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September 30, 2021

What Causes Hot Tub Scum?

Spa filters remove do a great job of filtered out body residue, metals, bacteria, chemicals, dust and debris, However they can only do so much. If contaminants are left in the water long enough they can form a layer of scum on the water surface and a ring around the hot tub shell itself.

The Types of Hot Tub Scum

The colour of the hot tub scum will tell you what's produced it, and lead the way for the best way to remove and prevent it. Rest assured with some consistent attention you can keep your spa water in tip top condition. 

Blue-Green Scum

The most common form of scum with spas is blue-green scum as it is caused by the most common spa water contaminants! Bodily fluids, body lotions, metals and also a dirty or worn out filter can all contribute to to this form of hot tub scum developing on the water and forming a scum ring on the spa shell itself.

Brown Scum

Brown Hot Tub Scum is caused by the spa water pH level being too high. As the minerals react with the spa sanitiser you get this form of scum appearing.

Green Scum

The Green Scum type is caused by a buildup of metals copper and/or magnesium in the water.The water may turn green and develop a scum line on the spa shell.

NB: It is important to test and adjust the sanitiser and pH levels of your spa on a regular basis. These tests should be performed prior to each use of the spa. At a minimum it is recommended that you test the spa water 1-2 times a week, regardless of use.

How to Prevent Spa Scum Developing

As the saying goes, prevention is better than a cure. So with that in mind here are the methods you can use to make sure your spa water is consistently in optimum condition

Preventing Blue-Green Scum

Because Blue-Green Scum is caused by bodily fluids, body lotions, metals or a worn out filter, the solution here is preventing these contaminants from entering the water in the first place. Or if they are already present, removing them.

The best prevention method with blue-green scum is to shower before entering your spa with a little soap. The soap is needed as it will remove any lotions, deodorants, after shaves and body sweat. This is your best bet to help your water in optimum condition.

Preventing Green Scum

The simplest technique to prevent green scum from developing is to limit metals entering the water in the first place. You can use a hose filter when you are filling up your hot tub to remove metals from the water so you are starting with cleaner water.

Preventing Brown Scum

The simplest scum to resolve is brown scum, as it you just neef to lower your pH level to the acceptable range (approx. 7.6). Follow the directions on the test strips to make sure the water has the correct pH level.

Perform Regular Basic Spa Maintenance to Prevent Hot Tub Scum

It is important to test and adjust the sanitiser and pH levels of your spa on a frequent basis. These tests should be performed prior to each use of the spa. At a minimum it is recommended that you test the spa water each week, regardless of use. Simply test your water weekly with test strips, or more often if you are experiencing a scum issue.

All spas need the following regular maintenance:

  • Regularly managed balancing of the pH, total alkalinity and calcium hardness levels of the spa water.
  • Regular dosage of a bactericide to clarify and sanitise the recirculated water by effectively killing bacteria. This will result in clear spa water.
  • Regular cleaning of the spa filter cartridge/s, to eliminate build-up and prevent clogging of the element pores.
  • Periodic cleaning and scouring of the spa pipes with a degreaser strong enough to eliminate accumulated body fats and organic waste.

Enjoy Correct Water Balance with Regular Maintenance

Maintaining the quality of the spa water within specified limits will enhance your enjoyment of the spa and prolong the life of its equipment. And it will prevent the build up of nasty water scum. It is a fairly simple task, but it requires regular maintaining because the water chemistry involved is a balance of several factors.

For specific guidance on maintaining water quality for your Spas Wholesale spa, consult our technical staff who can recommend appropriate chemical products for sanitising and maintaining your spa.