To Shower Or Not to Shower Before Using a Hot Tub?

Jennifer Rhodes

By Jennifer Rhodes · Updated

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Getting into a hot tub is one of the best ways to relax after a long day. But there's one burning question that always seems to come up: should you shower before using the hot tub? Today, we're going to settle this debate once and for all.

On the one hand, some folks believe that showering before getting into a hot tub is necessary in order to keep the water clean. After all, when you get in the tub, you're essentially sitting in everyone else's dirt and sweat, right? On the other hand, maybe you think showering before getting in the tub defeats the purpose of soaking in hot water.

So what's the verdict? Let's take a look.

The case for showering before using a hot tub

The main argument for showering before using a hot tub is that it helps keep the water clean. When you get into a hot tub, you're sitting in water that other people have used before you—and that relies on a delicate balance of chemicals to keep it clean.

The two most common choices are bromine or chlorine, and both need to be maintained at a certain level in order to be effective.

If everyone gets into the hot tub without showering first, the water can quickly become dirty and full of bacteria, which your sanitizer of choice may not be able to keep up with.

To keep your spa water crystal clear and sanitized for as long as possible between refills, always shower before getting in. This way you will avoid introducing nasty contaminants.

You want to give your sanitizer the best chance of working as possible, which means minimizing the amount of dirt or debris that you take with you into the tub.

The case against showering before using a hot tub

Of course, there are also some drawbacks to showering before using a hot tub. For one thing, it can take away from the relaxation factor if you have to take the time to shower beforehand.

I get this. When you've had a long day at work, you just want to be able to go straight to your spa, take your clothes off, and enjoy a nice long soak.

The problem is even worse if you've got friends or family around and everybody use wants to use the hot tub. Do you insist that all your guests shower before getting into the spa?

The honest answer is that ideally, yes, you would do that. However, in practice I know this is not always possible. I've definitely had large groups of people use my hot tub before, and to be honest, occasionally it's fine. It just means you might need to add some extra sanitizer or shock your water a little more than usual after these occasions.

If your hot tub is outside, you could consider installing an outdoor shower nearby! This makes it super easy for both guests and yourself to quickly rinse off before (and after) using the spa.

Some people also believe that showering before using a hot tub actually defeats the purpose of soaking in hot water. You don't shower before getting in the bath, right?

I want to point out here that hot tubs are definitely not supposed to be used for bathing, though! You drain bath water after every occasion. Not so for hot tub water—and that's why you need to keep them strictly for relaxation only.

Other things to consider before getting in the spa

So, we now know that showering before you get in helps keep the hot tub itself clean. But that's not all you should be doing.

Tie your hair back

If you have long hair, it's important to tie it back before getting in the tub so that your hair doesn't clog the filter or make its way into the pump. Spa water isn't very good for your hair, either!

Wash your swim suit

If you're going to wear a swimsuit in your hot tub, that in itself can be another source of contamination. This is especially true if you have worn it in the ocean or in rivers previously, but even simple things like laundry detergent can be a problem if they make it into your spa.

There are a few simple solutions to this—I actually have another post on exactly what you should wear in the hot tub, where I go over the pros of cons of each option.


So there you have it! The great debate over whether or not to shower before using a hot tub is finally settled. Now that you know both sides of the argument, hopefully you'll choose to shower beforehand so that you can relax knowing that you're taking the best care of your spa water.

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