cedar Hot Tub and Enjoy Minimal Care and Cleaning
If you’re checking out this page in advance of ordering a cedar hot tub just to see what you’re getting into before you take the plunge, you’ve probably come to realize just how easy it is to take care of one. Our beautiful wood fire hot tubs also offer simple setup too. Head over toour catalog to explore the options.