How to Clean an Inflatable Hot Tub (Easy Guide for 2024)

Whether it’s a relaxing evening or a weekend party, inflatable hot tubs offer an unparalleled experience.

However, a pristine hot tub experience begins with cleanliness.

Here is how to clean an inflatable hot tub:

Clean an inflatable hot tub by gathering supplies like non-abrasive cleaner and a soft sponge. Drain and rinse the tub. Scrub the liner and clean the filters. Refill and balance water chemicals. Regular maintenance involves weekly water checks and deep cleaning every 3-4 months.

We’ll break down the cleaning process into simple, easy-to-follow steps so that your inflatable hot tub is always ready for that next soothing soak.

1. Gather Your Cleaning Supplies

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Picture of an inflatable hot tub - How to Clean an Inflatable Hot Tub
I made this image with Canva – How to Clean an Inflatable Hot Tub

Identify the Essentials

Before you roll up your sleeves, make sure you have all the necessary cleaning supplies at hand.

This includes a mild non-abrasive cleaner, a soft sponge, a water hose, towels, and a bucket.

Opting for hot tub-specific cleaners is advisable, as they are designed to deal with the chemicals commonly found in hot tub water.

Protective Gear

Safety is always a top priority.

When working with cleaning agents and chemicals, always wear gloves to protect your skin and goggles to protect your eyes.

This is especially important if you’re using any kind of sanitizing solution that can cause skin or eye irritation.

2. Empty the Hot Tub

Draining the Water

Start by draining all the water out of your inflatable hot tub.

Most models have a drain valve that can be connected to a garden hose, directing the water away from sensitive areas.

Safeguarding Electricals

Make sure the pump and heater are disconnected from the electrical outlet to prevent any accidental electrical issues.

Safety should be your primary concern at this step.

3. Initial Rinse

Rinsing the Surface

Once the hot tub is empty, take a hose and thoroughly rinse the inner surface.

This will remove the loose dirt and debris, making it easier for the cleaning agent to do its job.

Attention to Corners

Pay special attention to the corners and seams, as these areas often harbor algae and bacteria.

A quick rinse can dislodge any hidden dirt and prepare the surface for deep cleaning.

4. Deep Clean the Tub Liner

Lathering Up

Apply a mild cleaner to a soft sponge and gently scrub the interior of the hot tub.

Make sure you cover all areas, including the bottom, sides, and even a few inches above the waterline.

Rinsing and Inspection

Rinse off the cleaning agent thoroughly to ensure no residue is left behind.

Once clean, inspect the liner for any signs of wear or damage. Small issues can turn into big problems if left unattended.

5. Take Care of the Filters

Removing the Filter

The filter is crucial for keeping your water clean.

Remove it and give it a good rinse with a hose to dislodge any debris.

Deep Cleaning

Soak the filter in a cleaning solution specifically designed for hot tub filters.

This will break down oils and grime that a simple rinse can’t handle.

Remember to rinse it thoroughly before reinstalling.

6. Clean the Pump and Heating Unit

Exterior Cleaning

The pump and heating unit are often overlooked, yet they are integral to your hot tub’s performance.

Wipe down the exterior with a damp cloth and a mild cleaner.

Check for Obstructions

Inspect the pump and heating unit for any obstructions or visible damage.

Always refer to your manufacturer’s guidelines for specific cleaning instructions, as improper handling can void your warranty.

7. Scrub the Cover

Mild Soap and Water

The cover of your inflatable hot tub also needs some TLC.

Using a mild soap and water solution, scrub both sides of the cover to remove debris and algae buildup.

Drying and Storage

Rinse off the soap and let the cover dry completely before putting it back on the hot tub.

This prevents mold and mildew from forming.

Store the cover in a dry, cool place when not in use.

8. Wipe Down Accessories

Detachable Accessories

Remove any detachable accessories like cup holders, trays, or headrests.

Clean them using a mild soap and water solution.


After cleaning, thoroughly dry all the accessories before reinstalling them.

Any lingering moisture can attract bacteria and compromise the water quality.

9. Refill and Balance the Water

Refill with Fresh Water

Once your hot tub is sparkling clean, refill it with fresh water using a hose.

Make sure to refer to your manufacturer’s guidelines for proper water levels.

Chemical Balance

Test the water using a hot tub water test kit.

Add the necessary chemicals to achieve the right balance of pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels.

This is crucial for maintaining a healthy and safe hot tub environment.

10. Maintain Regular Cleanliness

Weekly Checks

Perform weekly checks on water quality and filter cleanliness.

This helps you catch any issues before they escalate into bigger problems.

Scheduled Deep Cleaning

Schedule a deep cleaning every 3-4 months or more often if your hot tub sees heavy use.

Regular cleaning extends the life of your inflatable hot tub and keeps the water safe for you and your loved ones.

Here is a helpful video about how to clean and maintain your inflatable hot tub:

YouTube Video by B&Q – Hot to Clean an Inflatable Hot Tub

Checklist of Inflatable Hot Tub Cleaning Supplies

To clean your inflatable hot tub, you’re going to need the right tools and supplies.

You can divide supplies into two categories:

  • Essentials
  • Optional (But helpful)

The Bare Essentials

  • Non-abrasive cleaner: Specific cleaners made for inflatable hot tubs are available and highly recommended.
  • Soft sponge: Choose a sponge that is non-abrasive to ensure that the liner of your hot tub won’t get damaged during the cleaning process. You might also want a scum absorber like the ScumRay.
  • Towels: Microfiber towels are excellent for wiping down surfaces and absorbing moisture.
  • Bucket: This will hold your cleaning solution and can be used for rinsing.
  • Water hose: A hose with adjustable pressure settings is beneficial for different stages of cleaning.

Having these basics ready and at your disposal ensures you won’t be running back and forth searching for supplies.

I probably don’t need to tell you how this can make your cleaning process smooth and efficient.

Optional Yet Helpful

  • Goggles: If you’re using strong cleaning agents or chemicals, protective eyewear is a must.
  • Gloves: Protect your hands from cleaning chemicals and achieve a better grip with water-resistant gloves.
  • Telescopic brush: This is particularly useful for scrubbing hard-to-reach areas. Look for a model with soft bristles to avoid damaging your hot tub.
  • Hot tub vacuum: Specially designed vacuums can help you clean out larger debris from the bottom of your tub. I like the Efurden Handheld vacuum.
  • Filter cleaning solution: To deep-clean your filters, a specialized cleaning solution is highly effective in breaking down oils and grime.

I recommend looking into a inflatable hot tub cleaning kit.

For example, check out the Bio Ouster Hot Tub Chemicals Watercare Kit.

You can find these supplies at most home improvement stores, neighborhood stores such as WalMart, and online at websites such as Amazon or Home Depot.

Troubleshooting When Cleaning Inflatable Hot Tubs

When someone learns how to clean an inflatable hot tub, two issues regularly come up.

You might run into cloudy water or a foul odor.

Here is what to do about it.

Cloudy Water

Cloudy water is often a symptom of inadequate filtration or chemical imbalances.

To resolve this, first, check your filter.

If it’s been a while since you last cleaned it, it’s probably time for a wash or a replacement.

Secondly, test your water for pH and sanitizer levels and adjust accordingly.

Foul Odor

An unpleasant smell is usually an indicator of bacterial growth or stagnant water.

It’s crucial to address this issue immediately as it poses a risk to your health.

Start by draining the tub and giving it a thorough cleaning. Then, refill and properly balance the water chemicals.

Natural Cleaning Alternatives

Instead of using the standard cleaning substances, you can clean inflatable hot tubs with natural alternatives.

Alternatives I like:

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar Solution
  • Lemon Juice
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Essential Oils

Baking Soda

Baking soda remains a tried-and-true method of natural cleaning.

Its abrasive nature makes it effective for scrubbing away at stubborn grime, yet it is gentle enough not to damage the liner of your inflatable hot tub.

A paste made from baking soda and a little water can do wonders for your tub’s cleanliness.

Vinegar Solution

Vinegar, especially white vinegar, is an acid that is effective in breaking down lime and calcium deposits, which are common in hot tubs.

A solution of equal parts vinegar and water can be used to wipe down the tub.

Just remember to rinse thoroughly afterward as vinegar does have a strong smell.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice has natural cleaning and antibacterial properties.

It’s particularly effective for areas showing mildew or mold.

Combine it with a little baking soda for added effectiveness. After applying, let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.

Hydrogen Peroxide

As a natural disinfectant, hydrogen peroxide can be used to sanitize the water in your inflatable hot tub.

Add about a cup of food-grade hydrogen peroxide to your water and run the jets for a few minutes.

However, it’s crucial to first consult your manufacturer’s guidelines, as some may advise against this method.

Essential Oils

Oils like tea tree and lavender have antibacterial properties and can be added to your hot tub for both cleaning and aromatic purposes.

A few drops go a long way in making your hot tub experience more enjoyable and cleaner.

Hot Tub Cleaning FAQ

There are some frequency asked questions about hot to clean an inflatable hot tub.

In this section, I’ll provide answers to some of the most common.

How Often Should I Clean My Inflatable Hot Tub?

To maintain optimal water quality and hygiene, a deep cleaning every 3-4 months is recommended.

Regular weekly checks for water quality and cleanliness are also important.

Can I Use Household Cleaners on My Hot Tub?

It’s generally not advisable.

Household cleaners often contain harsh chemicals and abrasives that can damage the soft liner of your hot tub.

What’s the Best Way to Maintain Water Quality?

Regular testing and adjusting of pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels are key.

Use a water testing kit specifically designed for hot tubs for the most accurate results.

You can also use salt to help clean your inflatable hot tub water.

How Do I Deal With a Foam Problem?

Foam can result from soap residues or an imbalance in water chemicals.

Initially, try using a foam reducer available at pool supply stores.

If the problem persists, you may need to drain and refill your hot tub.

How Do I Know When It’s Time to Replace My Hot Tub Filter?

A visibly dirty filter that doesn’t improve with cleaning or a decline in water quality are signs that it’s time to replace your filter.

Typically, a filter should last between 6-12 months depending on usage.

Can I Clean My Hot Tub During Winter?

Yes, but it’s a bit more challenging.

Make sure to quickly drain, clean, and refill the hot tub to prevent water from freezing in the pipes.

Also, ensure all electrical connections are safely managed to avoid any risks.

Final Thoughts: How to Clean an Inflatable Hot Tub

There is more to inflatable hot tubs than cleaning them.

You also need to know exactly how to drain them, set them up, and where to plut them.

For answers to all of those questions and more, check out some of our other great guides on this site.

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Disclaimer: Always refer to your inflatable hot tub’s manufacturer guidelines for specific cleaning and maintenance instructions. The methods outlined here are general recommendations and may not be suitable for all types of inflatable hot tubs.

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