Ahhh, the soothing sanctuary of your very own hot tub. Whether you’re a seasoned hot tub owner or have just embarked on this steamy adventure, there’s nothing quite like immersing yourself in warm, bubbling water.

But wait! What’s that? Cloudy water? It’s OK. Cloudy water is the most common hot tub water problem. It happens. But we’re here to help.

First – why is your hot tub water cloudy, murky, foggy, misty – why has it lost its clarity?

Cloudy water indicates that:

  • Your chlorine levels are too low
  • Your hot tub water is out of balance

Whatever the reason, these 8 easy steps can help clear up cloudy water.

An indoor hot tub with cloudy water.

8 steps to help clear up cloudy water:

1. Maintain 24-hour circulation of the hot tub water until clarity returns

Various factors can cause cloudy hot tub water, from poor filtration to improper water chemistry, or the presence of organic or inorganic matter. When you circulate the water for an extended period, you promote better filtration and chemical distribution throughout the hot tub. This will hopefully help to clear up your water’s cloudiness.

Three Test Strips sitting on the edge of the pool outside

2. Make sure your pH is in the proper range of 7.2-7.6

Improper pH levels in a hot tub can contribute to cloudy water in many ways. High pH levels can cause precipitation of minerals, reduced sanitizer effectiveness, algae growth, and disrupted water balance.

Regularly monitor and adjust your pH with pH increasers or decreasers to keep it within the ideal range of 7.2-7.6, that will help keep the water clear, and balanced.

3. If you’re using FROG® @ease® or FROG Serene®, check your Smartchlor® or Bromine Cartridges; replace them if needed

FROG creates Fresh Mineral Water® in your hot tub, that’s the result of SmartChlor or bromine working together with FROG Minerals. You need both the SmartChlor or bromine Cartridge and the Mineral Cartridge to be adequately full to do their work sanitizing the hot tub.

FROG @ease floating in a hot tub with the silver side up, this indicates that the SmartChlor Cartridge needs replacement.

SmartChlor or Bromine Cartridges are designed to last 3 to 4 weeks, depending upon the size and use of your hot tub.

For example, if you had some friends over and you all enjoyed the hot tub for a few hours, that used more sanitizer than usual. You’ll likely need to replace the SmartChlor or Bromine Cartridge a bit more often your hot tub is used more often.

Test the hot tub water with FROG @ease Test Strips if you use FROG @ease or with the FROG Test Strips if you use FROG Serene. Replace the SmartChlor or Bromine Cartridge if the test strip shows they’re empty.

Blonde woman holding up a colored FROG Test Strip and comparing it to the colors on the bottle

4. Replace the Mineral Cartridge every 4 months

FROG Minerals kill bacteria, condition the water for softness and help keep pH balanced. But after 4 months, the minerals are used up and must be replaced.

But what if the Mineral Cartridge feels full or sounds full even after 4 months? After four months, FROG Minerals have dispersed into the water. All that’s left inside the Cartridge is the material that “carried” the minerals.

You must replace the Mineral Cartridge to enjoy Fresh Mineral Water and use a significantly less amount of chlorine or bromine.

5. Shock the water following the shock treatment instructions

A box of FROG Maintain with one packet of it leaning on it.

Shocking your hot tub’s water can help with cloudy water. It addresses many of the causes of cloudy water, including reduced sanitization and oxidation, and lack of proper filtration.

A non-chlorine shock like FROG Maintain® can help. It’s the recommended non-chlorine shock for FROG @ease and FROG Serene. It comes in an easy one-dose packet. Just cut it open and pour it in. Your water will be ready in 15 minutes.

If you use a different shock, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

6. Use a clarifier

Clarifiers can help if the cloudy water is from detergents rather than bacteria.

Clarifiers work by addressing tiny particles that cause cloudiness and helping remove them from the water. By removing suspended particles, clarifiers help improve water clarity. They can help transform cloudy water back to its clear condition.

Clarifiers are not a permanent solution to water clarity problems. They can provide temporary improvement by removing particles, but they don’t address the underlying causes of cloudiness, such as improper water balance, poor filtration, or inadequate sanitization.

Man's hands pulling a hot tub filter out of its spot in the hot tub.

7. Make sure your filter cartridges are clean

Avoid clogged filters! Dead bacteria and debris can quickly accumulate, causing congestion to your hot tub’s circulation.

A clogged filter can reduce the flow of water in the hot tub’s filtration system, leading to a decrease in the effectiveness of your sanitizers, causing bacteria growth and the loss of water clarity.

When you regularly clean or backwash the filter, you can remove the buildup of dead bacteria and other debris. That ensures that the filtration system is working properly. Having a clean filter will help restore water clarity.

8. Drain and Refill

If cloudy water persists after you’ve done all of the above, it may be time to drain and refill the hot tub with fresh water.

Opinions are mixed on when to drain and refill your hot tub water. If you use FROG @ease, a good time to drain and refill is either at 4 months or 8 months or even 12 months!

Why? Because the Mineral Cartridge must be replaced every 4 months. When you replace the Mineral Cartridge, it might be a natural time to drain and refill.

However, you don’t have to drain and refill every 4 months. Test your water, if it’s balanced continue on.

An in-ground Hot Tub with a hose filling it up

If you don’t use FROG @ease or FROG Serene, you’ll probably need to drain and refill sooner. You can learn more about that in our article about Dichlor.

To be sure, bring a water sample to your dealer, they can test it and recommend when to drain and refill.

Woman sitting in outdoor hot tub with her arms behind her head. She is facing a sunset in the distance.

Whew! Now that you’ve cleared up cloudy water, you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t happen again! Check out the article on How to Prevent Cloudy Water for tips.

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