Hot tub foam, where does it come from? How did it get there? How do you get rid of it? All will be answered below, so keep reading on if you’ve found your hot tub turning into a foam-filled disaster.

The science behind the foam

Firstly, lets distinguish the difference between bubbles and foam, we love bubbles, we don’t like foam.

Bubbles are created when air is mixed with water – hence why, when the jets are turned on in your hot tub you see lots of bubbles form. This is normal in all hot tubs alike, it’s one of the reasons why we all love them so much!

Your hot tub water will contain water and some surfactants (regardless of how much you’re on top of your water chemistry), which are compounds that lower the surface tension between two liquids, between a gas and a liquid or between a liquid and a solid. The term ‘surfactant’ is a blend of the words ‘surface-active agent’. Surfactants create a thin layer of water between themselves, one part faces the water and the other faces air. This causes the molecule to create a ball shape, the more surfactants you have, the more bubbles grouping together you get. Great for Ibiza foam parties, not great for hot tubbing.

*TOP TIP* – To check whether this ‘foam’ in your hot tub is actually foam (or just bubbles), run your hand through them from underneath as if you were scooping them up with the back of your hand, and if the bubbles stay on your hand for more than several seconds, you’ve got foam.

What causes hot tub foam?

So, you climb into your hot tub (which already has surfactants in its water), you turn on your jets ready for a massage, and…suddenly a volcano of foam erupts – you think to yourself, why has this happened? Read on to find out.

Firstly, making sure that you keep on top of your daily chemical checks and balances will always help when it comes to reducing foam build-up. However, it’s not always enough as some pesky substances will throw all of that hard work out the window!

Skin and Beauty products

Good for many things, except hot tubs: tans, lotions, deodorants and hair dies will get into your water very easily – which is why it’s important to take a shower prior to getting into your hot tub.

Washing detergent

Another extremely common cause of foam is…drum roll…your bathing costumes! You wouldn’t have thought it, but if you’re washing them in the washing machine the detergent can stay on your costumes after a wash and will riddle your water with foam creating nasties. We suggest that you never wash the bathing costumes that you use for the hot tub in the washing machine, go back to basics and hand wash them with warm water and nothing else.

Fizzy beverages

We understand that your hot tub is your happy place, it’s your private spot for you to put your feet up and maybe have a beverage…or two. But be careful when you’re drinking in your hot tub because spillage can lead to…you guessed it…foam!

How to get rid of foam in your hot tub

First things first, test your hot tub and check that all chemicals (Alkilinity, PH and Chlorine/Bromine) are at the correct levels (if you need help with this check out our maintenance guide blog. Next, check the levels of the ‘total dissolved solids’ (TDS), as these solid particles will help to create foam. If you haven’t emptied your water a very long time, or if you’ve simply used a lot of chemicals you may have a high ratio of solids to water. Remember, when you put chemicals into your hot tub, the particles never actually leave the spa until emptied.

The Quick fix

The fastest way to get rid of your foam to use a ‘foam away’ product – these are absolutely amazing as they work in a matter of seconds! Click here to order yours online.

The last resort – drain, clean and refill

If your chemical levels are spot on and the Foam Away isn’t doing the trick, the next step is to drain and clean your hot tub. Make sure that you give your hot tub a thorough clean and be sure to clean those filters too. Read how to do a clean of your hot tub here.

*TOP TIP* – To ensure all of the dirty water all been drained from your hot tub, before the hot tub finishes draining put your hose pipe into the filter system and blast some water through there for a couple of minutes. This will push all the dirty water from the pipes into the middle of the hot tub as you’re emptying the spa. Over the course of a few minutes between filling up whilst draining, the water should begin to run clear.

hot tub foam