How To Get Rid Of Foam In A Hot Tub And Spa


You know you are having a good bath when you are surrounded by giant bubbles and foam! Nothing can beat the magic and relaxation a bubble bath brings. After a stressful day, long camping trip, or any other tiring activity, there is nothing breathtaking than lighting nice scented candles and sipping a glass of champagne while soaking in a mountain of bubbles.

Unfortunately, there are some places where this foam just doesn’t belong and one of these is your spa. It certainly doesn’t make soaking as fun and enjoyable as it is expected to be. So to have a pleasurable moment, you may want to clear out the bubbling.

Foam in a hot tub is one of the biggest issues every tub owner has to deal with because once it occurs it gets really stubborn to completely get rid of. Lucky for you, we have prepared a comprehensive guide on how to fix this problem easily once and for all.

By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of where hot tub spume comes from, how to prevent it, and above all, how to get rid of it when it occurs.

What Is Spa Foaming?

If you are yet to own a hot tub, you may be wondering what we are really talking about. So let’s take you on a little trip to your nearest fishing spot. Whether it’s a sea, lake, or river, not all areas of it have clean fresh water. You will notice that in some areas, water has stagnated and if you look closely, you will see that bubbles have formed on the surface too. This has been caused by dirt that has accumulated in the water over time.

A similar scenario is witnessed in hot tubs. The water in your spa may look sparkling clean but may contain dissolved dirt, chemicals, detergents, salts, and other compounds. When these substances accumulate in your spa in large volumes, they reduce the surface tension of the water, making it easier for them to mix with the water.

Maybe you have been following your hot tub and spa maintenance routine religiously but trust us, forgetting to treat your water after a huge spa party, is all it takes to find yourself with a spuming mess.

Foam only needs three things for it to appear in your hot tub – water, contaminants, and air. The molecules of these contaminants actually have two ends; one that is chemically attracted to water and another one that is not.

When you remove the hot tub cover for you to soak in, the air gets into the water and the dirt particles squeeze themselves between the water and air molecules. The end that is attracted to water forms a thin water membrane in between the dirt particles, pushing water molecules into balls. This ends up forming bubbles in your spa. The more contaminants your water has, the foamier your tub will get and definitely the more unpleasant your soaking experience will be.

What Are The Main Contaminants Of Your Hot Tub?

If you have put up a hot tub in your home, you already know how important it is to keep it clean. Chances are that you already have a schedule in place to ensure that you never miss a maintenance day.

Caring for your spa is the first step to ensure that the water stays clean, healthy, and free from contaminants. And as we already know, contaminants are the main cause of hot tub foaming. When you have a proper routine that indicates when you should take care of your spa, you can keep your small pool sparkling by kicking out the following organic compounds:

1. Hair Products

We all love using shampoos and applying various oil products on our hair but what we don’t know is that these could cause serious foaming on our spa water. We are not ruling out the use of hair products. Absolutely not. What we are simply saying is that you should consider rinsing your hair thoroughly before immersing yourself in a hot tub.

If your hair is extremely long, wear it in a bun. Alternatively, get something to cover it up so that it doesn’t come into contact with the water in the spa.

2. Skin Products

The lotions, sunscreens, and deodorants you apply to your skin could also get your hot tub bubbling. Take a shower before soaking in a hot tub to clean these off your body. On the days that you are going to be hot tubbing, use lesser products on your skin. You can apply as much as you can once you have stepped out of the spa.

3. Laundry Soap

You won’t believe this but 10% of foam in a hot tub is caused by bathing suits. Why? Most of us clean these little pieces of clothing with a harsh detergent that the washing machine doesn’t get to rinse well. The residue from the soap reacts with the water when we soak into the hot tub causing bubbling. To reduce this, consider cleaning your swimsuit without soap, but more often.

4. Cheap Chemicals

Where do you buy your spa shocks? Do you get them from those discounted stores or a trusted hot tub store? Shocking your hot tub is important but the product you use for the job must be right.

In some cases, products from discounted stores will have fillers in them and may not be the best to use in your hot tub chemistry. Consider buying your shocks and other treatments from renowned spa stores because mostly these stock high-quality products.  Also, make sure to read the instructions carefully to know the amount you need to add to the water. Some products, when added in huge volumes can cause serious damages to your equipment.

5. Drinks

So you love having your afternoon soak with a glass of wine, scotch, or a bottle of beer! There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. After all, this is your moment to relax and unwind, so have it your way. Just make sure that you don’t knock over the drink into the hot tub.

Spilling sugary and alcoholic beverages in your spa can cause fizzing. When you are not sipping the drink, put it a little further away from the tub so that you don’t risk knocking it over. You have done a great job of keeping your small pool clean so try your best not to create a mess.

6. Things You Do

Do you bring your pet into your spa? Do you bring a bowl of popcorns to the bath? Do you sometimes get a call of nature but just let it out inside the tub? These are some of the things you should not do in a hot tub!

Your spa is not the place to bring your canine friend, nor is it a place for snacking, and definitely not the place to answer the call of nature.

The fur from your pet will not only get to your filter but also cause foaming in your tub. You may spill some popcorn in the water too and get it contaminated. Peeing? We don’t even want to go there! So to keep your spa clean and free from foaming, make sure that whatever you do while in there is in the best interest of your bathing spot.

How To Prevent Hot Tub And Spa Foaming


We have already talked about most of the things mentioned below but we are still going to give you a quick summary of what to do to avoid foaming your hot tub. Keep reading!

  • Avoid using detergents when cleaning your swimsuits because these will be rinsed off into your hot tub and cause fizzing
  • Shower before immersing yourself in the hot tub and if you are going to use soap, rinse yourself thoroughly
  • Only use high-quality hot tub chemicals for your water chemistry and add only the amount that is recommended by the manufacturer
  • Keep all kinds of food and beverages away from your spa
  • Drain and clean your spa regularly, preferably 3 times a month or whenever you have heavy usage

How To Get Rid Of Foam In Your Hot Tub

If you have tried all the above methods of preventing foam in your tub but are still getting frothy water, here is how you can treat it.

1. Test The Water

Before anything else, test your spa water to determine the level of sanitizers, alkalinity, PH, and total dissolved solids (TDS). To do this, you only need a test kit, which will cost you just a few bucks. Having this information will help you understand what needs to be balanced and the number of chemicals you need to add to the water.

You also need to check the water for calcium hardness. If the level of calcium is low, the water will start drawing minerals from your equipment leading to etching and corrosion. This will not only wear out your hot tub but also cause froth in it.

2. Change Your Hot Tub Water

So you have taken the readings of your PH and chemical levels and now know what needs adjusting. The next thing is balancing these levels. If the foam in a hot tub is too much, it is a sign that you already have too much dirt in your water and the best thing to do to get rid of the fizzing is to drain your spa.

This is also the best time to give your hot tub a thorough cleaning starting with the steps all the way to the filters.  Check if there is any part that needs replacing too.

To drain and fill fresh water in your hot tub:

  • Turn off the circuit breaker to ensure that your hot tub doesn’t heat, pump, or filter while there is no water
  • Use a submersible pump to push the water out from the spa. You can use a hosepipe for the same.
  • Remove the filters and depending on the amount of dirt accumulated on them, you can choose to either clean them or do a replacement. Sometimes, you may not be sure about what to do with them but just to be on the safe side and to ensure that your spa functions properly, just do a replacement.
  • After you have completely drained the hot tub, mix some white vinegar with water in the ratio of 1:4, take a soft piece of cloth, and wipe the interior surface of the tub carefully.
  • Rinse the inside of the spa with clean water. Avoid using a detergent as much as possible and if you must, ensure that you have removed all its traces if you don’t want to end up with a spuming hot tub again.
  • Once the tub is completely clean, do a refill. Test the water, mix chemicals as needed and add to it, and leave it for at least 24 hours to circulate. Do the test again to see if the water is ready for a bath.

3. Use Foam Remover Chemicals

If you want to have a soak but don’t have enough time to go through all the steps mentioned above to clear the foam in the hot tub, you can use anti-foam chemicals. These will relieve the problem for about 24 hours but you still have to change the water later if you really want to clear the bubbling for good.

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A foaming hot tub can be a nasty nightmare. The good news is that clearing the foam is quite simple – as long as you know how to drain and refill the tub, your problem is sorted for good. The best of all? You can even prevent a bubbly spa in the future by taking the right measures.

Maintain your spa care schedule. Make sure not to add contaminants that throw off the chemical and PH balance of your water. Taking good care of your hot tub will reduce the dirt that causes foaming and give you a healthy relaxing spot for soaking.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!