Defoam Hot Tub Get Rid Hot Tub Foam

Hot tub foam is an eyesore and annoyance for hot tub owners. This article will discuss the common causes of hot tub foam, best defoamers to use, effective methods to remove existing foam, and tips to prevent future foam buildup so you can enjoy your hot tub foam-free.  

Have you been frustrated with unsightly white foam floating on your hot tub water that just won’t go away no matter what you do? Learn the real reasons foam forms and proven solutions to finally eliminate tub foam for good in this comprehensive guide.

We’ll start by exploring the main causes of unwanted hot tub foam like unbalanced water chemistry, organic matter buildup, frequent use, and spilled drinks. Then dive into the best defoamers to treat existing foam and maintain a foam-free tub. Effective removal methods and prevention tips are also covered.

What Causes Hot Tub Foam?

What Causes Hot Tub Foam?

There are a few key reasons why annoying foam forms on hot tub water. Unbalanced pH and sanitizer levels allow microorganisms to thrive and produce soap-like substances that make bubbles. A buildup of oils, lotions, and hair proteins from users also provides a base for foam. Running the jets frequently aerates the water and encourages foam. Spilled beverages high in sugars or other organic compounds can feed microbes and lead to foaming. Using a quality defoamer and following basic hot tub care combats the conditions that allow foam to manifest.

Unbalanced Water Chemistry 

If the pH and sanitizer amounts in your spa water are out of the recommended ranges, it disrupts the chemical balance needed to inhibit microorganism growth. These microbes then secrete surface-active compounds that give bubbles better adherence and longevity as foam on the water’s surface.

A Buildup Of Organic Matter

Over time, oils from skin and hair care products can accumulate in a hot tub. Dead skin cells, sweat, and other debris from bathers also build up organic particulates. This provides food for microbes to grow and produces byproducts that become trapped in foam instead of dissolving naturally. 

Frequent Use

The agitation from jets bubbling constantly circulates the water and aerates it, almost like a hot tub version of a hot tub version of shaking a can of soda. This constant aeration forces any dissolved or suspended compounds like microbe secretions or organic matter up to the surface where it stabilizes into fluffy foam.

Spilled Drinks

Beverages high in sugars or other organic compounds that end up in the hot tub feed the microorganisms. As they break the molecules down, their metabolic byproducts are Surfactants that allow stubborn suds and foam to form readily wherever the contaminated water flows. Consider using sealable drink holders or keeping the tub area drink-free.

What Is Defoamer For Hot Tubs?

What Is Defoamer For Hot Tubs?

Defoamer is a liquid chemical product specifically designed to eliminate foamy bubbles in spas and hot tubs. It works by lowering the surface tension between water and the proteins, oils, surfactants and other compounds that stabilize foam. Defoamers coat these foam-causing substances so bubbles can no longer cling together and instead burst on contact or sink below the surface. Some models contain an additional oxidizing agent to help break down organic material feeding the microbes. Using the proper amount of a quality defoamer is an essential step in removing existing foam and preventing future outbreaks in your hot tub water. 

3 Best Ways To Get Rid Of Hot Tub Foam

Here are three scientifically backed methods for removing stubborn foam from hot tub water:

1. Test and treat your water. Balance pH, alkalinity and sanitizer levels to inhibit microbes before adding a hot tub defoamer. This starves the root cause. 

2. Use an oxidizer. A non-chlorine shock treatment oxidizes organics already in the water system that may still cause foam if not broken down. 

3. Drain and clean your hot tub. For serious buildup, this may be necessary. Scrub surfaces, change filters, refill and balance fresh water to remove residual compounds fostering foam. Repeat defoamer use until bubbles are banished.

Test And Treat Your Water

Balancing the water chemistry is key before adding any defoamer. Use a test kit to check pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels then adjust as needed to inhibit microbial growth at its source. This provides an optimal environment for the defoamer to work its magic on existing foam.

Use An Oxidizer

Non-chlorine shock treatments like potassium monopersulfate work as a potent oxidizer/foam banisher. It destroys organics already in the water that could cause future foam if not eliminated. Use according to label directions then follow with pH balancing and defoamer as a one-two punch against bubbles.

Drain And Clean Your Hot Tub

For severe buildup, this deep clean may be necessary. Drain water, scrub surfaces to remove residue, change filters, and refill with balanced fresh water. The defoamer can then effectively coat any organics without as much debris to compete with. Repeat treatment until foam is fully vanquished. 

4 Best Tips To Prevent Hot Tub Foam

4 Best Tips To Prevent Hot Tub Foam

Once foam is banished, maintain that success with these prevention strategies: 

– Shower before use to remove body oils and other residues that can accumulate in the spa. 

– Keep long hair tied back and out of the water, where it sheds proteins that nourish foam-creating microbes.

– Use tennis balls in the filter area to absorb oils and prevent residue buildup that promotes foaming. 

– Maintain a regular hot tub maintenance routine with proper water balancing, cleaning, and defoamer use to inhibit conditions foam needs to thrive and eliminate contributing debris. Prevention is easier than a deep cleanup!

Shower Before Use

Many body oils, perfumes and hair products can wind up in the hot tub if users don’t rinse off first. Taking a quick shower before soaking removes these residues that accumulate over time, starve microbes, and prevent their byproducts from stabilizing foam. 

Keep Your Hair Out Of The Water

Dead skin cells and hair naturally shed proteins and oils into the water as chemicals that nourish foam-loving microbes. Tying back hair or using a swim cap keeps this material from depositing directly where jets will work it throughout the tub area.

Use Tennis Balls

Float a couple fuzzy green or yellow tennis balls in the filter area and change them monthly. Their fibers absorb skin oils and other floaties before they spread. This simple task noticeably reduces buildup that allows foam-forming conditions to flourish over the long term.

Maintain a Regular Hot Tub Maintenance Routine

Never let chemicals go out of balance. Clean filters monthly. Change water partially every few months. Add defoamer as needed but at least weekly. Keep tub pH and sanitizer optimized all season long. Quick troubleshooting prevents cumulative problems that foster persistent foam and costly breakdowns down the road.   

Hot Tubs And Spas For Sale In Edmonton

Hot Tubs And Spas For Sale In Edmonton

If all your foam fighting has you dreaming of a new hot tub, check out North 40 Hot Tubs in Edmonton for top brands with big tub capacity, therapeutic features, and energy efficiency. Installation is included for an easy backyard upgrade. All tubs come with a two year warranty to protect your investment. Knowledgeable staff can guide your selection for your budget and desired amenities like LED lighting, bluetooth sound systems, and massage seats. Browse available models online or visit the showroom to compare indoor and outdoor spa options for your home.


What is hot tub foam?

Hot tub foam is bubbles and foam that build up on the surface of the water.

Why do I have hot tub foam?

Foam happens because soap, dirt, oils from your skin get into the water. The jets push air into the water and it makes bubbles.

How do I get rid of hot tub foam?

You can add a defoamer product to the water. It breaks up the bubbles and stops new foam from forming.

What is a defoamer?

A defoamer is a special liquid you pour into your hot tub. It mixes with the water and pops existing foam bubbles.

How often do I need to use a defoamer?

Most people need to add defoamer once a week or after a few uses to keep foam from building up again. It keeps the water clean and bubbly.


With the right defoamer, regular maintenance, and prevention tactics, hot tub foam can become a thing of the past. Be sure to always maintain balanced water chemistry, clean debris, and add a special formulating defoamer as directed to break down stubborn existing bubbles. For new installations, inquire about purchasing an ozone system capable of eliminating organics that feed foam-forming microbes. By understanding the science behind hot tub foaming and partnering a quality defoamer with best practices, any spa owner can forever banish the bubbles and enjoy crystal clear, relaxing soaks.

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