Is Your Hot Tub Water Foamy? Here’s What You Should Know

Clean, clear water is the expectation whenever you get into your hot tub. But what if instead of beautifully clear, warm water, you’re greeted with foamy hot tub water? If there’s no discoloration, you may be tempted to dismiss it and climb in anyway. Before you do, there are some things you should know.


Hot tub foam can look like soap bubbles covering the top of the water or it can turn the surface of your hot tub water a cloudy white. Common causes of hot tub foam include the presence of personal care products like lotion, laundry detergent, and makeup; a chemical imbalance caused by cheap chemicals, poor mixing, low water calcium content, or an alkaline water pH; dead skin cells and body oils from regular use; and contamination via spilling food or drink into the water. All of this boils down to the water not being properly cleaned, or cleaned frequently enough.


If the problem is that the water hasn’t been cleaned well, then it follows that the solution to foamy hot tub water is to clean it. Test your water so you know where to start. Add the appropriate chemicals to balance the water’s pH as needed. Remember to thoroughly clean the filters too. If that doesn’t fix the problem, drain, clean, and rinse the tub. Use a hose filter when refilling the tub to eliminate as many contaminants as possible. Then test the water, add chemicals as needed, and circulate the water for 24 hours. Retest and repeat as needed until you have a good test that indicates that you can safely use the hot tub again.


Preventing your hot tub water from getting foamy isn’t hard. Start by setting some ground rules. Have everyone rinse off before getting into your hot tub. Keep food and beverages away from the water to prevent spills. In addition to the rules, put a water cleaning schedule in place. Sanitize the water weekly and after heavy use. Remember to shock it periodically as well.

When the weather is cold and you just want to warm up or it’s been a long day and nothing sounds better than a nice, relaxing soak in your hot tub, the last thing you want to see is foamy hot tub water. If your hot tub water is foamy, your soak is going to have to wait. Address the problem first so you can enjoy your hot tub safely.

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