Hot tubs attract short-term rentals, usually bring in more revenue per night than rentals without a hot tub, and make your cottage more attractive in the cold winter months. There are many good reasons to invest in a hot tub, but if you skipped chemistry class like we did, you might be overwhelmed with how to maintain your new hot tub. To add to the challenge, since you are sharing your hot tub with many groups of people, you need to be extra cautious when it comes to sanitation. After spending hours researching how to maintain a hot tub and talking to local hot tub stores, we put together a short guide on how to maintain a hot tub for a short-term rental to help other Airbnb hosts.
The top three chemicals to consider in your hot tub are bromine/chlorine, pH, and Alkalinity. Use a test strip, our favourite here and add chemicals as needed. For alkalinity and pH, we usually add a tablespoon at a time until the test strip reads at the right level. Keep in mind that the chemicals can either be too high or too low. You can pick up uppers & lowers from Spa Boss on Amazon and adjust accordingly. You will have to decide if you will use bromine or chlorine in your tub (we use chlorine). Both will keep the water sanitized and safe for bathing. When you are first getting started or if the bromine/chlorine on the test strip reads very low, add a treatment of shock to bring it back up.
Easy Set-Up for Guests
You want your guests to feel relaxed and not stressed about balancing the chemicals in the hot tub. You also don't want inexperienced guests messing around with the chemical levels that could lead to dangerous bathing conditions and damage to your hot tub. After talking to local hot tub stores, the easiest solution we found was the floating bromine/chlorine pucks. Before each group arrives, we test the hot tub and bring the chemicals to their optimal levels. Once at their optimal levels, we add 1-2 pucks and leave the floater in the water for the entire duration of the guests' stay. We also purchased single-use oxidizer pouches. We leave a pouch out for our guests to use if the water gets murky during their stay.
Give it a Deep Clean & Change your Filter
Because your hot tub is likely getting a lot of use, you should consider changing the water and giving it a deep clean more often than the average hot tub owner. We do this every month or two depending on usage. First, we add a cleaning treatment from the Spa Marvel Trio Pack (link to amazon to check it out) to the existing water in the tub. We leave the cleaner in the tub for 24 hours to allow it time to circulate through all the jets & water lines, flushing out any hidden dirt & bacteria. We also swap the filter with our alternate filter, then soak the dirty hot tub filter in a cleaning solution for 2-3 hours so it is ready for the next clean. Next, we drain the hot tub and give it a thorough wipe down. We refill the hot tub with fresh water and heat it to our desired temperature of 102 degrees. Once the water is at the correct temperature, we add Spa Marvel (link to amazon) which allows the tub to use less chlorine to keep to sparkling, use the test strip and balance the chemicals as described above.
And voila, you know how to care for your hot tub and ensure it stays sanitized for you & your guests! Check out our website to learn more about our hot tub and rustic luxury getaway!
Note: We are not hot tub experts, but are sharing our maintenance process in case you find it helpful.