What's the secret to clean, clear water?
A lot of hot tub owners feel like they're constantly chasing their tails trying to maintain clean water. Even when the test strips say you're good, it's just not that beautiful sparkling blue that you are going for. Nine times out of ten it comes down to "organics". Which is a nice way of saying all the stuff we leave behind in the water when we get out. Let's just call it what it is, body oils, skin cells deodorant, lotions, detergents, etc...you get the picture.
Although organics are not going to hurt you, they create that cloudiness in the water that we try to avoid. When untreated, organics can clog your filters and cause bigger, long term issues with the mechanics of your hot tub. And in some cases, they can allow bacteria to "hide" in your spa and serve as a food source for mold, mildew and other funky things. In short, organics are something you want to stay on top of to prevent unwanted frustration.
Here's a quick list of some of the most common products we use to stay ahead of organics and a few others to help us keep our spa and filters clean and clear for the long haul. Think of them as good to have in your toolkit, but you don't need ALL of these products all the time.
Spa Shock Oxidizer: If there's one thing to keep on hand all the time, this is it. this non-chlorinated product works well with chlorine and bromine based spas, we sometimes call it MPS Oxidizer. And with a Jacuzzi® Hot Tub, it's the perfect compliment to the CLEARRAY® Sanitizing System. We suggest using about a tablespoon per person after each use. If you have Bromine tabs, you will want to use just a little before use to re-activate the Bromine. If you have teenagers (bless your heart) and kids using the spa, you may need more than a tablespoon!
ProClear™ Plus: This is one of those products that although you don't technically have to have it, it really simplifies your life (and I personally won't do without it). It has a very, very faint smell of lavender but not enough to smell like a fragrance. ProClear™ Plus buffers the pH levels in your spa and prevents organics from slowly building up in your plumbing lines and equipment. It's also softens the water so it's perfect for anyone with sensitive skin. Use weekly for best results.
Water Clarifier: If Spa Shock Oxidizer doesn't fix your clarity problems, we turn to Water Clarifier. Where oxidizers break down organics, clarifiers plump them up and make them easier for the filter to grab. If you need to use Water Clarifier regularly, plan to clean your filter a little more offers to prevent water flow issues.
Defoamer: I don't even know if "defoamer" is a real word. But we all know what it does. If turn on your jets and all of a sudden you get a kazillion tiny bubbles, you need Defoamer to the rescue. And a little goes a LONG way, just a teaspoon can knock back a spa full of foam. We suggest getting to the root of what is causing the foam...detergents from bathing suits, hair products, lotions...but Defoamer can come to the rescue when needed. Just be aware that low pH levels and hardness imbalance can also cause foaming so before reaching for Defoamer, test your water and be sure it's properly balanced.
Scum Balls: These are the ultimate gift for any frequent hot tub user. Float a single Scum Ball in your spa and it will absorb oils that float to the surface of the water and keep the filter cleaner, longer. They can be rinsed off and reused.
Filter Cleaner: A clean filter is your best bet for clean water. When your filter gets clogged, reach for a little filter cleaner to help release dirt and oils that get trapped in those pleated nooks and crannies. We suggest soaking your filter in a diluted solution of filter cleaner but you can also spray it on to your filter. Plan to clean your filter at least once a month for best results when you use your spa often. We also love the Filter Flosser attachment to help you get a more complete clean, it's one of those great inventions that makes you think, why didn't I think of that?!
Plumbing Line Cleaner: Before you drain your spa, run a cleaner thru the plumbing lines to release organic build up in the plumbing lines.
All Purpose Cleaner: This is a good one to have when you drain your spa and need to clean the shell. Just be sure you rinse off the acrylic really well before refilling. Can work well on most exterior surfaces too.
Vinyl Cover Cleaner: We suggest cleaning and conditioning your spa cover at the beginning of each season. A clean cover prevents unwanted mildew and mold from taking hold in your spa. *Note: Do not use Vinyl Cover Cleaner if you have a ProLast cover, see instructions below.
ProLast™/303 Fabric Guard: The perfect solution for hot tub owners with a ProLast™ cover.