A common problem among many hot tub owners is hot tub scale or calcium build-up which is generally caused by hard water (although even the softest and well-balanced of waters still contain traces of calcium or lime that will leave deposits over time). When these calcium or lime deposits build-up, it will eventually lead to clogging in the hot tub’s plumbing system which in turn will prevent the good circulation of water and make it more difficult for your hot tub to operate smoothly. Besides, the hot tub scale sticks to the hot tub’s surfaces which scratches against your skin, rendering your hot tub uncomfortable for use. If your hot tub is currently laden with hot tub scales, here are the steps you should take if you want to get rid of them effectively. We also threw in some hot tub maintenance tips to help you prevent the buildup of too much calcium in the hot tub so you can curb the problem before it gets worse.
How to Clean Hot Tub Scale
Generally speaking, removing the hot tub scale isn’t that difficult, although it will require some effort on your part. If the scale is fairly new, you can simply scrub away at the affected areas to break the buildup and let the flakes drain away into your hot tub’s filter (which you should clean afterward).
However, if the calcium or lime buildup has been on the hot tub for quite some time now, then you may need to take a more detailed approach to get rid of them.
1. Drain the Hot Tub
To effectively and thoroughly clean your hot tub and get rid of those hard calcium deposits, you’ll need to drain your hot tub. For people who are wondering about how to drain a hot tub, this can be done by turning the drain spigot (located underneath the hot tub) and letting the water drain out. If you don’t want the water to drain directly underneath the hot tub, you can attach a garden hose to the spigot so you can direct the flowing water into a gutter.
2. Dry the Hot Tub
The water may have stopped flowing out of the drain spigot or the hose, but this doesn’t mean that the tub is completely dry since there will still be droplets or small pools of water left. To get rid of these, simply wipe them away with a dry cloth or a sponge. Afterward, leave the tub to air dry.
3. Apply a Calcium Remover
Once the hot tub is completely dry, you can spray a calcium remover directly on the affected areas. These calcium removers are usually available in most local pool supplies stores, otherwise, you may need to buy them online. If you don’t like using commercial products like these, you can make your own cleaning solution by mixing equal parts of water and vinegar (which is a mild acid) and putting the mixture in a spray bottle.
Once you have your cleaning solution, spray it directly onto the affected areas. You should see the sprayed area start to bubble or foam. This means that the cleaning solution is starting to eat into or break down the calcium deposits. Allow the cleaning solution a few minutes (depending on the recommended time mentioned in the product’s label) to give the mixture more time to break down or loosen the hot tub scales.
4. Scrub Away
After a few minutes, the calcium deposit should have already loosened up. Now, you can start scrubbing away at the remaining scales with a soft-bristled nylon brush. Avoid using harsh abrasive or brushes since they will leave scratch marks on your hot tub shell’s surface. If there are still some hard deposits, spray them with the cleaning solution again before brushing. Repeat this until all the calcium deposits are gone.
5. Rinse the Tub
After you’re done scrubbing and are satisfied with your work, rinse the tub with clean water. Wipe it down with a clean towel while you rinse to make sure that you don’t leave any cleaning solution residue behind. Afterward, you can refill the hot tub, chlorinate the water, and check the ph balance of the water before using it.
Preventing Hot Tub Scaling
To keep yourself from having to go through the trouble of cleaning calcium deposits in your hot tub, you’ll want to keep the following tips and suggestions in mind.
Check Your pH Levels
Hot water can make your pH levels rise higher than the recommended levels, and this will eventually lead to calcium buildup in your hot tub. Thus, it is recommended that you keep your pH levels between 7.4 – 7.6. Check your water pH levels regularly and bring it down whenever it goes above the higher end of the range.
Check the Water’s Alkalinity Level
About the above, high levels of alkalinity may indicate that your pH level is higher than normal, and as already mentioned, this will lead to hot tub scaling. Experts recommend that you keep the total alkalinity in your hot tub anywhere between 80 and 120 ppm (parts per million). Doing so will not only help prevent the buildup of calcium deposits but also make maintaining your hot tub an easier task.
Use Water Softeners
Hot tub scaling is a common problem in areas that have hard water. If you live in such an area, then you’ll want to make use of water softeners for your hot tub. These products help to soften the water by removing or reducing the number of minerals present in the water.
Clean Your Hot Tub Regularly
Keeping your hot tub clean is necessary if you want to keep calcium from building up in its surfaces, jets, and pipes. By doing so, you can get rid of calcium deposits before they accumulate and become harder to remove later on. Regularly draining and cleaning your hot tub or Jacuzzi will also ensure that any floating or loose calcium flake gets washed down into the drain and doesn’t clog your plumbing and filter.
Globo Surf Overview
Hot tub scales or calcium in a hot tub isn’t that difficult to get rid of if you follow the steps mentioned above. But if you want to avoid having to go through all that trouble, the best way to do so is by keeping your hot tub water chemistry in check and practicing responsible hot tub ownership. Doing so will help to ensure that hot tub scaling will never become a problem with your hot tub.