Mastering Hot Tub Prep: Steps For Your Ultimate Soak Experience

In this post we’re going to explore some hot tub tips and tricks for getting the most out of your spa time! From water care to accessories, prep to pampering! 

How to Prepare a Hot Tub for Use!

Before you slip into that lovely warm water, you’re going to want to make sure it’s fresh, clean, and crystal clear. We recommend testing your water before you get in, to make sure your chemical levels are correct, and your hot tub is safe to use. 

Remember the basic readings for either chlorine or bromine spas:

  • Free Chlorine: 3-5 ppm
  • Total Bromine: 2-5 ppm
  • pH: 7.2-7.6
  • Total Alkalinity: 80-120 ppm

Of course we can get way more in depth, but if your spa water is visually okay, smells fresh, and reads as above it’s ready to use!

Should you need to add any chemicals to your spa, we advise you to wait at least 30 minutes before use, to allow your chemicals to dissolve into the water, and test again to make sure your levels are safe.


Before you climb in

To avoid contaminants from entering your hot tub, it’s best to shower before use! While this isn’t always ideal, it can greatly reduce the amount of chemicals used and time spent maintaining your spa.

You want to try and avoid taking any skin creams, shampoos or conditioners, dreaded staining self-tanner into the water, as this can cause foam and oils to build in your spa water, which isn’t very pleasant to sit in.

We also think it’s a good idea to wash your swimwear without detergent, putting them on a warm rinse cycle only, or hand washing them. This will also keep foam at bay!

Bright blue water inside a white hot tub set inside a grey raw wood deck, with a lime green grass field in the background.

If your hot tub is outdoors and means a little walk across the garden, it’s worthwhile investing in some bathrobes and some non-slip outdoor shoes, such as Crocs. This will keep you warm and cosy on the dash to and from the spa, and also avoid treading any dust and dirt from the garden into your lovely clean water. 

Alternatively, a small hot tub foot bath just by your spa steps is perfect for rinsing off dirty feet before stepping in. 

If you want to get really fancy, consider adding a gazebo or garden building to store your dry robes, chemicals, and other accessories. Electric heat lamps or towel warmers can be installed for chillier times. If you want to keep things dry but don’t have the space for additional buildings, try a mounted coat rack to a fence or even a towel warming box.


Create the atmosphere you Desire!

This requires a bit of forward thinking, but it’s a good idea to think about how you’re going to use your spa. What is going to help you enjoy every second you spend in your spa.

Do you want your hot tub to be a social space to spend with friends and family? Are you looking for absolute peace and quiet? Is it a place to relax while you listen to music, or do you want to splash about while your team scores the winning goal?

If you want your hot tub to be a social space, consider some atmospheric lighting. While most hot tubs have built in LED lighting, they’re designed to illuminate the water, steps, and cabinet. 

To have some good conversation while bubbling away, it may be worthwhile investing in some ambient outdoor lighting, some warm white LED fairy lights nearby, or an outdoor patio wall light so you can see who your guests are! Some hot tub covers, such as Covana Electric Covers actually come with LEDs built in! 

A Self Cleaning Hot Tub with two red lights on the side, covered by a covana electric hot tub cover lifted with purple lights shining from inside the cover soaking the entire area in purple light. The picture was taken at night, yellow lights shining from the background house and porch.

If you’re into deep relaxation and want to build a relaxing meditative space, you may want to consider the opposite! Think about the surrounding light and sound sources, and if you can control them. Block out any pesky street lights, or the neighbours automatic motion sensor patio light glaring in from across the fence. A well placed spa umbrella, or gazebo may offer you some serene privacy, and cocoon you in the gentle colour changing lighting of the spa, and block out the nearby street noise.

You may also want to think about purchasing a waterproof bluetooth speaker for use in the hot tub and garden, whether you’re listening to podcasts, whale sounds, or music.

A hot tub truly is the ultimate armchair from which to watch the game. You may choose the big captain's seat, or the deep lounger, so long as you can see your waterproof tv, that’s all that matters!


Make the most of your time in the tub

Knowing exactly why you want to use the spa will help a great deal! 

Consider the length of time you tend to spend in the hot tub, and set your temperature accordingly. The hotter the temperature, the less time you’ll want to spend in it, especially in the Summer months!

We would recommend between 36-38.5 Celsius in the Summer and 38.5-40 Celcius in the winter.

If you’re using your spa as recovery from aches, pains, and ailments you might want to spend some time working out which jets are best for you, and which seat you prefer. 

Hydropool hot tubs pride themselves on their accurate jet placement and built in wellness programs. Each hot tub has a guided booklet available to help determine the best way to use your spa.


After Use: Set Up Your Hot Tub So It’s Ready for Next Time

We know it’s sometimes a bit too cold to hang around once you’re out, but taking time to prep your hot tub for next time will make things so much smoother!

  • Turn off all your air controls: putting air into the hot tub while your jets are running cools the water down. Turning them off saves you on your running costs, and makes sure the spa is good to go next time around.

  • Open all your jets and set your diverters for all seats: This will make sure your hot tub can move every bit of water around during it’s cleaning cycle, keeping it warm and fresh.

  • Shock your water after use if necessary: adding some non-chlorine shock will help give your water a little bit of help with sanitising after use.

  • Make sure your cover is closed properly: there's nothing worse than waking up in the morning to realise your cover has been open all night, wasting energy and losing water. 

  • One of our best hot tub cleaning tips is to remove your hot tub pillows while not in use. The space between your water and cover can be a corrosive place if your chemicals aren’t right, so this will ensure the longevity of your headrests and stop them from falling apart!

Overall, we hope you feel the luxury of using your hot tub with these simple hot tub tips and tricks to make the most of your time! If you ever have any questions or concerns, we're always available to chat!


Three Teenage Girls relaxing in a hot tub in winter, one sits above the water on the corner of the tub, wearing a black bikini. they all have fluffy hats on and it is snowy around the outside of the tub!