How to Remove and Prevent Hot Tub Scale

By Calvin | Last Updated: May 29, 2021 | Maintenance / Water Chemistry

Having a hot tub installed in your home means you will have to accept some new challenges. Having a hot tub is more than just having a pool of hot water to take a soak in. Occasionally, you will need to battle different contaminants that are forming inside your hot tub such as hot tub scale.

Hot tub scale is one of those hot tub contaminants that is almost impossible to avoid. If you notice chalky scales forming around the water line in your hot tub, then you have hot tub scale in your hot tub. Hot tub scales are usually unsightly and they form around your hot tub shell right where the water line is formed.

So what causes a hot tub scale? What is a hot tub scale? And how can you remove and prevent hot tub scale in your hot tub? The answer to these questions and everything you need to know about hot tub scale will be revealed below. So keep reading to discover more.

If you see hot tub scale around your hot tub, then you need to learn how to remove and prevent hot tub scale. Hot tub scale isn't bad, but if it happens a lot then there must be a problem with your water. You need to use hot tub scale remover, or drain and refill your hot tub to get rid of it.

What Is a Hot Tub Scale?

Hot tub scales usually have a white-brownish color (similar to the color of eggshells). The scales build up on the shell of the hot tub and sometimes, the scales float on the surface of the water too.

Hot tub scales do not pose any health threat to you but leaving the scales unattended and allowing them to build up over time inside the hot tub will cause problems that can be difficult to fix. In severe cases, the scales can clog the plumbing lines of the hot tub and can also cause the pump to burn up over time. So how can you remove hot tub scales when you notice them in your hot tub?

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How to Remove Hot Tub Scale

Removing the hot tub scale is a fairly easy process but it can be time-consuming especially if you have a severe case of hot tub scale in your hot tub. Follow the steps below to get rid of the hot tub scale.

Turn Off the Hot Tub

The first thing to do is to turn off the hot tub. You shouldn’t clean a hot tub while the hot tub is on or while the jets are running.

Apply Hot Tub Scale Remover

The next thing to do is to apply a hot tub scale remover to the hot tub. There are different hot tub scale removing products out there. Ensure to follow the instructions on the container of the hot tub scale remover you buy.

Most hot tub scale removers need to be mixed with water before being sprayed on the affected areas. Hot tub scale removers are usually termed ‘acidic’ so ensure to follow instructions and mix appropriately so you don’t alter the pH level of the water. After spraying the hot tub scale remover, you should leave it for 10 to 15 minutes so it can break down the hot tub scales.

After that, you can use a clean cloth to wipe the scale off the shell of the hot tub. Pay attention to the waterline because that’s where the scale will build up the most. Some of the scales may fall into the water.

Don’t worry about that, they would be trapped by the filter. If you are dealing with a mild case of hot tub scale, then this step should get rid of the scale completely. Another alternative is to use white vinegar. It also works on mild hot tub scales.

Drain the Hot Tub

If you have a mild case of hot tub scale, then the hot tub scale remover will help to remove the scales and you wouldn’t need to drain the hot tub. However, if you have a severe case of hot tub scales or you can notice some of the scales forming below the waterline, then you will need to drain the tub.

Draining the tub will give you unrestricted access to the shell of the hot tub. This will help you clean the shell better. Most hot tubs have a valve located at the base of the hot tub. You will need to turn or open the valve to allow the water to escape.

The valve can be connected to a garden hose so make sure you connect it to one before draining the hot tub. Draining the hot tub without connecting the hose first means the water from the hot tub will be drained around and underneath the hot tub and this can weaken the base of the hot tub.

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Clean the Hot Tub

After draining the hot tub, you should clean the tub. Since there isn’t any water in the hot tub, you can add as much hot tub scale remover as allowed. Apply the scale remover to every part of the hot tub where you notice the scale. You can also use this opportunity to wash the inner part of the hot tub.

It’s always advised not to use detergent to wash the shell of the hot tub. You can get hot tub cleaning solutions. They work wonders on the hot tub. After cleaning the hot tub, wipe it with a damp rag and let it dry.

Clean the Filters

The filters of the hot tub are responsible for trapping dirt and debris that get into the hot tub. The filters prevent dirt from being circulated with the water in the tub and this can get the filters clogged over time, so give them a good wash.

While cleaning the scales earlier, some of the scales might have fallen into the water. These scales would have been trapped by the filters, so clean the filters to get rid of the scales.

Use a filter cleaning solution to clean the filters. Don’t use detergent because the detergent you use might be harsh on the filters and cause corrosion.

If the filters are damaged or worn out, you should have them replaced before using the hot tub again.

Use Line Flush

Line flush refers to a series of hot tub cleaning agents. The line flush gets rid of any scale, dirt, or contaminant inside the plumbing lines of the hot tub. This is usually the best way to get rid of hot tub scales completely. This also prevents the buildup of scales in the lines of the hot tub that can eventually clog the plumbing lines.

After doing all of these, you can be rest assured that there wouldn’t be any hot tub scale inside your hot tub. Now you know how to get rid of hot tub scales, but how can you prevent them from forming in the first place?

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How to Prevent Hot Tub Scale

Preventing hot tub scales in the water is usually a long shot. This is because hot tub scales are primarily caused by minerals in the water and it’s almost impossible to get rid of minerals in the water.

The water you fill your hot tub with contains minerals like calcium and magnesium. When you turn on the hot tub and the water is gradually evaporated, the minerals aren’t evaporated with the water. They are usually left behind and this cycle continues each time you heat the water and refill the hot tub.

Eventually, you will have a buildup of these said minerals in the hot tub over time and they will accumulate to form hot tub scales. The best way to prevent hot tub scales in the hot tub is to reduce the number of minerals and other contaminants that get into the hot tub.

Always Clean the Filters

The best bet to reducing the level of minerals and other contaminants that are circulated in the water is to keep the filters clean. The filters of your hot tub usually would trap any debris or dirt that gets into the hot tub but if you don’t clean the filters regularly, the dirt and debris that gets trapped will increase and can clog the filters.

If the filters get clogged, nothing is preventing the dirt and debris from being circulated in the water and this will cause scale build-up and green water over time, so always keep the filters clean.

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Use a Hose Filter

A hose filter will reduce the level of minerals, metals, and other solids that get into the hot tub. Before refilling your hot tub, ensure to use a hose filter to keep the unwanted contaminants out. You can also use a water softener to reduce the level of minerals in the water.

Use a Hot Tub Scale Remover Regularly

You can also add hot tub scale remover to the water regularly. Doing this regularly will remove the metals and minerals in the water, so there is no way you will have a buildup of scales in your hot tub.

Other measures of preventing hot tub scales include cleaning the hot tub regularly, reducing the level of contaminants that get into the water, and ensuring that the water chemistry and ph level are balanced.

So there you have it. Now you know how to prevent and get rid of hot tub scales. You can check out other posts 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.