How to Fix Hot Tub Foam: 4 Easy Steps [Best Guide]

By Dillon •  Updated: 02/16/21 •  10 min read

How to fix hot tub foam in my hot tub?

To fix hot tub foam, you must prevent total dissolved solids (TDS) from remaining in your hot tub. To do this, add 1 to 2 ounces of anti-foam solution to your spa and wait 24 hours for the water to clear. Next, ensure that the hot tub’s water chemistry is well balanced and enough sanitizer is present. Sanitizer levels should be between 1-3 PPM for chlorine or 2-6 PPM for bromine. The levels of pH should be between 7.2 and 7.6. Finally, ensure your hot tub filters are clean.

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.

We have prepared this article for you because we understand that hot tub foam is a common occurrence.

Read on to find out how you can fix the hot tub foam whenever it happens.

Let’s get started!

What Causes Hot Tub Foam in the Water?

Foaming in water occurs when specific products and contaminants are added to the spa water. Your hot tub water will foam if chemicals like laundry detergent, drinks, soap, makeup, deodorant, cosmetics, lotion, hair products, conditioners, and shampoo find a way into the hot tub.

When your hot tub water has low calcium levels, its surface tension decreases, paving the way to excessive foaming. The low levels of calcium mean the water is soft. Other than increasing the foaming effect, it can damage your hot tub’s equipment by corrosion. You can use test trips to regularly check the calcium levels in your hot tub for appropriate action. But this is not something that should raise much concern because the calcium levels (hardness) are mostly at a state of balance.

Check out this hot tub chemistry guide from swimuniversity.com for more details related to calcium levels and water hardness.

Leading Reasons Your Hot Tub Foams Up

The main reason that makes your hot tub water foam is the availability of the ingredients necessary for foaming. These include surfactants, air, and water itself. Water and air are not separable in a hot tub, but surfactants are because they are foreign compounds. Surfactants include any super-sticky molecules responsible for lowering the surface tension of the hot tub water. This eases the solubility of insoluble substances like oil and other organic contaminants.

No matter how keen you are on maintaining your hot tub’s chemistry, not checking the hot tub for a short period of time could still cause foaming. So you must be checking your hot tub every couple of days if no one is using the spa to make sure everything is ok with the spa water.

Here are three reasons why your hot tub might be foaming.

1. People Using the Hot Tub

People using the hot tub carry many body care products like shampoo, conditioner, makeup, lotion, hairspray, and deodorant into the hot tub. The more of these products there are in the hot tub, the more surfactants will build in your hot tub. Besides, the soap and detergents that people use in the hot tub increase the foaming possibility because they weaken the water’s surface tension. The hot tub users increase the chances of foaming because they increasingly add more surfactants into the water.

2. Beverages

It’s common to find it joyous when you take a glass of wine, a fancy tropical concoction, or beer as you soak after a long day of work or on the weekend. That’s not bad at all. It gives you the fulfillment and the experience you desired. But it would be best if you considered keeping the glass or bottle away from the hot tub. Spilling sugary or alcoholic beverages in the hot tub water causes foaming. Besides, it will create sticky messes on the sides of your hot tub that will give you troubles cleaning.

Check out our recommendation for hot tub drink holders!

3. Poor Water Chemistry

Your hot tub has a higher chance of foaming if many people use it. Every person who uses your hot tub leaves a lot of oils and dead skin in the water. No matter how much hot tub sanitizer you add, the sanitizer will eventually get overburdened and fail to work efficiently. You will start to experience hot tub foam issues because of the failing chemistry of the added sanitizers.

How to Prevent Hot Tub Foam

There are various measures you can take to prevent foaming in a hot tub.

We’ll discuss 5 ways to prevent it from happening here.

1. Showering Before Using the Hot Tub

One of the primary actions is to shower before using the hot tub. Showering is a common practice that prevents carrying sweat, dirt, deodorants, perfumes, oils, and colognes into the hot tub.

Even if you’re not the kind of person who wears many products on your body, it won’t hurt to take a quick shower because sweating and dead skin could still affect your hot tub water chemistry.

2. Rinsing your Swimsuit with Freshwater

It’s good to ensure you rinse and clean your bathing suits regularly before using them. You should also note that even the freshly washed and dried bathing suits from the washing machines are not safe because they are loaded with detergents. It’s always good to rinse your bathing suits with fresh water and allow them dry.

3. Using Superior Chemicals

Experts recommend the use of high-quality chemicals from trusted and renowned sources. Using inferior chemicals or too many chemicals can cause foaming.

Low-quality chemicals are usually cheap for a reason. For instance, they include less active ingredients and fillers that reduce their value and efficiency. Although you could save on the purchase prices, you’ll be required to apply a lot more chemicals into the hot tub water to get the right balance; this increases the possibility of foaming.

Below is our recommendation for chlorine tablets.

Our recommended choice for bromine tablets.

Our recommended choice for a chlorine and bromine dispenser.

4. Using Chlorine Free Spa Shock

You can prevent foamy hot water tub by using Chlorine Free Spa Shock. The compound is free of smells, chemicals and will help in oxidizing your hot tub water. The hot tub foam is removed by breaking down the lotions, body oils, deodorants, hair products, perfumes, colognes, and creams, among other chemical compounds left behind in the hot tub. The frequency of using the hot tub will determine the amount of hot tub shock that is applied each week.

Check out our complete guide on shocking your hot tub for more information.

We recommended Hot Tub Things Oxidizing Spa Shock for non-chlorine spa shock.

5. Advanced Filtration Technology

Buying hot tubs with an advanced filtration system is also crucial in preventing hot tub foam. The filtration system is one of the most critical factors you should check when buying a hot tub. Some of the best hot tubs include Dynamic Flow Circulation Pump and ClearRay UV-C Water Purification System.

Consider Using a Water Care Monitor

Monitoring the health of your hot tub can often be challenging if you are not testing the water on a regular basis. This can also be a problem if you go on holiday or you are unable to take care of your hot tub due to mobility issues.

The pHin Smart Water Care Monitor for pools, hot tubs, and inflatable spas continuously tests the water and alerts you when to add chemicals with the integrated mobile app.

The mobile app will inform you when to add chemicals such as chlorine, and how much chemical is recommended. This is done by entering your hot tub or pool’s unique dimensions.

Simply scan the bar code of any chemical brand and the pHin app will calculate how much chemical is to be added to the water. Most products and brands are recognized by the application.

The pHin device will sample water more than 1000 times per week to give you an accurate reading compared to using test strips.

The pHin device works with different water types including chlorine, bromine, and saltwater hot tubs, swim spas, inflatable hot tubs, and pools.

This unique device comes with a lifetime warranty to ensure your water remains clear and ready for you to use at all times.

How to Fix Hot Tub Foam

Removing the foam from your hot tub water is not a complicated activity. Instead, it will take you a few simple steps and procedures to get everything right again.

The four steps how to fix hot tub foam:

  1. Test Your Water
  2. Add Foam Treatment Chemicals
  3. Drain and Refill the Hot Tub
  4. Keep Your Filters Clean

1. Test Your Water

The first thing you do before getting rid of the hot tub foam is to check the water chemistry using a test strip. The strip will help you check the surfactants (total dissolved solids), alkalinity, sanitizer, and pH levels. It is also good to check the calcium levels because low calcium levels increase foaming and corrosion. If these levels are out of the required averages, you could consider draining the hot tub and starting it again.

We recommend these water test strips from JNW Direct Pool and Spa to test your water.

2. Add Foam Treatment Chemicals

You also have the option to buy and add anti-foam chemicals.

Add 1 to 2 ounces of anti-foam solution to your spa and wait 24 hours for the water to clear.

We recommend the Pool & Spa Anti Foam Defoamer to clear foam from your spa!

Anti-foams are effective in removing hot tub foam. The method is more straightforward and quicker, thus, very effective when you want to have a hot tub party.

3. Drain and Refill the Hot Tub

Draining and refilling the hot tub are among the most effective methods you can use to eliminate the foam. The recommended duration it should take to drain and refill your hot tub is 3 to 4 months. But depending on the status of your hot tub, this procedure can be carried out more often.

Check out our full guide on how to drain a hot tub for more information.

4. Keep Your Filters Clean

A high concentration of surfactants in your hot tub water may require you to line flush and replace the filters. Filters play an important role in preventing the hot tub foaming. Thus, ensuring that your hot tub is working with clean filters will help stop foaming.

Check out our full article on how to clean hot tub filters for more information.

Our recommendation for larger filters is Guardian Pool/Spa filters.

Our recommendation for the smaller filters is Intex filters for inflatable hot tubs.

How to Fix Hot Tub Foam: Conclusion

how to fix hot tub foam

We have seen that hot tub foam is a common problem that you experience with your hot tub. The factors that contribute to the problem are the surfactants and low calcium levels. Surfactants such as oils, dead skin from our bodies, makeup, and other beauty and personal care products we apply on our skin.

Alcoholic and sugary products like soda or beer will also increase foaming. But the good news is that we can prevent and eliminate foaming.

The prevention methods include showering, rinsing your swimsuit with fresh water, and using superior chemicals. You can also prevent foaming by using Chlorine Free Spa Shock, regularly opening your hot tub cover, and using advanced Filtration Technology.

The available treatment methods include testing your water, using anti-foam chemicals, cleaning the filters, and draining and refilling. Use any of the available methods to prevent and remove hot tub foam for a fulfilling and relaxed time with your hot tub.

We hope you found this article about hot tub foam 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!