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While foam is nice on top of a fancy coffee and perfect in a bubble bath, it isn’t great in your hot tub!

Foamy hot tub water can happen from time to time and is something that can be easily managed. This blog will explain what causes foamy hot tub water, how to prevent it from forming and how to deal with it if it does become an issue.

a man checking water in hot tub

What Causes Foamy Hot Tub Water?

There are several products that, if added to your hot tub water, can cause foam. Products such as soap, laundry detergent, deodorant, makeup, cosmetics, hair products, body lotions or oils, shampoo and conditioners as well as spilled beverages can all cause foamy hot tub water.

Organic Matter

Organic material that comes off our bodies as we soak can also cause foaming, especially if there is a large number of people using the spa at the same time, causing the sanitizer in your hot tub to be overworked.

Low Calcium Levels

Low calcium levels (water hardness) can decrease the surface tension in your hot tub’s water and cause excessive foaming. Low calcium levels can also be damaging to your hot tubs equipment.

For this reason it is not recommended to fill your hot tub with soft water, so switch of your water softener before filling if you have one.

In most cases where city water is used to fill your Sundance hot tub, calcium (hardness) levels are fine and rarely need adjusting, but you should check your hot tubs water once a week with test strips to ensure the level is correct.

Unbalanced Water

Unbalanced water can also cause a number of issues, including foaming, cloudiness and giving your water a green tinge.

Test your hot tub water weekly to make sure the alkalinity, pH and sanitizer levels are where they should be.

Read this blog for more water care tips.

Preventing Foamy Hot Tub Water

Showering before soaking in your Sundance hot tub can help prevent foaming. taking a quick shower before using your hot tub means you won’t bring in anything off your body such as dirt, sweat, lotions, deodorants, colognes, perfumes and oils.

If you are just getting home from hockey and you and your team mates are going to enjoy a well deserved soak in your spa, it might be a good idea to shower first!

Clean Bathing Suits

Make sure your bathing suits are cleaned and rinsed before jumping in your Sundance hot tub. Bathing suits fresh out of the washing machine and dryer will be loaded with laundry detergent. The best thing to do is just rinse your hot tub bathing suits with fresh water and then let them dry. If you’re brave enough and have your own private backyard oasis, going in with no swimsuit is always an option!

Use Quality Water Care Products

Don’t use inferior chemicals in your Sundance hot tub. Choose to use a high quality product from a knowledgeable and trusted source (The Sundance Spa Store, for example!). Adding too many chemicals, or inferior chemicals can cause foamy water.

Low priced chemicals are cheap for a reason, as they are made with lots of filler products such as chalk, and include less active ingredients – so you could actually make the foaming worse by using cheap chemicals.

Low price chemicals create a false value, as you save a few dollars on the purchase price, but end up having to add way more chemicals to your water to get the balance right, and you will likely have to drain your hot tubs water more often as a result.

Sanitize & Shock Regularly

Keep an acceptable level of sanitizer in your Sundance hot tub, by adding 30g of Sun-Boom 2-3 times a week (based on use).

Chlorine Free Spa Shock should also be used a minimum of once a week to help prevent foamy hot tub water.

Spa Shock helps oxidize your hot tub water, and has no strong odor as it is chemical free. Find out more about Spa Shock here.

Drain & Clean on Schedule

Draining & Cleaning your Sundance hot tub on a regular basis will help prevent foamy water. Regularly changing of your hot tub’s water will prevent TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) levels from getting to high in your water. High TDS levels build-up in your water over time, and can cause cloudy, foamy water and limit the effectiveness of any chemicals you add to your hot tub.

To give you an illustration of how TDS works, imagine putting some sugar in a glass of water and stirring it, the sugar will disappear. If you keep adding sugar and stirring, eventually the sugar will not dissolve/disappear, the water is now full and the sugar will just sink/sit on the bottom.

Once your Sundance hot tubs water TDS level is too high, it will not be able to absorb any more chemicals, and the water will remain cloudy & foamy regardless of how much chemical you add to the water. Even a partial drain & re-fill will reduce the TDS level and make your water more manageable.

We recommend that you change your Sundance hot tubs water every 3-4 months to help maintain crystal clear, well balanced hot tub water. Read this blog for tips on how to Drain, Clean & Re-fill your Sundance hot tub.

Set for Maximum Filtration

Set your Sundance Hot Tub’s filtration system to the highest level possible to move water more often through your hot tub filter and ClearRay UV-C Water Purification System.

The more your water is filtered, the possibility of a build up of foam is greatly reduced. For more information on setting your filter cycles, read this blog.

water in hot tub

How to Fix Foamy Hot Tub Water

Test your Sundance hot tubs water with a test strip to make sure your alkalinity is balanced, followed by your pH levels and lastly your sanitizer level. Water that is correctly balanced and properly sanitized is far less likely to get foamy.

Shock your hot tub water with Chlorine Free Spa Shock (MPS) to treat organics in the water. You may need to do this a couple of times if the foam is really bad. Remember that whenever you add any product to your hot tub’s water, you should leave the hot tub cover open for at least 20 minutes. If the weather is good, leave your cover off for a couple of hours or more to help clear up any foam.

Regular use of Spa Shock will help break down body oils, lotions, hair products, deodorants, colognes, perfumes, makeup, creams and any organic products left behind after hot tub use.

The amount of spa shock required on a weekly basis will vary based on how often and how long you use your Sundance hot tub, how many people use it and what products are left behind from your body. 3-4 Capfuls once or twice a week seems to be the average for many people.

If you need a quick-fix for your foam issue, use Defoamer, which is available at all six of our locations(Burlington, Hamilton, Mississauga, Oakville, St. Catharines & Vaughan).

Keep in mind however that Defoamer is only a band-aid that will suspend the foam for a limited amount of time, but will not solve the underlying problem that is causing your water to foam.

If foam is an on-going issue for you, you may want to consider using Spa Marvel, the all-in-one natural hot tub treatment. This natural water treatment & conditioner treats your spa water for 3 months, reducing chemical usage and time spent looking after your water.

couple bathing in hot tub

Our stores are currently open for curbside pickup only, so we are not able to test spa water at this time.

Feel free to give us a call and let us know what your test strip looks like, and we will let you know what chemicals to add over the phone.

The Sundance Spa Store is a provider of high quality Sundance Spas and Finnleo Saunas who service the GTA & Niagara Regions.

We deliver and service our products in cities such as Cambridge, Waterdown, Carlisle, Grimsby, Stoney Creek, Brantford, Binbrook, Caledonia, Smithville, Vineland, Pelham, Crystal Beach, Wainfleet, Port Colborne, Beamsville, Thorold, Brampton, North York, York, East York, Woodbridge, Etobicoke, Nobleton, Caledon, Georgetown, Toronto, Milton, Orangeville, Halton Hills, Welland, Markham, Richmond Hill, Niagara On The Lake, Fort Erie, Thornhill, Niagara Falls and many more!