How to Clean the Scum off the Hot Tub

To clean the scum off your hot tub, use a reliable cleaner and scrub with a soft brush.

Text Example

Must-Have Cleaning Essentials For Every Home (Recommended):

Calyptus 45% Pure Super Concentrated Vinegar | Dilutes to 18 Gallons | 9x Power Concentrate Vinegar | 2 Gallons
  • Consistently delivers the same smell, color, and results - every time. For superior and safer cleaning performance, in and around your home.
Baking Soda
Milliard 5lbs Baking Soda / Sodium Bicarbonate USP - 5 Pound Bulk Resealable Bag
  • Great household product for anything that needs a bright new look! Use it as a cleansing booster with your laundry or dish detergent, as a pH buffer in swimming pools, or for cleaning kitchen surfaces.
Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
MR.SIGA Microfiber Cleaning Cloth, Pack of 12, Size:12.6
  • Ultra-soft, highly absorbent, durable, lightweight, non-abrasive microfiber cleaning cloths. Great for cleaning windows, kitchenware, cars, bathrooms, mirrors, or other delicate surfaces. Perfect dish rags that don't smell.
This post may have affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Understanding The Scum Build-up

Scum build-up on your hot tub can be a nuisance, but it can be cleaned easily with the right techniques. Regular maintenance and using cleaning agents specifically designed for hot tubs can help you keep your tub scum-free.

Hot tubs are a delightful addition to any home, providing a peaceful retreat where you can relax and unwind. However, over time, you may notice an unsightly film forming on the surface of the water. This scum build-up can be caused by a variety of factors, and if left unattended, can lead to serious consequences. By understanding the causes and consequences of scum build-up in hot tubs, you can take the necessary steps to keep your tub clean and pristine.

Causes Of Scum Build-up In Hot Tubs

Scum build-up in hot tubs can be attributed to various causes, including:

  1. Body oils and lotions: When you relax in your hot tub, natural oils from your skin and lotions you may have applied can accumulate on the water’s surface, forming a layer of scum.
  2. Chemical imbalance: If the water chemistry in your hot tub is not properly balanced, it can create a breeding ground for scum. Imbalances in pH, alkalinity, or sanitizer levels can promote scum formation.
  3. Unfiltered debris: Leaves, dirt, and other debris can find their way into your hot tub, providing additional material for scum to form on.

Now that you are aware of the common causes, let’s explore the consequences of neglecting scum build-up in your hot tub.

Consequences Of Neglecting Scum Build-up

Ignoring the scum build-up in your hot tub can lead to several undesirable consequences:

  • Unhygienic conditions: The accumulation of body oils and lotions on the water’s surface creates an ideal environment for bacteria and other pathogens to thrive. This can put your health at risk and compromise the cleanliness of your hot tub.
  • Damaged equipment: Scum build-up can clog your hot tub’s filters and jets, reducing their effectiveness and putting strain on the equipment. Over time, this can lead to damage and costly repairs.
  • Impaired water quality: The presence of scum can make the water appear dull and dirty, affecting the overall aesthetics of your hot tub. This can diminish your enjoyment and relaxation while soaking in the tub.

To ensure your hot tub remains a haven of tranquility, it is crucial to address scum build-up promptly. In the next section, we will discuss effective methods to clean the scum off your hot tub.

Essential Tools For Cleaning

To effectively clean scum off your hot tub, you’ll need essential tools such as a scrub brush, a non-abrasive cleaner, a sponge, and a hose with a sprayer attachment. Regular cleaning with these tools will ensure a sparkling and hygienic hot tub experience.

The process of cleaning the scum off your hot tub requires a set of essential tools to ensure effective removal. By choosing the right cleaning products and solutions, you can maintain a safe and hygienic environment for your hot tub users. However, it is equally important to consider safety precautions while performing this task. In this section, we will explore the must-have tools for effective scum removal, how to choose the right cleaning products and solutions, as well as safety precautions to consider.

Must-have Tools For Effective Scum Removal

To successfully clean the scum off your hot tub, there are several essential tools you’ll need. These tools will make the cleaning process more efficient and ensure that every nook and cranny receives proper attention. Here are the must-have tools for effective scum removal:
  1. Scrub Brush: A high-quality, durable scrub brush with stiff bristles is essential for loosening stubborn scum from the surface of your hot tub. Look for a brush specifically designed for hot tub cleaning to ensure it is gentle on the tub material while still effectively removing the scum.
  2. Scum Mitt: A scum mitt is a handy accessory that can assist you in grabbing and eliminating scum floating on the water’s surface. Made of a special material, the scum mitt attracts and absorbs the scum, making it easy for you to dispose of.
  3. Vacuum Cleaner: A wet/dry vacuum cleaner is an indispensable tool for cleaning the bottom of your hot tub. It can effortlessly remove debris and scum that has settled at the bottom, ensuring a thorough cleaning process.
  4. Sponges or Microfiber Cloths: These soft materials are excellent for wiping down the hot tub’s surfaces after scrubbing off the scum. They are gentle on the material, preventing any scratches, and leave your hot tub looking shiny and clean.
  5. Water Hose: You’ll need a water hose to rinse off the cleaning products and scum from your hot tub after scrubbing. Make sure you have a hose long enough to reach your hot tub comfortably.
  6. Pumice Stone: If you have stubborn mineral deposits or scale buildup on your hot tub’s surface, a pumice stone can be an effective tool for removing them. Just remember to use it with caution and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent any damage to the tub.

Choosing The Right Cleaning Products And Solutions

Selecting the right cleaning products and solutions is crucial when it comes to effectively removing scum from your hot tub. It is essential to opt for products that are specifically designed for hot tub cleaning and safe for use in the tub. Here are some key factors to consider:
  • Chemical Composition: Look for cleaning products that are formulated to dissolve and eliminate scum effectively. These products often contain enzymes or surfactants that break down the scum’s organic matter.
  • pH Balance: Ensure the cleaning products you choose have a pH balance that is compatible with the material of your hot tub. This will prevent any damage to the tub’s surface or any chemical reactions that could negatively affect the water chemistry.
  • Environmentally-friendly Options: If you prefer eco-friendly solutions, there are various cleaning products available that are biodegradable and safe for the environment.
  • Manufacturer Recommendations: Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when selecting cleaning products for your hot tub. They understand the specific needs of their tubs and can provide guidance on which products will work best.

Safety Precautions To Consider

As with any cleaning task, it is crucial to prioritize safety when cleaning the scum off your hot tub. Here are some safety precautions to consider:
  • Protective Gear: Wear gloves and goggles to protect your hands and eyes from any potential hazards associated with cleaning products.
  • Ventilation: Ensure there is adequate ventilation while cleaning to prevent inhaling any fumes from the cleaning products.
  • Read Instructions: Carefully read and follow the instructions provided by the cleaning product manufacturer. Each product may have specific usage guidelines that need to be followed for optimal results and safety.
  • Turn off Power: Before starting the cleaning process, make sure to turn off the power to your hot tub to eliminate any risk of electric shock.
  • Comply with Chemical Safety: If you are utilizing chemicals during the cleaning process, store them properly and always follow the recommended safety precautions for storage and handling.

Step-by-step Cleaning Process

Learn how to effectively remove scum from your hot tub with this step-by-step cleaning process. Say goodbye to build-up and enjoy a sparkling clean tub for your relaxation needs.

Step 1: Drain And Clean The Hot Tub

Start by draining the hot tub completely. Ensure that the power is turned off and disconnect any electrical connections. Use a submersible pump to remove the water efficiently.

Once the tub is drained, it’s time to clean the surfaces. Mix a solution of warm water and gentle hot tub cleaner in a bucket. Use a soft cloth or sponge to scrub the tub’s interior, paying extra attention to areas with visible scum and grime.

Rinse the tub thoroughly using clean water to remove any remaining residue or cleaning solution.

Step 2: Scrubbing And Removing Scum From The Surfaces

To effectively remove scum from the hot tub surfaces, mix a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the scummy areas and let it sit for a few minutes.

Grab a nylon scrub brush and scrub the surface gently in circular motions. The vinegar’s acidity will help break down the scum, making it easier to remove.

Rinse the surfaces with clean water to remove any vinegar residue.

Step 3: Cleaning The Filters And Jets

Clean filters are essential for maintaining the cleanliness of your hot tub. Remove the filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use a hose with strong water pressure to rinse off any loose debris from the filters.

Next, prepare a cleaning solution by following the manufacturer’s guidelines or using a hot tub filter cleaner. Soak the filters in the solution for the recommended time.

After soaking, rinse the filters thoroughly with clean water to remove any remaining cleaning solution. Allow them to dry completely before reattaching them to the hot tub.

Step 4: Treating The Water With Chemicals

Ensuring the hot tub water is clean and properly balanced is crucial for a healthy spa experience. Start by testing the water using a reliable hot tub water test kit. Adjust the pH level, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels as needed based on the test results.

Follow the instructions provided with the chemicals and add them to the water accordingly. Be cautious while handling and storing chemicals, as they can be hazardous if not used properly.

Step 5: Refilling And Maintaining The Hot Tub

Before refilling the hot tub, ensure that all the cleaning agents and chemicals are properly rinsed off from the surfaces. Use clean water to refill the tub to the appropriate level.

Once the hot tub is refilled, check the water temperature and adjust it if necessary. Run the jets to circulate the water and ensure proper filtration. Regularly check and clean the hot tub to maintain its cleanliness and prevent scum buildup.

Tips For Preventing Future Scum Build-up

Once you’ve successfully cleaned the scum off your hot tub, you’ll want to take measures to prevent it from coming back. By implementing regular cleaning and maintenance routines, using scum-fighting additives and enzymes, and monitoring and balancing the water chemistry, you can keep your hot tub scum-free and enjoy a relaxing soak every time. Let’s explore each of these tips in detail.

Regular Cleaning And Maintenance Routines

Regular cleaning and maintenance are crucial for the overall health and longevity of your hot tub. By following these routines, you can prevent scum build-up and keep your hot tub in top condition:

  1. Drain and clean your hot tub regularly, ideally every 3-4 months, to remove any built-up residue. This deep cleaning will help eliminate the scum and keep your hot tub water fresh.
  2. Clean the filter cartridges on a monthly basis or as recommended by the manufacturer. This will help remove any debris and prevent the accumulation of scum.
  3. Wipe down the edges and surfaces of your hot tub with a non-abrasive cleaner to prevent scum formation.
  4. Vacuum the hot tub periodically to remove any dirt or debris that may contribute to scum formation.

Using Scum-fighting Additives And Enzymes

Scum-fighting additives and enzymes can be valuable allies in the battle against scum in your hot tub. Consider the following tips:

  • Use a scum-fighting additive specifically designed for hot tubs. These products help break down and eliminate scum, leaving your hot tub water crystal clear.
  • Add enzyme-based products that digest oils, lotions, and other organic matter. These enzymes help prevent scum formation by breaking down organic compounds before they can cause problems.
  • Read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer when using any scum-fighting products to ensure their effectiveness.

Monitoring And Balancing Water Chemistry

Proper water chemistry plays a vital role in preventing scum build-up. Follow these guidelines to keep your hot tub water balanced:

  1. Test the water chemistry regularly using a reliable test kit. Monitor pH levels, total alkalinity, and sanitizer levels to ensure they remain within the recommended range.
  2. Adjust the chemical levels as needed to maintain proper balance. This will help prevent scum formation and promote clear, inviting hot tub water.
  3. Take note of any significant changes in water chemistry and address them promptly to prevent scum build-up.

By practicing these tips, you can enjoy a scum-free hot tub experience. Remember, prevention is the key to maintaining a clean and inviting hot tub, ensuring you can relax and unwind without any scum-related worries.

Troubleshooting And Common Challenges

While regular maintenance and cleaning of your hot tub can prevent scum buildup, there may still be instances where you encounter stubborn stains, lingering odors, or excessive foaming. These common challenges can be addressed with ease, allowing you to enjoy a clean and invigorating hot tub experience. Here’s how you can tackle each issue:

Dealing With Stubborn Scum Stains

If you notice scum stains that are proving to be stubborn to get rid of, don’t worry. There are a few simple techniques you can try to revitalize your hot tub’s cleanliness:

  • Use a non-abrasive sponge or cloth to gently scrub the affected area with a mixture of vinegar and water. This solution helps break down the scum and make it easier to remove.
  • For tougher stains, you can create a paste using baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the stains and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with a soft brush or sponge.
  • Consider using a specialized hot tub cleaner or enzyme-based cleaner designed to tackle scum. These products are formulated to target the specific buildup commonly found in hot tubs.

Addressing Lingering Scum Odor

No one wants their hot tub to smell less than pleasant. If you notice a lingering scum odor, here are some steps to alleviating the issue:

  1. Check your hot tub’s filter and clean or replace it if necessary. A dirty or clogged filter can contribute to scum buildup and the accompanying odor.
  2. Shock your hot tub with a non-chlorine shock oxidizer. This will help eliminate any organic contaminants and reduce the odor.
  3. Consider using a scum-reducing product specifically designed for hot tubs. These products help break down the scum, reducing the associated smell.

Handling Excessive Foaming In The Hot Tub Water

Excessive foaming can be unsightly and disrupt the enjoyment of your hot tub experience. Luckily, there are several steps you can take to bring the foam under control:

  1. Ensure that the pH and alkalinity levels of your hot tub water are properly balanced. High pH or alkalinity levels can contribute to foaming.
  2. Thoroughly clean your hot tub’s filter to remove any debris or contaminants that may be causing the foaming.
  3. Consider using a defoamer specifically designed for hot tubs. These products help break down and eliminate foam, allowing for clear water.

By addressing these troubleshooting and common challenges, you can maintain a clean and scum-free hot tub environment. Remember to regularly clean and maintain your hot tub to prevent these issues from occurring in the first place.

How To Clean The Scum Off The Hot Tub


Frequently Asked Questions For How To Clean The Scum Off The Hot Tub

How Do You Remove Buildup From A Hot Tub?

To remove buildup from a hot tub, follow these steps: 1. Drain the water completely. 2. Scrub the surfaces with a non-abrasive cleaner and a soft brush. 3. Rinse off the cleaner thoroughly. 4. Refill the tub with fresh water.

5. Maintain regular cleaning and use a water sanitizer to prevent future buildup.

What Is The Best Thing To Clean A Hot Tub With?

The best thing to clean a hot tub with is a mild detergent or dedicated hot tub cleaner. Avoid using harsh chemicals, as they can damage the tub’s surface. Regular cleaning and maintenance are crucial to keeping your hot tub clean and prolonging its lifespan.

Can You Use A Magic Eraser On A Hot Tub?

Yes, you can use a magic eraser on a hot tub. It effectively removes stains and scuffs without damaging the surface. Remember to test it in a small area first and avoid using it on delicate parts like jets or controls for better results.

How Do You Clean A Filthy Hot Tub?

To clean a filthy hot tub, drain the water, scrub the surfaces with a non-abrasive cleaner, rinse thoroughly, and refill with fresh water. Clean and replace the filters regularly and use chlorine or bromine to maintain proper water balance.


Regular cleaning of your hot tub is essential to maintain its hygiene and functionality. By following these simple steps, you can effectively remove scum buildup and keep your hot tub clean and inviting. Remember to use mild cleaning agents and avoid abrasives that could damage the surface.

Implementing a regular cleaning routine will not only prolong the lifespan of your hot tub but also ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for you and your guests. So, get ready to relax and unwind in a sparkling clean hot tub!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top