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10 Steps On How To Clean A Hot Tub

Cleaning a hot tub is important for your health, hot tub hygiene, and the health of your hot tub. Some hot tub water care systems require you to replace your water every 3 months. Other water care systems, like the FreshWater Salt System, require a yearly water change. Cleaning a hot tub thoroughly is important to make sure you set up your hot tub with a clean & fresh start. Let’s go over 10 steps on how to clean a hot tub.


What you’ll need to clean a hot tub:

  • Hose
  • Spa Purge
  • Access to Electric Spa Panel
  • Access to water source
  • 2 Microfiber Towels
  • Softscrub
  • Filter Cleaner
  • Replacement Cartridge’s
  • Small Pump (optional)


10 steps to clean your hot tub

1.) Spa Purge

When you’re ready to thoroughly clean out your hot tub, consider adding a spa purge solution to your warm water before emptying. Using a spa purge solution will help get rid of any build up in the jet lines and components. If you have never done this, expect to see some pretty gross stuff come out. Every spa purge is different, so be sure to follow the instructions thoroughly. Normally, spa purge needs to sit in your hot tub for an extended amount of hours to break down the build up so plan accordingly.

2.) Empty your hot tub & rinse if needed

Every hot tub is a little different when it comes to the drainage system. Some hot tubs have to be emptied with a pump because they don’t have a drain valve. If this is the case for your hot tub, you’ll need the small pump we talked about earlier. Turn your breakers off, start up your pump & start draining. If your hot tub has a drain valve, attach your hose, turn off your breakers & begin draining your hot tub. Some purge solutions require you to refill and rinse your hot tub. If this is the case, follow the instructions accordingly. Always make sure to turn off your breakers before draining your hot tub.

3.) Wipe down your hot tub with a microfiber towel

It’s a good idea to wipe down your entire hot tub with a microfiber towel. This helps get rid of any mild water lines and helps clean the shell.

4.) If needed, clean any stains or water lines

If your hot tub has a deeper water line stain that isn’t removed by simply wiping, you might need to use SoftScrub with bleach. *NEVER USE ANY WINDEX OR AMMONIA AS THIS CAN DAMAGE YOUR SHELL*. Dilute a drop of SoftScrub in a small tub of water & gently wipe away stains & water lines. Do not scrub too hard as you may risk scratching your shell if there are any particles on your rag. A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser also works really well to eliminate water lines!

5.) Clean your filters with filter solution

You should be cleaning your filters every other week. However, a deep clean when cleaning your hot tub is also necessary. Using a filter cleaning solution like our FreshWater Filter Cleaner helps break up any build up on your filter. This opens up the pores & allows your filters to clean your hot tub water more efficient. Follow the instructions on whichever filter cleaner you decide to use. Make sure the filter cleaner you choose is for the type of filters you own for your hot tub.

Tip: If your filters look like they’re deteriorating or the pleats are starting to “bow”, it’s time to purchase new filters. Keeping filters too long can cause unnecessary strain on the pumps and heater and may cause them to stop functioning properly.

6.) Wipe down your cover

It’s always a good idea to give your cover a good cleaning to try and lengthen the lifespan a little. However, your cover should always be replaced every 5-7 years. You can try our Cover Shield product that helps condition the cover.

7.) Replace filters

After thoroughly cleaning your filters, add them back to your freshly cleaned hot tub. It’s also good to rotate your filters if you have more than one in your hot tub.

8.) Refill hot tub through filter compartment

This is a VERY important step in refilling your clean hot tub. Filling your hot tub through the filter compartment first helps minimize the risk of air locks occurring. Air locks in a hot tub occur when air is trapped in a component or plumbing. This will prevent your hot tub jet pumps from turning on or may even cause your breakers to trip almost immediately. If an air lock occurs, you can refer to our Hot Tub Maintenance FAQ’s for tips to fix this issue.

Tip: It’s a good idea to use our FreshWater Clean Screen to refill your hot tub to eliminate any metals or other contaminants from your water. This gives your water a fresh start! For more tips, view our Hot Tub Maintenance FAQ’s.

9.) Replace all necessary cartridges

Today, most water care systems use either a silver ion cartridge, chlorine cartridge, or salt water cartridge (or a combination). It’s extremely important to make sure you are replacing these cartridges regularly (usually around every 3-4 months). If cartridges are not replaced regularly, your hot tub water will not be fully sanitized.

Tip: For best practice with salt water systems, use a silver ion cartridge for added sanitation and lower chlorine production.

10.) Treat water according to your water care system manual

After you clean your hot tub, your filters, refill your hot tub, replace filters & cartridges, you’re ready to treat your water. Follow your water care start up guide to set up your water properly. You can also refer to our Hot Tub Maintenance FAQ’s for more information on treating your hot tub water.


We hope our guide on how to clean a hot tub has helped you give your hot tub a fresh start. It’s important to repeat this process regularly to keep your hot tub water clean & to keep you healthy. If there’s anything we did not go over, please feel free to leave us a comment below & one of our wellness consultants will reach out to you asap!

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