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How to Prepare Your Hot Tub for the Summer

How to Prepare Your Hot Tub for the Summer

As the warmer months approach, many hot tub owners look forward to enjoying their outdoor oasis even more. Whether you use your hot tub for relaxation, hydrotherapy, or socializing, preparing it for the summer season ensures that it remains in top condition and provides the best experience. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps to get your hot tub ready for summer, covering everything from cleaning and maintenance to water care and safety tips.o.

Clean the Exterior

Before tackling more detailed maintenance tasks, start by thoroughly cleaning your hot tub’s exterior. Over time, dirt, pollen, and other debris can accumulate on the surface, detracting from its appearance and potentially causing damage.

Steps to Clean the Exterior:

  • Remove Debris: Use a soft brush or cloth to gently remove any loose dirt and debris from the hot tub’s shell.
  • Wash the Surface: Mix a solution of mild detergent and water, and use a soft cloth or sponge to clean the exterior. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbers, as they can damage the surface.
  • Rinse and Dry: Rinse the hot tub thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue, then dry it with a soft to
A man cleaning his hot tub

Inspect and Clean the Cover

Your hot tub cover plays a crucial role in maintaining water temperature and keeping debris out. Regular inspection and cleaning will help extend its lifespan and ensure it functions effectively.

Steps to Inspect and Clean the Cover:

  • Remove the Cover: Carefully remove the cover and lay it flat on a clean, dry surface.
  • Inspect for Damage: Check for any signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, tears, or waterlogging. If you find significant damage, consider replacing the cover.
  • Clean the Cover: Use a mild detergent and water solution to clean both sides of the cover. Avoid using harsh chemicals that could damage the material.
  • Condition the Cover: Apply a vinyl conditioner to the cover to help protect it from UV rays and prevent cracking.

Drain and Refill the Hot Tub

Draining and refilling your hot tub is essential to maintaining water quality. Over time, the water can become saturated with dissolved solids, making it harder to balance the chemicals.

Steps to Drain and Refill the Hot Tub:

  • Turn Off the Power: Ensure the hot tub is powered off before draining.
  • Drain the Water: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to drain the hot tub. Most models have a drain valve or a sump pump for this purpose.
  • Clean the Shell: Once drained, clean the interior surfaces with a non-abrasive cleaner designed for hot tubs. Rinse thoroughly to remove any cleaning residue.
  • Refill the Hot Tub: Refill the hot tub with fresh water, following the manufacturer’s guidelines for the correct water level.
  • Turn On the Power: Once refilled, turn the power back on and allow the water to circulate.

Clean and Inspect the Filters

Filters are vital for maintaining clean and clear water in your hot tub. Regular cleaning and inspection will help ensure they function properly and extend their lifespan.

Steps to Clean and Inspect the Filters:

  • Remove the Filters: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to safely remove the filters from the hot tub.
  • Rinse the Filters: Use a garden hose to rinse the filters, removing any debris and buildup. Avoid using high-pressure nozzles that could damage the filter media.
  • Deep Clean the Filters: As recommended by the manufacturer, soak the filters in a filter-cleaning solution. This helps to remove any deep-seated contaminants.
  • Inspect for Damage: Check the filters for signs of wear or damage, such as tears or fraying. Replace any damaged filters.
  • Reinstall the Filters: Once clean and dry, reinstall the filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Hot Tub Filters

Balance the Water Chemistry

Proper water chemistry is crucial for your hot tub’s health and its users’ comfort. Balancing the water involves adjusting the pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels to their optimal ranges. We have a free downloadable guide to help ensure your hot tub is perfectly balanced, providing a safe and relaxing experience all summer. 

Steps to Balance the Water Chemistry:

  • Test the Water: Use a reliable test kit or test strips to measure the pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels.
  • Adjust Alkalinity: Begin by adjusting the total alkalinity to the recommended range (usually 80-120 ppm). Use an alkalinity increaser or decreaser as needed.
  • Adjust pH Levels: Once the alkalinity is balanced, adjust the pH to the optimal range (typically 7.4-7.6). Use a pH increaser or decreaser as necessary.
  • Sanitize the Water: Ensure the sanitizer (chlorine or bromine) levels are within the recommended range. This helps to keep the water clean and free of harmful bacteria.
  • Shock the Water: Periodically shock the hot tub water to break down organic contaminants and maintain clarity. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct dosage.
PH sticks

Check and Maintain the Equipment

The various components of your hot tub, such as pumps, heaters, and jets, require regular inspection and maintenance to ensure their efficient operation.

Steps to Check and Maintain the Equipment:

  • Inspect the Pumps and Heaters: Look for signs of leaks, unusual noises, or decreased performance. If you notice any issues, consult the manufacturer’s troubleshooting guidelines or contact a professional for repairs.
  • Clean the Jets: Jets can become clogged with debris and mineral buildup over time. Use a jet cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and water to clean the jets.
  • Check for Leaks: Inspect the plumbing connections and seals for any signs of leaks. Tighten any loose connections and replace any damaged seals.

Update Your Hot Tub Accessories

Summer is the perfect time to refresh your hot tub accessories and ensure they are in good condition. This includes steps, handrails, and any additional features you may have.

Steps to Update Your Hot Tub Accessories:

  • Clean and Inspect Accessories: Clean all accessories with a mild detergent and water solution. Inspect for any signs of wear or damage, and replace any items that are no longer safe or functional.
  • Add New Accessories: Consider adding new accessories to enhance your hot tub experience, such as waterproof pillows, floating drink holders, or LED lighting.

To learn more about hot tub accessories, check out our article “Top 10 Best Hot Tub Accessories 2024.”

Prepare the Surrounding Area

The area around your hot tub contributes to the overall enjoyment and safety of your hot tub experience. Take some time to spruce up the surroundings and create a relaxing atmosphere.

Steps to Prepare the Surrounding Area:

  • Clean the Deck or Patio: Sweep and clean the deck or patio area around your hot tub. Remove any debris, dirt, or stains.
  • Check for Hazards: Ensure no tripping hazards or sharp objects are near the hot tub. This is especially important if you have children or pets.
  • Add Comfortable Seating: Arrange comfortable seating options, such as outdoor chairs or loungers, to create a welcoming space for relaxation.
  • Enhance Privacy: Consider adding privacy screens, fences, or plants to create a more secluded and intimate hot tub area.
A backyard hot tub

Keeping Your Hot Tub Cool in the Summer

In the summer, high ambient temperatures can cause your hot tub’s water to overheat, making it uncomfortable and unsafe to use. Here are some tips to keep your hot tub at the proper temperature:

Tips to Keep Your Hot Tub Cool:

  • Adjust the Thermostat: Lower the thermostat setting on your hot tub to maintain a cooler water temperature. You may even set it to the lowest setting or turn off the heater completely.
  • Use a Floating Thermometer: Place a floating thermometer in the water to monitor the temperature accurately. This will help you ensure the water stays within a comfortable range.
  • Run the Jets Without the Heater: Running the jets without the heater can help circulate the water and cool it down. Doing this in the early morning or late evening when the ambient temperature is lower can be especially effective.
  • Partially Drain and Refill with Cold Water: If the water is too warm, consider partially draining the hot tub and refilling it with cold water to lower the overall temperature.
  • Keep the Cover Off: When the hot tub is not in use, keep the cover off during the cooler parts of the day or overnight to allow heat to escape.
  • Install a Shade Structure: As mentioned earlier, a shade structure can help reduce the amount of direct sunlight hitting the hot tub, thus keeping the water cooler.
  • Add Ice Packs: In extreme cases, you can add ice packs or frozen water bottles to the hot tub to quickly bring down the temperature.

Sun Protection for Hot Tubs

Exposure to direct sunlight can cause damage to your hot tub over time. UV rays can degrade the material of the hot tub shell and cover, leading to cracks and fading. Here are some tips to protect your hot tub from sun damage:

Steps for Sun Protection:

  • Use a Cover: Always keep your hot tub covered when not in use. A high-quality cover with UV protection will help shield your hot tub from the sun’s rays.
  • Install a Shade Structure: Consider installing a pergola, gazebo, or shade sail over your hot tub area. This will provide continuous shade and protect your hot tub from direct sunlight.
  • Apply UV Protectant: Use a UV protectant spray on your hot tub cover and shell. This can help prevent fading and degradation caused by UV exposure.
  • Position Strategically: If possible, position your hot tub in a shaded area of your yard. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight for prolonged periods.
A Hot Tub in the Shade

Establish a Summer Maintenance Routine

Maintaining your hot tub throughout the summer requires regular attention and care. Establishing a maintenance routine will help you keep your hot tub in peak condition all season.

Steps to Establish a Summer Maintenance Routine:

  • Daily Maintenance: Check the water chemistry and temperature daily. Remove any debris from the water surface.
  • Weekly Maintenance: Clean the filters, test and adjust the water chemistry, and inspect the hot tub cover.
  • Monthly Maintenance: Drain and refill the hot tub if needed, deep clean the filters, and inspect the equipment for any issues.

Safety Tips for Summer Hot Tub Use

Safety should always be a priority when using your hot tub, especially during summer when usage may increase. For more information on safety, see our articles “Soaking in a Hot Tub: How Long is Just Right?”Why Can’t Pregnant Women Get In The Hot Tub?” “What to Know Before Investing in a Hot Tub” and “Why are Hot Tub Covers Important?”

Safety Tips:

  • Hydrate: Drink plenty of water before and after using the hot tub to stay hydrated.
  • Limit Soak Time: Avoid prolonged exposure to hot water. Limit your soak time to 15-30 minutes, especially in high temperatures.
  • Monitor Water Temperature: Keep the water temperature below 104°F (40°C) to prevent overheating.
  • Supervise Children: Always supervise children in or around the hot tub.
  • Avoid Alcohol: Refrain from consuming alcohol while using the hot tub, as it can increase the risk of dehydration and accidents.
  • Use a Cover: Always cover the hot tub when not in use to maintain water cleanliness and prevent accidents.

Eco-Friendly Hot Tub Practices

Being mindful of the environment can enhance your hot tub experience and reduce your ecological footprint.

Eco-Friendly Practices:

  • Energy-Efficient Equipment: Consider upgrading to energy-efficient pumps, heaters, and lighting to reduce energy consumption.
  • Water Conservation: Be mindful of water usage by maintaining proper water chemistry and minimizing the need for frequent refills.
  • Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products: Use biodegradable and eco-friendly cleaning products to reduce environmental impact.

Contacting a Professional

While the owner can handle many hot tub maintenance tasks, there are times when it’s best to consult a professional. Professional technicians have the expertise and tools to handle complex issues and ensure your hot tub is in optimal condition.

When to Contact a Professional:

  • Persistent Water Quality Issues: If you consistently struggle with balancing water chemistry or maintaining clear water.
  • Equipment Malfunctions: For issues with pumps, heaters, or jets that you can’t resolve through basic troubleshooting.
  • Leak Detection and Repair: To accurately locate and fix leaks that could cause significant damage if left untreated.
  • Routine Professional Maintenance: Scheduling regular professional maintenance can help prevent major problems and extend the lifespan of your hot tub.
A professional Hot Tub Maintenance

Storing Your Hot Tub During the Summer

If you plan to store your hot tub during the summer, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure it remains in good condition while not in use. Proper storage will help prevent damage and make it easier to set up again when you’re ready to use it.

Steps for Storing Your Hot Tub:

  • Drain the Water: Completely drain the hot tub to prevent any standing water from causing mold, mildew, or freeze damage.
  • Clean Thoroughly: Clean the interior surfaces and filters thoroughly to remove any dirt, debris, or chemical residue.
  • Dry Completely: Ensure the hot tub is completely dry before covering it. Any remaining moisture can lead to mold and mildew growth.
  • Protect the Plumbing: Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove any remaining water from the plumbing lines. Add antifreeze to the plumbing if recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Cover Securely: Use a high-quality cover to protect the hot tub from dust, debris, and pests. Ensure the cover is securely fastened to prevent it from blowing off.
  • Store Indoors if Possible: If you can, store the hot tub indoors in a dry, cool place. If outdoor storage is the only option, ensure it is in a shaded area and protected from the elements.
  • Check Periodically: Periodically check on the stored hot tub to ensure the cover remains secure, and there are no signs of damage or pests.


Preparing your hot tub for the summer involves a combination of cleaning, maintenance, and safety practices. By following these steps, you can ensure that your hot tub remains in excellent condition and provides a safe, enjoyable experience throughout the warmer months. Whether you’re soaking alone or hosting a hot tub party, taking the time to prepare your hot tub properly will pay off in a summer filled with relaxation and fun.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, don’t hesitate to contact Love’s Hot Tubs. We are here to help you with all your hot tub needs. Additionally, we offer a concise version of this guide in PDF form for free on our website. Visit our site to download your copy and ensure your hot tub is ready for a fantastic summer.

References and Additional Information

“Hot Tub and Spa Maintenance and Supplies” Written by Alden Smith and Reviewed by H.R.Helm from Do It Yourself.

“How to Drain a Hot Tub” Written by Chris Nickson and Reviewed by Charles Ramos, Jr. from Do It Yourself.

“How to Clean a Hot Tub” By Jessica Kielman from Huner

“Operating and Managing Public Pools, Hot Tubs and Splash Pads” By CDC