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How to fix cloudy hot tub water

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If you are buying a hot tub, you’ll know that one of the biggest problems that people encounter and want some assistance with is cloudy water. Removing your hot tub cover and seeing cloudy water is something that is a common issue for owners of hot tubs, but not something that anyone wants to see. With regular use you might have seen that the water is no longer crystal clear, and this can be a worry.

Why does hot tub water turn cloudy and sometimes scummy? There must be a good reason for the water to turn cloudy, and no one wants to get into a hot tub that isn’t clear. It would mean that you’re not getting that relaxing situation and instead will feel icky and dirty.


The meaning behind cloudy hot tub water


When you open up your hot tub and see a cloudy almost milky water or foam, there are a few reasons for this. This is usually because of particles that are suspended in the water and are too small for you to either fish out with your hands or to get picked up by the hot tub filters. If you do see cloudy, scummy water, as unpleasant as it is, do not worry too much. Every hot tub owner will experience this condition at some point, and there are simple steps to take that will help remove the cloudy water or foam and help prevent it from happening in the future.


Why is my hot tub water cloudy?


There are a few different reasons that could be causing cloudy, milky, or foamy hot tub water. These include:

Heavy recent use

If you have been using the hot tub a lot in recent times, and there have been a greater number of people using it than usual, this can cause problems with the clarity of the water. The more you use the hot tub, the more often you need to perform a deep clean

Dead algae and bacteria

Another reason could be that there has been a growth in bacteria and algae, which is understandable when you consider that hot water is the perfect breeding ground for such growth.

Chemical imbalance

There must be a careful and correct water balance at all times to ensure your hot tub is sanitary. A sanitiser that is used regularly will help to keep water clean and balanced, removing stains and bacteria and keeping things clear.


Sometimes foam and cloudy water can be caused by pollutants found in the air, such as pollen, dust, insects, and other organic debris that can find itself in the hot tub water.

Oils, skin, and products

It is only natural that the more bodies there are in the hot tub, the greater the volume of dead skin, makeup, moisturisers, body and hair oil, alongside other skin care products will end up in the water.

Lack of regular maintenance

It is so important that you have a regular cleaning and maintenance routine for your hot tub. Poor water care leads to unbalanced, unsanitary water that leads to foam and cloudiness.

Poor filtration system

Keep a check on the filtration system, as if it hasn’t been fitted properly, or hasn’t been maintained it can lead to filters not functioning correctly and potential poor circulation that leads to cloudy water.


Is it safe to get into cloudy hot tub water?


It isn’t safe to get into a hot tub that has cloudy water. For safety reasons, whenever you get into a hot tub in your bathers, the water should be clear, clean, and completely sanitary. Cloudy water in your hot tub indicates that there is something wrong, whether a chemical imbalance or bacteria that has built up. You need to find a solution to this problem before even thinking about getting into the hot tub.


How to fix cloudy hot tub water

Follow these 5 simple steps to clean hot tub water and ensure it is safe to use:


  1. Check the pH and alkalinity levels – the pH level should be between 7.4 and 7.6, alkalinity should be between 100- and 150 ppm, whilst for sanitisers, chlorine should be between 3 and 5 ppm and bromine between 4 and 6 ppm
  2. Hot tub shock treatment – this helps your sanitisers to break through excess bacteria and other contaminants through both chlorine and non-chlorine based shocks, reactivating sanitisers and keeping the water clean and clear. This should be a regular part of your hot tub maintenance routine.
  3. Check the filters – along with a regular cleaning routine you should also check and clean your filters regularly. A blocked filter could lead to a build-up of oil, grease, and other substances that can cause cloudiness or scummy water. A new filter should be fitted every 6-12 months.
  4. Use a water clarifier – a clarifier helps to bring together all the tiny particles that are not caught by your filter, coagulating them together and making them easier to remove. An algaecide is a good choice to prevent the growth of algae.
  5. Drain and refill – Finally, another option is to drain the hot tub and refill it. This is also a great time to use a shock treatment and sanitiser.


If you’ve been suffering with cloudy hot tub water and have been looking for an answer, as you can see there are some simple steps to follow that should help. There are clear and obvious reasons why your hot tub water might be cloudy, as regular use leaves behind oils, dead skin, moisturiser, and other things left behind by your body and those of your guests. It is only natural, but these simple steps above help to clean and clear the problem. With a methodical approach and regular cleaning and maintenance routine, following the instructions on sanitisers and shock treatment deliberately and carefully, you’ll soon remove the worry of cloudy water and get back to enjoying your hot tub for what it is.


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