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Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category

Hot Tub Maintenance Tips for Earth Day

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earth day savings hot tub tipsWhen it comes to protecting our environment, the benefits are often two-fold. Not only do you get the satisfaction of knowing you’re doing your part to help conserve and protect our planet’s finite natural resources, but in the case of hot tubs, there are some financial savings to be had, as well! Here are three easy ways to make your hot tub more eco-friendly this Earth Day – April 22! Save energy with improved insulation, reduce chemical use by using alternative sanitizers, and conserve water by improving your spa filtration and maintenance practices. Let’s explore how to make your spa or hot tub more environmentally friendly.

Save Energy: Improve Insulation

Hot tubs and hot tub covers are made to withstand mild, moderate and/or severe winter climates. Hot tubs that are not as well insulated as they could be, particularly around the sides and on top, take more energy to maintain hot water temperatures and overcome radiant heat loss. This becomes more pronounced during very low temperatures and high wind conditions. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to add more R-value to a poorly insulated spa. Pink brand insulation (Owens Corning) has lots of boards and thin bats that can be retrofitted into a spa cabinet to increase spa insulation.

On the topside, look at our Ultra or Works spa covers, for the best thermal performance in a spa cover. Replacing a thin, ill-fitting or waterlogged cover with a heavier weight 1.5 lb. or 2 lb. foam, in a 6-4″ taper, will really improve your hot tub’s insulation and save you money on heat loss around the cover. For high winds, which can seep in under the cover and cool your hot tub, our high wind straps keep your spa from lifting up slightly during heavy winds. Finally, adding a floating spa blanket traps heat in the water where it belongs, and the added heat barrier helps reduce heat loss even further.

Reduce Chemical Use: Alternative Sanitizers

When you reduce your use of chlorine and bromine, the Earth wins, because when you reduce your demand for chlorine or bromine, the supply (and production, and transport) slows down to compensate, as supply always adjusts to meet demand. Adding alternative or secondary sanitizers to your spa can cut your usage of chlorine or bromine by as much as half. Adding minerals or ozone purifiers to your spa helps remove the majority of the contaminants in the water, which in turn allows you to use a much lower level of bromine or chlorine in the spa. Some people use minerals and ozone together in conjunction with regular applications of non-chlorine MPS shock. The result is a completely chlorine free hot tub.

Mineral sanitizers for spas are so easy to use! Just drop the Nature2 Spa Stick or other brand mineral stick into the hole in your filter cartridge. Water passing by is instantly purified as it picks up the minerals. There are also floating mineral systems that will automatically add a supplemental level of bromine or chlorine to the water for you.

Connecting a spa ozonator is a piece of cake on any ozone-ready spa or hot tub. For tubs without a Mazzei injector manifold or other port to connect the ozone hose, you can install your own Mazzei injector into 3/4″ or 1″ water hose leading to a low-water ozone jet. It’s best to push ozone out of a dedicated ozone jet near the floor of the tub, but ozone can also be introduced through certain low wall jets.

Conserve Water: Adjust Maintenance Routines

anti-microbial-filter-spasYour spa filter is the most important part of maintaining healthy water. In fact, a good spa filter can be the difference between changing the water every 3-4 months, or even waiting longer if you have a really good spa filter. You’ll also need fewer chemicals to maintain water quality. There are some simple things you can do to improve water filtration for longer lasting water.

First, many spa filter cartridges are available in the standard square footage size (25 sq. ft. for example), but you can often find the same size filter cartridge with more square footage (37.5 sq. ft. for example). It’s the same dimensional size spa filter cartridge, but it has more pleats for more square footage, which translates to a greater filter surface area. Second, many spa filter cartridges are also available as a blue Microban cartridge, which kills bacteria on contact. The Microban never wears off, although the cartridge itself will not last any longer than normal. Another thing you can do to really improve your spa filtration is to add a second spa filter. We have a blog about that process in more detail. Having two spa filters can drastically extend the time between water changes, and with a large spa filter, a spa could conceivably go an entire year between water changes! Finally, remember that filter cartridges should replaced every 12-24 months, depending on how big your filter is and how often the spa is used. Regularly replacing your filter cartridge is the first step to maintaining water quality and preventing excessive water changes.

When you do change the water, it doesn’t have to go to waste. There are many ways you can recycle the water and decrease your demand. You’ll want the chlorine or bromine level to be as low as possible when you drain the spa (around 1 ppm or less), so try to avoid adding sanitizer in the days leading up to draining. Balanced water with little to no sanitizer is safe to use for watering grass, trees, bushes or other plants around your property. Just move the end of the hose coming from your drain, siphon or pump around the yard every few minutes to prevent water pooling or runoff. You can also pump clean water into a nearby swimming pool (if you have one). If you live in dry or drought-stricken areas, another option is to water your home’s foundation or concrete walkways and driveways to prevent dry cracks. If you are using a small submersible pump to drain the spa, you can also use this water to wash your vehicle or other large equipment.

 

Happy Earth Day from your friends at Hot Tub Works!

Celebrating National Hot Tub Day

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national hot tub dayFUN FACT! Did you know that we hot tub enthusiasts have our very own holiday? Well, we do! National Hot Tub Day is celebrated each year on March 28. There’s no denying the therapeutic benefits of a relaxing soak in your spa or hot tub, and this fun holiday gives you yet another excuse to go enjoy it.

Just one week after the first day of spring, National Hot Tub Day is the perfect time to do a bit of “spring cleaning” and general maintenance on your hot tub.

Test, balance and sanitize the water, and clean or replace your filter cartridge. If it’s time to drain and refill the water, take a moment to purge biofilm buildup from the lines, and wipe down all spa surfaces with a cleaning or polishing product to keep it looking like new.

Next, carefully examine the hot tub cover for signs of wear and tear. If it’s still in good working condition, clean it off with a vinyl cleaner and conditioner to protect your cover from the sun’s harsh UV rays. On the other hand, if your cover is cracking, coming unstitched, getting waterlogged or sagging in the middle, it may be time to replace the old cover with a new one. A well-fitting spa cover in good condition is an important factor in maintaining a healthy hot tub.

If you don’t yet own a spa cover lift, you should strongly consider buying one. A cover lift is a valuable tool for quickly removing the cover, protecting it against accidental damage and helping to prevent mildew. Not only will it save your back, but it can also save your cover and help it last longer.

After you’ve spent some quality time cleaning and maintaining your hot tub, it’s time to enjoy the benefits of owning one! Add a dose of your favorite spa aromatherapy, and soak away your stress, aches and pains in the softly bubbling water.

In our opinion, every day should be National Hot Tub Day! Although it only comes once a year, don’t let that stop you from enjoying your hot tub as much as possible.

Romantic Hot Tub Ideas

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romantic hot tub ideasLove is in the air, and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! If you’re like me, you’re so over the typical Valentine’s dinner and a movie. The restaurants are all so crowded, and they usher you in and out as quickly as possible. Rushing out on a work night and trying to make everything feel so romantic can almost feel forced – there has to be a better alternative!

We have an idea if you’d like to try something different this year. Cancel the fancy restaurant reservation, and put away the slinky dress and high heels. Make a unique, personalized date for the two of you in your hot tub! It’s easy to pull off with just a little bit of planning. We’ve gathered a few tips and ideas to get you started.

The Spa-posal

The romance begins with a courtly gesture. Put together a memorable invitation that builds interest and anticipation. The ASK is more than just a simple proposition. It’s all about the presentation and packaging, and asking your special person to join you for a romantic night in.

  • valentine's day invitationHand-written invitations, hand delivered on fancy stationery is hard to resist. It’s an overture that will melt his/her heart.
  • Post-it Notes – Write your proposition in fancy script over many heart-shaped Post-it notes, placed on the bathroom mirror or in strategic locations around the house.
  • Send flowers in advance from a local florist. As an added touch, you can write a loving sentiment to your beloved.
  • Gift wrap a robe and slippers, a new bathing suit or some other nice gift. Include your date night invitation inside the box.
  • Print two tickets to a “Hot Show” on a ticket printing website, or make your own design using your favorite image editor.
  • Spell it out with sweets – Write your proposal on a cake, or use Valentine’s heart candies for a clever and tasty message.

Like any good invitation, be sure to include a specific date, time and location. Make it as formal or personalized as you want. Any gesture from the heart is sure to be well received. To kick it over the top, name the evening according to a theme. “Evening Under the Stars” or “Hot Tub Heaven” will help generate more excitement and enticement. It will also help you in planning your date, branding the evening as though it were at a resort spa or an exclusive tropical hideaway.

Choosing a Gift

The gift comes before the big event, so it’s actually a pre-gift, given at the start of the evening. Choose a sweet and thoughtful gift that’s related to the theme or your evening plans. As mentioned above, the gift can be combined with the “ask” in many clever ways.

  • Fluffy robes – Soft, matching robes and slippers. Bonus if you buy two sets so you match each other.
  • valentine's day giftBlooming flowers – A bouquet of his or her favorite flowers is still one of the most romantic and sensual gifts you can give.
  • Chocolate dipped fruits and berries, or go for the traditional heart-shaped box of chocolates.
  • Romantic apparel – For her, a new spring hat or summer dress. For him, a sports jacket, cap or pair of nice shoes.
  • Watches and jewelry – Take pictures of their favorite pieces, and visit a local shopping mall to find something similar. A new watch or a shiny bracelet makes for a perfect Valentine’s Day gift.

The pre-gift is an important part of the evening’s allure. It doesn’t need to be extravagant, nor does it need to be “store bought.” Remember, the presentation of the gift is key. It’s not so much what’s in the box, but how you wrap it and present it. Be sweet!

Setting the Mood

Setting the mood for the evening is also key. The hot tub is a natural mood setter, and adding little touches here and there can help make it more romantic. Use a few decorative elements or some personal touches to really make your spa area more inviting. Here are a few ideas on how to set a romantic tone around the hot tub.

  • Soft music and soft lighting – Set up some Bluetooth speakers and play a soft, romantic playlist. Use some candles to light the path or set a few around the tub.
  • aromatherapy crystalsRose petals – Create a path of rose petals leading to the spa. Set aside a bowl of petals to add to the water’s surface just before you and your partner enter the tub.
  • Tropical plants – Add a few large green tropicals or flowering plants around the spa to soften the view and add some natural flora.
  • Aromatherapy – Our diverse selection of scented elixirs and spa crystals add sensual aromas to promote relaxation and heighten the five senses. It really works!
  • Bottle of champagne, chilling in an ice bucket, with two (plastic) champagne flutes. Classically romantic.
  • Hang curtains – If your spa is out in the open, hang decorative privacy screening around spa. Using material like bed sheets or sheer fabric will usually do the trick.

Having a few conversations starters ready to go can help keep things light and fun. Playing “Remember when…?” or dreaming together about exotic travel plans are two good starters. Exchanging back, neck and shoulder massages is another great way to get relaxed and enjoy your time together.

Planning the Food

For snacks in the hot tub, I always recommend fruits and veggies, especially colorful berries and fruit wedges. Avoid any greasy foods or dips. Just some brightly colored fruits, best enjoyed au naturel. Here are some more romantic ideas for dining on Valentine’s Day.chocolate covered strawberry

  • Al fresco dining by candlelight – Set up a table for two on your patio, and enjoy the starlight overhead.
  • Private dining by candlelight in the comfort of your own home.
  • Private sunset picnic at the beach, lake or your favorite scenic overview.
  • Appetizer smorgasbord – Fill a large platter with your favorite restaurant style appetizers.
  • Breakfast for dinner – After soaking in the hot tub, jump in the car to go to IHOP or a small local diner.
  • Dinner with friends – Before kicking off your romantic evening at home, plan an intimate Valentine’s dinner party with a few of your closest friends and their partners.

Don’t be afraid to heat things up this Valentine’s Day – or any day, for that matter! Your hot tub is the perfect way to spend quality time with your significant other and personalize it for just the two of you. This Valentine’s Day is sure to be a day to remember.

New Year’s Eve Hot Tub Party Ideas

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new year's hot tub partyNew Year’s Eve is coming up fast! If you’re thinking about what to do for a small New Year’s Eve party, you’ve come to the right place. There’s no better time for a hot tub party than on New Year’s Eve!

Ring in the new year with a midnight dip in the warmth of your spa or hot tub. It’s simple, really. Just invite your close friends and family members over around 9 p.m., and have the music, snacks and drinks ready to go.

Even if the holidays have left you procrastinating on party plans, we have a few last-minute ideas on how to plan your New Year’s hot tub party.

HOT TUB

The day before the party, check and balance your spa water, then thoroughly clean the filter. Vaccuum out any dirt or grit in the tub, give it a thorough wipe-down, and shock the water the night before the party. You want the spa to be as clean as possible for your guests! Also clean the walking paths around the spa to prevent dirt from being tracked into the water. For a finishing touch, try adding a bit of your favorite aromatherapy to the spa right before your guests arrive.

spa jetsIf it’s just a few friends or a small, intimate group of people at your hot tub party, you can decide whether or not you want to use the hot tub this year or next year – or maybe you’ll actually be in the tub when the clock strikes twelve.

Most New Year’s Eve hot tub parties never actually turn into hot tub “parties” until the new year starts. Everyone will come out and touch the water, and maybe say some nice things about the spa. But in my experience, at least for New Year’s, the REAL hot tub party starts after midnight.

Expect about half of your guests to be gone by 12:30, as they head home to relieve baby sitters or get some needed rest before the end of the holidays. For those that are still around, soaking in the spa is a great way to celebrate the new year!

No matter what time the spa use starts, be sure to remind your guests of the buddy system (no single users allowed), and have them limit their soaks to no more than 30 minutes. These two rules will keep guests safe and help everyone enjoy their fair share of time in the hot tub.

MUSIC

Have some good music playing and make sure it’s loud enough to be heard over the jets, but don’t leave electrical devices sitting too close to the spa unless it’s something like a waterproof speaker. Plugged in devices should never be set on the edge of the spa, and for obvious reasons. The music should be close enough to keep things lively, but not so close that it becomes a potential safety hazard.

If you have neighbors, you’ll probably need to turn down the music shortly after midnight. Turning down the tunes will also encourage your guests to keep the noise at a reasonable level. Leaving the air blower usage at a minimum will also help keep the noise down.

Most importantly, don’t forget to have Auld Lang Syne ready to play at midnight. It’s tradition! “Should auld acquaintance be forgot…

ENTERTAINMENT

waterproof cardsIt never hurts to have some extra sources of entertainment at a party. Board games, charades, or even outdoor games like cornhole, washer pitching, horseshoes or lawn bowling can help pass the time. If you happen to have a deck of waterproof playing cards lying around, you can start a game in the hot tub.

As the clock creeps closer to midnight, be sure to have the TV turned on and tuned into the ball drop in Times Square. Also, keep an eye on the skyline for fireworks. If it’s an option, you might consider providing your guests with sparklers for a mini fireworks show in your backyard.

SNACKS

For your inside party, platters of pigs in a blanket, seven-layer dip, gourmet popcorn, fruit and veggie trays or any other type of snacky food will fit the bill perfectly. A spiral sliced ham with potato rolls, cheeses and mustards make for an easy display. Small bowls of nuts and candies are simple to put together, and a few desserts like cookies, brownies, cakes or pies are great for those with a sweet tooth.

In the spa area, usually the outside party, do yourself a favor and prohibit food. Fruit may be OK – strawberries, grapes or apples perhaps. But keep all other kind of food away from the spa. I remember a few years back, when I cleaned my spa filter from what appeared to be Cheetos – disgusting! Let your guests know in advance: no food, no glass in the hot tub.

DRINKS

champagne near hot tubTradition dictates that you must have champagne (or some other sparkling beverage) available at midnight for toasting. For large crowds, buy the plastic flutes that you can assemble, fill and distribute on large trays. For smaller parties, just a few bottles and some special glasses is all you need. Plastic flutes are a must if you’ll be doing your toast in the hot tub!

Near the spa, offer infused water or light juices for your guests to drink from festive plastic cups. On New Year’s Eve, I don’t ban alcohol from the tub, but I do encourage guests to drink a glass of water before they get in the water or right after they get out. Better to be safe than sorry!

Tradition also may dictate that on New Year’s, you pull out the good stuff. Whether it’s beer, wine, vodka or fine whiskey you are serving, make sure you have some premium brands available. It’s an end-of-year blowout, after all!

Happy New Year!

10 Gift Ideas for the Spa or Hot Tub Owner

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holiday hot tub gifts

Jingle bells, jingle bells – do you hear ’em? The holiday season is upon us, which means thoughtful friends (like you) are making shopping lists of gifts for friends and family.

Since you’re reading this, we’re guessing you’re probably a hot tub owner. If so, this means you likely know others who also belong to “The Hot Tub Club.” A gift that helps them enjoy their spa is the perfect way to show you care about their health and well-being.

If you’re ready to start shopping, Hot Tub Works has you covered! We have gifts for all the hot tub owners on your gift list, and they’re priced to fit any holiday shopping budget. Let Santa take a break. It’s your time to shine as the ultimate gift giver this year!

To tell the truth, these gifts are great for any special occasion – not just the holidays. Here are 10 ideas to get you started:

 

Aromatherapy Products

hot tub aromatherapyThere are so many forms of spa aromatherapy – crystals, elixirs, spa beads and even scented spa shock. They all make great gifts or stocking stuffers, and they’re quite affordable. If you’ve never tried aromatherapy in the hot tub before, you really should. Aside from the enriching aromatic experience, each product provides uniquely focused relaxation for the user. Whether refreshing the mind or rejuvenating the body, there’s an aromatherapy solution for every need or occasion. All natural ingredients and the perfect blend of moisturizing botanicals promise to soften skin, relieve stress, reduce inflammation and soothe aches and pains. These products are perfectly safe for spa surfaces and won’t clog jets.

Waterproof Playing Cards

waterproof playing cardsLooking for the perfect stocking stuffer? These waterproof playing cards go great with a floating game table, or they can be used all by themselves. Durable PVC material makes the cards completely waterproof without being too stiff to shuffle. This is a full deck of 52 regularly-sized playing cards, which comes in its own plastic carrying case. These cards are excellent for hot tubbers relaxing with others in the spa, but they also work quite well in a swimming pool setting. Give the gift that provides hours of fun for any age group!

Filter Flosser

filter flosserIf you’ve owned a hot tub for any amount of time, you know how time consuming it can be to clean a hot tub filter. With a Filter Flosser, that chore can be done in just minutes. Not only will it save the gift recipient a ton of time on regular hot tub maintenance, but it will also conserve water and prolong the life of their filter cartridges. The powerful, precise stream of water goes deep between filter pleats to provide a simple, efficient cleaning experience.

 

Spa Ozonator

spa ozonatorHere’s a gift that’s sure to please! Spa ozone systems are a simple, yet effective way to rid a hot tub of bacteria, viruses and other organic contaminants. If the person you’re buying for has a newer hot tub, chances are pretty good that it already has an ozone system built in. However, if the hot tub is more than a few years old, an ozonator will likely be a welcome addition. Spa ozonators reduce the need for sanitizing chemicals, and they leave behind no residues or harsh by-products, making this a great option for people with sensitive skin. They also pair perfectly with mineral sanitizers.

Spa Cover Lifter

spa cover liftMany people who own a spa already have (and use) a spa cover lifter. However, if someone on your gift list doesn’t yet have a cover lift, or if they need to replace their old, rusty one, Hot Tub Works has the perfect gift you’ve been searching for. A spa cover lift is a gift of convenience, making it possible for anyone to open a heavy spa cover by themselves. It also helps prevent damage to the cover while it’s off the tub. Lightweight aluminum and sturdy steel cover lifts are available to accommodate most spa covers, large or small.

Lighted Napa Bottle Chiller

lighted ice bucketThis gift will be the talk of the holiday party, as well as every hot tub party after that! This unique wine and beverage chiller is illuminated by color-changing LED lights. Choose from 24 colors, 4 color-changing settings and 2 brightness levels at the touch of a button. The rechargeable battery provides 8-10 hours of lighted entertainment, making it perfect for parties and get-togethers. The weatherproof design allows it to be used outdoors or indoors – it’s up to you! Just add ice, add your favorite canned or bottled beverages, turn on the light, and it’s ready to go.

Insulating Spa Blanket

protective thermal insulating spa blanketA floating thermal spa blanket is an inexpensive gift that can save any hot tub owner a chunk of change. The most notable benefit is that it prolongs the life of a spa cover by blocking chemicals and water vapor from gassing off and absorbing into the cover. This blanket also increases a spa’s efficiency by locking in the heat. This lightweight thermal blanket is easy to put on and remove, and it comes in two convenient square sizes: 7’x7′ or 8’x8′. If the spa isn’t perfectly square, simply trim the blanket with scissors to match any custom shape.

Spa Care Kits

spa care kitLooking for a gift that just keeps giving? Surprise the hot tub owner on your shopping list with a spa care kit. There are 6-month maintenance kits for both chlorine and bromine users, multi-packs of scented spa shock, a spa cover care kit, floating sanitizer systems and cartridge refills, as well as all-inclusive spa start-up kits. We even have a kit for spa owners struggling with hard water issues. Just place a spa care kit in a wicker basket, add a gift bow or some colorful tissue paper, and give the gift of worry-free hot tub maintenance this year. Spa care kits also make fun “teaser” gifts if you’ll be surprising a loved one with their very own hot tub this holiday season.

Cantilever Umbrella

market umbrellaWhile soaking in a toasty hot tub, the last thing anyone wants to do is bake in the sun – especially when the weather gets warmer. This is why many hot tubs are located in shaded areas or under some type of roof or overhang. However, there are quite a few spas that don’t have that optimal placement, which is where offset cantilever umbrellas, also known as market umbrellas, come in handy. Hot Tub Works has two styles available – one is a 10′ umbrella with a metal plate that slides under your hot tub (3 colors available), and the other is a 9′ umbrella that can be bolted down or attached to a sturdy base (12 colors available). Market umbrellas also work well for patio tables and seating areas.

Infrared Sauna

infrared saunaWe saved the best for last! Imagine the look on your loved one’s face when you surprise them with a brand new in-home sauna. The growing list of sauna benefits is simply incredible. Besides soaking in a hot tub, there really is no better way to relax your muscles, detoxify your body and unwind at the end of the day. It’s not just a sauna – it’s a valuable wellness tool and is often considered a health investment. From extravagant 4-person infrared saunas to the less expensive single user or portable models, there’s a relaxation station for every budget.

Not finding what you’re looking for? There are so many other great hot tub gifts available in our online store. Another idea is to provide a “personal spa service” of sorts, helping the hot tub people on your list drain and clean the spa and/or condition the cover. Other ideas include an outdoor carpet or wood runners to help keep feet clean, new spa towels and a towel rack, or you could even spice things up by adding some music to their spa. It’s not too hard to find the perfect gift. The options are endless!

From all of us at Hot Tub Works, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season!

July 4th Hot Tub Party

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Fourth of July PartyWant to get some friends and family together, but don’t have a swimming pool? Do what I do – host a July 4th hot tub party!

Planning a hot tub party on the 4th of July is just like any other Independence Day party. The only difference is that your guests can enjoy a relaxing soak in the spa. Watching fireworks from the hot tub is one of the best ways to enjoy the show!

Needing some quick and easy tips on hosting a successful 4th of July hot tub party? You’re in luck!

 

Prepare the Spa

A few days to a week before the party, check the water balance. Lowered the pH down around 7.3-ish, and gave the spa a healthy shock treatment. On July 3rd, clean the filter and vacuum the spa. Before the guests arrive, bring an extra ounce of “wow” to your party with some aromatherapy crystals in the tub. Nothing says a summer party quite like a cool glass of sweet sangria, and Spazazz brings that essence to your spa with their Wild Fiesta scent.

Get creative with fun and patriotic signs to direct your guests to the hot tub. If the spa is behind the house, hang a sign on the side gate or the front door to direct them toward the back. This will also save you time with your guests since you won’t be running back and forth to point them in the right direction. Spice it up with American flags, red/white/blue confetti or balloons to make it festive and noticeable!

Don’t Start Too Early

If you’ll be serving alcohol at the party, be careful not to start the party too soon! If you start around 6 or 7 p.m., there will be plenty of time to eat, drink, relax and socialize before the fireworks start. This shorter timeframe on the party also means that guests leaving the party after the show will still be in a relatively sober state of mind.

patriotic playlist

Pump Up the Jams

It should go without saying – every good party needs good music. For your 4th of July party, create a playlist full of patriotic songs and let the good times roll! Save the best ones to play during the fireworks so your guests can be serenaded under the glittering glow of lights.

Even if it’s just sparklers, no Independence Day party is complete without John Philip Sousa’s famous version of “Stars and Stripes Forever” playing in the background.

Turn Down the Heat

If you can get away with it, turn the heat in your spa down to around 100 degrees. Especially if you have guests that are unaccustomed to hot tubs, this will help you to worry less about the guests overheating or staying too long in the spa. You may even want to have cooler water, around 85 degrees, and use your spa as a cool dunking station for your toasty guests.

If your hot tub buddies are old pros, they may want it bubblin’ at 104 or less. However, remember to limit each guest to 30 minutes maximum in the tub. This will allow room for other guests to enjoy the spa, and it will also prevent dehydration and overheating on a warm summer night. With alcohol, a lightheaded, dizzy feeling can come over those who spend too much time in the spa. Because of this, it’s also a good idea to help your guests get out of the spa safely.

Patriotic Food & DecorationsFourth of July Party

There’s no need to overdo it, so don’t stress out about having a dozen different red, white and blue recipes and elaborate decorations. Focus on just a few recipes and decorations.

In addition to the previously mentioned gate sign to direct guests to your hot tub in the backyard, you can add patriotic vibes to the party with a number of simple accents. A nice red tablecloth, a firecracker centerpiece, and a proudly flying American flag are all a good place to start.

Simple dishes and finger foods will be easy to both prepare and enjoy, so you don’t have to get too crazy with it. Don’t forget to offer plenty of hydrating refreshments to your guests.

Whether it’s just a few friends or a block party – have a super-terrific 4th of July! Happy Birthday, America!

Top Hot Tub Accessories For True Relaxation on Mother’s Day

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hot tub accessories for mother's dayAlthough motherhood comes with its own rewards and perks, like hugs and messy artwork, coming in a close second is a quiet moment in the spa with a basket full of hot tub accessories. Being a Mom can be stressful. Moms run the house like a well-oiled machine, work to keep food on the table, help juggle school work with sports and other extracurricular activities, and let’s not forget the countless hours spent lending an ear, offering advice and helping their children grow up to be the best they can possibly be.

What better way to show appreciation to the mother in your life than with the gift of rest and relaxation on Mother’s Day? If you own a spa or hot tub, this will be pretty simple to do! Check out these luxurious hot tub accessories meant to treat your mother, grandmother, wife or other maternal figure to a day of relaxation on this special holiday. These are gifts she’ll not only appreciate on Mother’s Day, but long after, as well.

 

hot tub accessories

Aromatherapy Crystals by Spazazz

A relaxing session in the spa or hot tub can be made significantly more satisfying with a bit of aromatherapy. Spazazz offers more than 20 different scents from their line of aromatherapy crystals. It’s an all-natural product that acts as an anti-inflammatory and a stress reliever, and there’s a scent for just about every preference and purpose. There’s an invigorating Eucalyptus Mint and calming Warm French Vanilla from their Original Crystals line. Their specially formulated Rx Crystals products help ease pain in joints and muscles, boost circulation and revitalize energy levels. Better yet, try the Rx Detox Therapy Crystals to give the body an all-over boost. If you’re looking for something a little different, take a walk on the wild side with the incredible scent options offered through the Escape Crystals line of products. Who says that hot tub accessories can’t be romantic? There’s also a series of alluring Mood Crystals available for a relaxing night in.

 

hot tub accessories

Lighted Beverage Chiller

From wine and champagne to water or soda, it’s hard to beat a cool, refreshing beverage while taking a relaxing soak in the hot tub. Why not liven up the spa’s scenery with a color-changing LED lighted beverage chiller? Whether it’s cool, relaxing tones or warm, energizing colors, this unique ice bucket lights up in 24 different color settings to set the mood and help your mom ease into her favorite state of mind. After Mother’s Day is over, this trendy chiller is sure to be a conversation starter at your next backyard get-together. Built for outdoor and indoor use, this weatherproof ice bucket is also rechargeable and can last 8-10 hours on a single charge.

 

 

hot tub accessories

AquaChek TruTest Digital Test Strip Reader

One of the most time consuming parts of owning a hot tub or spa is maintaining proper water balance. Before you start adding or adjusting chemical levels, you first spend several minutes analyzing test strip results. With hot tub accessories like the AquaCheck TruTest Digital Spa Tester, this task just got infinitely faster and easier. Simply add an AquaChek TruTest Test Strip to the digital reader, and get a clear-cut numerical reading for levels of free chlorine, bromine, pH and total alkalinity in mere seconds. Save your mom the time and hassle of visually analyzing old-fashioned test strips, and give her the gift of convenience and precision with this fast, accurate and easy-to-use water chemistry tester.

 

 

While she’s busy relaxing and enjoying her time in the spa, take Mother’s Day just one step further to show your mom how much you really care. Surprise her with a personal gesture such as a handmade decoration, a mid-day brunch, an outing to the movies or the local art museum, or you can even bring her a classic greeting card. The options for showing your appreciation are absolutely endless!

Hot Tubs with a View

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Every once in a while, we like to step away from the nitty gritty of spa and hot tub maintenance to feature topics around hot tub lifestyle, design and decor. A showcase for hot tub owners who have created a true spa oasis with innovative decking, landscape or location.

And speaking of location, some settings are just a natural fit for a hot tub. Continue reading for a collection of 11 beautiful hot tubs with spectacular views, some of which are available for short-term rental! If your hot tub has a great view, leave a comment with a pic – maybe I will add it to the list!

Estes Park Colorado Hot Tub Home VRBO Rental - Photo by Linda, Owner

Estes Park, Colorado, VRBO Rental – Photo by Linda, Owner

 

Hot Tub on Smith Mountain Lake, Va, Home Away Rental, Photo by Owner

Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia, Home Away Rental – Photo by Owner

 

Buffalo River Arkansas Rental with Hot Tub, Photo by Buffalo Outdoor Center

Buffalo River, Arkansas, Rental with Hot Tub – Photo by Buffalo Outdoor Center

 

Hot Tub at Fossil Bay Resort, Shirley, BC, Photo by Fossil Bay - click to visit Fossil Bay site

Fossil Bay Resort in Shirley, British Columbia – Photo by Fossil Bay

 

Hot Tub overlooking a California Bay, Zillow Photo by Brad Anderson

Overlooking a California Bay – Zillow Photo by Brad Anderson

 

Scottsdale, Arizona Hot Tubs- Zillow Photo by Imagine Backyard Living

Scottsdale, Arizona – Zillow Photo by Imagine Backyard Living

 

Hot Tub with a View of Lake Tahoe, on VRBO, Photo by Owner

Lake Tahoe, California, VRBO Rental – Photo by Owner

 

Hot Tub on a Yacht, Photo by Miami Boat Charters

Yacht with a Hot Tub – Photo by Miami Boat Charters

 

Hot Tub In Seattle with a View on Realtor.com, Photo by Owner

Seattle, Washington, listing on Realtor.com – Photo by Owner

 

Acorn Cabin Rentals #701 Hot Tub in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Photo by Acorn

Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Acorn Cabin Rentals #701 – Photo by Acorn Cabins

 

Penthouse Hot Tub view overlooking Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia, Penthouse View – Photo by Poynters.co.nz

 


 

I would Love to soak in any one of these hot tubs with a view! My home hot tub view is not quite as grand, like most people I look across the backyard, noticing all the plants and things that need my attention.

Oh well, I can always close my eyes, and can imagine that I’m on vacation, somewhere fabulous! That’s the greatest thing about hot tubs – it doesn’t really matter where it is, I can always find my happy place!

 

XOXO;

 

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

 

 

 

Hot Tub Preppers: Be Ready for Holiday Visitors

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December is upon us, and cars and planes will soon be packed with people, visiting relatives for the holidays. Around my house, a popular ‘amenity’ for our guests has always been our 8-person spa, especially for those that don’t have their own hot tub at home.

Now is the time to step up spa maintenance, kick it up a notch to have over-filtered and over-sanitized water, and hot water for your guests. Now is also the time to review some spa safety standards, and be sure that your hot tub will be safe for all family visitors – adults, kids and pets.

 

1. Balance the Waterphoto of nature2 test strips

Unless your water needs changing that is; if your water has 2 or 3 months of age to it already, go ahead and do a complete drain, refill and re-balancing of the water. Otherwise, balance the pH and Alkalinity to 7.2-7.6 and 80-100 ppm, respectively. The next step may be to add calcium increaser, if your fill water is below 150 ppm. In my area it comes out very soft, around 80 ppm, so I add a few lbs of calcium when refilling. Soft water can cause staining, foaming and other problems.

2. Shock the Spa

For shocking the spa, you can use either chlorine spa shock like Spa 56, or you can use non-chlorine MPS shock, but in either case don’t be shy about it – hit it hard, which is usually about 1 – 1.5 oz., see label for correct dosage. Run the pump on high when shocking a spa, and leave the cover open for 30 minutes or so after shocking with chlorine. Shock the spa after each heavy usage while visitors are staying at your place.

photo of cartoon spa filter - copyright Hottubworks.com3. Change the Filter

A new filter cartridge and a new mineral stick from Frog or Nature2 will boost the water clarity and purity, to a point where it can take a sudden increase in users, without turning cloudy or dull, or foamy and greasy. I usually replace my filter cartridge every December anyway, and use a new Nature2 stick every 4 months, so it works with my schedule.

4. Increase Filter Run time

If you do expect to have more spa users than normal this month, it may be a good idea to adjust the timer settings or the programs to filter the spa an extra 20% – 50% longer each day, to compensate for the additional bather load. A little extra insurance to be sure that the filter system can handle the increased users.

5. Add Clarifierhottubworks spa clarifier shown

This one is my little secret weapon, what clarifier does is – it acts like a magnet to tiny particles, making invisible stuff clump together until it is large enough that the filter will trap it, which makes your water look great, even with the lights shining through the water. TIP: Do Not over-dose with clarifier, follow label instructions, and treat only once weekly, or it can have the opposite effect, and make your spa water cloudy!

6. Carpet Runner

My spa sits about 8 ft from the back sliding glass door, across a fairly clean, but gritty, concrete paver patio. I buy these runner carpets at my local ‘home’ store, for about $40, and they last nearly a year. I’m due for a new one, they’re about 2’x8′ and in dark colors that look good for quite awhile. You can put one inside the house too, for ‘drippers’ dashing into the house.

7. Towels and robes

I have an antique console leaning up against the back of the house and I stock the cubbies with lots of colorful towels, and hang a few robes and lots of hats (don’t forget the hats). I also have a small hand drawn (cute) sign that says “Please bathe before Use”, as a reminder to not use the spa as a bath tub. And plants, lots of plants (if you live in the south). Even plastic plants are very nice to have, surrounding the spa.

8. Spa Supervision

Don’t forget to set some ground rules, spa safety must come first. Many tragic accidents around spas and hot tubs actually happen at the homes of relatives, by people unfamiliar with the basic ground rules.

  • No single spa users, 2 or more people at all times
  • No unsupervised children under age 14
  • No pregnant women or persons with high blood pressure
  • 20 minutes maximum soaking time
  • 104° F maximum temperature

 

Finally, make sure the heater is running well, see Danny’s post last month about the most common spa heater problems and how to troubleshoot them. And be sure to close-up the spa yourself after use, unless you can train an ‘able-body’ to remove and replace the spa cover, safely and properly, so you don’t have to. 🙂

 

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

 

Great Gifts for Hot Tubbers

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holiday-gifts-for-hot-tubbers
So many of my friends and co-workers have hot tubs, I get a large portion of my Christmas gifts just by walking out to the warehouse; and paying for it of course.

Problem is, I’ve done this so many years now, that it’s becoming harder to give a gift that I’ve not already given before!

I wrote about hot tub gifts 3 years ago, in the first version of 10 Gifts for Spa Owners. This year, I’ve pulled out all the stops in this new list of gift ideas for hot tubbers, to find fun & unique spa accessories, that I haven’t gifted before!

 


 

spa-side-patio-heaterSpa Side Patio Heater

When the weather outside turns cool at night, having a free-standing propane patio heater sitting next to the tub is sooo nice. Once only affordable for high end restaurant patios, prices for full size patio heaters have sunk to levels that everyone can afford. For instance, AZ Patio Heater has a model for $180, with 48K BTU output, it stands over 87″ tall. Adjustable flame lets you dial in the amount of heat output and wheels allow you to tip and move the heater around to different locations on your patio or deck.

 

hot-tub-umbrellasCantilevered Umbrella

A hot tub umbrella is great for providing shade over the hot tub, for spas that are out in the open. Shade also protects your spa cover and spa cabinet from UV rays, but the most common reason to use an umbrella over a spa is to block rain and snow while you are using the tub. Sure, a soft rain or lightly falling snow can be nice while in a spa, but too much of a good thing can spoil your soak. What once cost thousands of dollars a decade ago is now affordable, these 9′ diameter hot tub umbrellas make great gifts, at $299.

 

towel-warmerTowel Warmer

For the ultimate spa experience, what’s better than toasty towels? Roll up two towels, close the lid and turn it on. A 50 minute timer shuts off the appliance automatically, for safety reasons, but that’s perfect for a hot tub session, which shouldn’t exceed 30 minutes. Like many of the items on this page, towel warmers were once found only at high end resorts, and cost nearly $1000 when first introduced. Nowadays, they make affordable gifts and everyone can buy an electric towel warmer, for just $90 on Hammacher Schlemmer.

 

custom-hot-tub-signsCustom Hot Tub Rules Sign

Amusing and whimsical, custom hot tub rules signs collect the most common hot tub sayings like “what happens in the tub stays in the tub”, or “Clothing Optional”, or you can opt for tamer messaging about relaxation. Custom signs, available on Etsy and other craft sites, allow you to order it with custom sayings, or include the family name, as in Galvin Family Hot Tub Rules. For about $50 you can give a wooden, hand painted, custom spa sign to your friends with hot tubs.

 

 

napa-chiller-bucketLED Champagne Bucket

One of the coolest new spa products this year, the Napa Bottle Chiller with LED lights is a fun way to keep your favorite beverage cold (or hot), while casting a cool glow, in 24 different colors, and several brightness settings. Rechargeable battery fully charges in just 4-5 hours, with the included AC plug, or use the optional solar charger when using outdoors as a planter (you can use it as a planter or as a champagne bucket). At just $99, the Napa Bottle Chiller makes a great hot tub gift for any budget.

 

LED-wine-glassesLED Plastic Goblets

A primary hot tub rule is No Glass, broken wine glasses or tumblers in the spa can be dangerous. Glass sinks quickly to the bottom, and small shards of glass under your bottom would not be a pleasant thing, and may mean you have to drain the spa for a complete cleaning. LED wine glasses are liquid activated, and shut off when the glass is empty. Internal LED batteries last for years. You’ll find LED wine glasses, rocks glasses and champagne flutes at Wayfair, starting at $37 for a set of six glasses.

 

underwater-light-show-and-bluetooth-speakerUnderwater Light Show

This product is one of the more fun gifts for hot tubbers. A floating LED lamp that creates a disco ball effect with a splash of psychedelic colors. It’s actually made for pools, but in the small space of a hot tub or spa the effect is much more dramatic. Underwater Light Show has 7 color changing light shows, with auto shut-off. Runs on 3 AA batteries, included in the kit for just $20. We also have the Bluetooth Floating Speaker & Underwater Light Show, for $60. Rechargeable unit connects to any bluetooth device to play music through the speaker while displaying any type of light show you select.

 

i-love-my-hot-tub-coffee-mugHot Tub Drink Mugs

Hot Tub novelty gifts include T-shirts, caps and of course coffee mugs. I ♥ Hot Tubs, being the most common saying printed on mugs, but you can also find “Keep Calm, Hot Tub ON”, or “This is not a Coffee Mug, it’s a Hot Tub for my Donuts”. Lol, but seriously every hot tub owner should have at least one with a Hot Tub cartoon, or some reference to your hot tub. And not just for coffee, you can use a Hot Tub Mug for hot chocolate or hot tea, and take a steaming mug into the tub. Find them at Zazzle, from $15.

 

digital-spa-test-strip-readerDigital Test Strip Reader

For the colorblind, or ‘hue challenged’, estimated to affect nearly 5% of the population, a digital spa test strip reader is the perfect gift! Even if you can discern between shades of pink and yellow, using a digital strip reader will definitely improve your accuracy, and you may even test the hot tub water more often. Test results in just 15 seconds, with low/high indicators and it stores the previous 9 test results. The AquaCheck TruTest Digital Strip Reader is only $51, and available right here at Hot Tub Works.

 

spa-hot-tub-gift-basketHot Tub Gift Basket

One of my favorite hot tub gifts for the new hot tub owner, is to send them a basket filled with spa goodies. I get the basket and some straw paper at Michaels, and roll up a few inexpensive but colorful towels, and then add useful spa accessories like a cute ducky Thermometer, Spa Test Strips, Spa Crystals, and maybe a pack of Waterproof Cards. Small spa cleaning supplies, like a Grit Getter, Tub Scrubber, Scum Balls or a Pre-Filter also fit nicely in the basket, or the Spa Cover Care Kit makes a nice $50 present for any spa owner.

 


 

Have a very happy holiday season, I’ve already given Santa my wish list, with many of these fun new hot tub gift ideas, which I can’t wait to use! If you want more ideas for hot tub owner gifts, see my earlier post on the same topic ~

 

XOXO;

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works