What Happens If You Put Soap In A Hot Tub?

What happens if you put soap in a hot tub

Imagine a tiring day at work and all you want to do afterward is go back home, enter your backyard, and soak in your hot tub. After a while, you notice that your hot tub water starts to foam and form bubbles. That is not what is supposed to happen. What you notice is that the bubbles are formed from soap that got in your hot tub.

The problem is that your hot tub water is supposed to be crystal clear and has no foam form in it. You might accidentally get soap in your hot tub water and ask yourself, ‘What happens if you put soap in a hot tub?’. Other than the foam, there are other reasons why having soap in your hot tub is bad for it! Let’s find out why that is, how it might have gotten into your hot tub in the first place, and figure out how you can get rid of it!

Key Takeaways

  • When soap gets into your hot tub, it has the possibility of damaging both the shell of the hot tub and the inner lining of the hot tub as well.
  • There might be many different ways that you can introduce soap in your hot tub, some of which you didn’t think of!
  • There are many different ways of cleaning your hot tub but combining the different cleaning methods can be a great way to get rid of soap from your hot tub.
  • Make sure to follow the tips provided so that you do not accidentally introduce soap or other harmful things to your hot tub.

Soap in Hot Tub: What Happens

Soap in hot tub: what happens
Soap in hot tub: what happens

If you got soap in your hot tub, you might be wondering what actually happens to your hot tub that is so bad. There are 3 major problems that occur when you have soap in your hot tub and they are:

Erosion of hot tub

The last thing that you want happening to your hot tub is weakening the inner lining of the hot tub itself. This is where you will be soaking in and having that damaged can be harmful for you. The lining itself is quite sturdy but constantly using soap on it can eventually corrode it.

Not only that but the inner lining and the filters are in danger as well of erosion. Constantly having to filter out the soap can significantly corrode the piping and filter, which can eventually lead to leaks in your hot tub and a reduced filtration rate. If the inner lining of the pipe and the filtration system is damaged, eventually what you will start noticing in your hot tub are the formation of algae and bacteria!

Even with the jets, it can become a problem. The jets are how the hot tub will keep the water in your warm and enjoyable. But if the hot tub jets are corroded and damaged, then the jets won’t be able to do the one job that it is supposed to, leading to an eventually broken hot tub!

Residue Buildup

The other thing that soap introduces in your hot tub are residues that it leaves behind. Soap can be cleared away by the water but if it is not effectively cleaned, what you will notice are scum lines forming on the shell of the hot tub. This will not only look bad on your hot tub but it will eventually end up on the surface of the water and cause it to foam or form scum!

Just like how the lining damage can from this, the residue can do this as well! And if the residue build-up occurs in the filtration system, you will notice even more foam in your hot tub. Not to mention that the things that can get stuck on the residue eventually become contaminated for your hot tub, rendering it unusable.

The hot tub jets can also get clogged from the residue which will cause the hot tub to not function properly. The water won’t be properly coming in or going out, becoming stagnant and making it so that the hot tub becomes a breeding ground for microorganisms that will require tons of money to get rid of and then fix!

Ruining water chemistry

Alongside possibly damaging the inner parts of the hot tub, don’t forget that the water gets ruined as well. Not only will the filters not be able to keep the water clean, but the surfactants and other chemicals that are found in dish soap and detergent can also upset the pH balance and the overall water chemistry of the hot tub water! This can lead to skin irritation and eyes burning from the suds that are left in the hot tub. The water chemistry is important so that you can safely enjoy your hot tub!

4 Possible Sources of Soap and Detergent In Your Hot Tub

Now you might be thinking that you have not directly used soap to wash yourself in the hot tub, so how exactly did the soap get introduced in the hot tub? You’d be surprised to know that isn’t the only way the hot tub can get soap in your hot tub and there are other ways! Let’s see some of the possible sources of soap and detergent in your hot tub!

Using soap in the hot tub
Using soap in the hot tub

Using soap in the hot tub

Let’s get this out of the way. Using soap in your hot tub is a big NO because how it can damage the inner lining of the hot tub and the hot tub filters themselves! A hot tub is not meant for bathing with your shampoo and soap. It is meant to be a nice warm soak for your body to help relieve the stress in your muscles with the help of the jets.

Detergent left on swimsuits
Detergent left on swimsuits

Detergent left on swimsuits

Washing your swimsuit after wearing it is important. But if you don’t wash it properly enough and wear it again in your hot tub, then you might be introducing the leftover soap and detergent residue to your hot tub! A very unexpected way you put soap in a hot tub but a very possible circumstance.

Not rinsing yourself properly
Not rinsing yourself properly

Not rinsing yourself properly

There is a reason why you are supposed to take a shower before jumping into your hot tub. The soap that are left on your body from the products that you used in the shower can eventually end up in the hot tub! They might be minuscule at first but if you use your hot tub every day then you are introducing enough soap to clog the filters!

Improper washing of the hot tub
Improper washing of the hot tub

Improper washing of the hot tub

Last but not least, when you wash your hot tub, the dish soap that you might have used can be left. When you fill up the hot tub after improper washing of the hot tub shell, the suds that remain get mixed into the water and do all the things that I have mentioned in the above section. Not only that, but this extends to the cleaning of your hot tub covers as well! Using dish soap to clean that is good and all, but when you leave the cover on your hot tub water and there is some dish soap remaining on it, then you are introducing soap to your hot tub water as well!

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5 Ways to Clean Soap From Your Hot Tub

5 ways to clean soap from your hot tub
5 ways to clean soap from your hot tub

If you have soap in your hot tub, then don’t worry too much about it because cleaning it is very easy! The time before the soap suds form you can very easily remove the soap from your hot tub. Here are some cleaning things to consider for your hot tub:

  1. Scooping the foam: remove the foam from your hot tub by simply scooping it off. That can help reduce the clogging of filters.
  2. Drain and clean: this time, make sure that you clean your hot tub properly and scrub the remaining bits of soap from the lining before refilling the hot tub.
  3. Chlorine shock: add chlorine to your hot tub and let the jets run for about an hour so that the soap particles are removed from the water itself.
  4. Cleaning filter: remove the filter from the hot tub and then use a high-pressure spray nozzle to clean the filter. You could also use a filter cleaner and soak the filter in the solution overnight to get rid of any soap.
  5. Anti-foaming agents: these can help get rid of the soap that causes foaming on your hot tub water by introducing it in small amounts!

Evidently, I would say doing all of these different ways to clean your hot tub from soap is the best way to make sure you are getting rid of it from all parts that the soap can be in! The soaping agent might be a bit of a last resort but all the other ones I would say are the best way to clean soap from your hot tub! Just make sure you test the hot tub water with test strips so that the water chemistry is safe to soak in.

Making Sure There Is No Soap In Your Hot Tub: 8 Tips

Now that you know how to clean your hot tub so that your hot tub is soap-free, here are my tips to make sure that you don’t introduce soap in the hot tub in the first place!

  1. Rinse off your body before soaking in the water.
  2. Clean your hot tub filter regularly.
  3. Use high-quality and the correct chemicals to balance the hot tub water.
  4. Keep food and drinks away from your hot tub.
  5. Make sure your swimsuit is properly cleaned.
  6. Don’t use soap, shampoo, and bathing products in the hot tub.
  7. Avoid Epsom salts, vinegar, and bleach to clean your hot tub, use chlorine shock or spa water cleaner instead.
  8. Drain the water from your hot tub 3 to 4 times a year.


1. Can I use Dawn dish soap to clean my jetted tub?

You could use Dawn dish soap to clean your hot tub or jetted tub. However, once you run the jets for about 30 minutes, you need to drain the water so that it doesn’t damage the inner parts of the hot tub.

2. What to avoid in a jetted tub?

You will need to avoid products that contain oil in your jetted hot tub. They will cause a residue build-up and clog your hot tub filtration system, making it unsafe.

3. Is Epsom salt bad for a hot tub?

They are effective cleaning agents but the problem is that they can affect the acidity of the hot tub and upset the balance of the water chemistry due to adding magnesium to the water!

Final Thoughts

A soapy, foamy, hot tub might seem like a fun idea but it really isn’t for your hot tub or for you either! That is why it is important to make sure to clean and maintain your hot tub as much as you can so that you don’t have soap remaining in the hot tub water. Along with that, make sure you are not accidentally introducing soap in your hot tub because there are many ways that this can happen without you noticing! The last thing you want is to ruin your hot tub with soap so use your hot tub responsibly and soak your worries away!

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I am Donald M. Beyer and I am backyard enthusiasts. I am a homeowner who has been doing DIY projects in and out of my house for many years. From simple backyard lunches to making an old-school pizza oven in my own backyard, I have a lot of experience in turning my backyard into my and my family’s personal playground.

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