Yellow Stains on Your Inflatable Hot Tub? 3 Fixes to Try

Jennifer Rhodes

By Jennifer Rhodes · Updated

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If you've noticed yellow stains on your inflatable hot tub, you're probably wondering what's causing them.

In most cases, yellow stains on a hot tub are caused by either residue from heavy bather load, or something being off balance with the water chemistry.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to fix the problem.

What causes yellow stains on inflatable hot tubs?

There are a few different things that can cause yellow stains on inflatable hot tubs. One of the most common is a build-up of residue in the water from people using the hot tub.

When we use a hot tub, we bring in oils and sweat from our skin, which can leave behind a film on the surface of the water. This film can start to build up over time, and it can be difficult to remove without special cleaners. This is especially likely to happen if the water is not properly filtered or sanitized, or if the tub is not drained and refilled on a regular basis.

Another possible cause of yellow stains is the presence of minerals in the water. If there is high levels of iron in your tap water, for example, it can leach out into the hot tub material and cause staining. This is most likely if you use well water to fill your tub.

If you notice yellow stains on your inflatable hot tub, it's important to clean them as soon as possible. Otherwise, they could become permanent. There are a number of commercial cleaners available, or you can try a home remedy (we'll cover some options in the next section).

3 methods to get rid of yellow stains

There are a few different ways that you can get rid of yellow stains. One method is to use a bleaching agent from your normal hot tub chemical routine. Another method is to use a commercial stain remover. Finally, you can try a home remedy.

1. Add a high dose of powdered bromine or chlorine

If you have a problem with yellow stains in your inflatable hot tub, the easiest thing you can try is adding an extra high dose of powdered bromine or chlorine. Try double your usual shock dose. These chemicals are powerful sanitizers (and bleaching agents) and will kill any bacteria or algae that may be causing the stains.

To do this, simply add the powder to the water and run the pump for a few hours. You may need to repeat this process several times to completely remove the stains.

Be sure to wear gloves and eye protection and avoid contact with the water as much as possible. Bromine and chlorine can be irritating to the skin, so it's best to take precautions.

After you've treated the water, be sure to thoroughly drain, clean, and rinse the tub to remove any residual chemicals before refilling.

2. Try a Magic Eraser

The Magic Eraser is a popular cleaning tool that can be used on a variety of surfaces. It's especially effective at removing tough stains, like those from coffee and tea. I also know some inflatable spa owners who have had success with this for removing yellow stains, so it's worth a try.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
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To try this method, drain your spa, then simply wet the eraser and rub it on the stained area. The eraser should quickly break down the stain, making it easy to wipe away.

If the yellow stain is particularly stubborn, you may need to use the eraser a few times. But in most cases, one treatment is all it takes to get rid of the problem.

A Magic Eraser is a handy tool to have around the house, and it can be used on a variety of different surfaces beyond your hot tub too.

3. Try a home remedy

If you would prefer to tackle the stains using simple ingredients you probably already have at home, there are a couple easy and inexpensive solutions that you can try to get rid of them. Both will require draining your spa first.

Make a paste of water and baking soda

To make a baking soda paste, simply mix together equal parts water and baking soda. For example, if you use 1 cup of water, mix in 1 cup of baking soda. If you need more or less paste, simply adjust the amount of water and baking soda accordingly.

Once the paste is mixed, use it to rub out the stains with a soft cloth (don't use anything abrasive or you could damage your spa). Baking soda is a natural cleanser and deodorizer, so it's perfect for cleaning a variety of surfaces.

When you're finished cleaning, simply rinse away the paste with water. You may need to use a little elbow grease to get rid of all the baking soda, but it will come clean with a little effort.

Try a vinegar solution

Another popular remedy uses white vinegar and water. Simply mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle and mist the solution onto the stain.

Let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe away with a damp cloth. For tough stains, you may need to repeat the process a few times.

Tips to prevent yellow stains from coming back

There are a few things you can do to prevent yellow stains from coming back. First, make sure you keep your water properly balanced. This includes sanitizing and shocking your hot tub regularly (at least once a week, plus once after every use). This will help to remove any build-up of oils and dirt that can cause staining.

If your main water source in your area is well water, the mineral content could be a problem. Get a hose attachment that will filter the water while you are filling your tub. This should reduce the mineral content, and help to minimize any chance of staining from this:

Guardian Max Clear PRO Hot Tub Garden Hose Carbon Pre Filter
Guardian Max Clear PRO Hot Tub Garden Hose Carbon Pre Filter
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Finally, always keep your hot tub covered when it's not in use. This will protect it from dirt, debris, and sunlight, which can all cause yellowing over time.

By following these tips, you can help keep your hot tub looking its best.

Closing thoughts

If you have yellow staining on your inflatable hot tub, there are a few things you can do to try and remove it. You can try a bleaching solution, baking soda, white vinegar, or a commercial cleaner.

If the stain is stubborn, you can try to call a professional hot tub cleaner in your area—they might have access to stronger commercial cleaning agents that could fix the problem.

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