How to Clean Inflatable Hot Tubs in 10 Easy Steps [Guide]

By Dillon •  Updated: 01/13/21 •  11 min read

How to clean inflatable hot tubs?

To clean an inflatable hot tub the first step is to recognize the spa is dirty. Next, prepare the hot tub for cleaning and drain all the water. Clean the surface of the hot tub with a cloth and inspect for any damage. Rinse out the water lines, clean the cushions, and clean the hot tub filters. Finally, clean the spa cover, fill the spa with fresh water, and add chemicals.

Check out my list of high-quality hot tub products to help keep your hot tub clean and running great all year long!

My recommended product to help you test your hot tub or pool water for accurate pH, alkalinity, bromine, and chlorine readings is the AquaCheck Trutest Digital Reader.

Whether you’re pulling your inflatable hot tub out of storage after the wintertime or you’re getting ready for a hot tub party with friends and family, cleaning your inflatable hot tub is always a good idea to prevent problems.

In this article, we’ll go over 10 easy steps on how to clean inflatable hot tubs. Some of these steps include drainage, filter cleaning, and chemicals.

It’s important to keep your inflatable hot tub as clean as possible throughout the hot tub season to ensure people want to keep using the inflatable spa for years to come.

Let’s get started!

The 10 Steps on How to Clean Inflatable Hot Tubs

What are the steps to clean an inflatable hot tub?

  1. Recognizing the Inflatable Hot Tub is Dirty
  2. Prepare the Inflatable Hot Tub for Cleaning
  3. Draining the Inflatable Hot Tub
  4. Clean the Surface of the Inflatable Hot Tub
  5. Inspect the Inflatable Hot Tub
  6. Rinse out the Water Lines
  7. Clean the Inflatable Hot Tub Filters
  8. Clean the Cushions and Pillows
  9. Clean the Spa Cover
  10. Add Proper Chemicals

Step 1: Recognizing the Inflatable Hot Tub is Dirty

Preparing an inflatable hot tub for cleaning involves recognizing when it’s time to clean the hot tub and some signs to look for.

If the water appears tinted or has a strong chemical smell, then draining the spa water is necessary. Another sign is if the water has too much debris or dirt floating around, this could be a sign that the filters need to be cleaned.

Finally, if the water doesn’t feel comfortable, or the hot tub feels strange in any way then draining and cleaning the hot tub is probably the right thing to do. Always refer to your owner’s manual for instructions from the manufacturer.

By recognizing your hot tub is dirty, then taking the appropriate action will ensure your inflatable hot tub lasts for a long time.

Step 2: Prepare the Inflatable Hot Tub for Cleaning

The first and most important step in preparing your inflatable hot tub for cleaning is turning off the power to your hot tub. As you probably know, water and electricity don’t go well together. Also, ensure that nothing sharp or intrusive is in the way of you cleaning your inflatable hot tub. This might include plastic chairs, tables, heavy boxes, garden equipment. You wouldn’t want the hot tub to get damaged.

The next step is to remove any debris from the water such as dirt, leaves, or any hot tub accessory. Using a hot tub vacuum will suck up any debris that might be sitting on the floor of the hot tub. If you don’t have a hot tub vacuum then you might need to scoop out the debris by hand to ensure the drain doesn’t get plugged up.

The next important step is to remove the hoses from the spa pump, remove the filter housing and cartridges, and any chemical dispenser.

Make sure your clean-up area is safe and free of anything that can harm you or the hot tub.

Step 3: Draining the Inflatable Hot Tub

There are a couple of ways to drain an inflatable hot tub. You could use the drainage valve at the bottom of the hot tub, or you can use a sump pump to suck out the water.

In our opinion, the easiest and safest way to drain a hot tub is to use a sump pump. A simple little pump that will drain your hot tub within 30 minutes while allowing you to direct the water into a proper drain directed by your municipality.

Using a sump pump allows you to feed a hose into your house and drain the spa water into a kitchen sink for example. This is often the best way to dispose of spa water because of the chemicals that exist in the water.

However, you can also drain your inflatable spa using the drainage valve at the bottom of the hot tub. This uses the force of gravity to dispose of the water. The valve should be connected to a hose where you can then direct the spa water to a proper drain. You wouldn’t want to drain your inflatable hot tub in the same spot as the spa.

The inflatable hot tub should have come with a garden hose adapter for draining. If not, your local hardware store should have an adapter.

Our recommended choice for a submersible pump is the ¼ HP Thermoplastic Utility Pump from Superior Pump.

Step 4: Clean the Surface of the Inflatable Hot Tub

The step to cleaning your inflatable hot tub is to clean the surface of the spa, both inside and out.

Using a small towel with warm water on the inside and outside of the hot tub will remove most of the dirt and grime that’s leftover from the spa water. Doing this along with spraying the inflatable hot tub down with your hose will remove any extra chemicals that were left on the surface of the spa.

Spraying each air jet with a small amount of water should clear out any debris left inside each jet.

On the inside of the hot tub, ensure that the entire surface area, including the padded flooring, is properly wiped down with a towel. Try to not use a firm scrubbing brush as it could damage the outer material. Instead, use a soft scrubbing brush and a towel that isn’t too abrasive.

Sometimes if the hot tub has not been drained for longer than the recommended time, a water line will form around the inside of the hot tub. This water line can often stain the hot as it’s the concentration point for chemicals and oils in the water.

Another way to ensure your hot tub remains clean on a weekly basis is to use Leisure Time Control. This product removes stain and scale, water line buildup, and contains a sequestering agent to help prevent the buildup while also being gentle on your skin. You would use this product when refilling your inflatable spa and add it weekly to ensure the hot tub remains clean.

If the water line doesn’t easily come off with water, using Marine Multi-Surface Cleaner will easily and safely remove the waterline and any other stained water marks inside the hot tub. If that doesn’t work or is not available, a small amount of CLR with warm water will also remove the grime and scale.

Other products to help clean the inflatable spa include a water sponge to remove surface debris and oil.


wipe hot tub

Step 5: Inspect the Inflatable Hot Tub

The next step is to inspect the inflatable hot tub to ensure there is no damage to the inner and outer walls, the air jets, the pump, and the cushioned floor.

If there is a rip or other damage present, refer to the manufacture’s manual and warranty.

Also, readjust the inflatable hot tub into its proper position if it’s been moved in any way as well as the surface mat underneath the hot tub.

Step 6: Rinse out the Water Lines

The water lines inside an inflatable hot tub will also need to be rinsed out. The best way to do this is to simply fill the hot tub with water while also draining the water at the same time. This flushes out any remaining debris out of the water lines.

Sometimes the water lines might leave behind some debris, simply remove this debris with a cloth or small bucket and you should be good to go.

Step 7: Clean the Inflatable Hot Tub Filters

Hot tub filters are all relatively similar from one manufacturer to the next and it is incredibly important to keep them clean to ensure hygiene and cleanliness.

Simply remove the filter from the filter cartridge housing and wash it down with your garden hose.

Next, fill up a bucket of water that can hold the spa filter. A Home Depot bucket would do the trick. Proceed to put the filter in the bucket along with a generous amount of Leisure Time Filter Cleaner. Leisure Time filter cleaner will improve the lifetime of the filter and will remove body oil, suntan lotion, grease, and other organic material from the filter.

Keep the filter in this bucket of water overnight for best results.

Once the filter has been properly soaked, simply rinse it thoroughly and you are ready to go.

It’s a good idea to clean the filters at least once a month to ensure your spa water remains clean. Filters can make a huge difference to the quality of the spa water if they are properly cared for.

hot tub filter

Step 8: Clean the Cushions and Pillows

Having hot tub accessories as headrests and cushions are always nice to have. But keeping them clean is also important for the health of your hot tub.

Washing and rinsing these accessories at least once a month is the best practice.

Simply wipe them down with soap and water and thoroughly rinse them before putting them back into the hot tub.

Step 9: Clean the Spa Cover

Cleaning the cover of your inflatable hot tub is also an important part of ensuring your hot tub remains clean and hygienic.

When the cover for the hot tub is on the water steams leaving a film of chemicals on the bottom of the cover. When the water condenses, those chemicals get back into the water. Dust and other debris will also accumulate on the spa cover. So, it is important to brush it off from time to time.

When you clean your spa, simply wipe the cover with a warm cloth to remove any chemicals remaining on the surface of the hot tub.

One of the best things you can do to protect your spa cover from dust, bugs, debris, and UV rays from the sun is to use a liquid protectant. Black Dimond’s Stoneworks Ultimate Spa Hot Tub UV/Restore Cover Treatment for Vinyl and Plastic is a perfect product to ensure your spa cover remains intact during the hot tub season and for years to come.

Step 10: Add Proper Chemicals

Finally, you’re ready to fill your hot tub.

The best way to keep your hot tub clean is to ensure you have all the proper chemicals and products in place to keep your spa water clean.

Chlorine, PH balancer, and water softener are among some of the chemicals needed. Remember to always check with your owner’s manual and the manufacturer to make sure the water chemistry for the inflatable hot tub is correct.

Below is our recommendation for chlorine tablets.

Our recommendation for bromine tablets.

Our recommendation for a chlorine and bromine dispenser.

How to Clean an Inflatable Hot Tub Conclusion

how to clean inflatable hot tubs

The best way to keep your inflatable hot tub clean is to keep an eye on it and make sure you clean it at least once a month.

Doing this will ensure the longevity of your hot tub while also making it more usable and enjoyable during those crucial hot tubing months.

If you’re looking for a new affordable inflatable hot tub, check out our article!

I hope you found this article on how to clean inflatable hot tubs helpful.

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Dillon

I'm Dillon, creator of SpaToolKit.com. During the day I'm a software developer for an engineering company. At night I enjoy sitting in my hot tub and relaxing. My hope is that Spa Tool Kit will be a place where you can find the best information on hot tubs, spa equipment, setups, parts, and accessories. Let's get started!