How to Get Rid of Hot Tub Bacteria

Everyone loves a soak in the hot tub, but many people don’t realize how much bacteria can build up in them over time. Maintaining a clean hot tub is important not only for how your tub looks and smells, but also for your and your guests’ health. If you have a hot tub and have developed a rash recently, it might be bacteria lurking unseen in your hot tub. You may also have noticed debris floating around or coming from your jets.

Thankfully, getting rid of the bacteria is fairly straightforward, and if a hot tub is properly maintained, you can trust the water has little to no bacteria. All you need are some hot tub accessories and a few cleaning products!

Steps for a Bacteria-Free Hot Tub

Just a few simple steps are all it takes to sanitize your hot tub. 

Find a Quality Biofilm Remover

Most of the bacteria in your hot tub isn’t in your tub itself, but rather within the plumbing system–this is why simply draining and refilling your tub with clean water isn’t enough. The plumbing lines will still hold the bacteria and reintroduce them to your hot tub the second you turn on the jets. Biofilm is a layer of bacteria that can line the inside of your plumbing pipes.

Before you get started, it’s always important to read your manufacturer’s instructions regarding cleaning to see if they recommend avoiding certain chemicals. Some finishes and gaskets can be damaged by harsh chemicals such as bleach. Many Biofilm removers are enzyme-based, meaning you won’t have to worry about harsh chemicals.

Change Your Filter

If your filter isn’t very dirty, go ahead and leave it in while you do the cleaning as it will catch a lot of the floating bacteria blasted loose during the cleaning process. You may wish to change the filter before cleaning your tub, but might find that it’s so dirty after a full clean and flush that you need to change it again when you’re done. 

Add Your Biofilm Remover and Turn on the Jets

Follow the instructions provided with your biofilm remover then run the jets on high for two hours. When the process is done, you might see some bacteria and debris floating around. 

Drain and Wipe Down

Drain the tub and be sure you wipe anything off the walls of the tub as it drains. If you allow the gunk to dry, it will be very difficult to clean. You might wish to fill the tub again with clean water and run it one more time just to be sure everything is out of the jets. 

Check your filter and rinse it off or change it if it’s gotten dirty during the cleaning process. While the tub is empty, you might also take a bit of vinegar and scrub around the jets and around any cracks. The vinegar will help to break down any remaining gunk. 

Also, you can use vinegar as a cleaner to wipe down your hot tub cover if you have one. This will kill and prevent any bacteria from developing on the cover and ending up in your water. Lastly, you can also learn how to clean your Jacuzzi tub jets with vinegar—or use it to get rid of foam in a hot tub naturally.

Maintain a Bacteria-Free Hot Tub

Keeping your hot tub bacteria-free is all about maintaining a good pH using either chlorine, bromine, or another chemical if your manufacturer recommends it. Be sure to test your water often and adjust the pH using chemicals to your manufacturer’s specifications. It’s also a good idea to check your filters regularly and use a biofilm remover as instructed a few times a year, or even once a month if you use your tub daily.

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