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How to Clear Cloudy Hot Tub Water

There’s nothing quite like looking forward to a luxurious soak in your backyard hot tub. For some of us, the thought of the tub’s relaxing massage is just enough to get us through the day!

Now imagine pulling back your hot tub cover and…surprise! You’re greeted by cloudy, foamy hot tub water that makes you want to put the lid back on and walk away. You’re now faced with two choices: book a massage at the local spa or clean up that cloudy water.

Fortunately, the second choice is much easier and more cost-effective than the first. Let’s take a look at the steps you can take to return your water to a clean, clear state and get you back in the water for that massage!

What to do if your hot tub water is cloudy

The first thing to keep in mind about finding your hot tub water cloudy and foamy is to not fret about it. This happens to virtually every tub at some point, so there is likely nothing wrong with your system. All you need to do is diligently follow these 3 easy steps to clear up cloudy water.

For the best results, follow these steps in order:

  1. Clean your hot tub filter: Finding cloudy, foamy hot tub water might tempt you to immediately reach for the chemicals…but wait! You can add all the chemicals you want, but they won’t be effective if your filters are dirty. A dirty filter can significantly hinder your chemical efficiency, so before you add any products to the water, you must clean or replace your filter first. Read more about how to clean and replace hot tub filters.
  2. Check sanitizer levels: When a houseplant gets too dry, it displays visual cues that it’s time to water it. Hot tub water operates in a similar way: cloudy water is a sign that you need to add sanitizer. The goal is to have chlorine or bromine levels between 3 – 5 ppm. When levels dip below that, you get cloudy water.

Here’s what you can do to get the levels back up.

  • Use a water test kit to determine if your sanitizer is low, in which case add powder/granular sanitizer to the hot tub so it activates quickly
  • Check sanitizer again in 15 minutes and add more if needed
  • Repeat these steps until the levels reach 3 – 5 ppm, as the water won’t clear up if sanitizer levels are less than 3 ppm

If you use chlorine or bromine tablets, check the dispenser to ensure that it’s not set too low for the tub’s requirements. Fill the dispenser if it has run out of tablets.

We can’t stress enough that if you don’t clean or replace your filter before doing this step, you’ll be wasting your chemicals and your time!

  1. Add liquid clarifier: Completing the first two steps will clear up your water, but results might take several days. You can significantly speed up the process by adding a liquid clarifier such as Polysheen or Pure Blue to the hot tub water. These products are coagulators that combine smaller particles into much larger ones, giving your filter a much better chance to capture and remove them from the water. Simply add 1oz. to the middle of the tub, with the jets on high speed and air dials open for maximum turbulence. Turn the jets off after 15 minutes.

Don’t be alarmed if the water looks even cloudier than before you added the clarifier. This happens because the particles are larger and now more visible. Over the next 24 hours, your newly-cleaned filter will do its work to bring back the crystal clear water you’ve come to expect.

If you followed the above steps properly but didn’t get the results you expected, your tub might be due for a drain and refill. Hot tub water that is more than 4 – 5 months old or has a TDS level of 1,800 ppm or more when professionally tested should be replaced. It’s a good idea to drain and refill before the freezing weather sets in, so you’re not stuck trying to replace water in the deep winter – which is never a good idea.

Preventing hot tub water that’s cloudy and foamy

Clearing up cloudy, foamy hot tub water is relatively easy, but keeping your water clear is even easier!

Here are some easy hot tub water maintenance tips:

  • Maintain sanitizer: Use a hot tub test kit to regularly monitor and maintain your bromine or chlorine levels at the minimum 3 – 5 ppm. If the water is clear but your levels drop close to 0 ppm, add a granular sanitizer and/or tablets soon or your water will go murky and foamy.
  • Keep your filters clean: Your hot tub water will only be as clean as your filter, because a clean filter will do a better job at capturing particles so the water will never get cloudy. Be sure to clean your filter regularly, or replace it if it’s close to a year old.
  • Maintenance Program/System: Multifunctional hot tub maintenance programs/systems such as Soft Soak Trio or Care Free incorporate a clarifier into their formula. Add them weekly to help your filter stay ahead of cloudy water. If you use your hot tub 5 – 7 times per week, you can proactively counteract all the contaminants left behind by using Polysheen Blue or Pure Blue.
  • Clean your pipes: Did you know that biofilms and bacteria build up inside your hot tub pipes can hinder your water chemistry? You can keep your pipes clean by using the drain product included with the Soft Soak Trio or a drain product sold separately, such as Swirl Away. These products scrub the parts of your hot tub you can’t see or easily access, making water maintenance much easier.
  • Use an ionizer: You can use a lot less chlorine or bromine in your tub water by adding an ionizer and still get great results. Ionizers act as a safety net for the times you forget to maintain your tub water, and provide a luxurious mineral water soak experience that’s gentle on your skin.

Never miss another relaxing soak in your hot tub by following these steps to keep cloudy and foamy water away. Remember: the more you take care of your hot tub, the more it will take care of you!

Say goodbye to cloudy hot tub water in Mississauga, Oakville, and the Greater Toronto Area at Lakeshore Pools & Hot Tubs!

Nobody wants to soak in cloudy hot tub water. Talk to the award-winning team at Lakeshore Pools & Hot Tubs to recommend the right products to get rid of cloudy, foamy water and prevent it from coming back.

Visit Lakeshore Pools & Hot Tubs at 309 Lakeshore East in Mississauga, or call (905)-891-8818 today!

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