Cold tub care 101: The ultimate maintenance checklist

Cold tub care 101: The ultimate maintenance checklist

If you're an athlete or just someone who enjoys a good ice bath, you know how important it is to keep your cold tub clean. Not only can a dirty tub be unpleasant to use, but it can also be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria that can lead to infections and illness.

Luckily, there are several steps you can take to keep your cold tub clean and sanitary.

cold tub water care

7 questions about taking care of an ice bath

Maintaining the water of your cold tub is essential for both your comfort and health. By understanding the role of chemicals, UV light, and regular maintenance routines, you can ensure that your cold tub remains a safe and enjoyable space for rejuvenation and recovery.

But you might have questions about how to take care of the water. 

Is cold water cleaner than hot water?

Believe it or not, cold water is actually more sanitary than hot water. Why? Warm water can provide an ideal environment for bacteria and other microorganisms to grow. While cold water doesn’t necessarily kill bacteria, it does inhibit their ability to grow. 

And that’s good news if you have an at-home cold tub. 

The water will stay cleaner for longer, and you won’t have as much maintenance compared to a hot tub.

cold tub chemicals

Why do you need chemicals in a cold tub?

One of the most important factors in keeping your cold tub clean is the use of chemicals. Sure, the temperature of the water makes it hard for bacteria to grow. But chlorine should be used to disinfect the water and kill bacteria. These chemicals work by breaking down cell walls and disrupting the metabolic processes of bacteria, ultimately killing them off.

Cold tub owners can expect to add a half teaspoon of chlorine several times a week to ensure that the water is clear and clean. 

But balance is important and regular testing can make sure you are adding just enough chemicals. You should regularly test your water using a liquid test kit. Adjust the pH and chlorine as necessary, always starting with the pH and then adding in chlorine. You can also add Refresh, a non-chlorine oxidizer, once a week as part of your cold tub maintenance routine.

Which is better: UV light or ozone?

Another tool for keeping your cold tub clean is a UV light. UV light works by damaging the DNA of bacteria and other microorganisms, rendering them unable to reproduce. While chemicals like chlorine kill bacteria as well, UV light can be an effective secondary measure to ensure that all bacteria and other microorganisms are eliminated.

UV lights can be installed directly in your cold tub's circulation system or as a separate device alongside your tub. Chilly GOAT Cold Tubs come with a built-in UV light to help you keep the water clean.

But what about ozone?

While ozone is often a feature of a hot tub, it’s not ideal for a smaller unit like cold plunge tubs. An ozone generator oxidizes numerous foreign contaminants that are commonly found in hot tub or swimming pool water. For example, an ozone generator can help break down products like hand lotions and creams, hair spray, and sunblock. It can work with other products to kill other organics in water.

However, the ozone generator can make the water more corrosive. And, as a result, it can damage the components of your cold tub — especially because most cold plunge tubs do not hold a lot of water.

In addition, one of the benefits of ozone for a hot tub or pool is that it can reduce the amount of chemicals needed to keep the water clean. However, a cold tub requires such a small amount of chemicals that an ozone generator does not provide much benefit. 

cold tub filters

What about filters?

Filters are indispensable components of spa maintenance — even if the water is cold. They capture debris, dirt, and contaminants, preventing them from recirculating in the water. 

It’s important to regularly rinse, clean, and replace your cold tub filters. With an at-home Chilly GOAT Cold Tub, you can expect to rinse the filters once a week and clean them once a month. 

Over time, though, the filters can become less effective. Replacing filters is essential to keeping your cold tub clean and creating a therapeutic experience.

How do you change the water?

Keeping the water clean and fresh is an important part of maintaining an at-home ice bath. Regularly changing the water is a key piece of that routine. 

In general, most ice bath owners can expect to change their filters? every week to every four weeks.

However, how often you change the water and how you do it will depend on what type of ice bath you have. The owner of a barrel-style ice bath might need to change the water every week. A cold plunge tub that has a water care system and circulation pump will require less maintenance than ice baths that don’t. Treating the water and rinsing off after a workout can also keep your ice bath water cleaner for longer.

According to Master Spas, it's a good idea to drain your Michael Phelps Chilly GOAT Cold Tub every three to four months. Chilly GOAT Cold Tubs have a built-in system that helps keep the water clean, including a circulation pump, UV light, and filter. Master Spas also recommends regularly treating the water with minimal amounts of chlorine, as it helps sanitize the water.

There’s dirt in my cold tub. What should I do?

Dirt happens. But you don’t want to leave it in your cold tub. Not only does it look less than cool, it can affect your water chemistry.

You can use a small skimmer net to remove any debris that’s on the surface of the water. For anything that has settled to the bottom, you can use a manual spa vacuum to remove the particles. 

What is a good cold plunge tub maintenance routine?

An effective maintenance routine involves regular water testing, balancing chemicals, filter maintenance, and periodic water changes. But while that might sound like a lot, the total time taking care of your Chilly GOAT Cold Tub will add up to less time than you spend in the water.

On a weekly basis, you can expect to test the water several times, add chemicals as needed, and rinse the filter. Every month, you will want to use a filter cleaning product to clean the filter. And every few months, you will want to change the water and clean the surface of the cold tub. 

Routine maintenance will ensure that your cold tub and its components are performing like the GOAT.

cold tub maintenance

How to buy the best cold tub

Do you want to enjoy the benefits of cold water therapy without buying bag after bag of ice? Having a Michael Phelps Chilly GOAT Cold Tub by Master Spas allows you to realize the impact of cold water. Enjoy clean, clear, cold water on demand.  You can click here to find out more about the benefits of incorporating a Michael Phelps Chilly GOAT cold tub into your routine. Start your journey today!