How to Get Rid of Foam in a Hot Tub
Let’s face it. Foam is a common problem every hot tub owner deals with, no matter how excellent their water-care habits are or how ultra-high-tech-modern their filter system is. It’s one of those hot tub facts of life that most people prefer not to discuss. Hot tub foam can resemble a hot tub bubble bath, but it is anything but. Let’s understand the causes of hot tub foam and how to treat this icky stuff.
What Causes Hot Tub Foam?
Your hot tub starts with clean, adequately treated water with a suitable amount of spa chemicals. Then you turn on the jets and have a sit. Ahhh. What an excellent time to enjoy that beautiful crystal water!
But just by being in the water, you may have added body oils, lotions, shampoos, detergents, perfumes, makeup, drinks, and other potential environmental additives to the water that are invisible and unintentional. All these additives can create an undesirable layer of hot tub foam. And hey, it’s okay.
The reality is, unfortunately, even if you left it completely alone from that moment forward, your hot tub’s water chemistry is going to continue to evolve and change with—or without—the help of human bodies entering the water.
Let’s Talk Biofilm
Biofilm is a bacteria or other microorganism that sticks to the water’s surface until it finds another surface to stick to—like your hot tub shell, plumbing, cover, etc.—where it attaches and eventually grows.
Biofilm happens in all bodies of water, no matter the size. Luckily, you can keep most of this from causing problems in your hot tub with regular cleaning. Foam can be your friend because it serves as an indicator that something is not right with your water chemistry.
Maybe it’s time to drain your water and refill, or perhaps you need to do a shock treatment or add an extra dose of chemicals—one way or another, the foam is your hot tub talking to you. “Hey, you! I need attention, okay?”
When your hot tub speaks up, you should listen!
How To Avoid Foam Buildup
As much as we wish we could control everybody’s composition, detergent, or chemical that goes into our hot tub, that isn’t realistic. Our hot tub water is constantly changing, even without our help. However, there are some ways to combat that nasty foam and care for our water quality.
We can begin with avoiding the following:
- Soaps and detergents (including laundry soaps)
- Lotions and deodorants
- Hairstyling products
- Food and drinks
- Pet hair
In addition, it is a good idea to shower off any sweat or body oils before entering your hot tub and, as always, remain diligent in your water care routine.
How to Get Rid of Foam
Even when you’ve taken all of the measures listed above, you will still have the occasional patch of oozy bubbles. Remember, it’s not you; it’s the water.
For a temporary fix, try adding a bit of defoaming solution to your water.
A longer-lasting solution could be to keep a mineral cartridge in the filter compartment. This cartridge will help catch biofilm as it floats to the water’s surface.
As with anything, the longer-term, ideal solution to a problem with foam is going to be draining your hot tub and refilling it with fresh water to start your chemical process over. Bullfrog Spas recommends that you drain and refill your spa every three to six months for optimum sanitization, ultimate care, and function of your hot tub.
Hot tub foam can appear in your tub for various reasons, but don’t panic. If you follow the advice given above, you should be able to get your hot tub foam under control.
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