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There is nothing more disgusting than a dirty hot tub, in my opinion. Also, it’s not safe to soak in a hot tub that hasn’t been cleaned or properly treated.
The good news is, you don’t always have to run to the store to pick up cleaning chemicals for your hot tub. There are quite a few products that I’m sure you already have in your house that will help clean your hot tub. You’ll be surprised at some of these.
1. Olive Oil
The following tip is from my friend Kaisa at SpaDepot.com. It’s by far the most helpful tip on this list, so I wanted to start off with a bang!
Margarine or a little olive oil works great for removing tree sap or pitch from the spa cover and cabinet. Simply rub the problem area gently with the margarine or oil until the tree sap breaks up, and then just wipe it away. Remove any oily residue by using mild soap and warm water.
Then treat the surface with a good protectant, like 303. The protectant will prevent the sap from sticking so well in the future.
2. White Vinegar
Perhaps the most versatile liquid known to man, besides water. I use white vinegar for a bunch of different reasons, but you can use it to wipe down the chalky white water line that appears around the inside of your hot tub.
Be sure to dilute it a bit. I’d recommend 50% white vinegar and 50% water. I also suggest you buy a giant bottle of white vinegar. It’s super cheap, and I use it to mop my kitchen and bathroom floors and to clean a Keurig Coffee Maker.
I also included a video from my friend Melissa Maker of CleanMySpace.com. If you’re looking for household cleaning advice via video, you need to check out Melissa’s YouTube page. It’s awesome!
3. Diluted Bleach
Do you sanitize your hot tub with chlorine? Then you can use a diluted bleach solution to also clean scum lines around the inside of your hot tub, much like you can with diluted white vinegar.
However, Kaisa from SpaDepot.com has some cautions:
Lots of companies recommend using diluted bleach for cleaning the hot tub cover. I think that diluted vinegar is a far better option because it is less damaging to vinyl. I have seen terrible results from customers who have used bleach.
If you don’t have any white vinegar on hand, you can certainly use bleach but be sure to use caution.
4. Baking Soda or Alkalinity Plus
Just like I mentioned that white vinegar is the most versatile liquid, baking soda has to be the most versatile powder — and if you mix them, an unusual reaction takes place.
Baking soda is perfect for adding abrasion to your cleaning. If you’re trying to remove a stubborn scum line or organic matter, you can just add a little baking soda to your sponge.
If you don’t have baking soda, I hope you have some alkalinity plus (always keep this chemical on hand if you own a hot tub). Alkalinity increaser is the same as baking soda.
Again, Melissa Maker from CleanMySpace.com has an incredible video on using baking soda to clean.
5. Simple Green
You can use this product for a variety of cleaning chores. Recently, my friend bought a giant bottle to clean his boat. Boats are a chore to keep clean with salt water deposits and general icky-ness from the sea.
If you have a bottle of Simple Green, you can use it wipe down the interior of your hot tub after you drain it. Be sure to rinse thoroughly before refilling.
My buddy, Cliff Pryor of Aquatic Educations, had this to say about Simple Green:
Simple Green – my fave cleaner for hot tubs. Non-caustic, environmentally friendly and minimal foaming, Simple Green does the job quick on scrubbing down a tub and getting rid of the scum line.
According to Melissa, rubbing alcohol is a very underrated cleaner. Mainly because it’s not found in the cleaning isle of the store, but instead, the first aid aisle of a drug store.
As you’ll see in the video below, rubbing alcohol can be used for all sorts of applications. My favorite though is using it for stainless steel and keeping frost off your car windshield in the winter.
My buddy Cliff again, says this about using rubbing alcohol:
I use 70% for general cleaning as well as for drying out my ears every time I get out of the pool. For tough jobs like removing sticky film, I use 91%. A bit harsh, but 91% will get rid of the toughest sticky stuff. However, NEVER use 91% to clean a white board. It will remove the sheen that makes a white board work. Learned that the hard way. Just use good old Windex to clean a white board.
7. Magic Eraser
I have never used a Magic Eraser before, but apparently, it’s awesome. In fact, Alice Cunningham from Olympic Hot Tub wrote an entire article praising it. She says:
The Magic Eraser Sponge is chemical-free and only requires water to remove tough dirt, grime, stains, pencil, marker and crayon from surfaces such as; walls, appliances, bathroom fixtures, office equipment, patio furniture, work surfaces and car interiors/exteriors. It works best on hard, smooth surfaces like the tile line of your hot tub.
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Last Updated: Monday, April 10th, 2017