Spa pool user guide for owners and guests (Tips, advice and more)

Are you getting ready to use your spa or someone elses for the first time? Whether you’re the owner, a family member or guest, there’s one thing you will want to feel comfortable and certain about - knowing how to use the spa or swim spa properly.

Inground spa pool in timber deck

Quality spas are packed with features and the idea of getting your head around how to use a spa, especially for the first time, may feel a little overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be.

We’re aware that as a new user, you want to keep the spa in the best condition and get on with relaxing and enjoying your time in the spa. This is a handy guide for you as the spa owner and your guests.

Keep reading to learn the top 12 things everyone should know before using a spa pool.

Avoid wearing sunscreen and makeup in a spa pool

Plunge Pools

We’re familiar with the sun-smart slogan ‘slip, slop, slap and wrap’ but when it comes to being spa-smart, it all changes. Sunscreen is not good for a spa pool because the cream contains oils that can clog up your spa filters, contaminate the water and leave both you and the spa feeling hot and bothered. It is also best to remove your makeup as products including concealer, foundation and mascara as they can cause the same issues.

We recommend that you stick to ‘wrap’ by popping on a hat and sunglasses. You can also check out the shade options Spa World™ has on offer including pergolas and umbrellas. They are commonly placed above spa and swim spas to provide quality sun protection.

Shower before a spa? Absolutely!

Shower and spa pool design idea

Before you get too excited about slipping into the spa pool, have a shower. A rinse-off will remove oils and detergents on your skin, including sweat, body lotions, tanning products and oil-based scents.

These products and natural oils can make the water foam up and be unpleasant to look at or use and problems with the internal components of the spa could occur down the track. Washing these products off your skin before entering the spa means clearer water, filters, jets, pumps and ultimately, less maintenance work for you and the spa owner!

Important hygiene note - If your spa is being used for commercial purposes, for example an AirBnb or bed and breakfast, the spa should be degreased, emptied and refilled with spa water between each guest stay.

Remove jewellery before entering the spa pool

Calculating our carbon footprint

Before taking a shower to clean your skin and get it spa-ready, take off your jewellery and leave it in a safe place.

Chemicals added to spa water could cause jewellery to tarnish, discolour, damage the stones and in general, affect the appearance and wear of the item.

Keep smartphones and devices away from the spa water

Our smartphones and smart devices are never far from reach and like jewellery, it’s best to place them in a safe, dry location that’s away from the spa water.

If you’re using your device to link and play music through the speakers in the spa or through a separate bluetooth speaker system, we recommend that you set a playlist before you enter the spa.

In this way you’ll be able to sit back, relax and rest easily, knowing your devices are dry and won’t suffer water damage.

Always supervise children in spa pools

What is carbon offsetting?

The little people in our life can get endless hours of fun in a spa pool as they splash around, laugh and relax in the nice warm water. However it’s vital that an adult keeps a supervised eye on them because it only takes a short moment for a fun situation to become unsafe and life-threatening.

Here’s some handy safety tips from Water Safety New Zealand.

  • Always keep babies and toddlers within arms’ reach around water. (It takes less than a minute for a child to drown.)
  • If you’re in a group, create an adult supervision roster and make sure children are being looked after at all times.
  • Put your phone away when supervising children. Monitoring requires your full attention. A child can drown in the time it takes to read a text message.

There are also a number of ways to increase the safety around your spa. These include -

  • Placing a lockable cover over the spa. This will prevent anyone entering the water when the spa isn’t in use. You can check out the extensive range of spa cover options available at Spa Store™ and learn top tips on how to look after your spa cover.
  • Installing a pool safety barrier. Rules can vary, depending on where you live.

Want to eat and drink in your spa? Consider spa-friendly glasses and trays

Opening a bag of chips, snacking on cheese and crackers, enjoying a glass of wine, whatever it is you fancy, it’s best to hop out of your spa pool to satisfy your cravings. Any food crumbs, oils, liquids and residue can easily find a way to the spa filters and potentially cause build-up and blockages.

However, you may find the spa owner has a smart bar, a floating spa bar or shatter-free glassware which is designed to let you place food and drinks near the spa and help minimise mess from food and drink.

Keen to learn more about these useful accessories? Check out the range on offer at Spa Store®.

Leave pets out of the spa

Dogs like to be in the thick of the action so it may seem only natural to bring them into the spa pool. In general, it’s best to leave dogs out of spa water.

This will prevent dirt, fur and dog hair from clogging the filters, discolouring the water and the acrylic shell is less likely to get scratched. A spa with scratches and dirty water is less appealing and please keep in mind that if an acrylic shell is damaged, it can’t be replaced.

Of course you won’t want your dog or dogs to miss out on all the fun. If they are water lovers, why not place some dog toys, a bowl of drinking water and a tub of cool freshwater nearby? A win-win and an instant way to score brownie points with your four-legged friends!

Avoid spa pools if you have a wound

Plasters are often the quick fix for minor wounds but they can’t stop all bacteria from an open wound entering the spa water.

That’s why if you’re waiting for a wound to heal, it’s a good idea to stay out of the spa pool. Your skin will thank you for putting hygiene first and so will your friends and family for keeping the water clean, clear and healthy.

Avoid using a spa pool or swim spa if pregnant

Pregnancy is a special period for expecting mothers and it involves a number of temporary lifestyle changes. One of these is to avoid spa pools while pregnant.

The recommended average temperature of a spa pool, according to Healthline, should not exceed 40 degrees celsius but this could be too hot for a pregnant woman.

The loss of a pregnancy can be a challenging period that carries short and long term effects. In the event of a miscarriage, Health Navigator New Zealand has made a list of recommendations that include “avoiding swimming and spa pools, and shower instead of bathing.”

We are not medical professionals. If you have any concerns about your current health or wellbeing, please contact your GP or other medical professional for advice.

Sanitise your spa pool

What spa chemicals should I use

Sanitising your spa is key to keeping the water crystal clear and safe for you, your friends, family and guests to use. Failing to sanitise a spa can lead to water discolouration and build-up of water-borne bacteria and increase the risk of those using the spa to become ill.

If you’re a guest or family using the spa, the sanitising system should already be available for you to use. Simply follow the dosing instructions on the sanitiser packaging to ensure

  • the correct quantity is being added to the water,
  • at the right frequency
  • and the jets are always turned off during this process.

Please note - sanitising instructions will vary, depending on the product you use, and the brand and size of spa you own. Please refer to the Spa Water Guide below for more information on preparing your spa for first use, weekly maintenance, troubleshooting and more.

Use approved aromatherapy products in the spa pool

Essential oils are popular for easing stress, headaches, bites, nausea, used in drinks, baking and more. Spa World™ does not recommend using essential oils in a spa pool because they can cause blocked filters, water to foam up and throw the water chemistry off-balance. This can then affect the spa’s sanitising system. This is a situation you will want to avoid as a spa owner or a guest using the spa.

But there’s a solution! You can use an approved aromatherapy product such as the InSPAration range on Spa Store®. There are 24 aromas to choose from.

Put the cover back on your spa after use

When you finish your spa session, don’t forget to lock the spa cover back into place. Keeping the ‘lid’ on your spa is one of the best ways to retain heat in the spa water and keep it insulated for longer.

Wondering what makes a quality spa cover and why you should invest in one? Refer to section three in this article - What you need to know when buying a spa.

Replacing the spa cover after using the spa also reduces the impact of the sun bleaching the acrylic shell and small particles, leaves and branches from entering the water.

Spa user guide for short-term guests

If you’re using a spa for a few days, whether it’s at a holiday house or while staying with family and friends, there are some key things you should know to ensure the spa water stays clean and clear. Looking after the spa will also ensure the spa owner invites you back!

As a general rule, here are some basic tips all spa users should follow -

  • Remove makeup, sunscreen and moisturiser before entering the spa
  • Shower or rinse before entering the spa
  • Remove jewellery before entering spa pool
  • Leave smartphones and devices in a dry place, away from spa
  • Supervise children playing in and near spa pools
  • Use spa friendly glasses and trays for food and drink
  • Leave pets out of spa water
  • Have a wound? Stay out of spa water until it heals
  • Avoid using a spa pool if you are pregnant
  • Sanitise your spa after each use (according to sanitiser label instructions)
  • Only use spa friendly products and never add anything that’s not designed for spa use (e.g. shampoo, essential oils and bubble bath)
  • Put cover back on spa spa when you finish using it

When it comes to maintenance, it’s important to sanitise the spa when required and follow all dosing instructions on the sanitiser packaging. Clean, clear spa water will keep you and those using the spa healthy and will help keep the spa in the best condition when the spa owners return.

In Summary

We hope this article has given you a clear understanding of the main need-to-know points when using a spa.

After reading these tips and recommendations, you should feel confident and excited to enjoy the spa pool, now you know how to avoid unwanted situations from occurring.

The following registered trademarks are owned by companies not affiliated in any way with Spa World™ or Vortex Leisure Pty Ltd – the parent company of Spa World Ltd: Spa Store™ trademark is owned by Vortex Leisure Pty Ltd.

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