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What causes foam in a hot tub?
What causes foam in a hot tub?
Written by Kimberly Giraldo
Updated over a week ago

Hot Tub Safety: Can You Soak in Cloudy Hot Tub Water?

You come home from a long day at work and you can’t wait to enjoy a dip in your hot tub. But what if your spa is covered in a layer of foam?

Unfortunately, that evening soak is out—at least for now. Cloudy or foamy water is often an indication that the chemical balance of your spa water is not quite right. Over time, this can even cause damage to your hot tub, corroding certain parts or discoloring the walls. But don’t stress. Once you understand where cloudy and foamy water comes from, you can get rid of it quickly and take steps to maintain crystal clear spa water in the future.

Cloudy and Foamy Water Caused by Bathers

Cloudy and foamy water is sometimes caused by soap, shampoo, and lotions that slough off people’s skin or bathing suits as they soak in your spa. To rid your water of these unwelcome guests, shock your spa after every big party, and routinely at least once a week.

When Mother Nature Wants a Dip In Your Spa

Hot tub foam may also be caused by leaves and other debris decomposing in your hot tub. Your sanitizer is designed to rid your spa of bacteria and algae. But if you aren’t manually removing leaves and grass, the sanitizer can’t do its job to kill bacteria and algae. The unfortunate result? Cloudy water or hot tub foam.

A Bad Chemical Balance Can Cause Hot Tub Foam

Cloudy and foamy water may also indicate that your hot tub pH balance is off. You can add the right mix of hot tub chemicals to correct the problem. First, test the hot tub water with a chemical kit. Water with a pH greater than 7.8 parts per million has too much pH, while hot tub water with alkalinity higher than 120 pm is too alkaline. Either problem can lead to cloudiness.

How to Get Rid of Foam Fast

Once you understand the cause of foamy water in the hot tub, you can take steps to correct it. Hot tub chemicals should clear up the water within 24 hours. An extra dose of bromine or chlorine will remove unwanted chemicals and bacteria left behind by bathers. Adding chemicals to increase or decrease your spa’s pH, as necessary, can also clear the water quickly. It’s also a good idea to clean your spa’s filter to remove any contaminants that could be making it harder for the chemicals to circulate and do their job.

You Can Prevent Hot Tub Foam

You may be able to minimize hot tub foam with a few preventative measures. To reduce any soap residue, lotions, or oils you might otherwise bring into the water, take a shower and rinse off well before you enter the hot tub. Also, avoid eating and drinking in or near the hot tub to prevent crumbs and spills. Finally, check your spa’s pH levels weekly and make adjustments as necessary to keep the foam from ruining a quiet evening in your hot tub.

By maintaining your water care awareness, a cloudy and foamy hot tub will be a thing of the past...only pristine water ahead.

Read more hot tub maintenance tips to keep your spa water crystal clear.

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