Have you ever added a little clarifier into your hot tub to clear cloudy spa water, only to find that cloudiness returns almost immediately? That’s because clarifier handles the immediate symptom, but you still need to remedy the underlying cause of the cloudy water. Unbalanced water, too high a concentration of metals, sunscreen, and detergent, and even (we hate to say it) urine and feces residue can be the root cause. Wait! Don’t slap on the biohazard tape and call it a lost cause, yet. We can help! No matter what’s causing cloudy spa water, you can correct the problem in just a few simple steps.
Check the Filter
Checking your filter should be your first step. If it’s dirty or not seated properly, it won’t be able to pick up small particles, and cloudy water will be inevitable. Remove the filter and give it a deep cleaning. With each cleaning, a filter loses a bit of its filtering power, so if you’ve already cleaned it many times, it may be time for a new one.
Also, remember this rule about hot tub filters: the more use, the more often the filter needs to be cleaned. Maybe you recently cleaned your filter, but if you’ve had a hot tub party or the hot tub has been used more frequently than normal, the filter will need a deep cleaning sooner.
Balance the Water
High alkalinity, high pH, and high calcium hardness are all likely causes of cloudy water. Test your water and adjust accordingly. Don’t forget we offer free professional water testing. If you need some advice to get your water balanced, make an appointment and we’re happy to help!
Shock the Water
Leaves from surrounding trees that make it into your hot tub when the cover is off, sunscreen, makeup, and other contaminants can work a number on your water quality, but a good shock will stop the spread of bacteria.
Clarify the Water
The tiniest particles of dirt, dust, and the like are small enough to pass right through the filter and remain in the water. A clarifier works like a magnet to pull the particles into a larger clump that will get caught in the filter. Now that you’ve checked, cleaned, and/or changed the filter, any clarifier you add to your spa can perform its job much better.
Flush the Circulation System & Drain the Spa
If none of the above works, your best bet is to flush the circulation system and drain the spa. Before you drain the spa, add a drain flush to the water and let it circulate. Check the directions on the product you chose, but 30 minutes is commonly recommended. This will pull out any biofilm from the plumbing. Then drain your spa, clean, and refill.
The easiest step you can take to remedy cloudy spa water is to prevent it in the first place! Don’t forget these fundamentals:
- Don’t leave your spa uncovered. Falling leaves, insects, and other debris that land in your hot tub will begin to break down and alter your water chemistry quickly. Meaning, you have to spend more time and money maintaining it.
- Use a hose filter. If your hot water seems cloudy almost from the start, it could be that the issue is not with your hot tub, but with the water itself. Add a filter to your garden hose to catch contaminants before they ever enter your spa.
- Ask users to shower before entering. While lotions, creams, and sunscreens are good and necessary for us, the truth is all the products we slather ourselves with, as well as the contaminants we pick up throughout the day, are terrible for our water. If we hop in the hot tub without showering first, perfumes, detergents, lotions, and everything else we’ve encountered that day is washed into the water and then your hot tub starts working hard to clear it out. Save your hot tub the trouble (and prolong the life of your water chemicals and filter) by making sure everyone who enters the hot tub takes a quick shower first.
How to get rid of cloudy water is one of our most commonly-asked hot tub maintenance questions. You’re bound to encounter it at some point, but when you do, don’t let that murky water intimidate you. Simply follow these 6 steps and you’ll be relaxing in crystal clear water again in no time!