Best Way to Clean Hot Tub Filters

Having your own hot tub is a great way to unwind and relax. The last thing you want to do while kicking back in your spa is to be thinking about how dirty the water is. Every time someone enters the hot tub, the lotions, makeup, and hair products on their body come with them and run off into the water. Showering before entering the hot tub helps to remove these products. Still, hair, sweat, and other bodily fluids make their way into the water, affecting its cleanliness.

For this reason, the filter is one of the most critical parts of a hot tub. Its job is to remove any contaminants in the water that may affect the water’s quality. But a dirty filter with a lot of buildup cannot effectively filter water. This leads to problems like dirty or oily water and bacteria growth. It can even result in a broken hot tub if the water is excessively dirty and overworks the pumps or clogs the pipes.

Fortunately, there are many options for cleaning hot tub filters. Some alternatives include cleaning hot tub filters with vinegar, using a homemade hot tub filter cleaner, and cleaning hot tub filters in the dishwasher. Keep your hot tub fresh, sanitary, and working properly by learning the best way to clean hot tub filters.

Weekly Rinse

The best way to clean spa filters is to be consistent. Take the hot tub filter out and rinse it with water every week to remove the buildup from the filter. This is just a quick clean, so you don’t need to use a jacuzzi filter cleaner. Instead, use water from a hose or even the faucet, making sure to get between the pleats for a more efficient job. Don’t use a high-pressure washer to blast residue off the filter. The water stream should be gentle enough to prevent tearing or breaking the filter. Then let the filter dry completely before reinstalling it in the hot tub.

Best Way to Clean Spa Filters is with a Regular Deep Clean

In addition to the weekly rinse, you should do a more thorough clean every month or more often as needed. The deep cleaning will involve removing the filter and using a hot tub filter cleaning solution to remove built-up residue and contaminants that require more than a rinse.

The following steps are the best way to clean hot tub filters:

  1. Prepare the hot tub filter cleaning solution. Have your hot tub filter cleaning solution ready so you can quickly put the filter in after removing it from your spa. Use a bucket large enough for the filter to be submerged. Fill it with water and either a DIY hot tub filter cleaner or a hot tub filter cleaning solution. Spa Marvel Filter Cleaner is specially formulated to thoroughly and safely clean hot tub filters. For best results, use the proper ratio of water to whatever jacuzzi filter cleaner you are using.
  2. Check your owner’s manual. If this is your first time cleaning your spa’s filter or you need a refresher, refer to your spa’s manual. It will tell you your filter’s location along with directions for safe removal.
  3. Turn off your hot tub. Never run your hot tub without a filter, as this can result in clogged pump impellers and water quality problems.
  4. Remove the filter and check it for problems. If the filter is discolored or has any visible damage, dispose of it and replace it with a new filter.
  5. Rinse and remove noticeable buildup. Before submerging the filter, rinse it and gently check between the pleats for any debris that can be removed by hand, such as hair, small sticks, or leaves.
  6. Soak the filter in the hot tub filter cleaning solution. For the best clean, leave the filter soaking overnight. (If you’re cleaning the hot tub filter with bleach, it should only soak for a few hours.)
  7. Rinse the filter again. Spray water with enough pressure to clean any remaining residue off the filter.
  8. Replace the filter. If the filter is clean, let it dry completely. Then follow the instructions in your owner’s manual to install the filter in the hot tub.
  9. Enjoy the clean, filtered water in your hot tub!

Alternative DIY Hot Tub Filter Cleaner Options

There are several ways to make a DIY hot tub filter cleaner if you’re looking for a less expensive option or can’t get out to buy one. You should not use anything that bubbles or foams up. A homemade hot tub filter cleaner should also cut through the grease or oils built up in a paper filter. The following are the pros and cons of several popular options.

Cleaning Hot Tub Filters with Vinegar

Pros: Cleaning hot tub filters with vinegar is effective at removing the scale or mineral salt deposits since vinegar is a weak acid. Vinegar is also safe for skin exposure once the filter is back in the hot tub. Another important factor is that it doesn’t foam up or add residue to the hot tub if any remains in the filter.

Cons: Vinegar isn’t as strong as other DIY hot tub filter cleaner options or a specially formulated hot tub filter cleaning solution. So if your filter is filthy or has a lot of buildup, vinegar may not clean it well enough.

Bleach as a DIY Hot Tub Cleaner

Pros: Bleach is a powerful product that can destroy contaminants causing scum or bacteria buildup. Using a combination of bleach and water will leave your filter looking clean and sterilized. This may be helpful if you haven’t cleaned your filter in a while or is particularly dirty.

Cons: Cleaning hot tub filters with bleach damages the integrity of the fibers. When this happens, the filter doesn’t work as effectively and will become damaged or worn down, requiring replacement more quickly. For that reason, it isn’t the best way to clean hot tub filters.

Laundry Detergent as Jacuzzi Filter Cleaner

Pros: Laundry detergent is effective at cleaning clothes without wearing down the fibers, and can do the same for paper filters.

Cons: This type of homemade hot tub filter cleaner may foam up if it isn’t rinsed out well, causing more buildup in the hot tub.

Clean Hot Tub Filter with Dishwasher Detergent

Pros: Dishwasher detergent is designed to clean oil and tough buildup from dishes, pots, and pans without foaming or bubbling up. It’s also safe for people to be exposed to making it a good choice for a DIY hot tub filter cleaner.

Cons: If you clean your hot tub filter with dishwasher detergent, you need to make sure that you rinse it very thoroughly afterward. Leftover detergent residue on the filter can get into the hot tub water and get it dirty.

Cleaning Hot Tub Filters in the Dishwasher

Pros: The dishwasher can clean oils and debris from pots and pans. So cleaning hot tub filters in the dishwasher may seem like an easy and efficient way to ensure a clean filter.

Cons: Unfortunately, this method can break down the small fibers of the filter, decreasing its effectiveness. It may even cause noticeable damage to the filters. Also, the stream of water in a dishwasher doesn’t get into the filter’s pleats. So it doesn’t result in a thorough cleaning. Therefore, cleaning hot tub filters in the dishwasher may not be the best approach.

Using one of the homemade hot tub filter cleaner methods above may save you some money. But a DIY hot tub filter cleaner isn’t generally recommended by spa companies. It could even void the warranty on your hot tub. That’s because a homemade hot tub filter cleaner isn’t specially formulated to clean filters thoroughly while also protecting the filter’s integrity. So the best way to clean spa filters is to purchase a hot tub filter cleaning solution designed specifically for this use made by a reputable company. Spa Marvel Filter Cleaner is the most effective and economical filter cleaner for your hot tub. It provides 8 filter cleanings at a cost of $3.50 per cleaning.

Tips on the Best Way to Clean Hot Tub Filters or Maintain Them

  • Make sure you check and adjust the chemicals in your hot tub water regularly with a spa testing kit to keep it balanced and clean.
  • Buy a hot tub filter cleaning wand designed to apply an appropriately pressured stream of water between the pleats.
  • Purchase scum balls or scum bugs. These are sponge-like products explicitly designed to absorb natural oils and other contaminants from the water. Just place the product in the hot tub, let it soak up unwanted residue, and take it out to clean it when it’s dirty. These help keep the water cleaner, so the filter has less work to do.
  • Follow a proper hot tub maintenance and cleaning regimen. The filter can only do so much to keep the water clean if the hot tub itself is dirty.
  • Rinse off before getting in your hot tub, especially if you’re sweaty or have products such as sunscreen, lotion, or hair gel on your body or hair.
  • Don’t use a brush to clean the filter because it can damage the fabric fibers.
  • Have a second filter to put in your hot tub while the first is being cleaned. Alternating filters means you can use your hot tub even during cleanings.

Hard water can leave deposits, so the life of your filter, even with regular cleanings, depends on how often you use your hot tub and the type of water used. Regularly rinsing your filter and using an effective jacuzzi filter cleaner, however, will prolong your filter’s life and make it work more efficiently. So it’s the best way to clean hot tub filters – providing you the time and peace of mind to sit back and maximize the enjoyment of your hot tub.

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