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What Causes Foam in a Hot Tub & How to Get Rid of It!


Many of us enjoy a relaxing bubble bath after a stressful day at work. However, when a bubble bath suddenly appears in your hot tub, it can be cause for concern. You may wonder: why does my hot tub foam?

There are many different potential culprits to foam in a hot tub, including:

  • Hair products (gel, hairspray, and shampoo)
  • Deodorant
  • Body lotions
  • Makeup
  • Laundry soap
  • Cheap hot tub chemicals
  • Spilled drinks 

However, the water itself could be the problem. If the cause is soft water or low calcium levels, then you could cause damage to your hot tub and equipment. It could be a costly issue, requiring parts to be repaired or replaced and hot tub leaks to be sealed.

Aqua Rec’s offers a variety of products to keep your hot tub water clean, healthy, and free of potentially damaging foam. Read on to learn more about what causes foam in a hot tub and what you can do to treat it and prevent it from happening in the first place. 

Is Foam in a Hot Tub Bad?

Why do hot tubs foam? Does it mean something bad? For the most part, foam in a hot tub is not bad or harmful. It means the water is thick, old, or contaminated with chemicals or solids. By draining the water, you can usually get rid of this nasty foam.

However, if the foam is caused by issues with the water, then you could have a problem on your hands. A chemical imbalance, low calcium levels, or soft water can damage your hot tub. It can cause corrosion and discoloration, which could mean costly repairs. That’s why you should check your water weekly and test for any pH or alkaline issues that could be causing foamy water.

How to Prevent Foam in Your Hot Tub

Now that you know what causes foam in a hot tub, you should take steps to prevent it. The best thing you can do is use the right chemicals in your hot tub. Avoid using cheap chemicals from unknown brands. 

Aqua Rec’s offers a variety of chemicals to help your hot tub look its best. To specifically tackle foam, consider this 1-pint bottle from SpaGuard or this larger 1-quart bottle from BioGuard. By using these products regularly, you’ll keep your hot tub water crystal clear. Just be sure to use only the recommended amount of chemicals. More is not better!

You can also take a shower before entering your hot tub. This will rid your body of lotions, shampoos, and other chemicals that can cause hot tub foam. 

Avoid washing your swimsuits in the washing machine. Rinse them in cold water, without any detergent. This will help you from transferring laundry detergent into your hot tub and causing foam.

Another way to prevent foam in a hot tub is to drain and clean your hot tub regularly—every 3-4 months is a good rule of thumb. This will get rid of solids that have built up in the hot tub. 

How to Prevent Foam in Your Hot Tub Naturally

If you want to save money or use all-natural ingredients, there are some ways to prevent hot tub foam naturally. While these at-home remedies may work to prevent hot tub foam, they should not be used as substitutes for hot tub chemicals. All-natural ingredients are not as powerful as cleaning chemicals designed for hot tubs. 

Aqua Rec’s offers two quality options: Anti Foam from SpaGuard and Anti Foam from BioGuard.

If you need to remove foam quickly and you don’t have any chemicals on hand, here are a couple of solutions to try:

  • Vinegar/baking soda mixture. Use vinegar and baking soda at a 10:1 ratio. With the average hot tub holding 500 gallons, this means you would need a 5-gallon solution. It would be 90% vinegar and 10% baking soda.
  • Vinegar only. If you don’t have any baking soda, you can just use vinegar. Just pour the vinegar directly into the hot tub at a 10:1 ratio. That means for a 500-gallon hot tub, you’ll need 5 gallons of vinegar. Just be prepared for a strong smell. 
  • Drain the water. If you’ve tried the two solutions above and the foam persists, just drain the water for a fresh start.

How to Clean Your Hot Tub Filter

If you own a hot tub, it’s important to know how to clean your hot tub filter. This filter helps remove debris from the water, which can include dirt, hair, and oils. It’s important to clean your hot tub’s filter every few weeks to get rid of any debris. Otherwise, it could lead to foamy water. 

Remove the filter cartridge and remove the debris from between the pleats. The best way to clean your filter is with a filter sprayer nozzle attachment on a garden hose. If you don’t have one, though, a regular nozzle on your hose should work just fine. Once clean, allow the filter to completely dry before placing it back in the hot tub. 

Every month or so, you should clean the filter with a chemical rinse. Spray the solution onto the filter, let it sit for 15 minutes, then rinse with water. 

Every several months, you should do a chemical soak. Place the filter in a bucket filled with filter chemicals diluted with water. Leave the filter in the bucket for 24 hours. Then rinse the filter and let it air dry before putting it back in the hot tub.

Importance of Changing Your Hot Tub Water

Hot tub foam can be caused by dirty water. By changing hot tub water every 3-4 months, you can ensure you’re soaking in clean, healthy water. While regular cleaning can get expensive, you can get a financing plan so your hot tub doesn’t break the bank.

To change the water, power off the hot tub and open the drain assembly. You can use a garden hose or submersible pump. Once the water has fully drained, clean the inside of the hot tub with a damp rag. Just water will do; you don’t need harsh chemicals. 

When refilling the hot tub, put the hose into the correct fill pipe to prevent airlocks (air bubbles in your plumbing that can damage your jets). Once your hot tub is filled, turn the power back on so it can heat up. After changing the hot tub’s water, test and treat your water to ensure it is properly balanced. 

Get Rid of Your Foamy Water Today with Chemicals from Aqua Rec’s 

Now that you know what causes foam in hot tubs and how to get rid of it, you can enjoy your hot tub and prevent costly repairs. Learn how to clean your hot tub filter and change your water often so you can enjoy clean, clear water. 

Aqua Rec’s can provide you with the right chemicals to treat foamy water and other hot tub issues. Contact us today for products and services.