How to Clean a Hot Tub: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Clean a Hot Tub: A Comprehensive Guide

Maintaining the cleanliness of your hot tub is crucial to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. Regular cleaning, bolstered by sanitizing chemicals such as bromine and chlorine, can keep your hot tub fresh and inviting, reducing the need for deep cleaning. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean a hot tub safely and effectively.

1. Power Off and Drain the Tub 

The high temperatures maintained in hot tubs make them ideal environments for bacteria and mold growth. 

  • Start by switching off the power at the circuit breaker to prevent the pump or jets from activating during the draining process 
  • Flush the lines with a dedicated cleaner before draining the water to eliminate potential contaminants 
  • Then, drain the hot tub following the manufacturer's instructions

2. Scrub the Tub 

Once the hot tub is emptied, spray the interior with water and apply a specialized hot tub cleaner. These cleaners are designed to cut through grime, simplifying the cleaning process. 

The hot tub's exterior shell is designed to resist buildup and can be cleaned gently by wiping and spraying it with warm water. The hot tub cover can be washed similarly. 

Tip: Always wear protective gloves when handling cleaners.

3. Clean or Replace the Filters 

Next, remove the filters from the tub. As their primary role is to filter out grime and bacteria, filters can accumulate buildup quickly. 

  • Replace any filters that are older than a year. If your filters are relatively new, spray them with water, wipe them with hot tub cleaner, and rinse clean. Avoid using brushes or other abrasive cleaning tools on the filters. 
  • To provide additional cleaning, disinfect the filters with hot tub chlorine to break up any remaining buildup, then rinse them clean. 

Tip: Some filters may be more challenging to reach than others. Consider taking a picture of the filter before removing it to simplify reinstallation.

4. Refill the Tub 

With your tub clean and ready, refill it using a hose inserted into the filter well. Ensure the water flows through the filters and the tub is clean. 

Then, switch the power back on.

5. Treat the Water 

After a few hours, test the pH and chlorine levels in your hot tub. Treat the water with a hot tub shock, sanitizer, or clarifier, always adhering to the recommended levels provided in your manual. 

Adjust the chemical levels accordingly depending on whether you use bromine or chlorine. Once the appropriate chemicals have been added, close the lid to allow them to work effectively.

6. Maintain Regularly 

Much like a pool, hot tubs require consistent maintenance. Establishing a regular cleaning schedule is crucial to learning how to clean a hot tub. 

  • Weekly sanitizing with bromine or chlorine will keep the water clean 
  • Cleaning the filter monthly will remove trapped debris and grime, helping your hot tub operate smoothly 
  • Clean the hot tub shell every 3 to 4 months to prevent buildup 
  • Keep the hot tub cover dust- and leaf-free by cleaning it monthly 
  • When not in use, protect the hot tub with a cover 


Adopting a consistent cleaning routine can ensure the longevity and cleanliness of your hot tub. By implementing these steps, you'll enjoy your hot tub for many years, providing your family and friends with a safe and relaxing spa experience.