Can I Clean My Hot Tub With Vinegar?

By Calvin | Last Updated: June 17, 2021 | Maintenance / Cleaning

Vinegar is one of those all-purpose cleaning products that just about everyone has at home. From taking care of stubborn stains on ceramics to removing pesky stains on floors, vinegar can do it all. But can you use vinegar to clean your hot tub? Here is what I found out:

Yes, you can use vinegar to clean hot tubs. Vinegar is an acetic acid which means it can be used to clean the hot tub without any side effects later on. But, you need the right type of vinegar for your hot tub.

So, what type of vinegar is the best to use on hot tubs, and what are the benefits of cleaning your hot tub with vinegar? Let’s dive into detail to discover more.

I clean everything with vinegar. But, can I clean my hot tub with vinegar? Yes, I can. Vinegar is an acetic acid and it can be used to clean the hot tub.

Is It Safe to Clean a Hot Tub With Vinegar?

It is safe to clean your hot tub with vinegar. Most people get confused when it comes to using vinegar in hot tubs. This is because it is assumed that vinegar is an acid that can cause corrosion on the shell, jets, and filters of the hot tub.

While vinegar is an acid, it doesn’t pose any threat to you or your hot tub. Vinegar is an acetic acid which is a fancy way of saying soft acid. As an acetic acid, vinegar can be mixed with water and alcohol, it is colorless, it can’t cause corrosion, and it is safe around people and pets.

Using vinegar to clean your hot tub isn’t only safe, it also has tons of advantages. For instance, vinegar can help to prevent clogs in the hot tub plumbing lines and jets.

The ingredient in vinegar makes it difficult for biofilm to accumulate in the lines of the hot tub. But this is just one benefit of using vinegar to clean your hot tub. Let’s check out more below.

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Why Should You Use Vinegar to Clean Your Hot Tub?

Using vinegar to clean your hot tub has a lot of benefits. For starters,

It Prevents Biofilm and Scum in Your Plumbing Line

As you use the hot tub, the residue from your body like sweat is released into the water along with several other contaminants. These contaminants accumulate over time and can block the lines in your hot tub.

Vinegar prevents this by breaking down these contaminants before they solidify enough to clog your hot tub’s plumbing lines. You should note that vinegar can only prevent these contaminants from accumulating to form a nasty case of biofilm.

If you suspect that there is already biofilm in the plumbing lines of your hot tub, you should use a stronger solvent like a line flush or diluted bleach to clear out the biofilm.

This is because vinegar is not strong enough to clean the biofilm in the plumbing lines. Vinegar is more of a preventive option.

Vinegar Eliminates Bacteria

Vinegar is also known as acetic acid can kill bacteria in the hot tub. In case you didn’t know, your hot tub houses a host of different bacteria especially if the water chemistry is off or if the hot tub is dirty.

But, using vinegar to clean the hot tub will get rid of these bacteria. Vinegar is usually used as a disinfectant to get rid of germs including bacteria. So in addition to keeping your hot tub clean, vinegar also protects it from germs.

Vinegar Doesn’t Damage Your Hot Tub

Unlike strong acids and cleaning solutions like bleach, vinegar doesn’t pose any threat to your hot tub’s life or functioning. Using vinegar in the hot tub is safe. It would not corrode the jets or discolor the shell of the hot tub. Even the delicate fabric used in the hot tub filters is safe with vinegar.

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Vinegar Is Safe

While there are different products that you can clean your hot tub with, not all these products are safe to use. Some release toxic fumes when used and others can even cause some sort of skin irritation or breathing difficulties.

Vinegar on the other hand is very safe to use. You can even mix vinegar with water. It’s a soft acid so it doesn’t have any dangerous effects like corrosion or bleaching. If there is anything unsafe from vinegar, it is the stain and bacteria in your hot tub.

Vinegar Cleans Well

Talk about saving the best for last. Vinegar is a very effective cleaning agent. The acetic acid in the vinegar breaks down dust particles and grime that may have accumulated on the hot tub shell. The vinegar breaks down the grime and makes it water-soluble so it is easier to remove.

Easy to Use

Vinegar is also very easy to use. If you want to clean your hot tub with vinegar, you can use it directly or choose to mix it with water first.

You can’t say the same for many other cleaning agents. You can even pour some vinegar on tough stains and leave it there for about 30 minutes. Vinegar is user-friendly and you don’t need any protective clothing or nose mask to use the cleaning agent. It even produces a fragrant smell.

Another benefit of using vinegar to clean a hot tub is that it is readily available. If you don’t have it at home, you can get it in any convenience store. Vinegar is also affordable but there are various brands and products. So what type of vinegar is the best to use on hot tubs? Let’s find out.

How to Clean a Hot Tub With Vinegar

Cleaning a hot tub with vinegar is easy but you will need the following tools to do that.

Now let’s go on with the task.

Drain the Hot Tub

The first thing to do is to drain your hot tub. By draining the hot tub first, you will be able to reach every part of the hot tub shell. To drain the tub, start by switching off the hot tub.

You can switch off the hot tub using the control panel but the best way to be sure the hot tub isn’t on is to turn off the GFCI breaker.

Then locate the drain valve and open it so the water can escape. You can also use a sump pump to remove any water left in the hot tub after draining it.

Remove and Clean the Filters

To remove the hot tub filters, start by locating where they are positioned. Then turn the filters in an anti-clockwise direction and pull them out. Depending on how dirty the filters are, you can just rinse the filters in clean water or use a filter cleaner. You can also take out the jets and clean them if necessary.

Related Read >>> How to Clean Hot Tub Filters?

Mix White Vinegar With Water

Mix an equal amount of white vinegar and water in a bucket. Then use a stick to stir the mixture for a few seconds so there is no lump inside it. After this, allow the mixed solution to sit for about 20 minutes.

Before you clean the hot tub. You have to mix the vinegar with water.

Clean the Shell of the Hot Tub

Using the mixed solution, you can now clean the shell of the hot tub. You can pour a bit of the solution into a spray bottle and use that to clean or you can just soak a few rags inside the solution and use that to wipe the shell of the hot tub.

If you are using a spray bottle, spray the solution on the shell of the hot tub. Then wipe down with a rag. If you don’t have a spray bottle, soak the rags in the mixed solution and use the damp rags to wipe down the shell of the hot tub. You should also pay attention to the outer shell of the hot tub while cleaning.

If there is any scale build-up or any stubborn stain that doesn’t come off, apply a bit of white vinegar to the spot and leave it for 10 minutes. Then use a soft sponge to scrub the stain off. The acetic acid in the white vinegar will react with the stain and make it water-soluble, so it’s easier to remove.

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Rinse the Hot Tub

After cleaning the hot tub, fill it with water and then drain the water. You can do this twice to ensure the hot tub is properly rinsed. After rinsing the hot tub, refill it with clean water and add the needed sanitizers to the water.

What Is the Best Type of Vinegar to Use on Hot Tubs?

The best type of vinegar to use in the hot tub is white vinegar. White vinegar is safe and very effective in hot tubs. White vinegar usually has an acidic level below 4 pH. That’s just enough to kill germs and bacteria lurking in your hot tub water.

It also means that white vinegar is strong enough to dissolve any scum or grime in the hot tub. Just like any other type of vinegar, white vinegar also makes tough stains water-soluble by charging the particles of the stain. This makes the stain easier to remove.

White vinegar can also be used to clean other parts of the hot tub like the jets and the filters. You can just take out the jets and filters and soak them in white vinegar. It would take care of the stain.

White vinegar also doesn’t have any coloring agent which means it wouldn’t stain your hot tub shell or leave any discoloration on the hot tub when used. It’s also eco-friendly so you don’t have to worry about toxic fumes being released into the air. To top it all off, white vinegar is cheap and easily accessible.

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Are There Alternatives to Vinegar?

Asides from white vinegar, there are other products that you can clean your hot tub with.

Baking Soda

Like you have to ask. Baking soda is effective for cleaning hot tub stains especially stains that don’t want to leave. You can mix a few tablespoons of baking soda with water and send that stain packing.

Baking soda also works with scum build-up. So if you have a scum problem on the shell of your hot tub or the hot tub cover, you know what to use.

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol takes care of everything. Rubbing alcohol also known as isopropyl is an effective liquid for getting rid of hot tub stains.

You can just douse a clean rag with a bit of rubbing alcohol and use the damp rag to wipe off any stain on the shell of the hot tub. For best results, don’t mix the rubbing alcohol.

You also shouldn’t soak any hot tub parts in rubbing alcohol. While it wouldn’t harm the hot tub, it can mess up the water chemistry if it isn’t properly rinsed off.

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Bleach

Yes, bleach isn’t the most popular option for cleaning hot tubs but it works and as long as it is properly diluted, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Diluted bleach works wonders on stubborn stains and as an added advantage, it also gets rid of germs and bacteria. The right concentration of bleach in water will get rid of virtually any type of bacteria or algae in your hot tub.

So there you have it. If you liked this post, be sure to check out others on this website for more hot tub tips. Have a nice day

Hi, I'm Calvin Hall, the owner of Hot Tub Wiki. I worked at a local Spa Service for a few years before creating this website. I have owned several hot tubs and fixed a thousand of them. So, I know a thing or two about hot tubs.