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How to Clean Poop in Your Hot Tub (Easy Sanitation Tips)

Nobody wants to think about it, but accidents can happen, and yes, that includes finding poop in your hot tub. It’s definitely not the most pleasant discovery, but rest assured, it’s something you can handle without calling in a professional cleaning crew. So here’s how to clean poop in a hot tub:

To clean poop in a hot tub, first, remove any visible debris using a net or pool skimmer. Then, drain the hot tub completely. Following that, clean the tub’s surfaces and filters with a disinfectant. Refill the tub, add an appropriate dose of chlorine or bromine, and run the jets to circulate the disinfectant.

Cleaning your hot tub after such an incident may seem daunting but with the right steps and precautions, you’ll have your relaxing oasis back in no time.

It’s all about ensuring safety and cleanliness, without damaging the spa or your health. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and delve into how you can clean up this unexpected mess, and get back to soaking in your hot tub as soon as possible.

Remember, it’s important to deal with this as promptly as possible, so let’s get started.

What Do You Do When Someone Poops in the Hot Tub?

Well, let’s face it, this is not exactly a glamorous situation, but it’s important to address it promptly and efficiently to ensure the safety and hygiene of all hot tub users. The first thing you need to do is remain calm and act quickly.

Once you notice that someone (likely young children) has left an unwanted surprise in your hot tub, the priority is to remove the fecal matter as soon as possible. Remember, warm water creates an ideal environment for bacteria growth, and nobody wants to risk exposing themselves or others to harmful pathogens like E. coli or other recreational water illnesses.

The most straightforward way to tackle the issue is by using a net or scoop specifically designed for cleaning pools or hot tubs. Using disposable gloves (safety first!), carefully scoop out any visible poop from the water surface.

It’s crucial not to break up any solid waste while scooping as this could lead to further contamination of the water. Now that you’ve removed the bulk of fecal matter from the hot tub, your next step should focus on disinfection.

Hot tub folliculitis and bacterial infections are no joke! You want to ensure that your hot tub is a safe and clean environment for bathing after all

Do You Scoop Out the Poop in a Hot Tub That’s Been Pooped In?

The answer is a resounding YES! The presence of feces in your hot tub is not only unsightly but also poses potential health risks.

By removing it promptly, you can minimize the chances of anyone coming into contact with harmful bacteria or getting sick. Now, how exactly do you go about scooping out the offending object without causing further contamination?

First things first, put on some disposable gloves to protect yourself from any possible pathogens present in the water or on the poop itself. Then, use a net skimmer or a pool scoop specifically designated for this purpose (and never again for anything else!) to gently lift the fecal matter out of the water.

Make sure to do this as carefully as possible to avoid any splashing that could spread contaminated water around. Once you have successfully removed the poop from your hot tub, it’s crucial to take immediate action in terms of cleaning and disinfection.

Simply scooping it out is not enough; there may still be residual bacteria lingering in the hot tub’s water, in the filter(s), and on surfaces. 

Remember that high temperatures and sanitizers alone are not sufficient for killing all harmful bacteria that may have been introduced by the feces. The addition of sanitizer is necessary to ensure proper disinfection.

Below I’ll go through every step to ensure your guests are safe and your hot tub gets back in action quickly.

Do You Have to Drain a Hot Tub if Someone Poops in It?

Yes is the short answer. The most important thing is to act quickly to minimize the risk of a skin infection.

Immediate steps involve turning off the hot tub, removing anyone in it, and taking out the visible fecal material. You don’t want bacteria getting into the filtration system, so remove the fecal material first, ideally using a net or bag. Ensure you’re wearing gloves for this process, and dispose of the waste appropriately.

Once you’ve removed as much of the fecal material as possible, the best way to ensure cleanliness is to drain water from the hot tub entirely. Draining not only removes any lingering contaminants, but it also ensures that any bacteria hiding out in hard-to-reach areas are also flushed out.

While some people might attempt to clean the water without draining, it can be difficult to thoroughly sanitize the spa water in the aftermath of such an incident. By draining the hot tub, you’re starting from a completely clean slate and can be more confident in the cleanliness of your tub going forward.

You can expedite the draining process by using a submersible pump for ultra-fast draining if you have one.

Once the tub is empty, clean and disinfect the surfaces thoroughly before refilling. Also, don’t forget to clean or replace your filter as necessary. By following these steps, you can reclaim your hot tub and make it safe and enjoyable once again.

Do I Need to Disinfect the Hot Tub Shell After Draining If Someone Pooped?

Yes, it’s essential to properly clean and disinfect the shell to ensure a safe and sanitary environment for future use.

When someone defecates in a hot tub, bacteria, and other harmful microorganisms can contaminate the water.
Even after draining the water, these pathogens can still linger on the surface of the hot tub shell. Disinfecting the shell is crucial to eliminate any remaining bacteria and prevent potential health risks.

To disinfect the hot tub shell, start by thoroughly cleaning it using a mild detergent or hot tub-specific cleaner. Scrub all surfaces of the shell, paying extra attention to areas where fecal matter may have come into contact.

Use a soft brush or cloth to remove any debris or residue. Once you’ve cleaned the shell, it’s time for disinfection.
The most effective way to do this is by using a sanitizing agent specifically designed for hot tubs. One option is chlorine-based sanitizers which are commonly used in maintaining clean water in swimming pools and hot tubs.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how much sanitizer to use based on your specific hot tub size. After applying the sanitizer, allow it some time to work its magic before rinsing off with clean water.

This waiting period ensures that all bacteria are effectively killed off. Rinse thoroughly until no traces of sanitizer remain on the surface.

Remember that when dealing with potentially hazardous substances like feces, it’s important to protect yourself as well. Wear disposable gloves throughout the cleaning process and dispose of them properly after use.

Ensuring proper cleaning and disinfection of your hot tub shell after someone poops in it not only keeps you and your fellow bathers safe but also maintains a hygienic bathing environment overall. By following these steps carefully, you can enjoy a clean and sanitary hot tub experience free from any worries about bacterial infections.

Do I Need to Clean or Replace My Hot Tub Filter if Someone Poops in the Hot Tub?

If someone poops in your hot tub, the first order of business is to remove the poop and thoroughly clean the entire tub, but what about the filter?

Too much poop can find its way into the filter, which if not addressed, can turn your hot tub into a contaminated hot tub, posing health issues. In a small volume of water like a hot tub, pollutants like poop can build up quickly, leading to a higher risk of health issues. 

In other words, if bacteria gets trapped in the paper pleats of the filter, the fresh water can get contaminated every time a filtration cycle kicks in.

Here’s a simple rule to follow: If you caught the incident quickly and the incident involved a small amount of poop that was simply on the surface of the water, you removed it from the water quickly, you can just opt to clean filter media rather than replacing them.

To clean the filter, you’ll need to remove it and soak it in a specialized filter cleaner (I like Spa Depot’s Power Soak from Amazon), ensuring that it’s thoroughly disinfected. Rinse the filter in hot water first to dislodge any stubborn debris lodged in the filter media. Then soak in a 5-gallon bucket filled with water and about 1/2 cup of the Power Soak for 1 hour. Then rinse it off after.

Allow it to dry before reinstalling it into the tub.

But if the poop got directly into the filter or your filter has seen better days it’s a good idea to replace the filter entirely. The potential contamination and the health risks that it presents aren’t worth the cost-saving of trying to clean a heavily contaminated or aged filter.

In essence, it’s about the balance between the condition of your filter and the level of contamination. Regular maintenance of your hot tub filter is crucial, but in a situation like this, a more thorough approach is essential to ensure the safety and cleanliness of your hot tub.

Should Everyone Who Was in the Hot Tub With the Poop Take a Shower?

Absolutely! It’s important for everyone’s health and safety.

Swimming in hot tub water contaminated by fecal matter can expose you to potential risks. Even though hot tubs are usually maintained at high temperatures, which may help kill some bacteria and viruses, it doesn’t guarantee the complete elimination of harmful microorganisms.

Taking a quick rinse in the shower after leaving the hot tub is a wise precautionary measure. Bacteria such as E. coli, pseudomonas aeruginosa, and other pathogens can survive despite the high temperatures in the water. Washing the bathing suit is a good idea too.

These organisms can cause various illnesses, including gastrointestinal issues, respiratory infections, and even skin problems like hot tub folliculitis.

Thus, taking a thorough shower with soap and warm water helps remove any lingering contaminants from your skin. It’s not just about your own well-being; showering after encountering a fecal incident is also essential for preventing the spread of infections to others.

Bacteria and viruses can easily be transferred from one person to another through close contact or touching accessible surfaces like handrails or bath toys.

By cleansing yourself thoroughly, you reduce the chances of transmitting any potential pathogens. If you were unfortunate enough to find yourself sharing a hot tub with poop, don’t panic!

Following simple hygiene practices like taking a shower helps minimize the risks associated with recreational water illnesses. By doing so, you’re taking an active role in disease control and safeguarding both yourself and those around you from potential health hazards.


Dealing with poop in a hot tub can be an unpleasant scenario, but it is important to handle it promptly and in a sanitary manner.

Remember that the health and safety of all hot tub users should always be the top priority. Following proper procedures will help ensure everyone can continue to enjoy the benefits of soaking in warm, soothing waters.

When it comes to cleaning up after someone has had a bowel movement in the hot tub, scooping out the solid waste is just the first step. Draining and thoroughly disinfecting the hot tub is necessary to eliminate any potential pathogens or bacteria that may have been introduced into the water.

This will also help maintain proper pH levels and free chlorine concentration for a safe bathing environment. Additionally, cleaning or replacing the hot tub filter is essential after an incident like this.

Filters play a crucial role in trapping debris and contaminants, so they need to be thoroughly cleaned or replaced to prevent any lingering presence of fecal matter. A quick rinse alone may not suffice in removing all traces of contamination from these intricate components.

Moreover, it is wise for everyone who was present in the hot tub during the incident to take a shower afterward. This will help rinse away any residual bacteria that might have attached themselves to their skin or hair follicles.

Showering with soap can further reduce the risk of spreading harmful microorganisms.

In closing, while poop accidents in hot tubs are certainly undesirable occurrences, by acting swiftly and taking appropriate steps such as thorough cleaning and disinfection, you can ensure that everyone stays healthy and safe while enjoying their soak.

Remember that prevention through regular maintenance and responsible use is key when it comes to avoiding such incidents altogether. So let’s keep those hot tubs clean and enjoy our relaxing experiences without worrying about any unwanted surprises!

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Jeff Campbell