How to maintain and clean your spa

To take full advantage of its benefits, a spa must be properly and regularly maintained, as it's a highly favorable environment for bacterial growth. So maintain balanced water by regularly checking water quality and cleaning your equipment. Here are our practical tips for you to follow at home...

Image of a spa with ICO Spa, which facilitates spa maintenance by analyzing water quality.

Check water quality to maintain your spa

Maintaining good water quality is essential not only for your health, but also for the long-term maintenance of your equipment. Three water parameters need to be measured regularly.

Clean hot tub filter

The quality of spa filtration is crucial to maintaining water quality. The filtration system retains all impurities deposited in the water (hair, sunscreen residues, etc.).

There are several types of filter ideal for spas (filter cartridges, sand filters for swim spas) which need to be cleaned according to how often you use your spa. Empty the filter regularly and rinse with clear water.

To preserve good water quality and keep the hull clean for as long as possible, it's strongly recommended that every bather wash before enjoying the spa.

Monitor water balance

Balanced water improves the effectiveness of the treatment required for disinfection. To check water balance, three parameters are measured:

  • pH (water acidity)
  • Water alkalinity (TAC)
  • Water hardness (TH)

You should know that there are really practical, easy-to-use connected probes that measure all three parameters at once, and are more reliable than strips.

Finally, it's best to use a floating chemical spa diffuser to dilute the product throughout the pool more quickly. The second advantage is the protection of your liner, which can stain over time when corrosive products are used.

Check spa water disinfection

  • To measure the disinfection of the water, the electrical current delivered by all the disinfecting chemicals must be measured.
  • There are several categories of chlorine: total chlorine, active chlorine, free chlorine and finally potential chlorine. It is important to know which chlorine is being measured if you are using strips in particular, as this can give a misinterpretation of the chlorine in your spa and the sanity of the water.
  • A sensor such as ICO spa measures active chlorine, the only element responsible for water disinfection, and bromine.
Photo of a Spa in a forest. An ICO Spa probe is immersed in the water to analyze and advise on spa maintenance.

How to properly clean a spa

Depending on use, we recommend cleaning your spa every week or every 2 weeks. When it comes to draining your spa, we recommend quarterly drainage. To winterize your spa, you'll need to follow a particular method.

Clean the spa shell or cover

It's not unusual for mold stains to appear on the inside of the cover. This is usually a sign that the water has not been sufficiently treated. You should therefore check its condition regularly, and clean it if stains appear. In this case, remove the cover and lay it flat. Then remove the mildew using a stiff-bristled broom, water and diluted bleach.

Simply use clear water and a damp sponge. Commercial spa cleaning products are available without soap or detergents. You should always check that the products are compatible with your spa by following the manufacturer's instructions.

Brush the water line

The waterline is often the most difficult part of the spa to clean, because it's where greasy residue collects, but it's also the most visible! Use a special spa waterline cleaner for simple, effective cleaning. You can also slightly lower the water level for better visibility, by switching off the power supply beforehand. 

Empty and rinse the skimmer

Check the basket or filter bag regularly, empty the contents and rinse with water. This operation can be carried out after activating filtration.

Filter maintenance

Filters should be cleaned after each swim to remove hair and other impurities from the water. Most spas are equipped with cartridge filters that can be cleaned with a jet of water. Remember to change your filters regularly, as they have a limited lifespan, to maintain optimum efficiency.

Special case: cleaning an inflatable spa

If you have an inflatable spa, it's best to change the water once a month. To clean the liner, you can use a soft bristle brush or a magic sponge. 24 hours before draining, you can pour white vinegar into the hot tub to remove all traces of limescale. Finally, leave to dry in the sun or use a wet vacuum cleaner until no trace of water remains. You can then deflate it and store it with its protective cover.

Drain your spa quarterly

Every three months or so, we recommend changing all the water in your spa. This will allow you to thoroughly clean your spa's equipment, including the tank and pipes. 

Dismantle the equipment

Before adding chemicals to spa water, it is always advisable to remove headrests and cushions. Start by dismantling all accessories (headrests, filters) and cleaning them separately in hot, soapy water using a cloth or soft bristle brush, following the care instructions. This will enable you to clean them more effectively and, above all, access the most inaccessible corners of the spa.

You should also clean your filter once or twice a year. After disassembly, immerse it in a bucket or basin of water with a suitable cleaning product (white vinegar, diluted bleach, etc.). Leave it to soak for half a day, then rinse thoroughly with clean water. If, after this operation, your filter is still not clean, it must be replaced.

The pipes

They should be cleaned before draining with special spa drain cleaner. After 24 hours, run the filtration pump to circulate the product. Then empty the spa and rinse the shell thoroughly as described in the following steps.

Drain spa water

This involves draining all the water from your spa, preferably down the drain. Follow the manufacturer's instructions. It is not advisable to pour the water directly into your garden, as it contains active chemicals that could damage flora and fauna. When the tank is empty, clean the entire spa: tank, cover and water line. Then rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of product. Use a wet vacuum cleaner if necessary. 

Water filling / renewal

Once the tank is rinsed and dry, you can put your spa back in the water. Reinstall the filters, then heat up the water. Finally, add your usual disinfectants.

Protect your ICO Spa sensor

During this draining operation, you can place the ICO in a bucket filled with spa water. You'll need to disregard the measurements that will continue to be taken by your ICO. You can also switch off your device, or simply activate the winterization position from your application. ICO can be immersed again (in active mode) when your hot tub is full again.

Taking care of your spa water has never been easier with ICO! 

ICO SPA measures and analyzes your water 24/7. It provides you with spa maintenance recommendations via the app.

ICO Spa reviews

"Perfect. Ideal system and discreet enough in a spa."

"ICO is very convenient to use, greatly simplifies the maintenance of a spa."