How to Fix & Prevent Cloudy Hot Tub Water

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Is cloudy water keeping you out of your tub? Having hazy or murky water is a common hot tub issue. Luckily, preventing it is easy. I will provide you with some great tips on how to remedy cloudy water in your spa, and keep it from coming back!

Cloudy hot tub water

Treating Cloudy Water

“There are several different reasons for spa water to become cloudy, and each requires a slightly different treatment.”

-Mark, Hot Tub Expert

Some basic reasons for cloudy water in your hot tub:

  • Out of balance water
  • Low sanitizer level
  • Excessive contaminants
  • Clogged or worn out filter
  • High TDS levels

Out of Balance Water and Low Sanitizer Level

Test your water with easy to use test strips

Finding out if your hot tub water is out of balance or has a low sanitizer level is as easy as pulling out your test strips.

  1. Allow your spa to circulate for a minute or two.
  2. Follow the directions on your test strip bottle for dipping and comparing your results to the color chart.
  3. Add the chemicals that are necessary to restore your water balance or sanitizer to its proper level.

Excessive Contaminants

Hair products, skin products, and detergents can all contribute to cloudy water.

Preventative Tips:

  • Before entering the tub, rinse off any lotions, hair sprays etc.
  • If you have long hair, you can put your hair up to keep it out of the water.
  • Rinse out your swimwear if you have washed in with detergent.


If your water has already been contaminated with any of the above, you can shock your water and use a natural clarifier to effectively clear-up the cloudiness.

Oxy Spa
These two product options will act instantly to rid your hot tub water of residual soaps, lotions, oils, hair spray and other organic material build-up.

Clogged or Worn Out Filters

A clogged or worn out filter can fail to trap contaminants and also put strain on your spa pump. To avoid a potentially costly mishap:

  • Filters should be rinsed every 2-4 weeks
  • Every 3-4 months, or with every water change, you should pre-rinse your filter and soak it overnight in a non-foaming filter cleaning compound. Rinse the filter again and allow it to dry before returning it to the hot tub.
  • Hot tub filters should be changed annually or sooner if you notice significant wear or damage.

Dirty and worn spa filter

My Water is Still Cloudy… Hot tub water older than 3-4 months accumulate high TDS (total dissolved solids) levels that cause persistent cloudiness. If none of the steps above are getting your water back to crystal clear, it’s time to flush, drain and refill your tub. Keep in mind: If you drain and refill your tub, but do not use a system flush, or use a dirty or old filter cartridge to filter your new water, it will get cloudy again. Don’t waste your time – follow these simple steps:

  • Flush your system and remove oily residues and deposits from the inside of your plumbing system.
  • Check that your filter is not clogged or full of debris that will release contaminants into your fresh water.
  • Using a fill filter helps to eliminate impurities that could be clouding your water, and fills your spa with higher quality water.

Prefresh fill filter

Still have questions about hot tub maintenance or cloudy water? Post a comment below and we will help!


  1. Hi Mike,

    The water softener could definitely contribute to the cloudiness of your water, depending on what you use for softener. However, cloudiness can occur for a multitude of reasons, so cover your bases by starting with the simplest solutions first.

    Start by checking your pH & alkalinity. High pH can cause cloudiness, so make sure you are in balance.

    The next day after balancing pH, if water is still cloudy, add a dose of chlorine shock to rule out any contamination.

    Check the spa water again after a day, and if the water is still cloudy, use a clarifier (we recommend Sea Klear) to clump up and filter out any dissolved solids.

    The combination of these should clear up the problem. If you are still having issues after following these steps, let us know!



  2. That’s a really comprehensive piece of information. There are so many reasons to cloudy water. I will definitely follow your advice next time I come across the issue.


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