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Hints & Tips For Hot Tub Users

Foamy Water?

Don't panic here is what to do...

Dealing With Foamy Hot Tub Water

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 on 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, aftershaves, 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 (We have a range of products for sale in store or, online!) 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 odour 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! 


  • 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. 


  • 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 (Bromine/Chlorine).


  • 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 for a short while after shocking the water or adding any sanitizer or other chemicals. 

  • Water clarifiers can help remove organics from your hot tub water.


  • Defoamer or anti-foam is a quick fix for foamy hot tub water, however it is only a temporary solution. 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.

Hot Tub Filter Maintenance

Unsure on how to look after your filters? Don't panic here is what to do...

Hot Tub Filter Maintenance


We all want to enjoy clean, clear Hot Tub Water, and regular Filter Maintenance helps a lot!

Dirty, clogged hot tub filters can make it difficult to maintain your hot tub's water, can add to the amount of chemicals you need to use and can put strain on your pumps or cause "FLO" errors to occur.

Your hot tub filters are constantly at work trapping debris and keeping your water clean and clear, and you can help them out by keeping up regular maintenance and replacing them as required.

Your filter should be changed every 3 months for optimal performance.

Below are are some tips on how to successfully maintain filters.

Pleated Filters

Even if your pleated cartridge filters look clean, they can often be coated in oils, soaps and lotions that can clog your filters, reduce water flow, put strain on your pumps, and cause your water to be foamy or cloudy.

Rinsing your filter with your garden hose every week or 2 will keep debris at bay, but a deep clean with a filter cleaning product each time you change your water will increase the efficiency of your hot Tub Filters, help your pumps perform at their best and keep your water looking and feeling great!

Forest Spas stock two different types of cartridge cleaner.  Insta clean is a spray on filter cleaner, which works its magic in 5 - 10 Minutes, eliminating the need to find a huge bucket and soak filters overnight. Just spray all through the pleats of your filter, let it sit for 5 minutes and then hose off. 

"Cartridge Cleaner" is a more traditional Filter Cleaning product. Simply add half a bottle of Cartridge Cleaner to 10 litres of warm water, soak overnight and then rinse thoroughly. Both filter cleaning options have proven themselves to successfully remove grease, body oils, lotions, organics and scale from hot tub filters.


 Keep these things in mind when it comes to cleaning your Pleated Cartridge Filters:

* Avoid the use of laundry detergents & household cleaners - They can cause major foaming issues in your hot tubs water if you use them, and can also degrade your filter, meaning you will have to replace the filter or filters prematurely.

* Have a spare filter on hand - Having a spare filter so you can rotate them is a good idea. If you use regular Cartridge Cleaner, you can put your spare filter in the hot tub while your original filter is soaking overnight.

* Use a regular hose, not a power washer. The high water pressure of a power washer can damage the pleated filter material, and reduce the lifespan of your filters.

* Don't use bleach on your hot tub filters. Although it may seem to do a good job of cleaning them, it degrades and weakens the filter fibres and greatly decreases the life expectancy of your Hot Tubs filters. Bleach can also have a negative impact on the quality and clarity of your water once the filters are replaced in the hot tub.

Filters should be replaced before they become too worn out to avoid cloudy water, increased chemical usage and overworking or damaging your hot tub pumps.

Hot Tub Cover Maintenance


Hot tubs are the perfect place to de-stress after a long day — but only if they are kept in proper working order. The best way to protect your outdoor hot tub is with a well-maintained cover. Hot tub covers are essential to the longevity of your spa, keeping dirt and debris that can cause damage out of the water. In this article, we’re going to review the five simple steps to cleaning your hot tub cover.


Cleaning your cover every one to three months is a great way to both preserve your cover and protect your hot tub. Regular cleaning not only safeguards your cover from everyday wear and tear as well as the affects of Mother Nature, but it also prevents chemical damage and the growth of mould.


Now that you know why regular cleaning of your hot tub cover is so important, let’s look at how you can keep it in tip-top shape with these five easy steps:

Step 1

Remove the cover from your tub and lay it on a flat, smooth surface. Placing it near a hose, if possible, makes the cleaning process easier.

Step 2

Gently spray the underside of the cover to rinse away any hot tub chemicals that may have splashed its surface. Once dry, flip the cover over and use the hose to wash away leaves, grass or other debris. Make sure you keep water pressure moderate to avoid damaging the cover.

Step 3

Although the underside of your cover requires only a gentle rinse with the hose, the top will need a little more attention. Spray it with a vinyl cleaner recommended by the hot tub cover manufacturer or with a mild vinegar and water solution. Avoid using bleach, alcohol or household detergents, which can eat away at your cover’s UV protectant. Working in small sections with a cloth or a soft-bristled brush, use circular motions to gently scrub away dirt and grime.

Step 4

Once cleansing is complete, rinse the top of your cover well to remove all traces of the cleanser. Wipe it down with a soft, absorbent rag, microfiber cloth or towel and leave it to air dry.

Step 5

Once dry, use a quality UV vinyl protection spray across the entire surface of the cover. When used every three months, the spray offers effective protection from the damaging rays of the sun and can prevent the top of your cover from drying or cracking. Once the protection spray has dried, you can reattach the cover to your hot tub.

Bonus tip

Regularly check your cover for small rips and cracks and have them repaired immediately. Even tiny tears can leave a cover’s inner foam exposed to the elements and cause it to soak in moisture from rain. Eventually, your cover would become water logged, making it hard to lift and an easy target for the growth of bacteria.

Green water?

Don't panic, follow our simple steps below.

How to Fix Green Hot Tub Water 

Everyone knows a beautiful hot tub has clear water that is piping hot, bubbling, and ready for those aching feet and muscles. It’s not smelly, or cloudy, or foamy, and it’s definitely not green in colour.


So, if you open your hot tub cover and find the hue is anything less than crystal, there are a few reasons that could be happening. To maintain the best environment in a hot tub, many complex elements must be kept in balance: hardness, pH, alkalinity, temperature, etc. If any of these are out of order, your hot tub experience could be unpleasant.

Use Test Strips to Test Your Chemical Balance

For tackling green spa water, first test the water with test strips to see where the total chlorine or bromine, pH, alkalinity, and free chlorine levels are.

If you use a bromine system, make sure you’re testing for that, too. This is how you know what to adjust. Keeping these levels in appropriate ranges will help prevent unwanted effects like horrible smells, colours, scums, and more.

Once you’ve tested the water with test strips, you’ll know what adjustments you need to make to keep levels within the correct range.

Green and Slimy

If the water is green and the sides feel slimy, chances are you have algae in your water. Tackle algae with chlorine, shock, and cleaning the filter. 

Green and not slimy

If it’s green but the sides don’t feel slimy, it’s probably minerals such as copper or manganese present in the water and adding chlorine, shock, and cleaning the filter is also a good step to take in solving the problem.

High Usage

If you use the hot tub often, use a little more chlorine more often as frequent use can use up chlorine a little faster. Keep your filters clean and add appropriate shocks, sanitizers, and pH/Alkalinity increasers or decreasers as needed. Cleaning your filter more thoroughly with a cleaning agent will help prevent issues like this from popping up.

Last Resort: Drain the hot tub

If you’ve tried adding suggested chemicals to adjust the balance in your hot tub water and it’s still green in hue, it’s probably time to drain the whole thing, give the surface a good cleaning, and refill with fresh water. Draining and refilling is actually the solution for many hot tub issues if the levels get too out of whack. You’ll be able to enjoy a sparkling, refreshing, and healthy hot tub for many years by staying up to date with hot tub maintenance, and our customer service representatives are here to help.

Cloudy Water?

Don't panic, follow our simple steps below.

How to Fix Cloudy Hot Tub Water 

Cloudy water in your hot tub is probably one of the most common issues that hot tub owners suffer with. Hot tub water can quickly lose its clarity. Your water can quickly turn from being crystal clear to hazy and dull very quickly.

What is this cloudiness in my hot tub water?

The milky looking water is caused by suspended particles in the water giving the water it’s cloudy look. These particles are too small to touch and too small to get picked up in the filter, so they just pass straight through, staying in the water. These particles can be a variety of different substances:-

  • Insoluble matter

  • Organic debris

  • Cosmetics like lotions and moisturizers

  • Dead algae

In the majority of cases, the particles are introduced by the bather. If you consider that unlike a swimming pool a hot tub contains a very small quantity of water for each person. Ultimately there is a larger concentration of particles in the water which causes the cloudiness.

Why do I get cloudy hot tub water?

  • These particles that are suspended in the water could be different materials 

  • Environmental debris – Insoluble matter such as dust and dirt from the outside

  • Organic matter – this would come from the bather and can consist of different organic matter such as skin cells and body oils.

  • Other organic materials could be algae, but rare in a hot tub.

  • Man-made contamination – Again most likely introduced to the water from the bather, these could include cosmetics such as detergents, make-up, lotions and moisturizers. They have washed off the bather into the water.

  • Heavy usage and low sanitizer level.

Why doesn’t my hot tub filter clear the water?

It makes sense to think that all hot tubs will have some form of filtering system, so why don’t they remove these particles? Well, the main reason is that the particles are just too small for the filter to collect them. They just pass straight through the filter material and back out into the water again. Most filters will remove particles down about 5 -10 microns in diameter, which is still pretty small but to give you some idea a red blood cell is about 5 microns in diameter.

In addition, most hot tubs are designed with some form of by-pass plumbing to the filter which means that in some cases that not 100% of the water will pass through the filter. One reason for this system is that if the filter is blocked water can still circulate freely and not cause damage to any components.

How do I make my water clear again?

Empty and refill your hot tub

Have you tested your water chemistry? Firstly make sure your core levels are correct:-

  • Ph: 7.4 – 7.6

  • Total alkalinity: 100 – 150 ppm

  • Sanitizer: – Chlorine 3 – 5 ppm / Bromine 4 – 6 ppm

Having low sanitizer levels can cause cloudy water as there just isn’t enough ‘fuel in the tank’ to cope with the organic matter being introduced into the water.

Shock treatment

Probably the best way to treat cloudy water is by what’s commonly known as ‘shocking’ your water. Shocking your water will oxidize any organic matter. This means it will burn off the organic matter which is usually the most common form of contamination in hot tub water and turn it into a gas, therefore, removing it from the water. There are a variety of chemicals which will do this

  • Non-chlorine shock (preferred) – add 20g per 1000 liters of water (average hot tub is about 1500 liters) Remove hot tub cover and allow to circulate for up to an hour for full effect.

  • Chlorine granules – Increase your free chlorine level to 20 ppm and allow to circulate with the cover off.

  • Bromine granules – Increase your bromine level to 20 ppm and allow to circulate with the cover off.

The preferred treatment is a Non-chlorine shock as you will be able to use the hot tub after treating. By using chlorine or bromine granules, you will need to wait until the level naturally reduces to an acceptable level before using the hot tub again.


The filter in a hot tub is often overlooked. Your hot tub filter requires regular cleaning, a blocked filters mean that they aren’t doing their job properly, so make sure filters are rinsed regularly and treating with a filter cleaner periodically to remove oils and greases. New filters need fitting every 4 - 6 months.


A clarifier is a specialty water treatment. It works by coagulating the small particles in the water which are causing the cloudy water into larger particles. These particles are then large enough to get caught in the hot tub filter and therefore removes them from the water. When you use this treatment, make sure you rinse out your filters to remove the extra debris that has been taken out of your water.

How can I prevent getting cloudy water in my hot tub?

The best cure by far is prevention. By not introducing the contamination to the water then you will remove the possibility that you will get cloudy water, we suggest the following steps to reduce cloudy water

  • Shower before using hot tub (don’t use any soap, just rinse off in the water)

  • Don’t wash swimming costumes in detergent. Just rinse them in warm water after use

  • Clean filters regularly

  • Make sure your water chemistry is correct


Cloudy hot tub water is probably the most common issue experienced by hot tub owners. Caused by particles that cannot be removed by the filter alone. If you suffer from cloudy water we suggest the following steps:-

  • Drain and refill if you water is over 8 weeks old

  • Make sure your water chemistry is correct, especially sanitizer levels

  • Use a non-chlorine shock treatment or water clarifier

  • Clean out your filters

Hopefully, you have found this article informative and useful, and the suggestions have helped sort out your cloudy water problems. If you have any questions or comments about this article please feel free to contact us.

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