How to Prevent Odors From Your Hot Tub

Notice a foul smell coming from your hot tub? Inexperienced spa owners might pass off foul smells as a sign of too much chlorine. But, typically, if your hot tub starts smelling bad, chances are there’s bacteria manifesting in your spa, spa equipment, or spa cover. This bacteria can actually be harmful to our bodies. Warm water opens up our pores, weakening our defense system against microbes, which can lead to infections. To restore your hot tub to its original condition, as well as protect your health, here are some tips to help you identify and prevent odors from your hot tub.

Since your hot tub is moist and humid, it provides the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and multiply. Always check to see if your water chemistry levels are balanced first. A balanced pH level should stay between 7.4-7.6. If you detect an acidic, sour smell, your pH levels are most likely too low; if you detect a mouldy, stale smell, your pH levels are too high. To offset the foul smell, you should hyper-chlorinate your hot tub and circulate the water for 30 minutes to sanitize and completely remove the harmful bacteria inside. Afterwards, leave the cover open for at least 1-2 hours to allow the remaining gases to ventilate out.

To avoid chemical imbalances in your water, you can buy test kits or strips to check the chemical levels of your hot tub regularly. Wiping down the surface of your hot tub every week including the waterline, pillow areas, and cup rests will also prevent the buildup of biofilm. More thorough cleansing of the filter or spa covers don’t need to be conducted as often, but should still be done regularly. “Gassing-Up” is a simple maintenance step that many homeowners forget to do. You should “gas-off” for at least an hour every week by taking off the cover to let out all the foul smells. Another great way to prevent bad smells would be completely draining and refilling your hot tub every 4-12 weeks.

Sometimes the problem doesn’t come from the water inside your hot tub, but from your hot tub itself. It’s easy for bacteria and mold to crowd around the filter since it’s the first line of defence against contaminants. Once the debris builds up, your hot tub will begin to reek. To prevent bacteria from building up, clean your filter with a filter cleaner as often and possible, and never use a filter for more than a year. The cover of your hot tub is also a popular breeding nest for bacteria and molds. To remove foul smells, take out the foam inserts and let it bathe under the sun, then wipe your covers inside and out. Covers like filters don’t last forever. Don’t wait until it smells bad, change into new covers every couple of years.

Still having a hard time to identify the source of the smelly odor in your hot tub or want more professional advice on how to best prevent odors from forming? Book an appointment with Seaway Pools & Hot Tubs. We have many years of experience in the field and we will always give you the best solutions for your needs. Don’t hesitate to contact us at 905-294-8030, or on our toll free number 1-888-494-8030, or by email at

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