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How to fix smelly hot tub water


Hot tub water has a foul odor coming from it.

Common underlying issues:

Listed in order of likelihood to be the underlying issue.

  • pH levels unbalanced
  • Sanitizer level is too low
  • Bacteria or Algae growth

Steps to diagnose & treat the underlying issue:

  1. Test pH and Alkalinity levels using test strips.
    If water is balanced, skip ahead to step 5. If water is not balanced, you must focus on fixing the Alkalinity levels first before trying to balance the pH levels.
  2. Ensure Alkalinity levels are balanced.
    • If Alkalinity is low - Use Alkalinity Increaser
    • If Alkalinity is high - There is no Alkalinity Decreaser. You must use pH Decreaser to reduce Alkalinity levels
  3. Ensure pH Levels are Balanced.
  4. Analyze and Balance Sanitizer Levels. 
    • Bromine tablets or granules should be at 4 to 6 ppm, use AquaDoc's Bromine Tablets to maintain optimum Bromine level
    • Bromine in-line or floaters should be between 1 to 2 ppm
    • Free Available Chlorine (FAC) should be between 3 to 5 ppm, use Chlorinating Granules to maintain FAC level
    • Saltwater sanitized spas require minimal balancing
  5. Remove organic micro contaminants.
    If balancing water levels and increasing sanitizer has not fixed the issue, it is likely that bacteria or algae buildup is the source of the foul smell. Fear not, we have the solution.

Preventing Foul Smelling Spa Water

Responsible use and regular hot tub maintenance are the keys to preventing your hot tub water from getting smelly. Following the below recommendations are key to preventing stinky spa water.

Responsible hot tub usage:

  • Avoid wearing makeup, lotions, and oils. Ideally use your hot tub at night or position in a shaded area to avoid needing to use sunscreen
  • Cover your hot tub when not in use

Responsible hot tub maintenance to bacteria and algae in your water:

  • Regularly check and balance alkalinity and sanitizer levels
  • Add 1oz Natural Enzyme per 250 gallons of water once a week

Summary of cloudy water treatment products

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