Foamy hot tub water? Clean it up!

One of the most common water care questions is about foamy water. How does it happen? How do I get rid of it?!

The first thing to determine is if your water is actually foamy. Hot tubs naturally create an effervescent “foaming” response by jets infusing air into the water. Also, note that if your tub has one of our terrific ACE Salt Water Systems, the presence of salt will increase bubbles produced during jet action. The key to identifying true foam: if, when the jets are turned off, the bubbles produced by the jet system don’t all break up in under a minute’s time, or appear to be large “sticky” bubbles, you likely have something creating foam.

Once you’ve determined your water is actually foamy, the quest to eliminate it begins. There are a couple things to initially check:

  • If you’re using traditional water care products (chlorine or bromine), your hardness level needs to be in the recommended range. If no hardness has been added, soft water will naturally create larger bubbles.
  • If it’s been a while since you’ve checked your pH level, this is another culprit that will cause foam. Make sure your pH level is balanced. Often, once your pH is corrected, the foam issues subside!

If the above are correct, you likely do have a foam issue. How does this happen? A number of things can get introduced into hot tub water when we soak. Hair conditioners, detergents, makeup, lotions, sweat…all these things can end up in your hot tub while soaking. These ingredients result in foaming when soaking.

Once your hot tub water is foamy, it’s time to clean it up! Here are a few ways to eliminate hot tub foam:

  • Sometimes the introduction of extra sanitizer will help break down whatever has made your water foamy and get it into the filters. Try adding an extra dose of chlorine to your water. Run your jets for around 45 minutes to an hour. After turning off the jets, wait for about two minutes to ensure all the tiny air bubbles infused by the jet system have broken up. If the foam doesn’t reoccur when the jets are activated again, you’re done! Take the filters out and clean them thoroughly with filter cleaner.
  • If that doesn’t fix the issue, you may want to try Defoamer. This product will give you instant satisfaction. A few drops will literally cause the foam to break up and disappear while the jets are running. SeaKlear’s particular defoamer formula will continue to work to eradicate the base cause of the foam and get it captured into the filters to eliminate it. Again, be sure to clean your filters thoroughly once the foam is removed. (With Defoamer, you may want to wait till the next day to clean your filters.)
  • Another product that will bind itself to foam and get it into the filters is Clarifier. This is particularly smart to use if you have any cloudiness along with foam in your water. SeaKlear’s Natural Clarifier is designed to bind up whatever is making your water cloudy or foamy. Add Clarifier and run your jets for 45 minutes to an hour. You’ll find that most will get captured in the filters, although some of what’s caused the issue may gravitate towards the hot tub’s water line. You’ll need to take a sponge and remove this residue, as well as clean your filters with filter cleaner. Some folks find that adding SeaKlear Natural Clarifier weekly keeps cloudiness and foam in check and keeps your water sparkling.
  • Finally, one more help to keep foam at bay is the use of Scumballs. While not exactly an attractive name, these handy round sponges float over your filters and work to capture elements that can cause cloudiness and foam. Take them out each week and rinse them under warm water. Usually Scumballs will be effective for about 1-2 months before needing replaced.

There you have it! And, as always, if you have any specific water care issues, please do contact us. We’ll be happy to get you back in crystal clear water!