Did you know that soaking in your hot tub may be dangerous for your health and that it may even lead to death. Even though your hot tub may look clean on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that could pose the biggest risk to your health. Did you know that hot tubs can provide a home for dangerous bacteria even with regular use of sanitizer? That’s where Ahh-some comes into play.
A Texas A&M University study found that whirlpool bathtubs can literally be a breeding ground for dozens of bacteria. One of those dangerous bacteria is Legionella, a cause of Legionnaires disease and Pontiac fever. Legionnaires disease is a form of pneumonia that can be spread through mist from using the hot tub. 8,000-18,000 people are hospitalized each year with the disease.
What is the biofilm matrix?
Should you be worried about soaking and relaxing in your hot tub? The quick answer is no, especially if you work to keep it sanitized. But how deep does that sanitizer go? If you’re not cleaning the naturally forming biofilm, a thin, slimy film of bacteria that adheres surfaces, you could be at risk. Scientists are still trying to unravel biofilm but describe it as a structure which allows microorganisms and bacteria to be not only protected but thrive.
There are an abundance of locations in which biofilm can build up over time and after numerous uses in a spa or hot tub. One of the main culprits is the network of pipes and jets throughout the tub. These create the perfect environment for biofilm to form, completely out of sight. When a bather gets into the hot tub they introduce organic matter that can feed the biofilm matrix.
While you may use chlorine or bromine to kill bacteria in your hot tub, it doesn’t kill it all. Chlorine only kills the free floating biofilm in the water and on the surface. The rest of the bacteria remains lodged in that biofilm matrix deep in the pipes and filters.
How can you remove the biofilm?
I use a product call Ahh-Some from Unique Solutions, Inc. to remove the biofilm from our hot tub. Ahh-Some is designed to soften the outer walls of the biofilm allowing carrier salts to loosen and break-up the hard to reach areas. If you have a sanitized system you can add in a shock dose of the sanitizer during the Ahh-Some treatment. This allows the sanitizer to kill the bacteria once it becomes free floating.
Ahh-Some’s ability to strip out biofilm absolutely amazed me and at the same time completely grossed me out. There was so much gunk and goo that was coming out onto the surface of the water and adhering to the sides of the tub. This sticky gunk being purged from your hot tub pipes contains all of the gross biofilm spores that have been living in the depths of your hot tub.
Be care to not inhale the spores that are being purged from your system. I usually wear a disposable face mask and gloves when cleaning with Ahh-Some.
Cleaning tips when using Ahh-Some
I use about one teaspoon of the gel per 100 gallons of water, a little goes a long way. I’ve found that it helps to dissolve the gel in warm water before putting into the hot tub. Once the gel is mostly dissolved I pour it into the hot tub and the process gets underway. I always take out the filter but you’re free to leave it in.
- During the cleaning process you will see brown specs and other dark colored particles floating in the foam and clinging to the surfaces of your tub. This is normal!
- When cleaning the biofilm surfaces always wear gloves.
- Older Hot Tubs and Spas that have not been cleaned properly in the past may require multiple applications to ensure that all the bio debris/gunk is removed from your system.
- Ahh-Some can help remove unwanted odors and unsightly mold.
Adding a product like Ahh-some to your spa maintenance will help keep you safe and healthy while enjoying your hot tub. This fairly simple process that has amazing results. We all live busy lives with work and everything else so when there is something that can come along and help fix a problem with relative ease while protecting our family it is a must get.