Do you have thousands of little tarnished colored particles floating in the tub? Those little particles floating on top that look like dandruff are called biofilm. If you put a net in the water and try to keep it for 2 minutes, you will see the little particles on the net.
They are colored slime found on the surface of so many things, such as water bodies, skin wounds, teeth, guts, and so many other surfaces where bacteria is prone to grow.
Unfortunately, it is going to take a little more effort to scrub and brush the hot tub. You might even have to shock the hot tub or pool, or add some extra chlorine. If not, you can consider purchasing a biofilm cleaner or granulated pipe cleaner to deep clean the hoses and jet pipe. Run your spa for some time, drain and refill it for some time.
It is kind of annoying, but it is not unusual for hot tubs that are not regularly treated. You just need to make a little effort to remove them.
If you are not ready to go through the stress of removing biofilm, then it is better to prevent it from forming. Biofilms mostly form in bodies of stagnant water. When all the organic particles and microbes come together, they form thin layers on the surface of the water and on the walls of the vessel.
Your hot tub is not an exception here. To prevent biofilm from forming in your hot tub, you need to ensure that it’s not stagnant. So, keep the water circulating, even when you are not using it.
Also, clean the filter when necessary. Moreover, your sanitizer should always be effective to prevent the growth of algae and other microbes.
How do I know if I have biofilm in my hot tub?
Biofilm appearance is one of the significant problems that touches and affects almost every hot tub and hot tub or pool.
Biofilms are chemically resistant and require moisture or a surface to grow, making the hot tub or pool an ideal environment for 99 percent of bacteria to thrive.
It gives signs such as very high chlorine demand due to excess sanitizer consumption, cloudy or green colored water, algae growth, stains and scales on the hot tub or pool, especially when it is in mass.
What does biofilm look and feel like?
A perfect example of biofilm is from our teeth. When you brush your teeth in the morning, you feel a lot fresher, but by evening, if you use your hand to swipe your gum, that slippery feeling you get is a biofilm. You can also find biofilms in your toilet sink that have been left unwashed for some days.
They have a very low pH of less than 1.0 parts per million, despite having a very thin layer containing microorganisms that remains on the surface of food, body parts, and equipment that comes into regular contact with water, such as pipes.
They grow perfectly on a moist surface and are produced by bacteria, which also protects them and makes them have a slimy feel. They are very difficult to remove because they prove to be resistant to most antibiotics and disinfectants.
How fast does a biofilm develop in a hot tub?
A biofilm is just a thin layer of bacteria that forms mainly on wet surfaces. They can also introduce the right environment for some opportunistic pathogens to grow in them. They can be found on the skin, wounds, tongue, teeth, and other moist places apart from the body.
For biofilm to grow rapidly, it takes just about 3 to 5 days, sometimes even less, depending on how it started developing.
Most of them do not just enter the hot tub or pool from external bodies and immediately start growing. They are already lurking in the hot tub or pool equipment like filters, hoses, and pipes, waiting for the right time when the water chemistry has become imbalanced to bloom.
Can you get rid of the biofilms without draining the hot tub?
Biofilms are thin layers of slime found on the surface of hot tubs. They are mainly protected by pathogens and bacteria. Most of the time, even after treating your water, even after treating and draining the water, it still comes back to the hot tub or pool because it goes to the filter, hoses, and other equipment to grow.
The best way to get rid of biofilm is by draining the water completely and washing the filters or other equipment. If you do not drain the water, you are at a higher risk of going back to what you are trying to avoid. Biofilms are very stubborn and cannot easily be removed from the water, so it’s best to introduce fresh water.
How do you prevent biofilms in a hot tub?
When bacteria find food, they multiply rapidly, and one bacterium can turn into one billion bacteria in about 10 hours. This bacteria feeds on dirt, and together they form a slimy substance that protects them from chlorine, bromine, and other antibiotics.
It is a very nice feeling after a very cold or stressful day to jump into your tub or spa and relax without showering to calm your nerves, relax your muscles, and relieve stress.
But if you do not want to battle with biofilms, you should always shower before entering the hot tub or hot tub or pool because your skin contains fat, cosmetics, and skin flakes which are rinsed by hydro massage to form micro-droplets and particles in the water.
You should also check the hardness of your water because in water there is lime in dissolved form in chemical equilibrium with carbon in pipes. Water flows through pipe connectors and other obstacles.
This causes a lot of turbulence, which emits carbon dioxide and changes the dissolved lime to limestone. This crystallization happens very quickly.
Does chlorine prevent biofilm?
Chlorine serves as a sanitizer for the hot tub or pool. It helps to fight living organisms found in the water like algae, especially when it is in the right range of 1.0 to 4.0 parts per million.
Chlorine has its own limits, and biofilm is one of the biggest limitations to chlorine effectiveness. Biofilms are introduced into the water through body sweat, oil, and can even be caused when the water hardness is not neutral. It is very stubborn to get rid of and chlorine is not one way.
Although we all know that if you do not already have biofilm in the water and your chlorine level and other water chemistry is just balanced, biofilm would have no opportunity to grow in the water.
Does shock get rid of biofilm?
Shock entails adding necessary chemicals to improve the chemistry by raising the chlorine level and removing unwanted and controllable organisms in the water, while biofilms are slimy, stubborn packs of bacteria that are found on the surfaces of water.
When you have water that has biofilms, just adding shock will not get rid of the biofilm totally. Because of how stubborn it is to eliminate, some of the bacteria can be lurking in the filter, hoses, and other equipment and might just continue to spread even after you have shocked the hot tub or pool.
It is necessary that you drain the whole system and soak the filter and other equipment in the right chemicals. Add in fresh water, test it, and then shock it if necessary.
Is apple cider vinegar a biofilm disruptor?
Vinegar goes a long way to cleaning the hot tub or pool and the filter or other equipment. It is a very good cleaning agent and can be used as bleach for tubs.
Although when you use vinegar, it takes about 2 weeks to be able to efficiently get rid of biofilms in the tub and filter.
Can a biofilm in a hot tub make you sick?
Biofilms are basically micro-colonies that form bacteria, yeast or even a combination of both and can live in various parts of the body, such as the nose, guts, teeth, and skin wounds.
When you swim in a hot tub that has biofilm, you are at high risk for vaginal yeast infection, Lyme, pneumonia, chronic fatigue symptoms, inner ear infections, kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and multiple sclerosis.
As a matter of fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, more than 65 to 80% of all microbial infections are now caused by biofilm producing bacteria. This material is moved freely in the blood system until it’s able to come in contact with a solid surface.
It is this ability to feel something solid that converts mobile bacteria to a stationary form that essentially finds a place to come and produce the bacterial biofilm shield.