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Dealing With Foamy Hot Tub Water

Dealing With Foamy Hot Tub Water

Bath time before bed wasn't complete until Mom or Dad poured in some Bubble Bath. The glorious transformation of plain old warm water into bubbling fun, it was like magic! Thinking back to being surrounded by mountains of foam and bubbles, brings back great childhood memories. Foam and bubbles in a hot tub isn't quite the same, although, the kids may love having a giant bubble bath outside.

Foam formation keeps us from our goal of having crystal clear hot tub and spa water. Foamy hot tub water can happen from time to time and is something that can be easily managed. Generally the foam is not harmful and just a build-up of products and TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) in the water. Hot Tub foam is caused by the water being "full" or "old" and turning the jets of your hot tub on when the water is like this will cause foam to appear on the waters surface.

What Causes Foamy Hot Tub Water

  • There are several products that, if added to the water, can cause foam. Things such as drinks, soap, laundry detergent, deodorant, makeup, cosmetics, hair products, body lotions or oils, shampoo and conditioners can cause foamy hot tub water. 


  • Low calcium levels (water hardness) can decrease the surface tension in your hot tubs water and allow for excessive foaming. Low calcium levels (soft water) can also be damaging to your hot tub and spa equipment. Normally calcium (hardness) levels are fine and rarely need adjusting in a hot tub, check your hot tubs water once a week with test strips to prevent low calcium levels.                                                                                                            

NOTE: Filling your hot tub with soft water is a bad idea as it can have several negative effects. (Turn off your water softener if you have one, as soft water increases foaming in your hot tub)


  • Unbalanced water can cause a number of issues. Unbalanced water can cause your hot tub water to go green, give it a bad smell, and can even cause foamy hot tub water. Test your hot tub water weekly to make sure the alkalinity, pH and sanitizer levels are where they should be. 

How To Prevent Foamy Hot Tub Water

  • Showering before soaking in your hot tub will help prevent foaming. You'll notice at public pools and hot tubs they generally will have signs saying please shower before entering. Showering before using your hot tub means you won't bring in anything off the body such as dirt, sweat, lotions, deodorants, colognes, perfumes and oils. Although this will definitely ensure your body is clean before entering your hot tub, It's a bit of an inconvenience. If you are the kind of person who doesn't wear a lot of products on your body you can skip this one! If you do use a few products on your body, it couldn't hurt to have a quick rinse in the shower before soaking in your hot tub.


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


  • Don't use inferior chemicals. Choose to use a high quality product from a knowledgeable and trusted source (The Sundance Spa Store, for example!) Too many chemicals, or inferior chemicals can cause foamy water. Cheap or inferior chemicals are cheap for a reason and include fillers and less active ingredients that create false value -You save on the purchase price, but end up having to apply way more chemicals to your water to get the balance right.


  • Chlorine Free Spa Shock (MPS) should be used on a weekly basis to help prevent foamy hot tub water. Chlorine Free Spa Shock has no odor or smell, it is chemical free and helps oxidize your hot tubs water. 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 hot tub, how many people use your hot tub and what products are left behind from your body.


  • Opening your hot tub cover on a regular basis will help prevent foamy hot tub water. Opening your hot tub cover allows the water to breathe and introduces oxygen. Think about a swimming pool, the water is constantly exposed to fresh air and sunlight. This helps keep your swimming pool water clean and clear, your hot tub will love it too! I know it's Canada, we have cold weather and snow (but not too much this year in Ontario) but it is worthwhile to brave the elements and give your hot tub water some fresh air at least once a week.


  • Purchase a Hot Tub with a technologically advanced filtration system. When you are Hot Tub shopping, It is sometimes easy to get caught up with bells and whistles, things that look cool, but really are not important to the day to day use of a Hot Tub. The filtration system on a hot tub is one of the most important factors in preventing foamy hot tub water. Sundance Spas Patented MicroClean Water Management Filtration System & Dynamic Flow Circulation Pump  stands head and shoulders above the rest, as does the ClearRay UV-C Water Purification System, which is standard equipment on all Sundance Spas, and greatly reduces the amount of chemcials needed to keep your Hot Tub water clean & Clear.


  • Draining & cleaning your hot tub on a regular basis will help prevent foamy water. TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) build-up in your hot tubs water over time. For example, if you put sugar in a glass of water and stir, 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. You should change your hot tubs water every 3-4 months to help maintain crystal clear hot tub water. 

How To Fix Foamy Hot Tub Water

  • Test your hot tubs water with a test strip to make sure your alkalinity is balanced, followed by your pH levels and lastly your sanitizer level.


  • Shock your hot tub at least once a week using Chlorine Free Spa Shock (MPS) to treat organics in the water. It is always a good idea to leave your hot tub cover open after shocking the water or adding any sanitizer or other chemicals. 


  • Products such as zorbies or water clarifiers can help remove organics from your hot tub water, if your Hot Tub is not equipped with a MicroClean Filtration System.  The MicroClean & MicroClean Ultra Filtration Systems found on the Select, 780, 880 & brand new 980 Series Spas eliminates the use of zorbies, clarifiers, defoamers and enzymes. All you need to use in a Sundance Spa to keep your water pristine is a small amount of powdered sanitizer and a minimal amount of Chlorine Free Spa Shock.


  • Defoamer or anti-foam is a quick fix for foamy hot tub water, however it is only a band-aid. This will suspend the foam for a limited amount of time and is okay in a pinch. Defoamer or anti-foam is pretty harmless, unfortunately, it cannot be filtered out. When adding anti-foam or defoamer, adding more is not necessarily going to make it work better.​


Visit The Sundance Spa Store in Burlington , Oakville , Mississauga and St. Catharines for free water testing, free advice or for any information regarding hot tubs, saunas and gazebos. We are open 7 days a week and are always ready and willing to help. 

Sundance Spa hot tub spas service Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga and St. Catharines 1