One day you open your hot tub cover and see white flakes floating in the water or maybe you slide in and the walls feel gritty like sandpaper - yuck! What is this stuff? It’s probably caused by scale deposits! Don’t worry, it isn't dangerous and can’t make you sick, but it sure does look and feel gross.
These flakes are caused by your water having a high amount of calcium, otherwise known as “hard water”. White flakes can also be caused by white mold, so you will want to rule this cause out. A good way to test if the flakes are scale or mold is to take a cup of your hot tub water and pour a small amount of bleach into the cup. If the flakes disappear, it is mold, and if not then it is calcium scale!
If scaling is mild, you may be able to use a bit of hot tub scale remover and scrub at the water line, being mindful not to get any chemicals in the water you will be soaking in.
For larger amounts of scale below the water line, it is better to drain the tub and do a deeper cleaning and while cleaning out the filter.
One of the best ways to prevent scaling in the future is to use a water softener and hose filter attachment when you fill your hot tub. This will prevent scale at the source of the hard water.
You can also keep the scale at bay by:
- Keeping your filter clean
- Balancing your water, especially for pH and alkalinity
- Using scale prevention products
- Generally maintaining a clean tub
While calcium deposit flakes will not harm you, they can harm your hot tub over time by building up to a level where they start to interfere with your system. Don’t let that happen and take measures beforehand! Getting rid of your spa’s hot tub scale is a simple fix!