Cloudy Water?

Cloudy Water?

How to Clear Up Cloudy Water in Your Hot Tub: A Step-by-Step Guide

Cloudy water in a hot tub is a common issue that can detract from the overall spa experience. Not only does it look unappealing, but it can also indicate imbalances in the water chemistry, potentially leading to skin irritation or damage to the hot tub itself. Fortunately, clearing up cloudy water is often straightforward with the right approach. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you restore the crystal-clear water in your hot tub.

Step 1: Test the Water

The first step is to test the water to understand the underlying cause of the cloudiness. You can use test strips or a liquid test kit to check levels of pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer (chlorine or bromine). Ideal levels should be:

  • pH: 7.4 to 7.6
  • Alkalinity: 100 to 150 parts per million (ppm)
  • Chlorine (for chlorine-based hot tubs): 3 to 5 ppm
  • Bromine (for bromine-based hot tubs): 4 to 6 ppm

Adjust these levels as needed using pH increasers or decreasers and alkalinity increasers. Ensure your sanitizer is within the recommended range.

Step 2: Shock the Hot Tub

Shocking the hot tub involves adding a large dose of sanitizer to break down organic contaminants and clear the water. You can use either chlorine or non-chlorine shock, following the instructions on the product label for the appropriate amount. After adding the shock, run the hot tub's jets for at least 20-30 minutes to help distribute the chemicals evenly.

Step 3: Clean or Replace the Filter

A dirty or clogged filter can contribute to cloudy water by failing to trap particles effectively. Remove the filter and clean it thoroughly according to the manufacturer's instructions. For cartridge filters, this usually involves rinsing with a hose and soaking in a filter cleaner solution. If the filter is old or damaged, consider replacing it.

Step 4: Use a Clarifier or Flocculant

Water clarifiers and flocculants can help clear cloudy water by causing small particles to clump together, making them easier for the filter to catch. Follow the instructions on the product label for the correct dosage, and run the hot tub's jets to distribute the clarifier or flocculant. Note that flocculants may require you to manually remove the clumped particles from the bottom of the hot tub.

Step 5: Maintain Proper Water Chemistry

Prevent future cloudiness by regularly testing and adjusting the water chemistry. This includes maintaining the ideal levels of pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer, as well as adding shock treatments weekly or as needed based on usage.

Step 6: Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

Regularly clean your hot tub and perform maintenance tasks, such as wiping down the spa surface, cleaning the cover, and ensuring the filtration system is functioning properly. This will help keep the water clear and extend the life of your hot tub.


Cloudy water in a hot tub can usually be resolved with some basic troubleshooting and maintenance. By following these steps, you can enjoy a clean, clear, and safe soaking experience. Remember, regular care and keeping an eye on water chemistry are key to preventing cloudiness and ensuring your hot tub remains a relaxing retreat.