🛁 3 Home Remedies On How To Remove Hot Tub Foam [Naturally]


Nothing can ruin your good hot tub time like a foamy hot tub. Let me share a quick suggestion on how to get rid of foam in hot tub naturally.

You can get rid of foam in your hot tub by adding vinegar and baking soda mixed at a 10 to 1 ratio.

For an average hot tub of 500 gallons, this would mean adding 5 gallons of the vinegar and baking soda mix to your foamy hot tub water.

The mix itself should contain 10% baking soda and 90% vinegar. This is the most natural way to get rid of foam in hot tub.

When it comes to the longer-term solution, that also consists of two parts:

  • preventing foam in the first place by taking care of your hygiene before you step into the hot tub
  • draining the hot tub completely

Let’s address those in the following sections.

Bonus reading

Have Problems With Mold, Algae and Mildew?

Owning a hot tub is cool and you get to relax, but unless you spend time learning how to make it clean and healthy, it can cost you much more than what you paid for. Read this article on how to keep your hot tub clean and healthy.

What Causes Hot Tub Foam?

In general, there are a few different things that would cause your hot tub to foam and all of them are related to changing the chemical levels in your water.

Here is the main cause of foam in hot tub: 

  1. Personal Care Products – Any chemicals you might have on you such as deodorant, makeup, perfumes, soap, detergent leftovers, etc. 
  2. Food and Drinks – Kids like to take their food and drinks with them. Oils and sugars that contain in the food can cause your hot tub to foam
  3. You – Every human being sweats and has dead cells, hair falling out, etc. All of this will affect the pH levels in your hot tub that eventually leads to other problems

What Chemicals Cause Foamy Hot Tub?

Too much of anything is always bad, so as having unbalanced chemical levels. Here are the four types that are the main cause of foam in hot tub:

  • Low-grade bromine or chlorine products 
  • Low-grade algaecides (10%) 
  • Biguanide sanitizer chemical 
  • Household cleaners or soaps

What Do People Say About Foamy Hot Tub Issue?

From what I’ve seen, people have constantly listed soap as being the main cause of foam in hot tub. It seems to come usually from someone wearing a suit or something that has residual soap or phosphates in it. They tried three or more rinses in the washing machine, however, it still leaves enough detergent residue to cause foaming during spa aeration.

On the other hand, most of them noted that the problem happens after their family member, or them, have a few friends over, and then the next morning the hot tub gets the solid foam to the lid. 

The key takeaway from this is to never wash a swimsuit in laundry soap (there’s no reason to). All you need to do is to just rinse and hang dry. Consider wearing swim briefs because they dry ten times faster than long shorts. 

How To Prevent Hot Tub Foam?

There are two ways to prevent this. The first one is to take care of you and be careful about what you bring with you into the hot tub. And the second is to do regular hot tub maintenance.

What Do You Bring Into The Hot Tub?

You have to be extra careful with this and also talk to your family about it. 

  1. We already mentioned that you should not treat your swimsuit with any soap since that seems to be the main cause of the foamy hot tub. 
  2. I would shower before each use, to make sure deodorants, perfumes, make-up and hair products are prevented from getting into the water.
  3. If you can’t shower, then at least wipe your armpit with a baby wipes, to remove all the extra deodorant. 
  4. Do not pee in the hot tub. Extremely important!

Do Regular Hot Tub Maintenance

In addition to regularly maintaining your pH levels, and draining the hot tub on a 3-4 month basis, you have to know what to do when your hot tub starts foaming. Also, raising the Calcium Hardness (CH) level to at least 100-120 ppm usually eliminates or significantly reduces the hot tub foaming. Here, the process is quite simple. 

  1. Scoop the foam out while running jets with air injection on (takes a while to get the foam out)
  2. Double-shock, make sure the pH levels are fine 
  3. Keep anti-foam liquid on hand in case of the dreaded foam strikes when you have guests. However, know that’s just a temporary fix, and only works for a very short while.

Biofilm Contamination

The whole pool and hot tub industry has been really slow to acknowledge the impact of bacterial biofilms on water management. 

There have been a number of major university studies in the last 15 years that have identified biofilm as the cause of over 80% of the water management issues. This research is led by the National Science Foundation Research Center at Montana State University.

Is Foam In A Hot Tub Really Bad?

Generally, it is not bad. The foam you get in your hot tub is just like the ocean foam, however, your hot tub water contains more chemicals and a higher concentration of sanitizers that can be harmful. 

In order to have a definite answer, we would need to experiment with the chemical tests on the spot and determine if it is really harmful or not. Because it is the water that holds the contamination. Also, it is surely less harmful in the early stages than when left a few days, when the possibility of developing bacteria and infections increase significantly.

With this being said, your safest bet when it comes to your hot tub water is to maintain it properly and often and don’t let the water go bad at any point. 

How Much Foam Is Normal In A Hot Tub?

Almost every hot tub will have some small amount of foam, even the well maintained ones. It will usually start happening once your spa water gets older. 

Foamy hot tub water is a great indicator that it is time to change the spa water. 

The normal expected levels of a hot tub foam is less than an inch of foam. Anything beyond that

Another great reason to deal with spa foam at this point is that foamy water becomes an ideal transport medium for bacteria, carrying them across the surface where it can be more easily absorbed by bathers.

What’s The Home Remedy For Hot Tub Foam?

Yes, there is a home remedy for hot tub water and it takes about 15 minutes, however, it is not a permanent solution.

The quickest home remedy to hot tub foam is to get your air jets on to the maximum speed and then scoop the foam off the surface. Once you are done, reduce your jets’ speed and enjoy the foam-free water.

Keep in mind that when it comes to maintaining your hot tub, there is no safe home remedy that would exclude using chemicals such as chlorine since it’s the main purpose is to kill anything that can harm you. 

Does High pH Cause Hot Tub Foam?

Many people noticed more foam when jets are on high and when the pH was low. When they would raise pH levels, there would be less foam

If your foaming doesn’t go away even after regulating your pH levels, it could be your total dissolved solids (TDS) being too high.

Generally, the extra water hardness tends to minimize the formation of such foaming bubbles or accelerates their breakdown.

Do You Need To Shower After Using Foamy Hot Tub?

It is highly recommended that you shower before and after every hot tub use. The reason to shower before is to remove any excessive personal care products as well as the dead cells and hair products.

The reason to shower after is to rinse all the hot tub chemicals that might dry out your skin such as chlorine as well as potential bacteria. It is highly important to wash the genital area as well since it can easily get infected.

Bonus reading

Should You Really Shower After Hot Tub?

This alone wasn’t enough for me. I had to go out and make better research and finally I reached my verdict on whether I should (must) shower or not. See what you are getting yourself into after dipping into your hot tub. Read more.

More Tips On Handling Foamy Hot Tub

  1. It is much safer and highly recommended to do a Chlorine shock. You could put 3-4 times the normal amount of chlorine in the hot tub and run the jets on high for 15 to 30 minutes or so with the cover at least partially open to help vent out the chlorine gases. 
  2. You could also take your filters out and clean them thoroughly. 
  3. In case your hot tub includes ozone, it will eventually break down the foam. 
  4. If your hot tub is getting a lot of use, it then gets difficult to keep the foam in check since all the skin and hair products cause the tub to foam up. 
  5. If it is your family using the hot tub the most then tell them to shower before using the hot tub or at least that they don’t put their heads under the water. 
  6. Try washing your swimsuits without soap. 
  7. If it is guests causing the problem then there isn’t much you can do about it.
  8. It is not recommended to use defoamer long term as it will get rid of the foam but will likely cause a soap scum around the side of the hot tub which will eventually cause the water to become murky. After that, you will probably try to use a clarifier to get rid of the murkiness the general consensus is that it will mess up your water chemistry.

Natural ways to get rid of foam in a hot tub

Unlike bubbles, foam is a nuisance to any hot tub user. There aren’t many chemicals to help deal with a foamy hot tub. Here are some of the best natural ways to get rid of foam in a hot tub. 

  • Add vinegar 

Vinegar is a natural product that can help you solve the problem of a foamy hot tub. Add vinegar at a ratio of 10:1 implying that for every 10 gallons of water, you add 1 gallon of vinegar. After adding vinegar, the water may have a slight smell but it goes away over time. 

  • Add vinegar with baking soda 

The other most natural product is a combination of baking soda and vinegar. With this solution, you also add it to the water at a ratio of 10:1. However, you want to make sure that the solution contains 90 % vinegar and 10 % baking soda. 

  • Drain the hot tub 

The other method of eliminating foam in your hot tub is draining the foamy water. After draining, clean the hot tub thoroughly and administer chlorine shock before refilling the spa. 

Why is my hot tub foamy

If you’re wondering why your hot tub keeps getting foamy, here are some of the reasons. 

  • Sweat 

It’s natural to sweat but the body sweats often alter the pH in the water inside the hot tub thus causing foam. 

  • Body products 

If you get into the hot tub without taking a shower first, the body oils, deodorants, shampoos, and lotions contaminate the water. These body products consequently make the water foamy. 

  • Food and drinks 

If you enjoy taking food or drinks with you while you soak, you can accidentally spill some into the water. If you have kids who eat or drink from the spa, it could be the cause of foam in the hot tub. 

Hot tub foamy with jets on

When jets are turned on, it’s possible to see bubbles that could be confused with foam. Bubbles are normal and they disappear after some time. 

Foam indicates that the water is impure and unsafe for use. If you notice a lot of foam when the jets are turned on, it could be due to body products, soapy residues, or too much air trapped in the jets. If too much air is mixing with the water, the best remedy is turning down the air valve control. 

What Is The Best Hot Tub Defoamer?

Foamy hot tub water is annoying. Luckily, there are some products that can help you eliminate the problem. Let’s have a look at some of the best hot tub defoamers. 

Pool and Spa Antifoam Defoamer

The product is highly effective at getting rid of foam without leaving any residues. The defoamer also doesn’t interfere with the chemical compounds in the water such as chlorine and bromine. Since the defoamer doesn’t leave any residues, your water is left clean without any cloudiness.  

Pool & Spa Anti Foam Defoamer Concentrate - 1 Gallon
  • WATER BASED silicone formula which DOES NOT disturb the water chemistry. DOES NOT leave an oily residue or cloud the water.
  • SUPER CONCENTRATED Defoamer. COMPATIBLE with All types of water chemistry including Chlorine, Salt Water & More.
  • PROUDLY MADE IN THE USA. Don't take chances adding potentially dangerous chemicals into the water that your family swims in.
  • 30 DAY HASSLE FREE MONEY BACK GUARANTEE – We value our customers and we stand behind ALL of our products 100% with no questions asked! If you are not pleased simply call or email us with your order number and we will reimburse you in FULL!

Pros 

  • Comes with simple instructions 
  • Can work for hot tubs, pools, and other water bodies 
  • Leaves no residues 
  • Doesn’t affect the water chemistry and balance 

Cons 

  • You may notice foam even after using the product 

Spa Essentials Defoamer

With just a few drops, this Spa Essentials defoamer completely eliminates the foam. The product also comes with easy to follow instructions and no special skills are required to use it. The  chemical not only gets rid of foam, but also cleans and filters the water making it safe for use. 

Pros 

  • Very effective 
  • Works instantly 
  • Cleans the surface of the hot tub while eliminating foam 

Cons  

  • Some customers complain of receiving leaking product during shipping

SpaGuard Antifoam Defoamer 

spaGuard antifoam defoamer is highly effective and you only need one squirt of the bottle to eliminate the foam. The formula works instantly reducing wait time before you can use the hot tub again. 

The defoamer is also safe to use without affecting the chemical balance in the water. The product doesn’t affect the effectiveness of either chlorine or bromine. 

Pros 

  • Effective product 
  • Works instantly 
  • Doesn’t affect the pH in the water 
  • Doesn’t affect other chemicals in the water 

Cons 

  • Beware of mishandling during shipping 

Editorial Staff

I'm Adnan Sabanovic, the guy behind Hot Tubs Report. I've had a chance to enjoy hot tubs last few years and have really become interested in owning one of them. Nearly every weekend you'll find me spending time with my family or playing sports. If I am not doing that then I'm here writing about tubs on Hot Tubs Report. This blog is a research for my first hot tub which I decided to document and share publically so others can benefit from it as well.

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