How To Clear Cloudy Hot Tub Water (11 Easy Ways to Fix It)

How To Clear Cloudy Hot Tub Water

Being a hot tub owner comes with a lot of pleasure and responsibilities. By pleasure, I mean the relaxation, the warm bath, and so on, whereas for responsibilities, you will see the maintenance, the preventive measures you need to follow, and many more. As a hot tub owner, you are bound to experience cloudy/hazy hot tub, foamy hot tub, or milky hot tub water at some point.

Depending on the cause cloudy hot tub water can be cleared by any of the following methods:

  1. Sanitizing
  2. Shocking the water
  3. Use of alkalinity increaser
  4. Use of pH increaser and pH decreaser
  5. Addition of salt
  6. Addition of enzymes
  7. Run the filter
  8. By use of clarifiers
  9. Drain and refill method
  10. Chemical balancer
  11. Fixing air leak

In this post, we will be focusing on cloudy hot tub water, and we will discuss the parts of a hot tub, the need of maintaining a very good hot tub, how to maintain a good hot tub, the problems associated with hot tub water being cloudy, reasons why hot tub water is cloudy, how to fix cloudy hot tub water and finally how to prevent cloudy hot tub water.

What is a cloudy, milky, and foamy water?

 A cloudy hot tub is a hot tub that contains small particles and substances (bacteria and germs), which float on the water, and these particles are as small as air particles.

Milky hot tub water is water that mainly looks like adding a white tint to the water, which makes it hard to see the bottom level.

Foamy hot tub water is where there is a foamy build-up on the surface of the water due to oil from the body or cosmetics. 

The parts of a hot tub

They are various parts of a hot tub that you need to be familiar with, they are:

  • The Jets: this is a part of the hot tub that carries out the function of massaging parts of your body like your knee, shoulder, hand, etc. It has various parts of which carry out the individual task. 
  • The Face Jet: is responsible for massaging your face; the combination jet handles your hands, feet, hip, knee, and shoulders, while the jet back handles the back of your body
  • The Filter: this is the part of the hot tub that is responsible for regular cleaning of the hot tub water. It also ensures that germs and microorganisms do not have a suitable environment to live in your water. 
  • The Ozonator: the Ozonator is the part of your hot tub that plays the role of minimizing the number of chemicals and pathogens that settle in your hot tub.
  • The Pillow: the hot tub pillow is responsible for giving you a comfortable position, just like a sleeping pillow. It provides support for your back and neck. It comes in various sizes, shapes, and colors, and it is made with soft material.
  • The Plumbing: this part of your hot tub is made up of pipes, connectors, and hoses. It is responsible for the flow of water from the pump to the back and back to the jet.
  • The Pump: this is the part that plays the role of pumping water to the jet and back.
  • The Control Panel: the control panel is the part that controls the other parts of the hot tub; it controls the temperature of the water. It can also be referred to as the heart of the hot tub.
  • The Heater: this part is responsible for heating the water in your hot tub; it includes parts such as plugs, cover, etc.
  • The Circuit Board: this part is responsible for housing the electronic component of your hot tub. This is a very critical part of your hot tub.
  • The Electrical Parts: this part comprises the plugs, the fuse, the cord, and other hardware components; this is the powerhouse of your hot tub.
  • The Light: it is a part that helps to heal the body naturally during therapy; various light colors represent various emotions.
    • Red – danger, war, romance, strength, energy, and intensity.
    • Orange – joy, happiness, creativity, attraction, enthusiasm, fascination.
    • White – purity, goodness, innocence, perfection, safety, and cleanliness.
    • Purple – ambition, romance, nobility, extravagance, luxury, and power.
    • Green – nature, hope, healing, harmony, freshness, growth, rest, and rejuvenation.
    • Blue – loyalty, faith, depth, faith, trust, wisdom, calm, stability, tranquility, and calmness.
    • Yellow – energy, happiness, joy, intellect, cheerfulness, and spontaneity.

All these colors offer positive feelings and emotions; they can benefit you in a lot of ways.

Why you should maintain a very good hot tub

A good hot tub has a lot of advantages that come with it; they are as follows:

  1. It is very beneficial to human health example:
    • A good hot tub helps one to have a better sleep.
    • A good hot tub helps in weight loss.
    • A good hot tub helps to reduce stress.
    • A good hot tub helps in muscle relief.
    • A good hot tub helps to prevent cardiac problems and so many more.
  2. To keep it free from contaminants: maintenance of a good hot tub helps to make sure that the hot tub is free from contaminants like germs, bacteria, and other pathogens. A well-maintained bathtub also helps to prevent scum.
  3. To ensure good circulation of water: a good hot tub should be properly maintained to ensure a free flow of water. 
  4. To ensure prolonged efficiency: properly maintained, the filter, the jets, a good maintained hot tub tends to last and operate better and longer. 
  5. To ensure prolonged efficiency: a good maintained hot tub tends to last and operate better and longer because when a hot tub is properly maintained, the filter, the jets, the heater, the Ozonator, the pump, the pillow, and other parts of the hot tub will last longer.
  6. To save the cost of purchasing new parts – if you maintain your hot tub well, you can save yourself the cost of purchasing new parts like the heater or the pump when corroded by metals in the water.

How to maintain your hot tub

For a hot tub to give you a satisfying feeling, you need to maintain it properly and regularly. Whether you use your hot tub regularly or not theere are certain things that have to be done as a hot tub owner. You can do that by obeying the following:

Daily maintenance –  for an optimal experience in your hot tub, you need to perform the following daily maintenances:

  • Check the pH level of the water to make sure it is not above or below the expected level; if it is, use a pH increaser or pH decrease to return it to 7.6
  • Checking the sanitizer level of the water to make sure it is not low; if it is, you need to add more sanitizer.
  • Putting additives in the water to prevent the problem of germs. 
  • Run the hot tub pump for at least two hours for adequate filtration.
  • Check for any broken or damaged part of the hot tub to make sure it can perform effectively.
  • Check the alkaline level of the water to make sure that it is not below the expected level. 
  • Run the hot tub at high speed to enhance filtration.

Weekly maintenance – the following are activities that have to be followed weekly to make sure your hot tub is safe and always ready for use: 

  • Shock your hot tub water to help kill bacteria.
  • Add an instructed amount of sanitizer into the water to help kill the germs.
  • Add a small number of enzymes into the water to kill germs.
  • Add a small quantity of vinegar to the water to help kill germs and other organic matter.
  • Use of manual or robotic vacuum cleaner to clean the pool to keep it free from algae. 

Monthly/sporadic maintenance – the following are activities you have to do monthly, after a couple of months, and some once a year.

  • Clean the filter at least after every two months either by soaking, spraying, or rinsing to improve its efficiency.
  • Add salt to your hot tub water monthly, depending on times of usage, to help kill germs.
  • Change the old water by draining and refilling it with well sanitized and treated water.
  • Change and replace worn-out and damaged parts to improve efficiency.

Others: these are things you are expected to do; they do not have time limits.

  • Always keep residues of detergent and other laundering/cleaning agents away from the hot tub.
  • Avoid eating and drinking in the hot tub.
  • Make sure you cover the hot tub to prevent air particles and dead organic matter from entering inside.
  • Make sure you keep to a simple cleaning routine.
  • Always close the air valves when the hot tub is not in use.
  • Avoid heavy usage of the hot tub.
  • Always sanitize was you are done with the hot tub.

Is it safe to get in a cloudy hot tub?

It is not safe to use a cloudy hot tub. There are problems that may arise when your hot tub water becomes cloudy. A cloudy hot tub water can lead to a lot of problems to humans as well as the hot tub if not dealt with properly, and they are as follows:

  • It causes infection –  cloudy hot tubs cause infections like respiratory difficulty and hot tub rash to anyone who uses it due to the various germs, pathogens, and other harmful microscopic substances present in the water.
  • It reduces the efficiency of the hot tub –  if the hot tub water is clouded, it can affect some path of the hot tub like the contaminates can clog and block the filter.
  • It can cause corrosion – some metals that are responsible for clouding the hot tub can cause corrosion of the hot tub components.
  • Uncomfortable soak: a hot tub is meant to make you feel relaxed and stress-free, but when it is clouded, it becomes uncomfortable, and it loses its natural water fell.

Why is my hot tub cloudy?

It’s important to note the reasons for cloudy hot tub water so you can be able to know how to tackle the problem. A cloudy hot tub can be a result of a lot of factors like the way the hot tub is maintained, by natural means, or by technical faults. The following are the possible causes of cloudy hot tub water.

  • Low sanitizer level – the role of the sanitizer in a hot tub is to kill bacteria and germs that are present in the hot tub. Therefore, an inadequate amount of sanitizer can cause cloudy hot tub water; since you use the hot tub daily, you also need to sanitize daily to make sure that the germs and particles from your body will be destroyed by the sanitizer.
  • High calcium hardness – the quantity of calcium in your water can determine if it will get cloudy or not; in areas where hard water is present, the water can easily get clouded when calcium falls out of the solution. But an area with soft water does not cause hot tub water to get cloudy.
  • Level of alkalinity – the level of alkalinity in the hot tub water goes a long way in determining if the water is cloudy or not. The appropriate alkaline level for clean and clear water is 80-120ppm, so if the alkaline level is high, it can lead to falling of carbonate, thereby resulting in a cloudy hot tub water. Likewise, if the alkaline level is low, it will make the pH unstable which can also cause cloudy hot tub water.
  • Hot tub filter problem – the particles like sweat, dirt, and debris you introduce into the hot tub are responsible for this problem. The role of the filter in a hot tub is to capture and gather junks and debris, which in the process begin to build up in the filter, thereby making the filter less effective so the hot tub water can get clouded.
  • Lotion, soap, and other hair products – when you use the hot tub, you introduce oils, dirt detergent, sweat, and even soap into the water and these substances use up the sanitizers, build up in the jet lines and clog up your filter, causing your water to become cloudy. Heavy usage of the hot tub further increases this problem.
  • The air in the system – are you aware that tiny bubbles and small particles of air can make the spa water look cloudy? The low water level in the hot tub can bring air into the hot tub. Likewise, bubbles coming into the returns, and your hot tub Ozonator is turned off can lead to an air leak.
  • Hot tub pump problem – numerous pump problems can result in cloudy hot tub water. First, the amount of time the hot tub filter is runs daily. If the time the hot tub pump is running is little, it can reduce your daily filtration time, thereby leading to a cloudy hot tub water.
  • The problem of the salt system – salt systems can be found in hot tubs but are more popularly seen in swimming pools. The Salt system is very reliable, and it has a long use span; therefore, it does not need regular maintenance, but it needs to be cleaned and maintained occasionally. The addition of salt to the hot tub may temporally cloud the hot tub until the salt is fully dissolved.
  • Filter positioning – Sometimes it is a technical fault which is from the positioning of the hot tub filter cartridge, which can lead to water bypassing the filter cartridge.
  • Cloudy fill water – few times, the problem may not be from your hot tub rather from your fill water; first, how old is your water? If more than four months, you are running the risk of having a cloudy hot tub.
  • Dead algae – algae are beneficial to the aquatic environment, and algae tend to grow in a hot tub with low water treatment, thereby making the water look cloudy. The dead algae float around the makes the water looks gross.
  • Organic debris – organic debris like dead leaves, dead grasses, and other types of organic debris can turn your hot tub water cloudy if they find their way into your hot tub with especially does that lack adequate sanitizers.
  • Metals – when some metals find their way into your hot tub, they cause a high concentration of metal in the household water sources, which after some time can stain your hot tub shell and corrode your hot tub components.
  • Biguanide problem –  use of biguanide sanitizers may cloud your hot tub water because using hot tub chemicals with any amount of chlorine and any other non-approved chemical will not only cloud your hot tub but also create some wild color too.
  • High pH: your hot tub water will become cloudy if the water is too basic; that is, if the pH of the water is higher than 7.6, this high pH can also cause ineffective sanitizing. 
  • Broken impeller –  The hot tub impeller could be another issue that can cause a cloudy hot tub. It could be clogged with hairs, pebbles, and other things due to the small vanes on a pump which can reduce the flow volume. Another possible thing is that the impeller may be broken, which will lead to a zero flow rate.
  • Salt: salt systems can be found in hot tubs but are more popularly seen in swimming pools. The Salt system is very reliable, and it has a long use span; therefore, it does not need regular maintenance, but it needs to be cleaned and maintained occasionally. The addition of salt to the hot tub may temporally cloud the hot tub until the salt is fully dissolved; therefore, when adding salt, always be careful not to add overdose.

How do I clear up cloudy water in my hot tub?

There are various ways to fix the cloudy hot tub water. They are as follows:

  1. Sanitizing – you can deal with a cloudy hot tub that is caused by germs, debris, algae, and other bacteria by properly sanitizing the water therefore, the best way to kill these germs and bring back the clarity of the water is by sanitizing the bathtub with a recommended dosage of bromine or chlorine and allow it settle, but if you are sensitive to bromine or chlorine, you can make use of other sanitizers like a mineral cartridge or an Ozonator.
  2. Addition of salt – a cloudy, hot tub can be fixed by the addition of a specific instructed amount of salt into the pool; the salt helps to kill the germs and bacteria present in the water, and it also gives a natural water feeling.
  3. Shocking the water – you can deal with a cloudy hot tub by shocking it with calcium hypochlorite, chlorine, lithium hypochlorite, dichlor, or non-chlorine shock, thereby allowing it to break down the particles, add oxygen, kill the bacteria and remove the chloramines and bromamines.
  4. Use of alkalinity increaser – you can clear your cloudy hot tub water with the use of an alkalinity increaser to increase the alkalinity of the water if the alkaline level is lower than 80ppm.
  5. Use of pH increaser and pH decreaser –  you can use a pH increaser to increase the pH of the water if it is less than 7.6 and a pH decreaser to decrease the pH if it is higher than 7.6.
  6. Addition of enzymes –  enzymes such as ligninase, peroxide, and cellulase can be used to treat and change cloudy water to crystal clear water. By adding enzymes to the water, you are allowing it to absorb any substance that is floating in the water.
  7. Run the filter – another way of removing cloudy water is by bypassing the water through filtration so that the filter gathers the contaminants in the water.
  8. By use of clarifiers –  you can also deal with cloudy hot tub water by using clarifiers. If you still can’t trace the cause of the problem, you can use a clarifier because its function is to track down and bind itself to the organic matter. Therefore, you can add a small amount of clarifier with the jet and run for about an hour. If done properly, the clarifier should gather and bind with what is making your hot tub water cloudy.
  9. Drain and refill method –  if after trying to clear the cloudiness of your water and it seems like nothing is working, try draining the old water and refilling it with a new pre-filtered and sanitized water.
  10. Chemical balancer – In areas where the water is hard, the water can easily be clouded by calcium from a solution; therefore, to decrease the calcium hardness, you can use substances that decrease the calcium level (chemical balancer), thereby making the calcium bind together. 
  11. Fixing air leak – By regular inspection of the pipes and equipment before the hot tub, a pump can help to fix the source of the air leak with sealant or lubricants.

Cloudy hot tub water is not a difficult issue to find and fix. Remember to consider each cause carefully and precisely to ensure you have a safe and healthy soak every time. If any of the listed above does not seem to work, you can try draining and refilling the water regularly, like monthly. These tips should ensure your hot tub water is cloud-free and healthy.

How to prevent cloudy hot tub water

You do not need to wait for your hot tub to become cloudy, milky, or hazy before taking care of it. Cloudy hot tub water can be prevented by applying the following maintenance procedures:

  1. Constant cleaning of the filter – To ensure that your hot tub is always cloud-free, ensure you constantly clean your filter at least once a month, and also do not forget to change it when it becomes unmanageable. Also, use solvents to remove the oil and grease in the filter at least every two-month interval.
  2. Always close the air valve when the tub is not in use – make sure that you always close the air valve when the hot tub is not in use to enhance the circulation of sanitizer and to enhance the filtration process.
  3. Change your water occasionally – the water can get worse due to air particles and other kinds of stuff, so try as much as possible to occasionally change your water at least once every four months to prevent building a home for microorganisms.
  4. Avoid frequent use of lotion – lotions and hair products tend to use up the sanitizers in the hot tub; therefore, avoiding the use of lotions can help boost the water chemical balance and keep the water cloud-free.
  5. Run the hot water pump for at least two hourly daily – by doing this it helps to enhance the filtration process and keeps the hot top crystal clean.
  6. High-speed pumping – you need to pump your hot water at high speed for about two hours to make sure that it is filtered effectively.
  7. Check and fix/repair worn out parts – hot tub needs to be checked often to make sure that all the part all the loose part is fixed and all the damaged part are replaced for safety reasons.
  8. Avoid adding excess salt –  add salt to your hot tub water often to kill the germs but always check the quantity of salt you put in your hot tub to make sure that you do not add overdose and temporal cloudy hot tub water is not formed.
  9. Shock water regularly – try to shock your hot tub water at least weekly to make sure it is germs-free.
  10. Place your hot tub filter properly – sometimes, the wrong positioning of the hot tub filter cartridge leads to cloudy hot tub water; therefore, ensure that the cartridge is fully seated on both ends to prevent water from bypassing the filter cartridge. Also, try to spray or soak the cartridge with a spa filter cleaner to remove the greasy or mineral deposits before cleaning for a free flow of water in your filter.
  11. Regular sanitizing – Sanitizing is very important because when you are done bathing, some germs are washed off from your body but still remains in the bathtub, which, if not treated properly, can develop into a cloud plume. Therefore, the best way to kill the bacteria and keep the water clean is by regularly sanitizing, if possible, after every use of the bathtub, especially soakers, by adding a recommended dosage of bromine or chlorine and allow it to settle, but if you are sensitive to bromine or chlorine, you can make use of other sanitizers like a mineral cartridge or an Ozonator. 
  12. Drain and refill – as long as you want a cloud-free hot tub, and you need to drain the old water and refill it with a sanitized and balanced one at least every four months.
  13. Use vinegar – try using white vinegar once in a while to treat your hot tub water to prevent germs and air particles from contaminating the water.
  14. Add clarifiers to the water at least weekly – to help kill germs, organic particles, and other contaminants.
  15. Ensure you cover the hot tub when it is not in use – to help to prevent air particles from contaminating the hot tub water.
  16. Avoid eating and drinking while in the hot tub – to prevent spilling drinks or dropping food into the hot tub.
  17. Regular inspection –  By regular inspection of the pipes and equipment before the hot tub pump can help to fix the source of the air leak with sealant or lubricants.
  18. Changing of filter – filters need to be cleaned regularly, at least once a month, in other to it does its function efficiently. Let’s not forget that a filter cannot last forever, so it needs to be changed at least once a year. 
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