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Everyone loves bubble baths. To witness the generic pool of water in your hot tub transform in all its glory into beautiful, tiny bubbles and colors is a sight to behold. The bubbles look nice and feel fantastic to bathe in. However, if you own a hot tub, it’s bound to form foamy water at some point. This frothy water is different from the bubbles we enjoy.
Foamy water doesn’t give us what we ultimately want: clean and clear water in the tub. Although foam isn’t harmful, it develops for various reasons. It can be dealt with quite comfortably through the following simple solutions.
What are the causes behind foam forming in your precious hot tub? Let’s find out!
How does foam occur in water, you ask? Well, when surface-active agents deteriorate the tension levels of water on its surface, all kinds of substances like oils and particles can more easily mix in with the water. The end product forms a thin layer over the surface of the water. Imagine this layer as being the earth’s atmosphere; when it is greeted by air, the atmosphere traps some air particles to form tiny bubbles (not the friendly kind). As these bad bubbles gather around like a friendly crowd, you get what we call ‘foamy’ hot tub water.
The causes, as we mentioned, are various elements coming in contact with the water, which we can seldom prevent.
Here Aare Some of Those Common Causes of Foamy Water:
1. Cosmetic Products, Soap, and Cleaning agents
Among the reasons for foamy water are all those beauty products we apply daily, soap deposits from our bodies, and cleaning agents. Body oils, lotions, shower gels, shampoo, conditioners, etc.—all of these substances come in contact with the hot tub water every time we dip inside it. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to stop applying beauty products now, will we? Over time, the products accumulate and form thin layers of atmosphere trapped with air on top of the water’s surface.
2. Chemical Imbalances in The Water
Next up are chemical imbalances in the water resulting from calcium hardness and low or high pH levels. Calcium hardness deteriorates the surface-level tensions of the water and soon causes extreme foam transformation. Chemical imbalances not only cause excessive foaming but also damage the hot tub equipment, which requires timely maintenance.
A high or low pH balance in the water can be a cause for concern. This can turn your hot tub water green, cause a pungent stench, and finally result in foamy hot tub water.
3. What Causes Yellow Foam in Hot Tubs?
Onto our final cause of foam in hot tubs—in particular, the yellow kind. The reason why yellow-colored foam forms in your hot tub is biofilms. Biofilms are bacteria and other microorganisms that form over surfaces in daily contact with the hot tub water. The presence of metal in the hot tub water, chemical imbalances like low pH levels, hot tubs exposed to external environments for long periods, etc., are all common causes of yellow foam transformation in your hot tub.
The longer you leave your hot tub water untouched, hoping it’ll fix itself, the stronger and more stubborn these biofilms get. Soon, they’ll be trapped on the layer of atmosphere on the surface. Over time, the result is a nasty-looking yellow layer of slimy gunk. It is also one of the worst kinds of foam to have.
Before we dive in, let’s look at a few warning signs to consider.
- Poor water balance – when you test the chemical levels in your water and find that the balance is off, that is probably the reason behind foam transformation.
- Biofilm buildups – if you find that the water balance is alright but haven’t sanitized the water in a while, a biofilm buildup might be behind the foamy water.
- Beauty products and all that jazz – if none of the other reasons seem to make sense, it’s a simple case of soap, body oils, lotion, etc., building up to form a foam on the surface.
Let’s Talk Prevention!
1. Shower, Shower, Shower!
If you’ve ever taken the kids to the public swimming pool, you’ve probably seen a sign telling you to shower before going for a swim. This is one of the most accessible solutions you can incorporate into your hot tub routine that’ll exponentially benefit the water quality and prevent foam formation.
Taking a shower beforehand should be a must anyway because it washes away body fluids like sweat, dirt, lotions, makeup, etc., from your skin. Consider putting up a little sign in your backyard by the hot tub so that guests, especially children, take showering beforehand seriously!
2. Wash Your Bathing Suits!
Bathing suits are another enemy in disguise. Although they smell and look fresh and clean out of the washing machine, they hold on to fabric softening chemicals and laundry detergent.
Therefore, although it may sound like a bit of an inconvenience, begin washing your family’s bathing suits separately. This will significantly reduce the chances of all those chemicals coming in contact with your hot tub water. Moreover, use conservative amounts of laundry detergents if you have to (you can wash your bathing suits with just warm and clean water) and give them an additional rinse before drying them out in the sun.
3. Enzyme-Based Chemicals to The Rescue!
This is a smart option. Enzyme-based chemicals can quickly kill contaminants, including germs, body fluids, cosmetic products, etc. They prevent buildups and keep your hot tub water squeaky clean!
4. Don’t Try to Save Money on Chemicals!
We always try to get the best deal in our everyday buying decisions but don’t try to purchase second-grade or cheap chemicals for your hot tub water. Invest in high-quality chemicals, as they go a long way in keeping your water healthy—and they save you lots of money in the process.
Low-quality chemicals aren’t always pure and they can include contaminants. Usually, they are a waste of money. Ultimately, they don’t do the job, and you’ll go on to spend more money on chemicals because, well, you need more chemicals to bring the water to an accurate balance. This is something a high-quality chemical could do in one go.
Now you understand that no matter what you do, your hot tub water will get foamy at some point. That’s just life. However, taking the necessary precautions preventative measures, as well as following some basic rules, will keep that menacing day far in the future. It takes something to get something, and now you know what it takes!
Here’s a bonus tip: Replace your hot tub water now and then, and if you own a hot tub cover, take it off during the day to allow the water to breathe.