SUMMER has finally arrived and many Brits wants to spend more time in their gardens – and if you’re lucky enough you might even be relaxing in hot tub.
If you’re taking a dip it’s important to keep your tub clean as nasty bugs could be lurking.
Hot tubs are breeding grounds for germs that could make you seriously ill.
There are several illnesses you could develop from a hot tub or pool including Cryptosporidium (known as Crypto).
This is a type of parasite which is usually contracted by swallowing the water and the infection can cause three weeks of severe diarrhoea.
Steamy hot tubs can also cause Legionnaires’ disease which is caused by the Legionella bacteria.
The bacteria as well as Pseudomanas, thrives in slimy areas like hot tubs that haven’t been disinfected properly.
People can become infected by the bacteria when they breathe in steam or mist from the contaminated tub.
In order to avoid this you have to make sure hot tubs have the right levels of disinfectant.
Bacterias such as Pseudomanas thrive in hot tubs[/caption]
The chemicals used to clean hot tubs can also cause allergic reactions as people bathe in the water which may have been in contact with harsh chemicals.
Potassium peroxymonosulfate which is used to clean hot tubs has previously been linked to allergic reactions.
In very rare cases hot tubs can also cause (urinary tract infections) UTIs due to bacterias such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Urosepsis.
One young woman also previously warned against the dangers of hot tubs after doctors believe she contracted meningitis.
Lauren Briggs, from Corringham, Essex had to undergo an amputation of her right leg below the knee and her toes on her left leg – leaving her wheelchair bound.
Lauren was shocked to learn that the hot tub could have been the cause of her infection after doctors explained it was the likely cause.
Lauren explained that doctors told her she may have got the infection through a small cut she had on her foot.
With these infections in mind – here are the five tips you need to know to keep your hot tub clean and safe this summer.
1. Clean the water
Experts recommend changing the water regularly, every 3-4 months as a general rule of thumb, research by OnBuy.com shows.
However, generally clean water is clear water, therefore if it does not look dirty you shouldn’t need to change it.
You should also make sure the pH levels are between 7.2-7.8 is the easiest way to clean a hot tub without draining it, however this only delays the issues of dirty water until you must drain it.
Therefore, this should only be used as a short-term solution, and if the water looks dirty then it should be drained.
2. Have a shower first
After a long day you might not think twice about jumping into a hot tub with the day’s grime all over you.
Most of us will wear deodorant and might have even moisturised first thing in the morning.
If you’re planning on jumping into the hot tub then you should shower beforehand.
This will keep any soap residue out of your tub. You should also not use detergent in the bathing suit you wear and instead wash it on a rinse cycle so that detergent doesn’t get into the tub.
This is a great way to prevent allergic reactions in others who might be sensitive to the washing powder you use.
You should shower before you get in a hot tub in order to avoid any dirt getting into the water[/caption]
3. Keep an eye on the time
How long you stay in a hot tub for is personal preference but you should take into account any underlying health conditions you might have.
Experts suggest that generally you shouldn’t exceed 30 minutes. You can always come back later, but it is important to give your body a break from the heat and the chemicals.
4. Check your skin type
Researchers at OnBuy.com found out that there are 17,900 monthly global searches for salt water hot tubs.
They are known for being easier to maintain and don’t often require the use of chemicals which can cause allergic reactions.
But salt water hot tubs do come with drawbacks. They are not suitable for those with sensitive skin due to the harshness of the salts, and when draining them the salts can also cause harm to the environment.
It is therefore important to read the pros and cons before buying a salt water hot tub, to see if they are right for you.
You can have allergic reactions in hot tubs and the water can also cause skin irritation[/caption]
5. Clean your filters
It might sound counter productive to clean the filters of your tub as they are in place to filter nasties out.
But experts at HotSpring say you should spray each cartridge with a garden hose, rotating while spraying to thoroughly remove any debris between filter pleats.
It also suggests using filter cleaners to keep them in good working condition.
They state: “While cleaning your filters will help keep water running smoothly, you should replace your filters every three years.”
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If you’re planning on going on holiday you should also put measures in place to keep your tub in tip top condition.
Before you go, adjust the pH according to the manual and make sure you sanitise the tub with chlorination.
You should also put the cover over the tub to prevent any debris getting into the water.
When you return you should balance the PH levels and sanitise the water.