Why Your Inflatable Hot Tub Is Slimy And How To Fix It

If your inflatable hot tub gets mucky and slithery, it’s not a good sign. Slime develops in tubs when they’re not properly maintained. And it’s not only irritating, but it can also create a range of health problems. So, how can you get rid of slime in your inflatable hot tub?

Sliminess in your inflatable hot tub is the result of bacteria growing over time. To prevent your tub from getting slimy, balance the water’s pH level, sanitize and shock it regularly, and keep the filter clean. Cover the tub when it’s not in use and periodically drain out and clean the tub.

Slime isn’t any fun, but, luckily, it’s a problem that can be fixed. Let’s take a closer look at why your inflatable hot tub is slimy and how to deal with it as quickly as possible so that you can enjoy a clean, relaxing hot tub once again.

What Causes Slime in a Hot Tub?

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Slime in your inflatable hot tub is normally a result of bacteria and microorganisms growing and accumulating over time. It makes the water cloudy and, in extreme cases, causes a foul smell and scum-like substances that float in the water.

Here are some of the common causes of slime in hot tubs:

“Biofilm” is Usually the “Sliminess” You’re Feeling

Biofilm is caused by bacteria growing in warm water and is normally the most common cause of slime in your hot tub.

Biofilm is normally a white-greenish sticky residue, and you’ll see it in the filters, your tub’s piping, and interior surfaces.

Biofilm normally appears as a white film on the walls of the hot tub. It causes a slippery feeling in the water and makes sitting in your inflatable hot tub uncomfortable.

Algae or Mold

Another common cause of slime is algae or mold. These are easily visible in water and are equally easy to remove.

Algae and mold develop when you fail to treat your water after a long period. However, they’re nothing to get too concerned about.

Imbalance of Chemicals

Untreated water or water with too many chemicals can create a slimy and unpleasant feeling. Borates are common for this. While they’re an excellent pH buffer and help soften your water, overuse can make the water slimy.

Mineral Buildup

Hard water or water with high pH levels can create mineral buildup. The ideal pH level of your tub water should be between 7.2 and 7.8.

Anything above that level makes the water alkaline and deposits hard white scales. These are uncomfortable to look at and sit on.

The scales feel more like sandpaper than lime but are equally harmful. They can damage your hot tub and filter. So, look out for them.

How to Remove Slime From a Hot Tub

Slime in hot tubs is extremely common and should not be a reason for concern. You can easily fix your tub and get rid of the slimy feeling.

Here are a few ways to do this:

Removing Biofilm

Removing biofilm from your inflatable hot tub is possible though it can be tough. Biofilm can grow in all parts of your tub, including the invisible parts.

The only way to remove all traces of biofilm is to drain all the water in your tub and refill it.

Thoroughly clean your tub before adding a fresh refill. Use a jet and pipe cleaner (on Amazon) and remove any hidden biofilm. This will help kill all the bacteria and prevent biofilm from developing again.

Removing Algae

Like biofilm, the only way to get rid of algae is to give your hot tub a thorough clean. When you have minimal mold and algae, you can get away with it by cleaning your filter and shocking the water.

But in severe cases where the water has turned visibly green, you’ll need to fully drain the tub, thoroughly clean it, and refill it with fresh water.

Fixing Mineral Buildup

You’ll need a scale remover such as Bluewater Chemgroup Spa & Hot Tub Scale Remover (on Amazon) to get rid of scales on your tub. Apply the remover in the affected areas and scrub them off.

This helps you to remove the scales without having to drain your spa.

But if you’re dealing with many scales, you should fully drain your tub. After that, you can use the remover to thoroughly scrub the scale and flush it out using a pipe and jet cleaner.

A good way to prevent mineral buildup is to use a strip or testing kit (on Amazon). Use it to monitor your water’s pH levels and prevent it from shooting up.

Test the tub water at least once a week to make sure everything is as it should be.

Use a pH decreaser such as SpaGuard pH Decreaser (on Amazon) if your water’s pH is too high and an increaser such as SpaGuard pH Increaser (on Amazon) for boosting the pH levels.

Balancing Your Chemicals

Treat your water occasionally, but be careful not to overdo it. Test your water to ensure that the chemicals you’re using are keeping your water clean and balanced.

Use proper chlorine and bromine levels, and ensure the borate levels are normal and that the pH is balanced.

If everything is off, and you can’t keep them balanced, consider replacing your tub water and starting over with fresh water.

How to Prevent Slime From Forming in Your Hot Tub

Prevention is always better than treatment, and while slime is easily removable, you’d rather be on the safe side and prevent it from growing.

Here are a few precautionary measures to prevent slime from forming in your inflatable hot tub:

Test Your Water’s pH Levels

Test your water at least once every week to check its pH balance and alkalinity levels. As mentioned earlier, the safe range is between 7.2 and 7.8.

Any level higher than 7.8 means that your water is too alkaline. The result is cloudiness in the water and reduced effectiveness of the sanitizer.

A level lower than 7.2 means that the water is acidic, and this can corrode the tub and cause eye and skin irritation. So, aim for the perfect balance.

Add Appropriate Chemicals

Jacuzzi spa pool qualiter water tester and tablet of chlorine

It can be difficult to balance all the chemicals at all times. Therefore, use an ideal range with all of them. After that, focus on using the right amounts of sanitizer.

Sanitize your tub water every 2 to 3 days, usually with chlorine or bromine. Shock the water using ¼ cup of chlorine (on Amazon) every 7 to 10 days. 

Chemicals and disinfectants are important for protecting your tub against parasites. They help keep your water clean, clear, and fresh.

Drain and Clean Your Tub More Frequently

Essentially, you need to drain and replace the water in your inflatable hot tub every 3 or 4 months. This will help remove any dirt and contaminants and restore your spa to its former glory.

A full drain is the only viable way to remove biofilm. Don’t forget to scrub the hidden places thoroughly to remove all traces of dirt.

Clean the Filters Regularly

Remember to clean your hot tub filter regularly. Rinse it after every one or two weeks and give it a deep clean every month. Inflatable hot tub filters aren’t as durable as those of regular hot tubs, which normally have a 2-year lifespan.

If the filter has too much debris, soak it in deep-cleaning chemicals for 24 hours. You can also opt to replace it if the tub is too dirty.

Cover Your Tub When It’s Not in Use

You should always cover your inflatable hot tub whenever you’re not using it, especially if you’re using it outdoors.

A good hot tub cover (on Amazon) will help keep away rain, debris, and animals. It will also prevent heat from escaping and help keep your electricity bills down.

Shower Before Tub Use

This may be obvious, but it’s important that you shower before soaking in your hot tub. Remove any pollutants coated in your body that can be easily transferred into the tub water.

Skin cells, lotions, body oils, shampoo, and soap residue contribute to the formation of scum.

A Slime-Free Hot Tub

The goal is to have a slime-free inflatable hot tub that you can soak in without being uncomfortable or fearing for your skin’s health. Remember, slime in hot tubs is common and shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. It’s usually easy to remove and fix.

Use our precautionary tips to prevent slime from forming in your inflatable hot tub. It will save you time and hassle. 

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