Spas and pools are notorious for being difficult to maintain and keep clean. Water eventually goes putrid if not properly cared for, and dirty water is not only an eyesore, but it also smells bad and is bad for your health. SpaMate wants to help you keep the water in your hot tub crystal clear with a few tips.

#1. Buy a Sanitizer

While the look of the water in your hot tub is important, it is even more important that you don’t have bacteria growing in the water. To prevent the growth of bacteria, some of which can be very harmful, you should use a sanitizer in your spa water.

Both bromine and chlorine are excellent options for sanitizing the water in your hot tub. You will only need to pick one to keep your tub clear, and if you have a floater for the chemicals, the tablets you use will usually contain a little bit of each chemical.

Chlorine is known for its strong smell, which is why many people decide to go with bromine. Chlorine can be purchased in granules that you place directly into the water or in tablets that are distributed via a floater. Bromine is available in tablet-form, which you will need a floater to distribute into the water safely.

You should be testing the level of chlorine or bromine in your water to make sure that the levels are high enough to keep the water bacteria-free, but not too high. Chlorine should stay between 2 and 3 ppm, while bromine needs to stay between 3 and 5 ppm.

#2. Test Your Water

Nobody said owning a hot tub would be an easy job. You need to stay on top of the water in your hot tub to keep it safe. You should be testing the chemicals in your water approximately three times a week to make sure the sanitizer level is appropriate.

It doesn’t end there, however. You also need to test the pH level of your water. The proper pH level is between 7.2 and 7.6. If the pH of your water is too high or too low, you will need to make adjustments. If pH levels are too high, it can cause cloudy water and scaling. If the pH level is too low, you risk causing corrosion in your spa equipment, which can be costly to replace.

You can purchase spa test strips that make it easy to test the chemical, pH, and alkalinity levels of the water in your spa. Alkalinity and pH balancers can also help you keep your spa water safe and clean.

#3. Clean and Replace Filters

The water filters in your spa do a lot to keep the water clean and clear, and they need a little TLC from you to keep up the hard work. SpaMate recommends that you clean your filters with a hose at least once a week. Every month, your filter will probably need a good overnight soak in a filter cleaner. Since you can’t run your hot tub without a filter, SpaMate recommends having two filters at all times.

If you notice that your filter is starting to turn dark gray or black, you need to replace it. Any fraying will also require replacement. Fraying means that your filter can no longer keep contaminants out of the spa water, as they can slip through damaged places. You should expect to have to replace your filter at least once a year.

#4. Shock the Water

No matter how hard you try to keep the water clean, you will still need to shock the water in your spa at least once every week or two if you are consistently using the tub. If you don’t use the hot tub for an extended period of time, you should use a shocking treatment on it before stepping in.

Each shocking agent may have different instructions for how long you should wait before you enter the hot tub, so plan ahead for your spa shocking. SpaMate Recommends Leisure Time’s Renew Shock, which only takes 15 minutes to filter through your water.

#5. Keep it Covered

Invest in a spa cover to keep debris from falling into your hot tub when you aren’t using it. While you are likely to have leaves, bugs, and other junk fall into the spa while you use it, you will be able to prevent a lot of debris from entering the water if you just cover the hot tub when it isn’t in use. Your filters will thank you, too.

#6. Drain the Water

There comes a point when your only option is to start over with fresh water. When you need to drain your water, consider using some sort of filter (it can be as simple as pantyhose) to catch all the gunk as it goes through the system to keep debris out of the tub or the water filter.

Before you refill the tub, you should clean the shell of the hot tub. Allow the hot tub to dry and then use only chemicals that are made for hot tubs to clean it. You should even clean off the hot tub cover to make sure that nothing will fall off the cover into your newly replaced water.

If you ever have water in the tub for more than three months, you should drain it. Leaving water in the tub that long makes it unsanitary, and pouring chemicals in it is more of a waste any anything else.

SpaMate encourages all spa owners to keep their hot tubs and the water inside clean and sanitary to prevent any infections or illnesses. If you are in the market for new filters, chemicals, or any other item on this list, be sure to check out SpaMate’s full selection of products.