The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Hot Tub Cleaner

Published on

June 21, 2023

Keeping a hot tub clean and sanitized is essential for any hot tub owner. Hot tubs can quickly develop bacteria, algae, and other contaminants if not regularly maintained. This can be harmful to your health. That's why choosing the correct hot tub cleaner for sanitizing and maintaining your hot tub is important.  

In this blog post, we provide all the information you need to choose the right hot tub cleaner product for your needs. We also discuss the importance of regular maintenance and safety regarding hot tub ownership. Keep reading to learn how water, wellness, and hygiene are related to keeping your hot tub in top condition!

What is a Hot Tub Cleaner?

What is a Hot Tub Cleaner?
What is a Hot Tub Cleaner?

A hot tub cleaner is a product designed to remove dirt, grime, body oils, and other organic matter from the hot tub’s surface. Hot tubs are a warm and moist environment that can create the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and other microorganisms. Over time, body oils, dirt, and other organic matter can build up on the surface of the hot tub and create an unsanitary environment that is unpleasant to use.

Hot tub cleaners come in different forms, including chemical and non-chemical options. Chemical cleaners are designed to sanitize the water and break down organic matter using powerful chemicals like chlorine or bromine. 

Non-chemical cleaners are typically made from natural ingredients like enzymes or citric acid and work by breaking down dirt and grime. One good example of this type of cleaner is O-Care, a product designed to reduce the need for chlorine or bromine in your hot tub by 78%. Using O-Care allows you to fully benefit from immersing your body in hot water.

Regularly using a hot tub cleaning solution is vital to keeping your hot tub clean and hygienic. This helps prevent the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause skin irritation or illness. Maintaining proper water chemistry and filtration in your hot tub is also essential to prevent the buildup of body oils and other organic matter.

How To Use Hot Tub Cleaners

How To Use Hot Tub Cleaners
How To Use Hot Tub Cleaners

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use a hot tub cleaner:

  1. Start by removing the hot tub cover and turning off the power to the hot tub.
  2. Use a soft brush or sponge to scrub the hot tub shell, especially in areas with visible dirt, grime, and body oils.
  3. Once the shell has been thoroughly scrubbed, begin draining the hot tub. This can be done using a garden hose or a dedicated drainage system.
  4. While the hot tub is draining, prepare the hot tub cleaner according to the manufacturer's instructions. This may involve diluting the cleaner with water or shaking the bottle to mix the ingredients.
  5. Once the hot tub is completely drained, use the hot tub cleaner to apply a thin solution layer to the entire surface of the hot tub shell. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for application and use gloves if necessary.
  6. After applying the hot tub cleaner, let it sit for the recommended amount of time, usually 10-15 minutes.
  7. Once the cleaner has had time to work, use a soft brush or sponge to scrub the hot tub shell again. This will help to remove any remaining dirt or grime.
  8. Rinse the hot tub shell thoroughly with a garden hose, removing all traces of the cleaning solution.
  9. Once the hot tub shell is clean and rinsed, refill the hot tub with fresh water and restore power to the hot tub.
  10. Use a suitable cleaner to clean your hot tub regularly to prevent the buildup of dirt, grime, and body oils. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for recommended cleaning frequency.

Following these steps, you can effectively use a hot tub cleaner to maintain a clean and healthy environment.

What to Consider When Choosing a Hot Tub Cleaner

What to Consider When Choosing a Hot Tub Cleaner
What to Consider When Choosing a Hot Tub Cleaner

When choosing a hot tub cleaner, there are several factors to consider for optimal performance. 

This table illustrates some important factors to remember.

What to remember Why it is important
Compatibility Different hot tub materials and filtration systems may require different types of cleaners, so it's crucial to choose a cleaner compatible with your hot tub.
Effectiveness A good hot tub cleaner should effectively remove dirt, grime, and other organic matter from the hot tub's surface. Look for a cleaner that has proven effective and can provide visible results.
Safety Some hot tub cleaners may contain harsh chemicals that can damage the hot tub's surface or cause skin irritation. Choose a safe cleaner for you, your hot tub, and the environment.
Ease of Use A good hot tub cleaner should be easy to use and not require a lot of time or effort to apply. Consider a cleaner that can be easily sprayed, wiped, or rinsed off with water.
Value for money Hot tub cleaners come at different prices, so consider your budget when selecting a cleaner. Remember that the cheapest option is unlikely to be the best in terms of effectiveness or safety.
Scent Some hot tub cleaners may have a strong odor that can be unpleasant. If you are sensitive to smells, look for an unscented cleaner or mild fragrance.
Environmental Impact Consider a hot tub cleaner that is environmentally friendly and does not contain harmful chemicals that can harm aquatic life or the environment.

1. Compatibility

When it comes to hot tub cleaning, choosing a cleaner compatible with your hot tub's material and filtration system is important. Different hot tub materials and filtration systems require different cleaners to ensure optimal performance and avoid damage. 

Here are our tips for finding a hot tub cleaner that is compatible with your hot tub:

Pro tip 1: Consider the material of your hot tub.

Hot tubs can be made of various materials, such as acrylic, fiberglass, and vinyl.

Each material requires a specific type of cleaner to avoid damage. For instance, a cleaner suitable for an acrylic hot tub may not be appropriate for a vinyl hot tub.

Pro tip 2: Check your hot tub's filtration system.

Hot tubs can have different spa filtration systems:

  • Sand filters
  • Cartridge filters
  • Diatomaceous earth (DE) filters

Each type of hot tub filter requires a specific type of cleaner to ensure proper maintenance. For instance, using a cleaner incompatible with a DE filter can damage the filter and the hot tub's plumbing.

Pro tip 3: Look for a hot tub cleaner that is safe for hot tubs.

Some cleaning products contain chemicals that can damage the hot tub pump, the filter, and the plumbing.

Look for a cleaner specifically formulated for hot tub use and safe for the hot tub's plumbing.

Pro tip 4: Check the ingredients of the hot tub cleaner.

Hot tub cleaners can contain different ingredients. Some cleaners may be more effective at removing specific types of dirt and debris, such as body oils, than others. Check the cleaner's label to ensure it targets the specific type of dirt or debris you want to remove.

Pro tip 5: Read reviews and seek advice.

Before purchasing a hot tub cleaner, read reviews and seek advice from hot tub experts and other hot tub owners. They can provide valuable insights and recommendations on which cleaners work best for specific hot tub materials and hot tub filtration systems.

In summary, choosing the right hot tub cleaner is essential to maintain the performance and longevity of your hot tub. Different materials and filtration systems require different types of cleaners, and using the wrong cleaner can result in a damaged pump, filter,or plumbing. By considering the tips above, you can find a hot tub cleaner that is compatible with your hot tub and helps keep it clean and healthy.

2. Effectiveness

The deep cleaning of your hot tub works by breaking down and dissolving organic matter and other contaminants that accumulate in the hot tub's water.

To have a clean hot tub, you typically need to add the cleaner directly to the hot tub water. You must also allow it to circulate for some time, usually, a few hours or overnight. During this time, the cleaner works to break down and dissolve the contaminants, making them easier to remove. After cleaning, the hot tub can be drained and rinsed thoroughly to remove any remaining residue.

Factors that can affect a hot tub cleaner's effectiveness include:

Water pH Levels

If the pH level of the hot tub water is too low or too high, it can affect the cleaner's ability to work effectively. Ideally, the pH level should be between 7.2 and 7.8. You can adjust the pH levels by using a pH increaser or decreaser.

Water Temperature

The temperature of the hot tub water can also impact the cleaner's effectiveness. Generally, warmer water temperatures can help the cleaner work more effectively.

Hot Tub Filters

If the hot tub's filters are dirty or clogged, it can affect the cleaner's ability to circulate through the water and clean effectively. It is important to clean and replace filters regularly as needed.

Hot Tub Plumbing

If the hot tub's plumbing is damaged or obstructed, it can impact the flow of water and the ability of the cleaner to circulate effectively.

Damaged Pump

A damaged pump can also affect the water flow and the cleaner's effectiveness. It is important to regularly inspect and maintain the pump to ensure it is functioning properly.

3. Safety

Hot tub cleaners can effectively remove dirt and bacteria from the hot tub's water, but some types of cleaners may pose potential risks to human health. For example, some cleaners may contain harsh chemicals that can cause skin irritation or respiratory issues if not used properly.

Before using any tub cleaner, ensure it is formulated for your type of tub.

 We also recommended choosing cleaners that are biodegradable and environmentally friendly.

When using hot tub cleaners, following the instructions carefully and avoiding using more than the recommended amount is important. It is also important to rinse the hot tub thoroughly after cleaning to remove any residual cleaner.

Be sure to  to regularly test the hot tub's water to ensure it is safe for bathing. This includes testing the pH level, sanitizer levels, and total alkalinity. We recommend testing the water at least once weekly and adjusting the chemical levels as needed.

4. Ease of Use

When choosing a hot tub cleaner, it is also important to consider the application method. Some cleaners may require more time and effort to apply than others. For example, some cleaners may require multiple steps or a longer application time, while others may be as simple as pouring the cleaner into the hot tub and turning on the jets.

5. Value for Money

When comparing hot tub cleaners based on price, it's important also to consider their effectiveness. A cheaper hot tub cleaner may save you money upfront, but if it doesn't clean your hot tub effectively, you may spend more money in the long run on additional cleaning products or repairs.

This table lists the key factors to consider when measuring the value for money ratio.

What Why
Size The size of the container and the amount of product will impact the overall price. Be sure to compare each product's price per ounce or pound to get an accurate comparison.
Concentration Some hot tub cleaners are more concentrated than others, so you may need to use less product per cleaning. These more concentrated cleaners may also have a higher price tag.
Brand The brand of the hot tub cleaner may also impact the price. More well-known and established brands may have a higher price point than newer or less well-known brands.
Type of Cleaner Different hot tub cleaners may have different price points. For example, a more natural and eco-friendly cleaner may be more expensive than a traditional chlorine-based cleaner.

6. Scent

When choosing the scent of a hot tub cleaner, there are a few factors to consider, such as:

  1. Personal preference: Everyone has different scent preferences, so it's essential to choose a scent that you find appealing.
  2. Allergies and sensitivities: Some people may have allergies or sensitivities to certain scents, so it's important to choose a scent that won't cause any adverse reactions.
  3. Chemical composition: Some scents may be more potent than others and may require a stronger chemical composition. It's important to consider the chemical composition of the cleaner to ensure that it's effective and safe for use.

7. Environmental Impact

When choosing a hot tub cleaner, there are several factors to consider regarding environmental impact:

Environmental Impact
  1. Biodegradability: Look for cleaners made from biodegradable ingredients thatbreak down naturally in the environment. These cleaners are less likely to harm aquatic life or cause pollution.
  2. Chemical composition: Choose cleaners that do not contain harsh chemicals, such as phosphates or chlorine, which can harm aquatic life and cause water pollution. Look for cleaners that use natural or plant-based ingredients.
  3. Packaging: Consider the packaging of the cleaner. Look for products that use recyclable or biodegradable materials to package their products, and avoid those with excessive packaging.
  4. Environmental certifications: Check for environmental certifications, such as the EPA's Safer Choice label, which indicates that the product meets stringent environmental standards.
  5. Water conservation: Consider cleaners that require less water to use, as this can help conserve water resources.
  6. Manufacturer sustainability practices: Look for manufacturers that prioritize sustainability, such as using renewable energy or implementing recycling programs.

By considering these factors, you can choose a hot tub cleaner that is effective and has a lower environmental impact. This ensures that you protect the planet for future generations while enjoying your hot tub. 


Maintenance and cleaning are important parts of owning a hot tub. Choosing the right product for your needs is essential to get the most out of your hot tub experience. Consider factors such as effectiveness, compatibility, safety, ease of use, and value when choosing a hot tub cleaner. Doing so will help ensure your hot tub stays clean and safe while providing maximum relaxation and wellness benefits. 

With the right product and a regular maintenance schedule, you can enjoy all the wonderful benefits of owning a hot tub for many years. If you decide to use O-Care, contact us for additional information. You can also become an O-Care dealer here.


1. Can I use household cleaners to clean my hot tub?

No, you should never use household cleaners, such as bleach or ammonia, to clean your hot tub. These cleaners can damage the hot tub's surface and lead to health concerns. Always use a hot tub cleaner specifically designed for hot tubs and spas.

2. Can I use a hot tub cleaner in a swimming pool?

No, hot tub cleaners are specifically designed for use in hot tubs and spas and should not be used in swimming pools. The chemicals used in hot tub cleaners can be harmful to swimmers and can cause damage to the pool's surface.

3. Can I use a hot tub immediately after cleaning it?

No, we recommended waiting for at least 30 minutes after adding hot tub cleaner before using your hot tub. This will allow the cleaner to properly circulate and ensure the water is safe for use.

4. How do I store hot tub cleaner properly?

Hot tub cleaners should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. You should also keep it out of reach of children and pets and follow any storage instructions provided by the manufacturer.