How to Get Rid of Foam in a Hot Tub

By Calvin | Last Updated: June 4, 2021 | Maintenance / Water Chemistry

Taking a bath with a lot of bubbles is good, but when it comes to the hot tub, then you should avoid having foam water in your hot tub.

If you got it in your hot tub, then don’t worry. We will explain what causes it in particular, and how to get rid of foam in a hot tub.

Except for that, we have also included a “quick-fix” that you can use to get rid of the foam temporarily.

What is Foam in a Hot Tub, Anyways?

If you have been to the sea enough times, then you probably saw sea foam, but is it the same as hot tub foam? Yes, sea and hot tub foam are the same, they just have a different chemical makeup.

If you just started your hot tub jets and you see foamy water, don't worry. We have prepared a guide that will teach you how to get rid of foam in a hot tub. Except for that, we have also included some tips to prevent that from happening again.

There are many reasons why foam appears in your hot tub, but the main reason is hot tub maintenance. If you don’t clean the hot tub in a regular period and you miss some days, then chances are that you will get foam very soon.

See, foam needs three things to be created – water, air, and a surface-active agent. You know what the first two elements are, but what about the third one? It’s just a sticky molecule (most of the chemicals/products you use have these) that make the mixing of oil and water easier.

Basically, every spa has water and surfactant (surface-active agent). So, if you don’t clean the hot tub regularly, and you add different chemicals then the surface-active agent will increase and therefore create foams.

Can you do something about it? Sure, but first you need to learn things (that you do) that cause the foam to appear faster.

Related Read >>> How to Get Rid of White Molds In a Hot Tub?

What Causes Foam in a Hot Tub?

We talked about this before, but the main reason that causes foam in a hot tub is the maintenance. If you miss a day in your regular schedule to clean the hot tub, then the surface-active agent (the one we talked about earlier) increases faster and therefore you get foams.

But, what are the other things that you do that can cause foams? Let’s have a look:

1.Personal Care Products

As I said earlier, most of the products we use daily have surfactant. Things as shampoo, deodorant, makeup add more chemicals to your water and therefore the foam appears faster.

Clearly, you don’t spray these things into the water. But, if you just took a shower and didn’t clean the shampoo fully, or just used makeup and deodorant and went into the hot tub water, then these things can cause foams.

2. Drinks

Everyone enjoys having a drink while relaxing in the hot tub. I do it too, it’s a very good feeling, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But, if you accidentally spill a soda, wine, or any other sugar drink into the hot tub, then that can cause foams.

Plus, spilling sugar sodas into the hot tub, will just make the surface sticky and no one wants to clean that. So, make sure to always be careful, or drink outside of the hot tub.

3. Your Body

Our body produces different things during the day, add that to the fact that we just dipped into hot water and you will get oils, and 100 different things.

All these things can speed up the process of foam. Clearly, there’s nothing you can do to make your body stop producing these oils, but using sanitizing agents and other products can make the oils go away (that’s the main reason why use products in our hot tub anyways).

4. Cheap Chemicals

Using chemicals is necessary if you want a clean hot tub, but that doesn’t mean you can use every product. I recommend staying away from cheap chemical products because they make the situation even worse.

Usually, cheap chemicals cause the surfactant levels to rise very fast, and as we talked earlier, this can cause hot tub foams. Except for that, it can also cause different chemical problems that will cost you a lot of money to fix. That’s why always go for a high-quality chemical product.

5. Low Calcium Levels

Low calcium levels (a.k.a soft water) can easily cause hot tub foams because they decrease the surface tension, except for that, it can also cause different problems.

That’s why you should test your water level regularly. The pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels should be where they are supposed to be. Some hot tubs have a water softener, if your hot tub does, then make sure to turn it off.

Related Read >>> How Can I Make My Hot Tub Quieter?

How to Get Rid of Foam in a Hot Tub?

You learned what causes foam, but how to get rid of it? We have made a simple but effective guide on how to get rid of foamy hot tub water. Check it out:

1. Test Your Water

As I mentioned earlier, your pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels should be where they supported to be. You have to test the hot tub water level every once and then, preferably every two days. But, if you don’t use the hot tub frequently, then you can test it weekly.

If you see that your water tests are not good then you know where to focus the next time you get foamy water.

2. Get Rid of The Foam Manually

If, and only IF, your test water results are normal, then you can get rid of the foam manually. Just use your hands to move the foams outside of the hot tub water.

And, this is just a quick fix, because you will have (sooner or later) to drain and re-fill the hot tub.

Related Read >>> How to Clean an Inflatable Hot Tub?

3. Drain and Re-fill The Hot Tub

The best way to get rid of hot tub foam is to drain and re-fill the hot tub. After you test your water level and know where to focus the next time to prevent hot tub foams to happen, then you should clean the hot tub.

The best way to clean the hot tub is to drain the water completely, and then fill the hot tub again. If you have added a lot of products to your hot tub, then it’s probably a good idea to completely change the hot tub filters.

After you are done with the process, then it’s recommended to start your jets, add the chemicals and test the water. I’d recommend waiting at least one day for the chemicals to do their job. After that, you should test the water levels again, and if everything is good, then you can use the hot tub again.

4. Quick Fix: Anti-Foam Products

While I don’t recommend this, but you can use an anti-foam product to get rid of the foam. This is only a temporary fix, and you should only use it if you don’t have enough time to drain, re-fill, and wait 1 day to use the hot tub again.

This doesn’t fix the problem, and you will get hot tub foam again after 1 day. So, if you have a party coming up, you can use anti-foam products, but once you are done, then you have to drain, clean, and re-fill the water again. I don’t recommend getting into a hot tub if you added too many chemicals.

Related Read >>> How Remove Detergent From Your Hot Tub Water?

How To Prevent Hot Tub Foam?

We explained how to get rid of foam in a hot tub, but how to prevent it from happening again? You don’t want to drain and re-fill the hot tub water every two days. And, that’s why there are a few things that you should do before dipping into the hot tub to prevent that from happening.

1. Take a Shower Before You Get Into The Tub

When we explained the reasons why you get foam in your hot tub, we mentioned that the product that you use (deodorant, makeup, shampoo, etc), can cause foams. It’s only logical that to prevent this from happening, you should take a shower right before you dip into the hot tub.

If you are a person that doesn’t use too many products, then you can skip this step. But, hygiene-wise I’d say to always take a shower before you use the hot tub. The bathing suits should also be detergent-free. After you take the clothes from your washing machine it’s recommended to rinse them with water (you can use soap too) and let them dry.

2. Use Chlorine Free Shock

You should use chlorine-free shock on a regular basis. This product doesn’t do any harm (if you use it as it’s advised to) and helps a lot to prevent hot tub foams. Basically, this product gets rid of all the oils, lotions, or any other products that are left behind after each use of the hot tub.

How many times should you use this product? It depends on how many times you use the hot tub, how many people were in the hot tub, and the last time you used the product. Read the user manual of the product and you will get your exact answer.

3. Open Your Hot Tub Cover

Yes, it is recommended to keep your hot tub cover closed to make the water heat faster, and for a lot of other reasons. But, you don’t want to keep it closed all the time.

You should open the hot tub cover at least once a week, this will allow the water to breathe and therefore you will have less foam in your hot tub. Having your jets on is also a good idea, it helps the hot tub to filter the water easier.

Enjoy Your Foam-Free Hot Tub

Seeing foaming in your hot tub can be a bad feeling. But, luckily there is an easy fix and you have nothing to worry about.

Just make sure to drain, clean, and re-fill the hot tub, and then use the tips we gave you to prevent that from happening again. Now go remove foaming from your hot tub and enjoy the free-foam hot tub experience.

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.