What to Do If Your Hot Tub Water is Cloudy, Foamy or Green?

The most common causes of hot tub foaming

Hot tub water care is crucial to ensure the water stays clear, sanitary, and ready to use, paying attention to any problems. Maintenance is key to enjoying the best experience of a clean hot tub, eliminating the risk of bacteria growth and unclear water.

If you’re having some problems with your hot tub water, read our tips below on how to restore your tub for a clean, healthy environment to relax in.

What makes your hot tub water green?

Green hot tub water can be caused by algae which is usually a sign of insufficient sanitisation level (Chlorine or Bromine) in your tub.

Minerals such as iron, copper, and manganese can also make the water turn. These minerals could be from copper pipes, the corrosion of equipment or even just minerals from your household water.

Fake tanning products are also a big no go! The chemicals in your hot tub will remove the tan from your skin and turn your hot tub shell, pipework, and internal systems brown or green.

How to clear green water in a hot tub?

If your water has been green for less than 24 hours then you may be able to bring it back around again. Remove your pillows and use 60g of your sanitiser (chlorine or bromine) per 1,500l of water. Leave the hot tub cover off for at least 20minutes and put the jets on for one cycle. You will need to leave the hot tub for a few hours, if this has worked you will see the hot tub water begin to clear within 12 hours. Once clear and the sanitiser has dropped to a safe level, you can use the hot tub again.

If the water has been green for over 24 hours or the above has not worked then the best way to clear green water from your tub is to drain, clean thoroughly and then refill with fresh new water. Make sure the filters are cleaned and wipe down the interior so that any remaining algae is removed.

Make sure to add your sanitiser and balance the pH once the hot tub has reached temperature. Getting the balance right is crucial so make sure you don’t overdo it with the chemicals as something like too much chlorine can damage the hot tub and irritate your skin.

For more information on chemicals for your hot tub, check out our guide here:

Why does hot tub water get cloudy?

The main reason you could have cloudy hot tub water is just because the water is old and needs refreshing. Even with the addition of chemicals, your hot tub water should be emptied and filled with fresh water every 3-4 months. 

If this isn’t the case, then there are a few more things you should check:

Sanitiser levels

If your chlorine or bromine levels are low, it can lead to poorly sanitized water, causing it to go cloudy.

PH levels

Check your waters pH levels to see if they are off-balance. If the water becomes more alkaline, scale can accumulate contributing to the cloudiness of your water.

Hot tub filters

Hot tub filters are used to clean water, but if they’ve not been cleaned or changed for a while, they can become clogged unable to filter the water, leaving behind dirty, cloudy water.

More information on how to clean a hot tub filter can be found here:

External substances

Most causes of cloudy water are actually caused by what you unknowingly bring into the hot tub. This can be deodorant, moisturiser, even conditioner in your hair or debris from your feet as you enter the spa. A huge cause is residue wash powder left in swimwear. The best way to stop it is by not bringing it in, so be conscious of what you are taking into the hot tub with you and how you wash your swimwear.

How to treat cloudy hot tub water?


The first step to treating cloudy hot tub water is to test the chemical levels in your water to make sure the levels are correct. Balancing your water is easy when using hot tub test strips.  A hot tub shocking treatment will kill any bacteria and reactive sanitisers and make sure you deep clean or replace the hot tub filter.

For advice on how to shock your hot tub take a look at our guide here:

Prevention is always the best - prevent the cause of cloudy water first. However, if all this fails, you should drain and clean your hot tub before filling it again and starting fresh.

What causes hot tub foam?

The cause of foam in a hot tub is usually water contamination from things such as detergents and beauty products. 

If you’re having trouble with hot tub foam, it could be caused by any of these things: 

Hair products

Your hair will always contain residue from shampoo, conditioner, gel, hair spray, mousse, and other hair products. It is transferred into the hot tub water when your hair comes in to contact with it.

Deodorant, body moisturisers and perfume

Everyday cosmetics on your skin such as make-up and moisturisers can cause foam within a hot tub.

Washing powder

One of the most common errors people make is washing swimming costumes in the washing machine. Even if you do not put detergent in the machine for that wash, residue powder can be transferred to your costumes.

Cheap chemicals or an excessive amount

Cheap hot tub chemicals are often packed with fillers that dilute the chemical effectiveness and often cause foaming.

Drinks spillages

Whilst most hot tub owners will have drinks in the hot tub at some point, it is essential you’re careful with them as spilling drinks in your hot tub can lead to foaming.

High TDS (Total Dissolved Solids)

Total dissolved solids are minerals, salts, and metals that are dissolved in water. When the level of TDS in your hot tub becomes too high the water will ‘die’ and the chemical balance will be extremely hard to maintain which can lead to foam forming.

How to get foam out of a hot tub?


The first step in removing foam from your hot tub would be to test the water for a chemical imbalance. You should check the chlorine/bromine level of your hot tub water as well as the pH level.


Using your normal chemicals to restore the balance may solve the issue, however, you could try using a no foam product that clings to the pollutants in the water and sinks them to the bottom so they can be taken to the hot tub filter.

If the issue is related to TDS, the only solution is to replace the hot tub water. This should be done every 3-4 months. You can also help this by cleaning your filter weekly and replacing your filter every 12 months.

How to prevent hot tub foam?

The easiest thing to do to prevent hot tub foam is to shower before getting in. This will help rinse off all cosmetics, perfumes, moisturisers and fake tan. 

Make sure you tie long hair up to prevent it from entering the water and give your swimming costume an extra rinse in warm water to ensure no soap is trapped inside the fibres.

Prevent spills in the hot tub with a Spa Caddy Table so that your drinks are stored upright to avoid any spillage.

Always check the chemical-grade before making a purchase and buy chemicals from a trusted hot tub store. We don’t sell any chemicals lower than grade 5 and we recommend you read the guidelines provided for chemical usage with your hot tub make and model.

You can browse through our range of chemicals here:

So, make sure you always pay attention to any obscurities in your hot tub water. Keep your hot tub covered when not in use and make sure you keep up with the right hot tub maintenance - your hot tub should always be ready for a relaxing experience!

If you have any further issues or would like to book a service, you can find out more here:

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