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How to Get Detergent Out Of Your Hot Tub? - Complete Guide

When you are in a mood for a relaxing time in your hot tub, no one would want to find the water foamed up by detergent. Not only does it look messy and unappealing, but it can also be a hassle to clean up. If you cannot figure out how to get detergent out of your hot tub, look no further. Here, I will tell you all the easy ways you can do it.

To get detergent out of your hot tub, you will need to get all the foam out. You can use your hand or a pool net to scoop it all out. Then, you need to shock the water with a sanitizer. I recommend using chlorine for this. Finally, you need to run the jets on high power and keep the hot tub open for 1-2 days so that the chlorine gases can escape. 

But this is just one method. There are plenty of other methods that you can try to take out any detergent lingering in your hot tub. And, in this article, I will try to go through some of the most tried and tested methods.

Is Detergent Bad for Your Hot Tub?

Adding any kinds of detergent, shampoo, soap, or suds in the hot tub can damage it heavily and cause the foam to build up. You also have to be careful that you don't get in the hot tub if you are sweaty or dirty. Or else it will throw off the water balance and damage the filter cartridge.

After a long day, all you want is to dip into your hot tub for a nice, relaxing soak. As a passing thought, it can occur to you that you can use your hot tub to enjoy a bubble bath. While it might sound nice in your thoughts, it can turn out to be a rather costly choice. Cause, let me warn you, if there is a foamy build-up, cleaning it up can be very troublesome.  Hot tubs are not bathtubs and should not be used as one either.

Moreover, if your hot tub gets damaged, it can cost you a lot to get it fixed. You can use a small amount of product to spice it up sometimes. But too much of it can get in the various components of the hot tub and cause major damage to it. I would say it is better to play safe and avoid doing anything that can cause damage to it.

How Can You Get Rid of Detergent in Your Hot Tub?

If you have excessive foam building up in the water of your hot tub, it can be caused by detergent. While getting rid of all the detergent from your hot tub can sound a bit troublesome, it’s not a hard task. There are a few easy methods to get rid of it completely. But, before you start your cleaning, you need to test the water.

Testing the water is the first step you should try before any other correctional methods. This step lets you check the pH, sanitizer, and alkalinity levels. You will also need to check for the amount of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) or the surfactants that are causing the water to foam.

This step is essential to find out the water chemistry after detergent has gotten dissolved in it. If you find this out, you can easily prevent the foaming from happening again.

You will also need to regularly check for the level of calcium hardness in the hot tub. Low calcium is behind foaming as well. It also causes other problems like etching and corrosion on your finishes. So it is recommended to test the water regularly. Now that you know how to test the water, let’s get into the methods of removing detergent.

Method 1: Manually Remove the Foam

Sometimes you won’t need to go through any major tasks to remove all the foam and detergent. You can simply scoop out the excess foam manually.

You can use your hand or a pool net to pull out all the foam. All you have to do is ensure the chemical levels of the water are correct. If you are lucky, simply scooping out the excess foam will be enough to fix the problem. If it doesn’t help, you can check out the other ways to fix it.

Method 2: Clean or Replace the Filter

The cause of all the foamy surface on the water of your hot tub can be a dirty filter. When there are too many surfactants in the water, it causes excess foams. To remove it all you will have to do is clean or replace the filter. A clean filter can prevent any new foam from being created.

Here are all the steps you need to follow to clean the hot tub filters-

  • Get a large bucket where you can submerge the filter. Fill it with water.
  • Add the hot tub filter cleaner solution you have bought or a DIY one.
  • Turn off your hot tub.
  • Remove the filter and check it for any discoloration and damage. If you can see such problems, you need to replace them with a new one.
  • If it just seems dirty, remove the buildup with a quick rinse. You can use your hand to gently check and remove any debris, hair, leaf, sticks, or anything stuck in the pleats.
  • Put the filter in the bucket filled with cleaning solution. I recommend leaving it overnight for the best results.
  • Rinse the filter properly to wash off any residue. It’s best to use spray water to clean away any residue that may be left.
  • If it seems clean, dry it off and install it again according to the hot tub manual.

Method 3: Drain and Refill the Hot Tub

Undoubtedly, the best way to get rid of any foam, detergent, or chemicals from your hot tub is to drain it. I recommended draining any hot tub regularly every three to four months. If you are facing major problems, it is all the more reason to drain and clean it.

Sometimes when the level of surfactants in the water is too high, they will keep causing the water to foam. So you will need to clean or replace your filters as well. When you are draining the hot tub, it is best to go the extra step and give it a deep clean for the best results.

Steps you have to follow to drain your hot tub:

  • It is best to use a line flush product. You will need to follow the instructions on the package.
  • Remove the filters and clean them. If they seem too dirty, it is best to replace them.
  • Turn off the power to your hot tub. Take out all the plugs. Make sure to turn off the breaker so there will be no casualties.
  • Drain the hot tub completely and give it a good wipe. You can drain it with a sump pump or with the drain plug.

Steps you need to follow to clean and refill the hot tub:

  • You need to wipe down the hot tubs inside properly with a hot tub cleaner product. You can also use a solution consisting of white vinegar and water in a 1:4 ratio.
  • Use a pipe to rinse down the insides of the hot tub. Wipe it again and make sure to remove all of the cleaner’s residue.
  • Replace or clean the filters.
  • Finally, refill the hot tub to enjoy a soak again.

Method 4: Shock the Water

This can be a great solution if you don’t want to go through the trouble of draining and refilling the hot tub. Here are all the steps you need to follow to shock the water-

  • Use a pool net or hands to scoop out any excess foam in the water.
  • Add a huge amount of sanitizer to shock the water. You can use chlorine for this.
  • You need to run the jets for about an hour.
  • The jets can time out after 15 minutes so make sure to turn them on each time over an hour.
  • You need to adjust the pH and alkalinity before you get in. It should take 1-2 days before the chlorine level drops and it is safe to get in.

Method 5: Use Antifoam Chemicals

For an instant solution, you can use anti-foam chemicals. When you don’t have enough time before a party, this will be your lifesaver. A foam remover chemical can get rid of all the foam in a few moments and lasts up to 24 hours.

But do remember that this is a temporary solution. So to remove any excess foam entirely, you will still have to try other ways.

Foaming Doesn’t Mean There’s Detergent In Your Hot Tub

It’s not uncommon to experience a foamy buildup in your hot tub sometimes. If you and your family are a huge fan of having some relaxing time in your hot tub, foamy buildups are bound to happen.

Foam will get created because in a hot tub there will be water, air, and solid present. Since the jet is turned on, the solids will cause a reaction with water and air and create foam. But, foaming does not mean that you have detergent in your hot tub. Here are all the things that can cause foam:

  • Haircare products such as Shampoo, gel, mousse, and others.
  • Deodorants and makeup.
  • Oils and body lotion.
  • Flaking skin and sweat
  • Laundry detergent, soap, and body wash.
  • Imbalanced water.
  • Various kinds of drinks
  • Low calcium levels of the water.

How Can You Prevent Foaming in Your Hot Tub?

If you can be a bit cautious when you are using the hot tub, you can easily prevent any foam from building up in your hot tub. Here are all the things you should be cautious about to prevent this from happening again-

  • Shower first before you get into the hot tub. This will remove any soap residue, makeup, or hair chemicals left on your body.
  • Wear fresh and clean bathing suits. Any remaining residue from laundry detergent can cause the foam to build up in the hot tub. So make sure they are properly cleaned.
  • Don’t buy cheap chemicals and use them in the hot tub. Use quality products.
  • Don’t bring in drinks and spill them in the hot tub.
  • Remember to test the water of your hot tub regularly.
  • Keep the hot tub and water clean. You should drain and deep clean the hot tub every three to four months. 

We all love a nice, relaxing soak in the hot tub. But when the water becomes foamy due to detergent, soap, or other suds, it looks messy and unappealing to get in. If you were worried about how to get detergent out of your hot tub, this article introduces many ways you can try.

I hope with the help of various methods listed here, you can eliminate all the detergent from your hot tub without a problem. Thank you for reading.

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Written by Ferdi Vol
Ferdi Vol is a pool and hot tub owner who has been working in this industry for over 5 years. He has learned all the ins and outs of maintaining pools and hot tubs, as well as how to privately own one. Ferdi Vol is also passionate about blogging, researching topics that he shares with his readers online via this blog.
About Ferdi Vol
About Pool Uncle
Pool Uncle is a blog that focuses on helping pool and hot tub owners get the right tools, maintain their pools and hot tubs, and learn about how to care for them. It provides readers with all of the information they need to keep their pools clean, safe, and looking great. The website also publishes original articles about pool maintenance topics such as filtration systems or algae prevention techniques.
About the Author
Ferdi Vol has been in the swimming pool and hot tub as an owner for over 5 years. His experience ranges from owning a pools and hot tubs and maintaining them. He’s learned about pumps, filters, chemicals, cleaning products, treatment systems… you name it!
About Ferdi Vol
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