How to Clean a Hot Tub That Has Been Sitting – A Handy Guide

In this article, we’ll explore how to clean a hot tub that has been sitting, so you can relax and enjoy your hot tub without worries or concerns.
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Last updatedLast updated: September 03, 2021
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A hot tub is a great way to soak away the stresses of the day, or allow you to ease away the pain of tired muscles to aid restful sleep. However, Aqua Magazine Trusted Source How the Spa Industry Can Sell 300,000 Hot Tubs Next Year Remember the scene in the movie “Speed” when Dennis Hopper says to Keanu Reeves: “Pop quiz, hot shot. See if you can name so much as one spa dealer anywhere in the city. Go on — just one.” aquamagazine.com research suggests that one of the main reasons why people may not purchase their own hot tub is the time needed to maintain it. 

Fortunately, there are some easy ways to keep your hot tub clean even if it has been sitting for some time. This can also be beneficial if you’re looking to purchase a used hot tub that may need some attention before you can properly use it. 

So, here we’ll explore how to clean a hot tub that has been sitting, so you can relax and enjoy your hot tub.

The Potential Dangers of a Dirty Hot Tub

Even the best whirlpool hot tubs can represent a potential health hazard if they are dirty or have been sitting for a while. According to LiveScience Trusted Source 5 Weird Ways Hot Tubs Can Make You Sick | Live Science A relaxing dip in a hot tub may sound like the ideal way to spend a cool summer night. But in rare cases, danger may lurk beneath those soothing jets: Hot tub use has been linked with several types of infections and injuries. Here are five ways you can get hurt in a hot tub. www.livescience.com , a dirty hot tub could put you at risk of Legionella, lung infections and rashes. 

Cleaning the Hot Tub

Here’s what you need to do in order to clean your dirty hot tub properly:

Step 1. Test and Change Your Filters

How to Clean a Hot Tub That Has Been Sitting - A Handy Guide
Before you can start cleaning your hot tub, you need to make sure that the pump and filter are working properly. If you’re looking at how to clean a hot tub that has been sitting empty, you may need to add sufficient water to meet the mid skimmer level that covers the filter. Most hot tub manufacturers recommend filter replacement after cleaning. 

Turn the power on and check the valves before and after the pump are open. Verify that there are no leaks. You should start the pump on low before turning it up to high speed. This will help to dislodge any residue that may be lingering in the pipes. 

If you notice that the pipes are filled with gunk, you may need to use a vinegar and water mixture.
Mix one part vinegar to one part water as you’re running the pump and allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. This will help to dissolve any residue and then you can flush the pipes with water to dislodge any remaining debris. 

Step 2. Drain 

Unless there is no visible bio film or algae, the best way to clean a hot tub that has been sitting is to completely drain the water. 

To drain your hot tub, you’ll need to find the drainage port. Depending on your spa model, you may see a hose connection at the lowest point, but the best plug and play hot tubs have access ports. Allow the water to drain, but gravity will handle this for you, you simply need to walk away and wait for a while.

Step 3. Purge

Once all the dirty water is out of your hot tub, you will need to purge it. You’ll need to use chemical cleaners to remove any bio film, oils, mineral build up or other contaminants lingering inside the pipes. Follow the instructions on the specific product you’re using, but most require that you add to the hot tub while the pump system is running. 

Step 4. Time to Clean

Just as you would with the ordinary bathtub, you now need to give your hot tub a good clean. Drain the hot tub of any water and use rags and water to clean any dirt or scum from the top of your spa. Try to clean as the water level falls, making it easier to wipe away any stubborn traces. 

After the hot tub is empty, use a wet & dry vac or sponges to soak up any remaining dirty water. Refill the spa with clean water and carry out water tests to balance the calcium hardness, alkalinity and pH. You can also then shock your hot tub using spa shock chemicals. You’ll need to follow the product instructions, but typically you’ll need to use one to three tablespoons of the product.  

At this stage, you can add a new filter, which will help to make sure all the dirt is caught. Finally use a water and bleach solution to remove any bacteria from the surfaces of your hot tub. You can then replace the cover, so it is ready for use. 

Tips for Keeping Your Hot Tub Clean

Once you’ve gone to all the trouble of learning how to clean a hot tub that has been sitting, you should familiarize yourself with some tips for keeping your hot tub clean. This will minimize the regular maintenance and help you to avoid needing to perform a deep clean. 

Maintain Your Water Chemistry

How to Clean a Hot Tub That Has Been Sitting - A Handy Guide
The secret to hot tub care is good water chemistry. You need to regularly test the water and make small adjustments to the alkalinity, pH, sanitizer and calcium hardness using the results. Ideally, you should test your water two to four times per week and adjust the levels to maintain the chemistry. 

Clean the Filter

Hot tub filters are typically located under the skimmer basket. In most cases, you can access the filter from the side of the hot tub or via a small tank assembly that opens underneath the unit. The frequency of cleaning will depend on how often you use the hot tub, the water capacity of the tub and the size of the filter. 

While you will need to replace the filter approximately every 12 months, you can maximize the lifespan with cleaning.
 

Clean the Spa

First and foremost, you will need to clean the surfaces of your hot tub, the waterline and plumbing. Use a wet and dry vac to pick up any accumulated debris. You can also use a skimmer net to remove any leaves or other debris floating on the water.

How to Clean a Hot Tub That Has Been Sitting - A Handy Guide

Air Your Cover

Finally, be sure to remove the cover a couple of times a week. This will allow the cover to breath and be away from the heat and moisture, prolonging the lifespan of your cover and helping to keep the cover and hot tub clean. 

Final Thoughts

A hot tub can be a great way to relax, but if your hot tub has been sitting for a while, you may feel less than enthusiastic about cleaning and using it. Fortunately, if you follow these simple steps and learn the best ways of how to clean a hot tub that has been sitting, you’ll be enjoying it in no time at all. 

References

1.
How the Spa Industry Can Sell 300,000 Hot Tubs Next Year
Remember the scene in the movie “Speed” when Dennis Hopper says to Keanu Reeves: “Pop quiz, hot shot. See if you can name so much as one spa dealer anywhere in the city. Go on — just one.”
2.
5 Weird Ways Hot Tubs Can Make You Sick | Live Science
A relaxing dip in a hot tub may sound like the ideal way to spend a cool summer night. But in rare cases, danger may lurk beneath those soothing jets: Hot tub use has been linked with several types of infections and injuries. Here are five ways you can get hurt in a hot tub.
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