16 Amazing Spa Care Tips for First-Time Owners

Top tips for first-time spa owners to keep your unit running smoothly

Key takeaways: 

  • Routinely check the chemical balance and water temperature of your spa.
  • Inspect your filters and rinse them from time to time. 
  • Follow a cleaning schedule and avoid household chemicals unless recommended by the manufacturer. 
  • Get a high-quality cover for your spa and clean it often. 
  • When filling up your unit, use a hose with a filter and set a timer to avoid overfilling. 

Are you delighted after purchasing your first swim spa? Swim spas are excellent for health, fun, and relaxation. Now, we don't want to curb your excitement levels, but there is some effort required to keep your spa running steadily. We have compiled the 16 best tips and tricks to clean and maintain your swim spa. Let's get into it.

  1. Refilling your spaNo matter how honestly you stick to your spa care schedule, eventually, you'll have to empty your unit and drain the water. That's because it is constantly picking up Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). As the TDS increases, your sanitizer becomes less effective. Get into a habit of refilling your spa every 12-18 months. 
  2. Filter check – Filters do the heavy lifting of keeping the water clean from contaminants, but they lose their cleansing capacity in the process. To keep your filter working longer, rinse it off every week, and replace it after the fibers have worn off and the cartridge has disintegrated, usually every 6 months. 
  3. Keep track of water chemistry – Regularly check the quality of the water in your spa. Use a test strip to check the pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels. Adjust the pH between 7.2-7.6 and the alkalinity to 80-120 ppm. If the pH is high, add pH down, or else add pH up. Keep a log to track the daily, weekly, and monthly test results. 
  4. General cleanliness – Besides cleaning the water, you need to clean the unit that holds it, including the inside, the sides, and the outer surface. Wipe your spa at least once a month with a sponge and surface cleaning solution to prevent mold formation and bacteria build-up. 
  5. Cover care – The cover that shields your spa from snow, dirt, pollen, leaves, heat, and what not also needs proper care. Treat your spa cover right, air it out, and let it breathe. Brush off all the dirt on it and use a bleach solution with water to clean it off every three months and eliminate a musty smell. 
  6. Back up filters – Always have backup filters handy if the ones in use don't do their job or start to diminish over time. This way, you won't have to skip that relaxing soak session. No more waiting to find a replacement, just plug in the backup cartridge and get going.
  7. Temperature consistency – It’s easier, more economical, and more energy-efficient to heat slightly warm water than cold water. When not in use, don't turn the temperature down; instead, find an ideal temperature. Besides energy savings, you also won't have to spend time waiting for the water to warm up. 
  8. Instruction manual - Familiarize yourself with the details, controls, and internal components of your specific model. The best way to do that is by reading the instruction manual that comes with your spa. No two models are exactly the same so read up on your unit.
  9. Circulate the water – Water standing still has a higher likelihood of stagnating, becoming a breeding ground for bacteria and algae. Get the water moving through the filters more often to clean it up and better distribute sanitizing solutions. Check the manual to see if your spa has a built-in schedule.
  10. Cleaning schedule – To keep your spa running longer, set up a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual spa maintenance schedule. Stick to a cleaning schedule at all costs. A consistent cleaning routine keeps your spa functioning and looking as good as new.
  11. Don't let it freeze – In winters, check the water temperature regularly. Also, don't stop the hot water supply. If there is a power outage, drain the water immediately and suck the remaining water out to prevent freeze damage to the internal components. Either use an insulated cover or a double cover to retain the heat, be more energy-efficient, and lower energy costs. 
  12. Use enzymes more often – Special enzyme products break down organic compounds floating inside your spa. Body oils, cosmetics, and lotions secreted through your skin will probably reduce the quality of your spa over time. The filter and sanitizers will do their job, but to make them more effective, add a dose of hot tub enzyme and let it work its magic. 
  13. Safety pointers – Do not let the temperature exceed 104°F. Do not leave kids unattended in the spa. Don't overload it with people. Don't use electrical appliances either in or around your spa. As a general rule, avoid taking drinks inside it. Plus, always remember to wear gloves when cleaning or changing filter cartridges. 
  14. Chemicals to the rescue – Now and then, you'll need to use either fast-acting chlorine granules or a slow-acting, deep cleansing bromine variant to sanitize your water. You can also add Spa shock to remove any bacteria and eliminate all of the organic pollutants. 
  15. Tennis balls - Add a few tennis balls into your spa. The fuzzy felt on the balls attracts body oils, hair, lotions, and other things lurking inside that make your spa less hygienic and healthy. Tennis balls exert less pressure on the spa's internal cleaning system, making it work more efficiently. 
  16. Pantyhose – While draining and refilling your water, a lot of the debris that collects in your spa can find its way into the filter system. To prevent that from happening and clogging it, attach pantyhose to the lower return inlets while changing the water. 

Helpful spa care for new owners

Being mindful of how you care for your spa goes a long way in sustaining its quality and ensuring peak performance for years to come. Following a routine maintenance schedule will ensure you get lifelong returns from your luxurious swim spa. Follow the details in your manual for a holistic understanding of your specific model. Plus, don't forget to read our blogs to learn more about spa care.

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