How to Get Rid of Foam in a Hot Tub Naturally

Most who enjoy regular use of a Jacuzzi have, once or twice, found themselves sitting in a hot tub that has a layer of foam on the top. While it’s mostly harmless, excessive amounts of foam could help carry bacteria that can give you a rash. 

In case you’re wondering–no, the foam isn’t caused by the neighborhood kids pranking you and throwing dish detergent into your hot tub. The foam is simply a natural consequence of using your hot tub regularly. Fortunately, because it’s a natural problem, you can use natural solutions that don’t require harsh chemicals. Read on as we discuss why you get hot tub foam, why vinegar is one of the best hot tub accessories money can buy, and how you can keep the foam from coming back. 

What Causes Hot Tub Foam?

Any sort of contaminant in your hot tub could be a cause of foam. Even things you may not think of, such as a spilled drink or cleaning chemicals that weren’t properly flushed, could be the culprit. 

That being said, most of the time, it’s simply a combination of oils from skin, hair care products, gels, and leftover laundry soap stuck to your swimsuit. Simply put, the more you use your tub and the more people who use it, the likelier it is that you’ll begin to see foam buildup.

It’s also possible that your water is the problem. Some municipal water supplies have what is known as soft water, which has low calcium. People who shower in soft water often complain that it feels like it’s impossible to wash the soap off their skin. 

Getting Rid of Foam

One of the easiest ways to rid your tub of foam is simply to drain it, give the tub a good cleaning, and then refill it. However, because this is quite time-consuming and may require additional cleaning products and chemicals, there are a couple of things you can try first:

Skim the Foam

Yep, really. Just like skimming the fat or foam from the top of a soup you’ve got boiling on your stove, you can skim the foam off the top of your hot tub. You can use your pool net if you have one or even just use a towel to help scrape the foam off of the top of the water. You’ll be surprised how much this can help!


Vinegar has amazing superpowers—not only does it clean better than most cleaning products, but it can also be an answer to how to get rid of bacteria in your hot tub. For light foam, you can simply try spraying some vinegar over the foam, which will help to break it up and dissolve in the water so it can be trapped by the filter. 

For more serious amounts of foam, you may need to pour in up to a few gallons of vinegar, depending on the size of your hot tub. Run the tub jets on the high setting for an hour or two and you should see a reduction in the foam. The vinegar will evaporate over time, so it’s best to leave the top open to let the fumes out. You may smell vinegar for a day or two, but it’s nothing to worry about. 

Clean Your Filter

While it won’t directly tackle the issue, keeping your filter clean will help trap more contaminants and keep your water clean. If you’re wondering why your hot tub water is cloudy, a dirty filter may be the problem. 

Preventing Foam in the Future

They say an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, and hot tubs are no different. You should be monitoring your pH levels regularly—at least bi-weekly—and if you use your tub frequently, more often. Make sure to maintain good pH according to your manufacturer’s recommendations and completely drain and clean your tub at least twice a year. Lastly, try and take a shower before getting in your hot tub—it will help wash off lots of those potential contaminants before they can dirty up your tub.

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