Having a hot tub means endless hours of relaxation and fun, but some people worry about how much work they have to put it, or don’t understand how to keep the hot tub clean, safe, and efficient. Here are six tips from the pros that will help you keep yours running at optimal levels.

Check the Surroundings

Make sure your hot tub is in a place where the environment won’t be contributing to dirt or debris in the tub. Keep it away from plants or tree branches that might shed leaves, twigs, and other things, or that might attract insects or rodents. If it’s under part of your deck, make sure the deck boards above are sealed tightly to prevent water from dripping down, and check that gutters aren’t draining into that area from your roof.

Clean the Tub Regularly

You don’t want to worry about a dirty hot tub next time you’re ready for a relaxing time, so take time to clean it regularly. You can clean the whole hot tub with a non-sudsing cleanser and a soft rag or scrubber, or if you have small blemishes on the surface you can use baking soda to scrub it off. Clean the cover as well so dirt and debris won’t make its way into the hot tub. You can use a garden hose, mild soap solution, and rags to clean it off.

Shower Away Detergents First

Soap residue from shampoo, body soaps, and detergents can build up in your spa, and the easiest way to avoid this is by showering with no soap before you get in the hot tub. Also hand rinse your bathing suit, or use the rinse cycle instead of using clothing detergents.

Keep Filter Cartridges Clean

If you have hard water, minerals can calcify in the system and clog your filters. To avoid clogs, clean the filters by spraying them with water about once a month, and use a filter cleaner to keep them operating well. You can replace them about every three years, and also consider draining your spa on a regular basis (read the owner’s manual to see if there are specific recommendations on how often).

Winterize Before Cold Weather

Unless your hot tub is indoors, you may need to winterize it to avoid problems during freezing cold winter months. If you want to use it in the winter, you may need to purchase a “winter blanket” to insulate the spa during cold weather. This will keep the spa’s components from freezing and maximize energy efficiency. You can also check the cover for any signs of tears or other problems, and check that you have a tight seal to keep warm air and water inside.


To prevent algae and bacteria from growing in your spa water, use sanitizer—generally either chlorine or bromine are preferred. Be sure to test the water regularly so you don’t have too much or too little—the former could cause skin, lung, and eye irritation, while the latter will allow some algae and bacteria to grow.

Having a hot tub can be lots of fun year-round, but you want to make sure you properly maintain it so it’s available when you’re ready.