What to Do About Cloudy or Milky Hot Tub Water

While hot tubs are fairly easy to maintain, sometimes they are not the perfect paradise we hope they would be.  Nearly every hot tub owner will experience cloudy or milky water at some point in time.  However, fixing this problem is quite easy.  Once you understand the causes of cloudy and milky water, you can combat them and make your spa a crystal clear paradise once again.  


There are many causes of cloudy or milky water.  If your spa water is musky, it means that there are microscopic particles floating around in the water.  Common causes of dirty water are: dirty filters, salt, bromine, low sanitizer, dissolved solids, and metal.  If your filter has not been replaced in a long time, it will not work as well as if it were new.  Excessive salt, bromine, and low sanitizer can cause your pool to become milky because the pH balance is off.  If you cut corners with your sanitizer, the water may even be full of germs and bacteria.  Dissolved solids are a common thing in your hot tub, as lotion, detergents, and residual hair products can come off in the water, and if they are present in excess, your water will become cloudy.  Depending on where you live, you may also have dissolved metals in your water, and that could be the cause of your milky water.  If this is true, you need to filter your water before you fill up your spa.  


  • Check your filter to make sure that it is working properly.  If your water is cloudy, you should check your filter first thing.  Filters should be rinsed every 2-4 weeks, and soaked overnight every 3-4 months.  Change your filter at least once a year.  
  • Always test your chemical levels, and don’t cut corners when it comes to keeping your hot tub clean and sanitary.  In fact, if your sanitizer levels are too high, that may be the cause of your milky water.
  • Shock your hot tub with chlorine.
  • Use a clarifier that will clump the particles together so that they can be filtered.
  • Always shower before you use the hot tub, and ask your guests to shower as well.  
  • Use detergent on your swimming suits as infrequent as possible.
  • If nothing else works, drain the hot tub, clean it, and refill it.  This will clean out the tub and (hopefully) prevent the cloudiness from happening in the future.  However, if you don’t use a system flush, or use the same dirty filter, it will get cloudy again.  

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