The Ultimate Guide to Spa Care

A guide to the daily, weekly, monthly, and annual spa care requirements 

Key takeaways: 

  • Test and treat the water daily. 
  • Rinse the filters and clean them immediately after removing them.
  • Wipe the waterline with a sponge and cleaning solution. 
  • Clean the cover of snow and ice in winters. For the rest of the year, you'll find dust, leaves, and grime.

The seasons can take a toll on your hot tub, spa, or swim spa. That’s why owners need to clean and maintain their spa regularly to keep it working correctly. You may be surprised to know that the standard maintenance/cleaning procedures vary throughout the year. The chill and freeze around winter, for example, requires you to take your spa cleaning efforts a little further. 

However, whatever you do extends the life of your unit. Regular upkeep will maintain your spa in top-notch shape. This guide takes you through the steps of ensuring your spa never malfunctions and is always available when you need it the most. Let's dive straight in!

The top reasons to not neglect spa care

To keep your hot tub or swim spa at its best, routine maintenance is essential. It doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Work it into your schedule when it fits for you. Some of the top reasons not to neglect care are:  

  • Regular maintenance is more affordable and manageable than fixing a significant breakdown.
  • Contaminant build-up in filters makes it harder for the circulation pump to pull the water.  
  • Untreated spas can result in cloudy water, mold, and algae growth. It'll become a breeding ground for contaminants, making it unsuitable for usage.
  • A daily check helps you to detect any problems sooner. 
  • A clean spa is more alluring and pleasurable than a dirty spa.

Daily care

Daily spa care is a must to keep your spa running solid all year long. All it takes is a little effort to preserve a unit at its peak performance. Work these tips into your daily schedule. Keeping a unit spotless daily will extend its life and save money in the long run. 

  • Pop open the cover to check the water temperature. Any abnormal reading indicates a problem. 
  • Use a test strip to check the pH level of the water and keep it between 7.2-7.6. Add pH down if the pH is high, or else add pH up if it is low. 
  • Add a chlorine or bromine sanitizer to the spa. 
  • Lastly, check the cover for any damage. It must firmly close the entire spa to retain the good chemicals, keep the debris out, and prevent temperature fluctuations.

Weekly care 

Just about every week, you need to get a little active with your spa maintenance. Three times a week, follow a set of tasks to keep your unit in the best condition possible. Make it a point to do them. 

  • Use a test strip to check the water's alkalinity level to prevent any cloudy water or scaling. Keep it at around 80-120 ppm.
  • Once done, check the pH level of the water and adjust it if need be. 
  • Rinse the filters with plain water and add some Spa Bright to prevent any stain or scale.
  • Test the sanitizer levels. If need be, add a bit of chlorine or bromine to sanitize the spa and kill the bacteria. Aim for a chlorine level of two-five mg/L or a bromine level of three-six mg/L. 
  • Wipe down the sides with a sponge and cleaning solution to remove collected debris and prevent mold formation that could potentially get in the water. 
  • Add Spa Shock into the center of the spa to shock the water and remove any organic waste contaminants. Plus, keep the cover off afterward to remove all the chemical gas.
  • Air out the spa cover. Remove any dirt, oil, pollen, and other waste from the top of the spa cover. Plus, wipe the inside of the cover to prevent any mold formation.

Monthly care 

Once a month, implement a more vigorous treatment to keep your unit hygienic and functioning. You can adjust the monthly tasks around the daily and weekly spa care routine to save time. Here's everything that you should do:

  • Clean and rinse the spa filter every month. 
  • If your spa comes with a headrest, thoroughly clean it to remove any contaminants. 
  • Deep clean the inside with a damp cloth and a surface cleaner solution. 
  • Clean and rinse the spa cover to prevent any algae growth. Also, make sure to clean the exterior walls of your spa.

Annual care 

Your care schedule isn't complete until you find some time to conduct a full tune-up once a year. You can adjust this around your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks to save time. Here's everything that you would need to do:

  • Drain the water from your spa and flush the plumbing. Check if the jets are working correctly. 
  • Refill the unit and sanitize it with chlorine or bromine. Plus, check the pH levels.
  • Have a spa maintenance professional inspect your unit for any faults and repairs. 
  • Do a deep inspection of the cover for any cracks, openings, and mold formation. If you notice any signs of damage, discuss with the professional repairing or replacing the cover. 
  • Replace the filters. Besides the loose internal fibers, the cartridges only have a 12-month lifespan.

Special winter maintenance 

Your spa requires special care in winter. During winter, if the tub loses temperature or power, you'll end up with a frozen spa. Now, there isn't much you can do other than wait for the ice to thaw to assess the damage, which may require a replacement on large sections of plumbing. 

Maintaining your spa in the winter requires you to do all the above, plus you need to check and rinse the circulation pump filter daily and leave all of the valves open to keep the heater pumping hot water through the pipes. In case of a power outage, drain the spa immediately. Otherwise, use a freeze-protect system to check the temperature to run the heater. 

If not in use, drain the unit by removing the jet, then use a shop vacuum at the opening to suck out all of the water. Use a cover with vinyl-covered insulation to prevent freeze damage. Keep the internal temperature consistent to maximize the energy efficiency of your spa. Plus, you may need to clear all the snow off the cover to prevent any wear and tear.

The absolute best spa Care

Don't neglect your spa, hot tub, or swim spa. The more actively you take care of it, the longer you can use it. If you want to pamper yourself continually, then get into the habit of maintaining your unit and following all the steps listed above. 

Barefoot Spas is one of America's leading hot tub and swim spa brands. We are family-owned and operated and have been working together for years to bring joy and relaxation to the backyards of our neighbors far and wide. To read and stay updated on spas, visit our blog.

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