Cleaning, Balancing, and Maintaining Your Above-Ground Hot Tub & Spa Chemistry:

Cleaning, Balancing, and Maintaining Your Above-Ground Hot Tub & spa chemistry:

To properly prepare your spa chemistry, for your Hot Tub follow three key steps: clean the equipment, balance the water, and initiate the sanitizer system or spa chemicals. We’ll provide detailed guidance for each stage.

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  1. Draining & cleaning your hot tub
  2. Balancing pH, total alkalinity, metals, and hardness
  3. Sanitizing your hot tub

Draining & Cleaning Your Hot Tub:

Hot Tub & spa chemistry

For optimal water chemistry, thoroughly clean your hot tub before making adjustments. Regular maintenance not only simplifies chemical treatment but also prolongs the life of internal components. Repeat this process every 60-90 days or with each water change.

Supplies needed: • Spa Purge (1L) – spa plumbing system cleaner • Spa Clean & Perfect – non-foaming all-surface spa cleaner • Filter Replacement Guide – clean filter cartridge • Filter Revive (32 oz) – filter cleaning compound • 303 Protectant – spa cover protectant


  1. Remove the filter(s). If older than one year, replace them; otherwise, soak in Power Soak or Filter Revive Filter Soak and set aside to dry.
  2. Add 8 oz of Spa Purge to the water and run the jet pump for about 15 minutes or let sit overnight.
  3. Drain your hot tub.
  4. Reinstall the filter cartridge. Keep extra cartridges available for quick, clean, and dry replacements.
  5. Clean the hot tub’s interior and both sides of the cover using a mild, pH-neutral cleaner, like Spa Clean & Perfect spray. Avoid household cleaners, as they cause foaming and alter the hot tub’s pH balance.
  6. Apply 303 Protectant to both sides of the spa cover. Never use vinyl conditioners containing petroleum distillates or silicone.

Is it time to replace your hot tub cover? Damaged, smelly, or heavy covers not only insulate poorly but also breed fungus and microbes, contaminating the spa water. Replace your cover before it becomes an emergency.

Balancing pH, Total Alkalinity, Metals, and Hardness:

Cleaning your hot tub and changing the water doesn’t guarantee readiness. Even high-quality tap water must be adjusted to meet hot tub requirements. The supplies needed will depend on your sanitizer system and water source.

Supplies for testing & prepping spa water: • Test strips (including at least pH, total alkalinity, and hardness) • Dichlor chlorine shock and/or non-chlorine shock • Metal Stain Control (or other discoloration & corrosion preventer) • Water clarifier, oil absorber, and scum digester • Fresh Fill Filter (optional)

Supplies for balancing the water: • Alkalinity Increaser – raises low TA & pH; helps control pH • pH Decrease – lowers pH • pH Increase – strongly raises pH (optional – use Alkalinity Increaser for minor adjustments) • Increase Calcium – raises calcium hardness.


  1. Refill the hot tub about halfway with fresh water, using a hose filter for well water.
  2. Add Metal Stain Control and clarifier per label instructions and finish filling the hot tub.
  3. Use test strips and adjust according to the chart below.
  4. After balancing, let the water circulate for at least 30 minutes before retesting and making final adjustments.
  5. Test for calcium hardness. If too low, add Increase Calcium to reach approximately 150 PPM.
  6. Add shock to the hot tub as directed on the label.
  7. Place a floating oil scum absorber in the hot tub water.

Refer to the original text for detailed instructions on balancing pH and

total alkalinity, as well as tips for maintaining your hot tub.

Sanitizing Your Hot Tub:

The type of water purification used in your spa is a personal choice. Below, we list our three preferred sanitation systems. Whether you use another chemical or one of our favorites, carefully read and follow the instructions on the package.

NOTE: Directions for Nature2 systems we recommend are shown below. For help in choosing the right sanitizer for your spa, read our Spa Sanitizer Comparison Guide.

Nature2 System:

Alternative Odor-Free Cartridge Sanitizer

The Nature2 spa purifier fits inside your spa filter cartridge. It sanitizes by releasing minerals into the water and lasts for 4 months.

Supplies needed for Nature2 system: • Nature2 sanitizer cartridge • Chlorine test strips

Nature2 Procedure:

  1. Follow the Draining & Balancing procedures mentioned earlier.
  2. Install the Nature2 cartridge in your filter according to the instructions in the box. Run the filtration cycle at least 4 hours a day.
  3. Shock the spa using dichlor chlorine at a ratio of 1.5 tablespoons dichlor per 250 gallons.
  4. Test water with chlorine test strips, waiting until the chlorine level drops below 5ppm before using the spa.
  5. After each use, add 5 oz of Spa Perfect per 500 gallons.
  6. Test and balance weekly.
  7. Replace the cartridge every 4 months.

Get everything you need in one kit with the Nature2 Pro Starter Kit. This kit includes a step-by-step instruction card.

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