cloudy hot tub water

Cloudy Hot Tub Water: Causes and Solutions

Cloudy water is a common problem for hot tub owners. But just because the experience isn’t new, you don’t want to take off your hot tub cover to find that the water is cloudy. You want to be able to soak safely in water that feels and looks good.

The water should clear enough so that you can see the bottom of the hot tub. It’s not just for aesthetic purposes. When your hot tub water is cloudy, it’s a sign that there’s an issue that needs fixed. 

It’s important to know why your hot tub water is cloudy and how to fix it. More importantly, you want to know how to prevent cloudy hot tub water so your spa is ready when you are.

Causes of cloudy hot tub water

When it comes to cloudy water, it’s likely one of a few culprits — high pH, high alkalinity, and low sanitizer. Dirty filters, body care products, and old water can also be responsible for cloudy water.

Alkalinity and pH

Alkalinity measures substances in your water such as hydroxides, carbonates, and bicarbonates. When at the proper levels, these elements keep your water from being cloudy and growing bacteria. When you test your hot tub water, the total alkalinity should measure 80 – 150 parts per million.

Your hot tub water should have a neutral, stable pH to prevent unhealthy conditions. High pH can cause cloudy water, eye or skin irritation, scale formation and poor chlorine efficiency. The pH level of your water should be 7.2 – 7.6.

Low sanitizer

Chlorine or bromine are added to hot tub water to prevent bacteria growth and kill other things that you don’t want in your water. Master Spas recommends that hot tub owners use chlorine, as it works in union with the EcoPur Charge filtrations system. When your sanitizer is low, it can cause cloudy water.

Body care products

When you get into your hot tub, everything that you put on your body can affect the water. Products such as body lotion, conditioner, and oils can cause a number of issues — from “using up” the sanitizer to cloudy and foamy water. If you have more people using your hot tub, you might notice that your water is not clean and clear. 

Rinsing off or taking a shower before hopping in might feel like a nuisance. However, it can prevent many water care issues.

Spa filter problems

Your filter is one of the most important components of your hot tub. Filters remove particles such as dust, dirt, algae, etc., that are continuously entering the water. If a filter is clogged or positioned incorrectly, it will not be able to do its job and can contribute to cloudy water.  


You might use a defoamer when you see foam on the surface of your water. However, overuse of this product can cause the water to become cloudy or milky. 

balance chemicals
The first step in resolving cloudy water is to balance your chemicals.

How to fix cloudy hot tub water

For the most part, clearing up cloudy hot tub water is an easy fix. The first step is to make sure that your water is balanced before looking at some of the other solutions.

Balance the chemicals

Check your chemical levels using a test strip or another kit. If your pH or alkalinity are not in range, you will need to add the appropriate product, whether it’s pH down or an alkalinity increaser. You should balance the pH and total alkalinity before adding sanitizer or non-chlorine shock. Be sure to add the hot tub chemicals with the hot tub on, air valves off, and the cover off. 

Shock the water

A proper sanitizer level will help destroy the particles that are causing the cloudy water. After balancing your hot tub chemicals, add a non-chlorine shock to the water. You should shock your water at least once a week or with increased use. 

Rinse and clean filters

You should rinse off your filters at least on a regular with normal use. If you use your hot tub more than normal, the filters might need to be cleaned more often. Once a month, you should soak your filter elements in a designated cleaner. Master Spas hot tub owners should not soak the EcoPur® element in a filter cleaner. The EcoPur element should only be rinsed with fresh, clean water if necessary. 

How often should you replace your hot tub filter? The standard filter will typically last a year with proper maintenance.

Hot tub clarifier

If you have balanced your water chemicals, you can use a clarifier to remove cloudiness from the water. A clarifier attracts dirt particles together so that they can be removed from the water by the filter. 

Drain and refill hot tub

If you are still struggling with cloudy hot tub water, it might be a good idea to drain and refill your hot tub water. Over time, evaporation can cause solids to become suspended in the water. These particles will build up, and it might be harder to keep the water clean and clear. Master Spas recommends draining your water every six months. When you refill the tub, be sure to use a pre-filter and sequestering agent.

master spas ecopur
Master Spas’ EcoPur system makes it easier to keep your water clear and clean. The mineral filtration system requires fewer chemicals when compared to other spas.

Master Spas EcoPur

It should not be a project to keep your hot tub water clean and safe to use. The mineral filtration system from Master Spas, EcoPur, takes advantage of natural elements to purify your hot tub water. As an owner, you will spend less time balancing the water and more time soaking in the spa.

These natural elements — including copper and zinc — safely remove the things you don’t want in your water. The elements also work with your sanitizer and other hot tub chemicals to keep algae, fungus, and bacteria from growing. 

In addition, the hot tub filter features a special fabric and spring core to control how the elements are released into the water. This process mimics the way water is filtered in nature.

A clear choice

Hot tubs take chemicals and maintenance. However, with a quality filtration system, you can enjoy the benefits of an at-home spa without stress. Learn more about how you can reduce maintenance when you choose a Master Spas hot tub. A Master Spas hot tub can turn your backyard into an oasis. Learn more about the benefits how you can reduce stress with a Master Spa. Or, contact your local Master Spas retailer to learn more about spa ownership. Wondering how much a Master Spas costs? You can request a quote here.