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How Can Unclean Hot Tubs Affect Your Health

  • Posted by:
  • Admin
  • Tags:
  • Hot Tub Cleaning, Disease, Bacteria, Hot Tub Lung
  • Posted date:
  • 04-12-2023
How Can Unclean Hot Tubs Affect Your Health

Have you asked: how can unclean hot tubs affect your health? Our in-depth guide sheds light on the importance of regular cleaning, water balancing, and hygiene practices to safeguard your well-being.

Learn about the risks associated with poorly maintained hot tubs, from the serious threat of Legionnaires' disease to the discomfort of 'hot tub rash' and the potential for Urinary Tract Infections. Discover the importance of cleanliness not only for a soothing experience but also for the safety and well-being of hot tub users.

Legionnaires’ Disease

An important aspect of using a hot tub is understanding the possible health risks that can come from not maintaining it properly. One of these dangers is Legionnaires’ disease. Legionnaires’ disease is a particularly severe type of pneumonia, a lung disease that can result in significant breathing difficulties; it's caused by Legionella bacteria, which are naturally occurring microorganisms.

When suffering from Legionnaires' disease, you could experience symptoms like a harsh cough, a high temperature, intense muscle pains, and even short-term memory loss. It's important to mention that people with weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible, making rigorous hot tub cleanliness essential.

The warmth and wet conditions of a hot tub, particularly one that isn't regularly cleaned or kept in good condition, provide the perfect environment for these bacteria to thrive and multiply in number. This makes unclean hot tubs a potential breeding ground for Legionella; increasing the risk of you potentially developing Legionnaires' disease.

To safeguard your health while still enjoying the relaxing benefits of your hot tub, it's advised to maintain a consistent cleaning routine and keep your hot tub in good working order. Ensuring your hot tub is clean, well-maintained, and free from harmful bacteria should be of utmost importance to every user.

How Can Unclean Hot Tubs Affect Your Health? - Hot Tub Maintenance Maidstone, Kent


Pseudomonas is a type of bacterium that thrives in warm and damp conditions, hence, it finds an unclean hot tub the perfect breeding ground. This bacterium is notorious for causing Pseudomonas folliculitis, a skin condition commonly associated with hot tub usage. 

Often referred to as 'hot tub rash', Pseudomonas folliculitis initiates an uncomfortable reaction on the skin. This condition presents itself as red, itchy bumps filled with pus; unfortunately, due to their resemblance to common skin problems such as acne or minor skin irritations, they could easily be misdiagnosed.  

 The presence of Pseudomonas in a hot tub indicates poor hygiene standards - when the tub isn't cleaned regularly or the water isn't appropriately treated, the bacteria proliferate, turning the tub into a petri dish for bacteria growth. 

Consequently, using this type of tub can lead to the growth and festering of this skin disease, causing significant discomfort to individuals. Therefore, it becomes essential to maintain cleanliness standards and carry out regular maintenance of hot tubs to prevent such microbial infestations, ensuring the health and well-being of users. 

While 'hot tub rash' may not always be severe, it can, under certain circumstances, lead to life-threatening infections. This danger is especially real for individuals whose immune systems are weakened due to illness or medication. Some may think that using chlorine could kill Pseudomonas, however, this is not always the case. 

Certain strains of the bacterium have shown to be resistant to chlorine, making chlorination an unreliable method of eradication. This is why, alongside chlorination, routine water changes and thorough cleaning of the hot tub's interior are necessary. By adhering to these cleanliness measures, you can help prevent the growth and spread of Pseudomonas, ensuring a safer and more enjoyable hot tub experience.


Hot tubs that aren't kept clean not only have detrimental effects on your respiratory system and skin but can also be harmful to your urinary system. Bathing in unsanitary water can expose your genitals to harmful bacteria that may cause Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). These infections can lead to discomfort, presenting symptoms such as a burning sensation during urination and an increased need to urinate frequently. UTIs are certainly painful and unpleasant; therefore, it's vital to always maintain the cleanliness of hot tubs.

Keeping your hot tub well-sanitised and ensuring adequate levels of disinfectants, like chlorine, will reduce the risk of bacterial growth and subsequently lower the risk of contracting UTIs. In addition to this, to reduce any potential exposure to harmful bacteria, it's advised to take a thorough shower as soon as you're finished with your hot tub session. The combination of clean hot tubs and good personal hygiene practices can drastically reduce the risk of developing these infections.

Hot Tub Lung - How Can Unclean Hot Tubs Affect Your Health?

Hot Tub Lung

Hot Tub Lung is a serious respiratory condition linked to unclean hot tubs. The culprit is a bacterium called Mycobacterium Avium Complex, commonly known as MAC, which thrives in the warm and unhygienic settings of a poorly maintained hot tub. The bacteria itself is mostly harmless to people with normal immunity.

However, those with weakened immune systems can become seriously ill, developing Hot Tub Lung. The symptoms commonly associated with this illness include a persistent cough, regular shortness of breath, constant fatigue, and unexplained weight loss. 

As the name suggests, Hot Tub Lung is generally contracted by inhaling aerosols contaminated with MAC bacteria while using an unclean hot tub. To prevent the risk of contracting this respiratory condition, it's crucial to maintain a strict cleaning routine for your hot tub. Regular and thorough maintenance of your hot tub not only safeguards your health but also enhances the enjoyment of your hot tub experience.

Allergic Reactions

Relaxing in a hot tub should offer a peaceful experience; however, if the hot tub is not properly cleaned and maintained, it could lead to a range of health problems, including triggering allergic reactions. Mould, mildew and other types of bacteria, if allowed to grow in a neglected hot tub, can induce these reactions.

For some people, particularly those with existing sensitivities or allergies, exposure to these irritants can cause respiratory issues. These issues can range from minor discomfort to severe, life-threatening conditions. The symptoms may also include mild skin rashes, which might cause itchiness and considerable discomfort. Ensuring that a hot tub is clean is not only essential for maintaining a soothing atmosphere, but it is equally crucial from a health and safety perspective.

Therefore, the importance of keeping a hot tub hygienic and well-maintained shouldn't be underestimated at any point. The benefits of a clean hot tub go hand in hand with a safe, health-preserving, and enjoyable experience. The symptoms caused by unclean or unmaintained hot tubs can vary, depending on the individual and the level of exposure. The importance of cleanliness in a hot tub extends beyond just ensuring a pleasurable soak; it's fundamentally a matter of well-being and safety too. 

Taking steps to ensure thorough cleanliness and regular maintenance of your hot tub should be a priority as it will help prevent any potential health risks and let you enjoy your hot tub without worry.

At The Hot Tub Engineer, I provide expert-level services for hot tubs, swim spas, and pools in and around Maidstone, Kent. I can carry out yearly servicing appointments, as well as cleaning sessions, general maintenance, installations, and more.