As children we’ve always been fascinated by a bathtub overflowing with bubbles. But as adult hot tub owners, the presence of an overabundance of foam and bubbles in our hot tub is a cause for alarm. Although the foam likely won’t cause health problems or damage your hot tub, it does indicate that there’s an underlying problem that needs to be solved. If you’re wondering why is my hot tub foaming, we’ve got the article for you! We’ll cover some of the more obvious explanations for the appearance of the excess foam and give you some solutions to try and scale it back.
Why Is My Hot Tub Foaming?
There are a few different reasons why your hot tub is foaming excessively. Compare these situations to your own and narrow down the cause of the hot tub foam in your case.
Soap and Beauty Product Residues
One of the major reasons for foamy hot tub water is the presence of organic compounds. These are most often inadvertently introduced into the water by the very people using the hot tub. Soap residues from bathing and showering, shampooing our hair and washing our clothing can accumulate in the hot tub water to the point that it begins to manifest in the form of foam. Other beauty products such as deodorants, make up, lotions and oils have a similar effect on hot tub water. Our bodies also produce natural oils and sweat that can promote the formation of hot tub foam.
Calcium Hardness Levels
If the calcium hardness levels of your hot tub water are too low, it’s much easier for foam to develop. Low calcium hardness levels decrease the surface tension of the water. When that surface tension is lowered bubbles are encouraged to form. Calcium hardness levels are usually a result of local influences. It may be that you live in an area that has naturally soft water. But it can also be caused by water softening systems.
If your pH levels are out of balance, there may be a greater propensity for your hot tub water to foam. Water that’s too acidic or too basic will promote the formation of bubbles and foam. Your weekly water tests will give you pH readings to let you know if this is part of the problem.
How Do I Stop My Hot Tub Foaming?
Preventing your hot tub from foaming depends on why it’s foaming in the first place. Once you’ve identified the reason(s) for foaming you can employ measures to stop it from happening. Here are some simple solutions to your foam problem.
Reducing the Introduction Organic Compounds into The Hot Tub
If it appears that it’s the presence of excess organic compounds produced by soaps, oils and other residues that are causing the hot tub to foam, it’s time to enforce the rule about showering before you get into the water. Public swimming pools have this type of rule in place for a very good reason. Another step you could take is to ensure your bathing suit is properly rinsed after washing. It will retain much of the detergent and softener that’s used in the washing machine and dryer and these residues will ultimately end up rinsing off in your hot tub if you don’t do it beforehand.
Regularly testing your hot tub water will let you know if your calcium hardness or pH levels are out of balance. The results of these simple, weekly tests will let you know if you need to add chemicals to the hot tub to get the water chemistry back in balance. It could also let you know if your water source is the problem.
Shock the Hot Tub
This doesn’t refer to electricity. Shocking a hot tub is the term used for adding chemicals to the water to neutralize organic compounds. It’s usually done once a week but may be required more often if the hot tub is getting a lot of use. If you can see an oily film on the water surface, you might also want to consider adding an absorber to the water.
To learn more about hot tub maintenance, download a free buyer’s guide today.