How to Clean Your Hot Tub

Hot tubs are a great way to kick back and relax. Although it may seem like a hassle to keep them clean, it doesn’t have to be. Regular care will not only maintain a clean and safe bathing area, it will also increase the longevity of your hot tub.

Factors such as how often you use your hot tub will impact on how and when you clean it. It’s highly recommended that a cleaning schedule is in place to ensure a much more straightforward experience.

To help keep your hot tub clean, you can find a wide array of products such as chlorine tablets and pH balancers here at 1st Direct Pools. These products will help to maintain an easy and effective maintenance schedule.

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How Often Should You Clean Your Hot Tub?

As we have said above, how often you use your hot tub will have an impact on your hot tub’s cleaning schedule. The cleaning schedule will also depend on your products and hot tub equipment.

If the hot tub equipment is undamaged and functioning as it should, your daily, weekly, quarterly and annual cleaning tasks will go something along these lines:

After Every Use:

- Wipe down the waterline with a clean, damp cloth.
- Check the pH and sanitiser levels and adjust accordingly.


- Clean the filter.
- Check the pH and sanitiser levels and adjust accordingly.
- Shock dose the water.


- Clean the pipes with a pipe cleaner.
- Drain the hot tub, clean the interior and refill with clean, balanced water.


- Have your hot tub serviced.

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Our Safety Tips For Cleaning Your Hot Tub

Before you get stuck in and start cleaning your hot tub, we would like to share some safety tips.

- Ensure that your hot tub is turned off at the circuit breaker before draining your hot tub.
- Only use cleaning chemicals and products that are specifically designed to help clean hot tubs.
- Always follow the hot tub manufacturer’s guidelines and the cleaning chemical’s instructions.
- Wear protective clothing such as safety glasses and gloves when working with chemicals.
- Ensure the chemicals are out of reach of children and pets.
- Do not mix chemicals or cleaning solutions.
- Do not allow bathers to use the hot tub while cleaning it.

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Signs that it’s time to Clean and Drain your Hot Tub

A few signs that will indicate when to clean and drain your hot tub are:

- The hot tub is producing foul odours.
- The water won’t become clear after treatment.
- You have been using your hot tub more frequently.
- There has been a recent influx of bathers.
- The hot tub has been unused for a long period.

Hot to Start Draining and Cleaning a Hot Tub

Even if you maintain your sanitiser chemicals, your hot tub can still develop biofilm.

Biofilm is caused by bacteria sitting in the interior of the hot tub's plumbing. The bacteria itself is protected from the chlorine by building a barrier that is impenetrable by sanitisers. Bacteria can feed on biofilm while also using it to shelter themselves from the sanitiser.

The more established the biofilm becomes, the more contaminants will stay active in the water. If the biofilm builds up it will affect the water flow and efficiency of the filter, not to mention invite harmful bacteria to develop within your hot tub.

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Draining the Hot Tub

Before you pull the plug, it’s important to add a plumbing cleaner or a line flush. The cleaner will break down unwanted biofilm.

Let the line flush circulate for at least 20 minutes. If you have the time, it’s best to let the cleaner sit for a few hours or overnight.

To drain your hot tub with a spigot you will need to:

- Turn the hot tub off at the circuit breaker.
- Find the drainage spigot. If your model has two then there will be a primary and auxiliary spigot. Use the primary spigot to drain most of the water and then use the auxiliary to drain the internal bleedlines.
- Attach a hose to the spigot. Ensure not to cross-thread as the spigot threads may break when too much force is applied.
- To avoid lawn or patio damage, ensure the opposite end of the hose leads to an existing drain.
- The hose leading to a drain should run downhill or level with the ground.
- Open the ball valve on the spigot to drain the water.

To drain your hot tub using a submersible pump you will need to:

- Turn the hot tub off at the circuit breaker.
- Place the pump inside the hot tub.
- If the outflow hose is not long enough to reach the drain, you can connect it to a garden hose.
- Turn on the pump to drain the hot tub.
- Turn the pump off and disconnect the equipment when the hot tub is empty.

Cleaning the Hot Tub

While cleaning the hot tub, this is a prime opportunity to inspect the hot tub for any damages.

It’s important to only use cleaners that are manufactured for hot tubs as household cleaners can be harmful to the shell of your hot tub.

Hot tub shells are specifically designed to resist dirt and stains, so cleaning shouldn’t be too taxing. All that is required is a clean, damp cloth and the appropriate hot tub cleaning chemicals. Once the hot tub has been wiped down, it should be rinsed with clean water.

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Cleaning the filter

Cleaning the hot tub’s filter is a fairly easy process which should be completed weekly during regular use.

To do this you will need to:

- Remove the cover of the filter compartment.
- Remove any floating items from the compartment.
- Turn the filter retainer handle.
- Remove the filter cartridge and retainer.
- Soak the cartridge in a degreaser.
- Rinse the filter with clean water. If using a hose, ensure to spray the filter from all angles.
- Replace the filter and lock the handle (avoid over-tightening).

Refilling the Hot Tub

When refilling the hot tub, it’s best to try and avoid an airlock. Airlocks are created by air bubbles which can prevent the hot tub from working properly and even cause damage to the jet and circulation pumps.

Air bubbles will form when the hot tub is refilled by directly placing the end of the hose in the hot tub’s shell. Air bubbles can be removed, but it’s best to avoid them entirely and use the correct fill pipe.

Depending on the size of the hot tub, it will usually take the same amount of time it took to drain the hot tub to refill it.

After refilling it, you'll need to top it up with all the right chemicals to ensure it remains clean. You may also take this opportunity to add a hot tub conditioner, which will improve the quality and feel of the water while helping protect against biofilm. 

For more information and advice about maintaining your hot tub, you can contact our team or browse through our blog. Instore and online, we stock essential products to ensure your hot tub, spa and swimming pool are kept clean and safe so you can sit back and relax.