How to Clean a Hot Tub Without Draining It

Maintaining a hot tub can be a tough task, especially in a house with a lot of people or in a generally dusty area. Outdoor hot tubs are even harder to maintain, as dried leaves, twigs, pebbles and other such debris tend to make their way into the tub.

Cleaning a hot tub every time it collects debris can be quite wasteful, as all the water needs to be drained out and then refilled.

But, there has to be a way to make this easier, right? Here are a few ways with which you can clean your hot tub without draining out all the water.

how to clean a hot tub without draining it

Vacuum the Dirt Away

You might have heard of spa vacuums. These brilliant machines can suck away all the dirt, leaves, sand and other such items that might have sunk to the floor of your tub.

These work equally well in hot tubs too. All you need to do is to lower the vacuum to the floor of the tub and move it around. The suction removes every loose thing it can find on the surface and conveniently stores these into a bag that can then be cleared away.

Use Silly Putty

Yes, you read this right, Silly Putty. This kids’ toy can be quite handy to clean your tub. Just press the Silly Putty onto the sediment or dirt you want to pick up from the surface of the tub, lift it off, and voila!

The dirt is now stuck onto the putty! You can just peel the dirt off the putty and reuse it immediately.

Silly Putty also happens to be waterproof and thus, does not disintegrate in the tub. This could even be a great way to get your kids into the cleaning action by making a game out of it.

Use a Water Squirter

Another little kids’ toy, a water squirter can also be used to clean the water. Just point the tip of the squirter on the dirt and pull the handle to suck the dirt into it!

Balance and Shock the Water

Hot tub water has to be maintained at certain pH, calcium, chlorine and alkalinity levels. This balance ensures that the water remains clean and safe for use.

If the levels are too high, you can drain away a portion of the water, refill it with fresh water and then add the necessary chemicals to balance it.

If they are too low, just add more of the chemicals to bring them to the desired levels.

For a chlorine shock, you have to add high amounts of chlorine to the tub water. This process cleans the water and sanitizes the tub by removing bacteria and organic contaminants.

This treatment increases the chlorine level of your tub water, so allow the water to aerate and before using the tub.

How to Keep the Tub Clean

Of course, prevention is always better than cure. By following these measures, you can try to keep your tub cleaner than its current state:

  • Cover the hot tub when not in use. Ensure that the hot tub lid is kept in a clean, dry spot while you are using the tub so that it does not introduce any dirt to the tub while covering it later.
  • Avoid food and drinks in the hot tub. Organic matter can disintegrate faster in the water or tub surface and cause problems later.
  • Take a shower before getting into the hot tub. This keeps contaminants from the body like dirt, sweat, residues from soap, etc. away from the hot tub.
  • Clean the tub completely every 3-4 months. This includes draining the tub entirely and then refilling it with clean water.

Hot Tub Maintenance

To extend the longevity of your hot tub, regular maintenance is a must. This can help keep the tub clean, while also ensuring the proper running of the tub. Here are a few tasks that need to be done regularly:

  • Every day, remove any visible dirt and debris.
  • Check the pH levels and chemical balance before each use.
  • Once a week, shock the hot tub with chlorine to kill any bacteria.
  • Remove the hot tub filter, rinse it in clean water and let it air dry at least once a week.
  • Remove the hot tub filter, clean it and then soak it in clean water overnight at least once a month.
  • Every time you do a complete cleaning by draining the tub entirely, add fresh, filtered water.

In Closing

These were some easy tips for hot tub cleaning and maintenance. Cleaning a hot tub is tough, time consuming and expensive. But you can by keeping it clean by removing the debris frequently without draining, which reduces this task tremendously.

Hopefully, one of the methods mentioned here was of use to you. So let go of those cleaning worries and enjoy your soak!

michael keenan author

Author - Michael Keenan

I'm Michael Keenan the owner and creator of the Outdoor Care Guide. I'm a trained horticulturist with over 30 years experience in pool care, plant care and landscape care! Seemed like a good idea to share - I think I can make your life easier and save you some time and money!