In order to fully enjoy your inflatable hot tub, you will need to understand how to keep the water as clean as possible. This will help prolong the life of your hot tub, it will keep you and your family safe and healthy, and it will help you get the maximum enjoyment out of your portable hot tub.
The First Time You Use Your Inflatable Hot Tub
The first time you use your inflatable hot tub, fill it to the maximum level with clean water from your household supply. The maximum level is shown on the inside of the tub. Then turn on the water heater to heat up the water. Once it has reached your desired temperature, up to a maximum of 104F, turn on the air jets to get the water bubbling.
You should now add a sanitizer to the water.
There are two types you can use, Chlorine or Bromine. To be honest, it will come down to personal preference as to which one you use. However we use and thoroughly recommend chlorine, as it is more readily available, and it’s also cheaper than bromine. It is also the one most widely recommended by inflatable hot tub manufacturers, such as Lay Z Spa, MSpa, Intex, and so on.
For more detailed information about the different types of sanitizer, check out our article on Everything You Need To Know About Inflatable Hot Tub Chemicals.
You can buy chlorine very easily from any hot tub supplier, or you can usually get it more cheaply from Amazon.
Whichever brand of chlorine you buy, make sure it is the fast-dissolving kind and not the slow-dissolving one, which is meant to be used in large swimming pools.
You can sprinkle the chlorine directly into your inflatable hot tub and rely on the air jets to swirl it around. But we prefer a different method.
Put between three-quarters to a level teaspoon of chlorine into a small pitcher, depending on the size of your hot tub, and scoop some of the hot tub water into the pitcher. Stir the water round to dissolve the chlorine, and then pour it into the hot tub water. In this way, you know the chlorine has fully dissolved.
You then need to wait about 2 hours before you can use your hot tub.
TOP TIP: Keep your chlorine bottle or tub in a dark cupboard, storeroom, or garage. This will stop it losing its potency, and will prolong its life. And make sure it is always stored safely away from children.
Bromine comes in powder or tablet form, and it is a little more expensive than chlorine. Depending on which type you buy, you either put the bromine directly into your hot tub water, a floating feeder, or a special cartridge, so that it dissolves and spreads throughout the hot tub. If you buy sodium bromide, however, you will also need to add an oxidizer to activate it, such as chlorine or what is known as a non-chlorine shock.
As with chlorine, you will need to wait at least 2 hours before you can get into your hot tub.
You will need to check the chlorine or bromine levels of your inflatable hot tub once a week. To read all you need to know about how to do this, and also what to do if the levels are not quite right, check out our article How To Balance The Chemical Levels In Your Inflatable Hot Tub.
Easy Ways To Keep The Water Clean In Your Inflatable Hot Tub
Now that your inflatable hot tub is ready to use, there are some basic rules to follow in order to keep the water as clean and hygienic as possible. Make sure that other users are aware of these rules as well, and they follow them every time.
Shower Before You Get In
Always shower before using your inflatable hot tub. Every time.
This is important, as the shower washes off your natural body oils, which will otherwise be washed off by the water in your inflatable hot tub. The shower will also remove any chemicals on your body, such as deodorant, after shave, perfume, as well as any traces of make up.
Make Sure Children Use The Bathroom Before They Get In
We all know what can happen with young children in swimming pools. Well, the same can happen in your inflatable hot tub.
Therefore, make sure that any children who are going to use your inflatable hot tub go to the bathroom before they get in. And get them to get out and visit the bathroom if they are going to be in the hot tub for any length of time.
Clean The Water Filters Regularly
The job of the water filters in your inflatable hot tub is to catch anything that shouldn’t be there. Therefore, you need to give them a helping hand by cleaning them out regularly. Luckily, this is very easy to do, and doesn’t take very long.
You can buy specialist water filter cleaning chemicals and brushes which are designed for this purpose. However we find that running the filters under cold water from the faucet is just as efficient. You can put them in the dishwasher, without any detergent, to give them a thorough clean.
It is also advisable to replace the water filters in your inflatable hot tub every three to six months, depending on how hard the water is in your area, and how often you use the hot tub.
Keep The Lid On
When you are not using your inflatable hot tub, always remember to put the lid on, as well as the hot tub cover if you have one. This is a simple yet vital way to make sure nothing falls into the water. And, of course, it keeps young children safe by not letting them get into the hot tub unattended.
Replace The Water
At some point you will need to empty out your inflatable hot tub and re-fill it with clean water. The key is to know when to do this.
If you leave the water in for too long, it will start to look cloudy, it can build up a film on the surface, and it might even begin to smell. Obviously, you want to replace the water before any of these things happen. But how do you know when is the right time to replace the water? A simple trick is to do this quick calculation.
Take the number of liters your inflatable hot tub holds when it is full. Divide that number by the number of people who regularly use the hot tub. Then divide that number by three. This will tell you how often you should change the water.
For example, if you own the Coleman Lay Z Spa, this holds 963 liters. If 4 people regularly use the hot tub, then 963 divided by 4 gives you 240.75. To make it easier, we’ll round that down to 240. Divide 240 by 3, and you get 80. That means you’ll need to replace the water every 80 days.
Cleaning Your Inflatable Hot Tub
We have written a guide on How To Clean Your Inflatable Hot Tub, which is full of useful advice and tips. But briefly, you need to regularly wipe down the interior surfaces of your inflatable hot tub. You can do this with a simple unbleached cloth or sponge. You might prefer to give it a light scrubbing with a soft bristle brush instead.
When you empty out your hot tub, to replace the water, you should give your inflatable hot tub a good clean. It is best to buy a specialist non-foaming hot tub surface cleaner to do this. That’s because traditional household cleaners contain chemicals that can harm the surface of your hot tub. These can permeate into the surface and then come off into the water when you heat up the tub. Make sure you use a non-abrasive cloth or sponge with the surface cleaner.
When you have thoroughly cleaned your inflatable hot tub, including the lid, rinse it down thoroughly with cold water, and then drain that water away.
Check The Chemical Levels Regularly
When we bought our first inflatable hot tub, we were concerned about keeping the water clean, and not letting any bacteria or harmful chemicals build up. After our years of experience, however, we now realise it is simply a matter of using our common sense and following some simple guidelines.
One key rule to follow that will quickly become a habit, as a hot tub owner, is to check the chemical levels of the water in your inflatable hot tub regularly. This shows you that your hot tub is working at maximum efficiency.
It also gives you the knowledge and peace of mind that all is well with the water and it is safe for you and your family to use.
To find out all about this topic, check out our article How To Test The Water In Your Inflatable Hot Tub.
The reason you buy an inflatable hot tub is for enjoyment and relaxation. So keep this in mind, and don’t over-worry about the water. Just follow the simple steps we have outlined above and you and your family will have a great time in your tub.