Can I Leave Spa Purge In for a Few Days? (Only in Certain Cases!)

Jennifer Rhodes

By Jennifer Rhodes · Updated

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Whether you're a first-time hot tub owner or a seasoned vet, chances are you're familiar with the concept of spa purge. After all, who wants to leave gunk and grime hiding in the pipes when you drain your spa?

But what if you don't have time to complete the full purge process in one session? Can you leave the product in for a few more days and still achieve desired results?

In some cases, yes—but it depends on the specific type of spa purge you're using. Keep reading to learn more!

What is spa purge and what are its benefits?

Spa purge is a product used to flush the lines of your hot tub, dislodging any algae or biofilm that has formed in areas where you can't see it. It's an essential part of deep cleaning a spa, usually done as part of your quarterly drain-and-refill process.

Although it may seem like an annoying extra step, spa purge can actually save you time and get you a cleaner spa in the long run. By getting rid of built-up bacteria and microorganisms inside the pipes and jets, spa purge helps to stop biofilm from coming back, keeping your spa water crystal clear for longer.

As a result, purging your spa on a regular basis can help to keep you and your spa healthy and happy. Although it takes a bit of time to do, the benefits of a spa purge are well worth the effort.

Can you leave spa purge in for a few days?

Let's say you're considering doing a spa purge, but you don't have time to drain the spa immediately after adding the product. Should you delay the whole process, or is it ok to add the spa purge now and simply come back and drain the spa in a few days?

The answer depends on the product you're using. Let me explain.

Different spa purge products have different directions, ranging from 'leave for 15 minutes and then drain the spa immediately' to 'leave overnight'. Some are designed to simply dislodge nasties from inside your pipes (flushing them out to then be killed by your sanitizer) whereas others are designed to actually kill the bacteria as they go.

In general, always follow the instructions on your spa purge as closely as possible for best results.

With the first kind, it's important that you wipe any grime off the interior walls of your spa as it appears—and then drain the spa as soon as possible after. Biofilm is a sticky, slimy substance, and you want to prevent it from attaching to other surfaces or it could start to grow there instead.

With the second kind, you are probably safer to leave it for a little longer.

Which spa purge is safe to leave for a few days?

As a general rule, if your spa purge can be left overnight as per the instructions, you are probably safe to leave it for a few days. If not, I would personally not risk it.

These popular spa products can potentially be left for a few days:

It's probably not a good idea to leave any of these in your spa for longer than recommended:

Of course, this is at your own risk, and you should always follow the instructions as closely as possible.

Things to be aware of if leaving spa purge in for a few days

If you do decide to leave your spa purge in for longer than recommended, there are a couple of things to know that will save you a headache in future.

1. Never leave the jets on

When you leave spa purge in your spa for a few days, it's important to turn off the jets. Otherwise, there is a risk of foam forming.

Part of how these products work is by creating foam that contains a build-up of bacteria and other contaminants in the water, and it can quickly get out of hand if the water is aerated.

By turning off the jets but otherwise letting the water circulate as normal, you will make your life a lot easier.

2. Be prepared to clean some gunk off the walls

As I said, biofilm can be sticky, so there's still a chance some of it gets stuck to the interior walls of your spa—particularly around the waterline.

It's a good idea to have a good surface cleaner at the ready so you can wipe off anything nasty from the interior walls of your spa as you drain it:

Spa Cleaner & Hot Tub Cleaner Spray - MAV AquaDoc 16oz
Spa Cleaner & Hot Tub Cleaner Spray - MAV AquaDoc 16oz
View on Amazon

Final thoughts

If you're looking to leave your spa purge in for a few days, it's possible—but make sure you're using the right type of spa purge. If it's designed to be left overnight, you're probably ok. If not, it's best to wait until you can drain the spa immediately.

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