When the water in your hot tub appears clear, warm, and inviting, you activate the jets and wow! The spa suddenly looks more like a bubble bath, but one you’re not so keen to go in. Does this sound familiar?
Are you curious why your hot tub has that annoying foam and how to get rid of it? Let’s dive into what’s causing the issue and find straightforward solutions to keep your hot tub water crystal clear.
Understanding Why Hot Tub Foam Happens
Hot tub foam is kind of like the froth you see at the beach, just a bit different chemically. To create foam, you need three things: water, air, and something called surfactants. Surfactants are like gluey molecules that make mixing things like oil and water easier.
Even if you’re pretty good at keeping your hot tub’s chemistry in check, there are some surfactants in there. But if you slip up on your maintenance or forget to change the water after a big hot tub gathering and then turn on the jets, you can end up with a foamy mess.
Because the surfactants often end up creating a thin layer of water in between themselves, they tend to push the water molecule into a ball, and suddenly, you have a bubble. The more surfactants you have, the more stacking you get and the more bubbles you get. The final result? Hot Tub Foam!
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If you want to skip to solving foam in your hot tub, you might want to check this product out. Jacuzzi® No Foam, which not only clears the foam but also keeps your water crystal clear. However, be aware this is a temporary fix. To best understand why foam appears and how to eliminate keep reading.
What Causes the Buildup of Surfactants in Your Hot Tub?
If you’re curious about the sources of these troublesome surfactants, let’s break it down:
- Laundry Detergent and Soap: One of the primary culprits for surfactant buildup is remnants of laundry detergent or soap left on swimsuits or swimwear. This sneaky source often goes unnoticed but can significantly impact your hot tub water.
- Hair Care Products: Haircare products such as shampoo, gel, mousse, and hairspray contain surfactants that find their way into your hot tub water. Styling your hair before a soak can inadvertently contribute to surfactant accumulation.
- Body Lotions and Deodorant: Everyday personal care items like body lotions and deodorants contain surfactants that can ultimately make their way into your hot tub. Using these products before or after a soak can inadvertently introduce surfactants into the water.
- Makeup and Cosmetics: Makeup and cosmetics, often applied before or after hot tub sessions, can contain surfactants. These substances can be easily transferred into your hot tub, contributing to the problem.
- Beverages: It’s essential to be cautious about enjoying beverages in your hot tub. Spills of alcoholic or sugary drinks can result in surfactant contamination, adding to the foam issue.
- Chemical Factors: The use of cheap hot tub chemicals or an excessive amount of chemicals, leading to high levels of total dissolved solids (TDS), can also be a source of surfactants. Properly balancing and maintaining your chemical levels is essential.
By recognising these potential sources of surfactants, you can take proactive measures to prevent their introduction into your hot tub and maintain a clear and enjoyable soaking experience.
The Problem with Cheap Hot Tub Chemicals
We all like to save money, but sometimes, going for cheap hot tub chemicals can be a mistake. They may not work as well as the pricier options, which means you’ll have to use more and buy more. Even worse, those cheap chemicals could lead to a buildup of surfactants and other water chemistry issues. So, you’ll end up spending more on fixing the problems, more time cleaning your hot tub, and less time enjoying it.
Good quality hot tub chemicals are not a splurge; they’re an investment in your relaxation. Get the best ones you can find, and save yourself the headache. After all, a hot tub is all about relaxing.
How to Get Rid of Hot Tub Foam
If you’ve got foam in your hot tub, don’t worry. Clearing a foamy hot tub might seem like an impossible task, but we have a couple of suggestions.
Option 1 Foam-Busting with Testing and Maintenance
- Water Testing: Before you do anything else, test your water to see what the pH, alkalinity, sanitiser levels, and total dissolved solids (TDS) look like. These TDS are actually surfactants.
- Filter Maintenance: Remove and clean the filters. Pay particular attention to cleaning the filters. Some customers like to rotate or have spare filters for this very reason to ensure ample time for deep cleaning and thorough air-drying.
- Bubble Action: Activate the jets at full power and let the bubbles surface. As foam appears, promptly skim it off.
- Antifoam Treatment: Add some antifoam and leave for 24 hours. We recommend Jacuzzi® No Foam.
- Retest and Observe: After the 24-hour period, retest the water to ensure the foam has been successfully addressed. Turn on the jets again to see if any new foam appears. Persistence may be needed with this option, and you may need to repeat these steps if necessary.
Option 2: The Draining and Refilling Approach
If the foaming issue persists and seems relentless, it may be time to consider draining and refilling your hot tub. Draining, cleaning and filling are the only options to eliminate the foam. It’s also a good time to flush the pipes and replace your filters.
- Drain the Tub: Begin by draining your hot tub. Depending on the level of foam and surfactant buildup, this step may be essential to start with a clean slate.
- Filter Replacement: While the hot tub is drained, take the opportunity to replace your filters.
- Pipe Flush: This is also a good time to flush the pipes to remove any residual contaminants or surfactants that might be lurking within the plumbing system.
- Refilling the Tub: Once your hot tub is thoroughly cleaned and drained, refill it with fresh water.
- Post-Refill Water Maintenance: After refilling, it’s crucial to test the water again, adjust the chemical levels as needed, and allow the water to circulate for at least a day. This ensures that the water is well-balanced and ready for your next soak.
Preventing Hot Tub Foam
To keep foam away from your hot tub in the future, here are some simple tips:
- TOP TIP – Rinse your clean swimwear with fresh water before getting in your hot tub and if you are wanting to wash the swimwear in your washing machine after using the hot tub, don’t add detergent!
- Shower before soaking in the hot tub to remove any soap residue, makeup, or deodorant. It doesn’t have to be a full shower. Just a quick rinse is enough.
- Avoid dunking your head underwater unless you’re sure your hair is free (or as free as possible) of natural oils, conditioner, and styling products. If you or one of your guests has long hair, tuck it in a baseball cap or pull it into a bun to keep it out of the water.This goes for beards, too.
- Keep sugary or alcoholic drinks away from the hot tub. This eliminates the chance of something spilling in the water.
- Buy your chemicals from a trusted source, even if you end up paying a little more. You’ll thank yourself in the long run. Here at Outback 365, we only supply Jacuzzi-approved chemicals. Shop here
- Maintain a regular hot tub maintenance schedule. This includes weekly or biweekly water testing and a full hot tub draining and cleaning every three to four months.
Leave the bubbles for your bathtub. While dealing with foam in your hot tub might seem like a hassle, these steps ensure you have more time to relax in a foam-free, crystal-clear hot tub.