Hot Tub Etiquette

Hot Tub Etiquette: How Not to Be That Bather

Hot tubbing with friends can make for an enjoyable time. Unfortunately, it can also lead to awkward situations if you forget to specify the rules. Spa etiquette depends on the owner’s preferences, so inform invited bathers of your own. For reference, here are some common dos and don’ts in the tub.


Give your guests notice if you plan on bathing without a suit. Doing so allows those uncomfortable with nudity to decline the invitation. Likewise, if you prefer all guests to cover themselves, say so ahead of time. Otherwise, a friend or two might arrive unprepared.


Unless you have towels to spare, ask guests to bring their own. You never know if your detergent will irritate a friend’s skin anyway. Worse, supplying towels could leave you with hours of laundry!


A hot tub, although warm and bubbly, is not a bath. So don’t treat it as one. Ask everyone to rinse their bathing suits and any excessive perfume or deodorant. As well, if someone has an open cut, ask him or her to sit on the ledge. Open sores can get infected and spread bacteria in the water.

Food and Drink

Warm water accentuates the effects of alcohol—so serve responsibly. Conversely, food is easily dropped and such a mess can be a pain to clean. Refrain from eating in the hot tub to avoid dirtying the water.


Jets feel good, but they also circulate the water. If you choose to sit near one, don’t block the stream. In the least, share your spot if it’s more jet accessible than other seats.


Unless everyone in the tub smokes, make it a rule not to light up. Second-hand smoke is dangerous and discourteous. Not to mention, ash contaminates the water while discarded butts litter the ground.

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