When neglected, a hot tub becomes a petri dish, wherein microbes multiply ferociously. Consequently, the spa becomes contaminated and unsafe to use. Sometimes microbes produce odours or biofilm—grime floating on the surface or lining the plumbing. At other times, they are harder to detect.
Microbes find the warmth and moisture of a spa attractive. But we must repel them any way we can for our own health and hygiene. When bathing, our pores open wider than usual, leaving our bodies susceptible to infection.
A Warning on Hot Tub Folliculitis
Commonly, an untreated hot tub produces a rash similar that an old wet bathing suit leaves. The condition, hot tub folliculitis, characterized by inflamed hair particles, arises in two ways:
- The hot tub exceeds its normal capacity and the sanitizer dissipates;
- The hot tub maintains inadequate chemical levels, allowing bacteria to thrive.
The longer microbes live and breed, the higher the risk of infection. For this reason, we must learn to detect and treat unsanitized water.
Shocking, Balancing, and Sanitizing Hot Tub Water
Hot tub manufacturers make testing chemical levels easy. You can buy strips that identify imbalances and suggest remedies. Interestingly, such strips are not always necessary. If you sniff the water, you can smell sourness when microbes are at work. Of course, we can’t always rely on our noses as an effective measure against bacteria!
Steps for Eliminating Spa Bacteria
- Drain and replenish the hot tub with fresh water
- Disinfect all surfaces, filters, chemical feeders, and plumbing
- Wipe the inside spa cover thoroughly
- Add bromine or chorine, using test strips to balance the chemicals and adjust the PH and alkalinity levels
Note: To fight bacteria further, encourage all bathers to shower before use. As well, avoid bathing with open wounds; this might contribute to the problem.