Your inflatable hot tub cover is one of the most important parts of your hot tub. When we bought our first ever inflatable hot tub, we thought the cover was just something you put on to keep stuff from getting in the water when we weren’t using it (yes, we really were total newbies!).
However, your inflatable hot tub is so much more than that. As well as keeping the water clean, its vital job is to keep the water piping hot when you’re not in your hot tub, so that you don’t have to keep reheating the water. In this way, it saves you a lot of money in your energy bills.
At the same time, keeping your cover on prevents that precious hot water from evaporating. Without the lid on, you can easily lose an inch or two of water – water which you would have to replace and then heat up. Again, using your cover will save this unnecessary cost.
But that’s not all. When the water evaporates, it sucks chemicals out of your hot tub as well. This throws your sanitizer levels out of whack and makes your hot tub work harder just to keep the water hot.
So as you can see, having a cover for your inflatable hot tub and using it correctly saves you money, time, and effort. After all, none of us want to spend lots of time working on our hot tub. What we want is to slip the cover off and get in to enjoy a great massage and a trouble-free soak.
Therefore its important you look after your inflatable hot tub cover and use it properly.
Make Sure Your Inflatable Hot Tub Cover Fits Properly
Before we look at how to care for your inflatable hot tub cover, it’s important you check that it fits snugly when it’s in place. After all, you don’t want to spend time looking after your cover if it doesn’t do the job it’s meant to do!
So make sure it fits over the hot tub without leaving any gaps.
Even the slightest gap down the side will lead to heat loss, which will end up costing you money in reheating the cooler water.
Also, if there is a gap, there’s a chance that your cover will be damaged in high winds or a summer storm. Winds have been known to rip hot tub covers off of their spas entirely. So make sure your hot tub cover fits perfectly. If you live in areas that are prone to strong winds, you might want to consider adding lockable straps, if you don’t have any, to make sure the cover stays on. You can buy these from sites like Amazon or Walmart cheaply and easily – or go directly to your inflatable hot tub manufacturer.
One hugely important reason for having a cover that fits snugly and securely, is that it keeps young children out of the hot tub when you’re not around. This keeps them safe and gives you great peace of mind.
Check Your Inflatable Hot Tub Cover For Damage
Every week, at a time when you take your hot tub cover off to enjoy a soak, spend a couple of minutes checking that the cover is in great condition. You should also do this when you get your inflatable hot tub out of storage, at the start of the hot tub season.
Check for any holes, rips or cracks in the vinyl on both the inner and external surfaces of the cover, and also at the seams.
The vinyl seals-in the insulating foam core of the cover and keeps the foam dry, enabling it to do its job. If there’s even the tiniest hole or crack, then the foam will gradually become filled with water through evaporation or rain. This prevents it from insulating the water in your hot tub efficiently. Also, the cover will then get heavier and heavier, finally causing major wear and tear. If this happens, you will need to buy a replacement cover.
So if you see any holes, cracks or rips, repair them immediately. You can do this with a vinyl repair kit, which costs a few dollars over on Amazon or from your local auto parts store. For a temporary repair, stick on good quality clear postal mailing tape.
Check Your Inflatable Hot Tub Cover Zippers
Keep an eye on the zipper if your inflatable hot tub cover has one, such as the models made by MSpa. If the zipper stops working or gets jammed, then your cover is not functioning properly. In this case, you’ll need to repair the zipper yourself, if you have the skills and know-how; or you might need to get professional assistance.
To prevent the zipper from reaching this stage, one weird tip is to rub a graphite pencil or a lip balm along the zipper teeth once a week! This keeps the zipper lubricated and prevents it from jamming up.
Keep Your Inflatable Hot Tub Cover Clean
One of the easiest things you can do to care for your inflatable hot tub cover is to keep it clean.
This won’t take you long – just a few minutes. Check for and remove any debris off your hot tub cover once a day. Rainwater should run right off; however if it starts pooling, then it’s putting stress on the cover with all that weight, which can lead to cracking and further damage. So sweep off any water as soon as you can.
Also keep any eye out for leaves, sticks, bugs on the cover – even any snow accumulation, if you use your hot tub through the late Fall, early Spring, or even Winter.
Just a quick swipe with a soft broom works fine. However, don’t use anything with sharp edges, as these could scar or even gouge the vinyl.
Twice A Month
Every couple of weeks, give your inflatable hot tub cover a deeper cleaning. This could be at the same time as you clean your hot tub; or, if that’s too long a chore, you can alternate: clean the hot tub one week and the cover the next.
- Remove the cover and lay it flat on a non-abrasive surface.
- Get hold of a spray bottle and fill it with warm water. Spray the cover all over, and wipe it firmly with a soft cloth. This should be sufficient for 99% of all marks or surface grime.
- Alternatively, you can use a special inflatable hot tub cleaner, such as All-Purpose Spa Cleaner made by Leisure Time. You might need to buy a bottle of this if you have stubborn stains or marks, or if your cover looks the worse for wear.
- If your hot tub cover starts to smell, or if you notice any spots of mildew or mold, then you definitely need to buy some specialist inflatable hot tub cleaner and treat it as soon as possible.
- If you decide to use a special vinyl cleaner to clean your cover, avoid any that contain detergent, oil, silicone, or alcohol. That’s because they will leave traces of residue on your hot tub cover, and when the water heats up and condenses on the underside of the cover, the chemicals will be re-activated and contaminate the water.
- After you have cleaned your cover with an inflatable hot tub cleaner, make sure you wipe it off thoroughly with plenty of warm water and a soft cloth.
We have more advice and tips on cleaning your inflatable hot tub in our guide: How To Clean Your Inflatable Hot Tub, which you might find useful.
Spray On Inflatable Hot Tub Cover Protection
We definitely recommend getting hold of a quality UV vinyl protector, such as 303 UV Protectant. This is a spray-on product that coats the exterior surface of your hot tub with a layer of protection. This layer repels dirt and dust, keeping your cover clean and stain-free.
If you live in a sunny location, then applying a coating of UV vinyl protector is a must! That’s because it protects your cover from direct sunlight, keeping it from cracking, peeling, and fading.
You need to apply your protectant 3-4 times a year for best results. And, by looking after your cover in this way, you’re prolonging its life, so you don’t have to spend money buying a new cover sooner that you really need to.
Top Tip: Avoid using any of the protectant sprays made by Armor-All. These are great products for other uses, such as your car; but for inflatable hot tub covers, they should be avoided. That’s because they contain petroleum which will damage the vinyl
Take Your Inflatable Hot Tub Cover Off
Your inflatable hot tub cover needs to dry out occasionally. Take it off once a month and lay it out upside-down on a non-abrasive surface, so that the underside surface is face up. Wipe the drops of condensed water off with a soft cloth and leave the cover in the air to completely dry.
Don’t be tempted, however, to leave the cover in direct sunlight in order to speed the drying time. If you’re in a hurry, dry the cover with a couple of old towels or other soft absorbent cloths.
It’s also important that you leave the hot tub cover off every time you shock your hot tub water while you run the massage system for 15 to 20 minutes. This is so the gases that are expelled can escape as the water clears. If you leave the cover on, then the gases remain trapped and the concentration of chemicals in the gases will start to damage the underside of your cover.
Your Inflatable Hot Tub Chemicals And Your Cover
It’s essential that you are aware of the effect that the chemicals you use in your inflatable hot tub have on the underside of your cover.
When you add sanitizer to the water, traces of the chemical will evaporate in the steam and then condense on the vinyl surface of the cover when you are not using your hot tub. When the droplets fall back into the water, they leave a tiny residue of the chemicals on the vinyl. These can cause damage in the long run.
Therefore it’s important that you wipe down the under-surface of your cover as often as possible. This only takes a minute or so, and we find it’s easy to do it with a spray bottle of warm water and a soft cloth every other day.
If you use bromine as your sanitizer, remember never to over-fill your chemical float or add too many bromine crystals to the water. That’s because if there is too much bromine gas trapped under the cover, it will damage the vinyl and end it making it brittle.
It’s important that you have a working knowledge of the use of chemicals in your inflatable hot tub, as they are key to enjoying trouble-free times and in helping to prolong the life of your inflatable hot tub and cover.
If you are uncertain of this area, we have a number of guides to help you which cover all areas. A good place to start is our article Your Guide To Inflatable Hot Tub Chemicals.
Simple Tips On Caring For Your Inflatable Hot Tub Cover
There are some quick and easy things you can do to help protect and care for your inflatable hot tub cover. These might seem obvious, but it’s easy to overlook them:
- Store your cover somewhere safe when you take it off to use your hot tub, so it doesn’t get trodden on.
- Always place your inflatable hot tub cover on a non-abrasive surface when you take it off, so it doesn’t get damaged.
- Don’t fold your inflatable hot tub cover up when you take it off, as this will create a crease in the cover which will ultimately cause it to crack.
- Place a sun umbrella over your hot tub on cloudless, sunny days, to help protect the cover from the damage caused by UV rays (remember to use a protectant such as 303 UV Protectant as well).
- If there’s a storm or high winds coming, remove all patio furniture, plants, kids’ toys and anything else from the vicinity of the hot tub, as these could be picked up by the wind and blown onto the spa cover.
- Keep tree branches and bushes that are close to your hot tub cut back, to remove the chances of them breaking off and falling onto the cover.
We hope this article has been useful and that you learned some good ideas and tips. Thanks for reading!