How To Remedy Hot Tub Stains

Unsightly hot tub stains are off-putting to guests and can be a big buzzkill. Even worse, buildup on the sides of your hot tub that are left untreated can eventually cause damage to your tub. To keep your spa fresh and bubbling all year long, aim to prevent stains by immediately treating grime and rust.


Some culprits of spa stains can’t be avoided—they are naturally occurring in the fill water you use—but others are easily prevented.

    • Dirt, Grass, Debris - Hot tub covers can often protect hot tub waters from seasonal elements, but with bare feet climbing in and out, it’s easy for dirt and grime to get into your spa.

    • Rust and Corrosion - Water spilling out of the tub or dripping onto other parts of your hot tub can lead to rust and corrosion.

    • Calcium Buildup - Warm water and a high pH can cause naturally occurring calcium hardness in your water to settle on the surface.

    • Minerals - Metal in the water, like iron, copper, and manganese can react to the heat and cause hot tub stains.

    • Foam - Things like hair care products, makeup, lotion, and deodorant can react with the chemicals in your hot tub and create a foamy substance that can leave behind scum.


Cleaning your hot tub is very similar to cleaning the tub in your bathroom and should happen quite frequently.

  • Skimmer - Use a skimmer to remove leaves and debris on the surface of the water.

  • Water Vacuum - Vacuum your hot tub with a water vacuum to remove bugs and dirt from the water and the bottom of the tub.

  • Scrub - Drain the water for easy access to the stains and then attack them with some elbow grease.

  • Remove Scale  

    • Baking Soda - Use a damp cloth with powdered baking soda to tackle soap scum stains. Try this paste on tub jets to remove residue and buildup from those as well. Be sure to rinse off all traces of the baking powder to avoid white spots on the side of your tub.

    • Vinegar - Mix white vinegar and water to clean off hard water stains and deodorize your tub.

    • Cleaners - Purchase stain removers designed specifically to tackle hot tub stains and protect the balance of your spa chemicals.


Once your hot tub is clean, it’s important to take measures to prevent chemicals from getting into your hot tub that can create muck that will develop into stains.

    • Clean Filter - While the tub is emptied, rinse out the filter to remove trapped dirt and contaminants so they won’t be filtered back into your water after cleaning.

    • Manage Water Chemistry -

      • Sanitizer - Check your hot tub manual and add the recommended amount of sanitizer to your hot tub.

      • Balance pH - Test the alkalinity and pH of your water, the pH should range from 7.4 - 7.6. Warm temperatures can cause the pH level to climb which causes calcium to build up.

      • Water Softeners - If your water is too hard, it could leave scale and corrode the tub’s jets. Utilize a filter or water softener to remove minerals from the water.

      • Scale Prevention Products - Add spa chemicals created to clean surfaces, control metals, and balance the alkalinity and pH.

  • Regular Cleanings - Clean the sides, jets, and fixtures of your tub often to prevent the growth of scale from clogging up the filters.  

Don’t let hot tub stains interfere with your ability to take a relaxing soak in your hot tub. Fight scale with specially designed spa chemicals and prevent future buildup by balancing the chemistry of your water.
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