preventing cloudy hot tub water

Hot tub and spa care includes understanding a few of the common issues that may crop up during the course of use, and one such issue is hazy, murky or cloudy water. We’re talking about the kind that’s clearly not normal water, not just water with a great number of bubbles that have yet to dissipate.

At Dolphin Pools and Spas, we’re not only a licensed Bullfrog Spas dealer, but also a source for expertise and care of these high-quality spa options. There are a few potential causes of cloudy hot tub water, and luckily each of them is easily remedied or prevented with some basic knowledge and action. Here are these causes and how to deal with them.


In many cases, cloudy water is caused by contaminants that enter the tub from various outside areas – top culprits are often detergents, hair products, makeup and other skin products. Preventing these kinds of contaminants from entering the tub is as simple as rinsing off lotions, hair sprays and other materials before entering; pulling hair up to keep it out of water if needed; and rinsing out bathing suits or other swimwear that have been recently washed with detergent.

If the water has already been contaminated in this way and you’re looking to remove the issue, the best way to go is shocking the water. This is a process where you’ll use a natural clarifier in coordination with the shock, which will clear residuals from any products that may have built up.

Balance and Sanitizer Level

In other cases, your hot tub might be out of balance or dealing with a low sanitizer level. This is a very simple area to address, however, using the following steps:

  • Obtain simple hot tub test strips, available at any home improvement store.
  • Turn on the hot tub and let it circulate for a couple minutes.
  • Follow the directions on the test strip bottle, which will tell you how to dip the strips and will provide a color chart indicating which chemicals or sanitizer your hot tub requires.
  • Add the necessary chemicals or sanitizer.
  • Wait five to ten minutes between adding different chemical types, to allow the hot tub time to balance.

Filter Clogs or Wear Issues

Filters in the hot tub are meant to trap contaminants, but a worn-down or clogged filter will not perform this job as well and can lead to cloudy water. Filters should be rinsed out every few weeks, plus soaked overnight in a cleaning compound at least once every three months. Furthermore, they should be replaced every year, or even sooner if specific damage has taken place.

TDS Levels

TDS, or total dissolved solids, is another measure that helps hot tub owners understand their water quality. If their levels are too high, levels you can find in your operation manual, you should consider a system flush that will drain and refill the tub with purified water.

For more on addressing cloudiness in your hot tub, or to learn about any of our new swimming pools or hot tub options, speak to the staff at Dolphin Pools and Spas today.