How to clean a hot tub that has been sitting

How to clean a hot tub that has been sitting

Your hot tub has been sitting for a long time? Do you want to do something about it? Have you sanitized or filtered it? Are you sure it was tightly covered? It is no longer fresh will surely prompt you to want to clean it because it can only stay fresh in moderate temperatures for up to two weeks.

The likes of spa water and hot tubs having sitting for a long time usually permit algae and bacteria growth. This occurs even without light and under a dark spa cover. It is common to see these bacterial colonies in toilets that hardly get cleaned or used.

Now, if you want to bring back your hot tub that has been sitting unmaintained or unused, here is the way you can achieve that with these few tips that will be listed below!

The following are how you can clean a hot tub that has been sitting:

Test run the filter system

This has to be done first before you carry out any operation to know if it is still working or if there is a need to add water to reach the level up to mid-skimmer and if you need to cover the spa filter or the need to replace it with a new one.

To find the spa cabinet, turn on the power at the circuit breaker, then open it up (spa cabinet) to locate the spa equipment. Get your GFCI outlets to reset and then power up the spa pack. Then, make sure that all valves are open before and after the pump, after which you can check for any leaks under the spa.

The last but not the least of this very step is that you should run the spa pump on a low and high speed respectively for some time, as this would help remove gunk in the pipes, for a spa, which has two pumps, namely, a jet pump and a circulatory pump. You will be needing to test them both to ensure that they will still be functioning even after you must have drained and cleaned the hot tub.

Drain the water and clean the hot tub

Do you want to get your hot tub that has been sitting for a long while completely taken care of? Then you have to drain the water, but if your water is in a fair shape without visible biofilm growth, just skip to the next step or method and proceed to get your plumbing purged.

To drain a hot tub, get a drainage port or hose. Most of these spas have small access ports below the base of the cabinet to drain water. You might as well get a short hose at the lowest point of the spa. The water gets drained as you connect the hose; also, you can use a submersible pump to get your spa drained and make sure that the power to the spa is OFF before draining.

Use a garden hose to avoid draining from the spa by spraying off the spa surfaces. You can also loosen slimy gunk by spraying water into the skimmer. Lastly, avoid spraying the spa equipment (filters, heater, pump).

Do a refill and purge

After the removal of gunk in water from the hot tub, the next thing to do is to purge the spa, and by doing so, you get to use a specialized chemical on it to remove the slimy biofilm lining the inside of the pipes, which takes its habitation in different nooks and crannies in the spa’s air and water plumbing.

Removal of biofilms in hot tubs uses recommended products like

Leisure Time’s Jet Clean. It also removes mineral deposits, oil, and other organic contaminants from the spa plumbing. Take proper precautions by following the label directions, adding it to the spa with the pump system running. Within a short period, the funk and gunk rose to the brim as a brown foam. To help in dislodging any remaining bacteria, turn on the jet pump and blower.

Drain and refill spa

Get your spa drained once again; the action of a hose or rag around the surroundings will remove the scum around the top of the spa completely. For an empty tub, use sponges or a wet/dry vac to dry up the remaining bits of water as this would help eliminate any form of bacteria and other gunks that the purge removed from the spa lines to have a fresh start with nice, clean water in your hot tub.

In addition, get your spa refilled with fresh water. When full to the brim, get the water tested for its water chemistry and add adjustment chemicals to balance the pH, calcium hardness, and alkalinity. Get your spa replaced every 18 months or at every 12 cleanings.

Hot tub sitting empty for years

How to clean a hot tub that has been sitting

Hot tub sat for many years? Thinking of getting rid of it? Or getting it recycled? Since your hot tub isn’t looking so hot anymore, then you might want to get rid of it, but you should be prepared for some heavy lifting of more than 500 pounds (weight of an average hot tub).

Instead of thinking of doing that yourself, why not save yourself the stress and time with 1-800-GOT-JUNK?’s hot tub removal service!?
They will come over to your house, pick up your old hot tub and get it to their trucks, just by calling 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. You can also feel free to get it recycled since it is prioritized to do so.

How to clean dirty hot tub water

Are you not getting clear, warm, soothing, and bubbling water anymore? Hot tub water looking dirty and hazy? Which could only mean that your hot tub water is unhealthy! Could there be a problem with the chemical balance? Or filtration and circulation? Then this requires a fix!.

So, we’d like to get on with tips on how to clean a dirty hot tub if you got one. To do that, it is just by following a simple procedure which is to:
Shock your hot tub with granular chlorine or non-chlorine shock (and this is only if you do not get to use chlorine as your sanitizer).

Doing this will help oxidize or chemically burn up the algae or organic debris, causing the problem and leading to clearer water.

What to clean hot tub with when empty

For an empty hot tub, it is going to be easy-clean! What to use? Just grab a sponge or a wet or dry vac, use it to suck up the last bits of dirty water because it will help purge all the bacteria and other gunk from the hot tub and give you a fresh start with nice clean water in your hot tub.

What is the best thing to clean a hot tub with

Looking for a convenient tool? Do you prefer natural cleaners? Using this is highly recommended as it prevents you from being prone to coming in contact with toxic cleaners. You also need to know that you can clean your hot tub with household products, and it is easier.

Now, let’s get to identify these few household products that are most preferably being used to get a clearer hot tub, and they are the types of cleaners you’d get in your kitchen cabinets. Knowing these products would be a lot easier and understandable, getting to know when to how and when to use them.

Detergents: assist in getting rid of sticky stains through the process of emulsification (of oils that bind dirt to the surface). A perfect example is your dishwashing and laundry detergents.

Sanitizers: the role of this is to disinfect and remove stains, including odors. It is an alternative to chlorine bleach.

Abrasives: you have to be careful when using this. They are used to scratch off surfaces; a common example is your steel wool and scouring powder.

Acids: assists in breaking down rust and hard water stains. They are preferably used as tile, mold, and toilet bowl cleaners.

Bases: removes dirt, grease, and fat.

So, these are the natural cleaning tools to use. Others are the white vinegar, Heinz cleaning product, Baking soda, Bleach, and Melamine sponge. Using all of these will get the job done without damaging your hot tub surface.

Can I clean my hot tub with vinegar?


Using vinegar to clean hot tubs is safe and highly recommended because vinegar is an all-purpose cleaner. Cleaning using vinegar is done starting from the floors in your home to your favorite coffee cups. So, it makes perfect sense to use it for cleaning your hot tub.

In addition, vinegar contains no harmful chemical substances, and it deodorizes, naturally safe to use around people, including pets. Most importantly, it eliminates bacteria and prevents clogs in your hot tub jets.

How to lower the pH of a hot tub naturally?

Looking for natural means? Well, you’ve earned a thumb-up if you’re thinking of going green. To do that, you can get vinegar and take four(4) cups, then pour it evenly in the water. Do not forget to circulate the water in the tub before you get to pour your vinegar.

Another means is by using that apple cider vinegar you have in your closet. After usage, turn off the Jets and test the water after a few hours. Do this until you have finally achieved an appropriate level; repeatedly doing this will lower the pH level without chemicals.

Also read: How to clean a green pool with bleach

Using vinegar to clean hot tub pipes

Vinegar? Quite a natural solution to grime and bacteria and the best way to tackle your dirty hot tub pipes. Using vinegar is very effective in achieving this squeaky clean you want.

To clean; add a gallon of vinegar first to your water, then run it through the lines for at least two hours. This will easily attack those biofilms in the tubes and jets. You can make a 1 to 1 solution of vinegar and water to wipe down your tub shell and cover.

How to clean a hot tub without draining it

Getting it done without draining? Although, there are times when draining isn’t appreciated (for example, when refill water is limited or when there is water restriction in your community or city). There are ways to clean a hot tub without draining it completely, so here are the ways:

  • Do a recycle to your hot tub into the pool
  • Using a submersible pump, recycle the hot tub into the bathtub
  • Using an external pool filter, get your spa filtered
  • Apply the process of reverse osmosis to filter spa
  • Alkalinity, pH, and calcium level should be balanced
  • Use a soft brush to scrub the spa
  • Use a spa purge to scrub the pipes
  • Lastly, soak the jets.


Get your hot tub drained for at least 3 to 4 months if possible. Also, you should note that proper maintenance of your hot tub will extend the lifespan of your hot tub

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