You’re heading to the hotel hot tub for a soak. You stay there for a while and chat with some friends. The next day, you realize that your stomach doesn’t feel quite right.
You feel like the problem may have spawned from something you ate that night. We’re here to tell you that it’s more likely that you got an infection from the hot tub you were in. The warm, wet environment is a breeding ground for bacteria.
No matter how often the tub is clean, it’s hard to get rid of them. If this raises some concerns with you, keep reading for even grosser hot tub details.
1. It’s the Perfect Environment for Bacteria to Live In
Hot tubs stay at a temperature of around 100 degrees or so. It’s hot, but it’s comfortable for humans. It’s also comfortable for bacteria.
100 degrees isn’t hot enough to kill bacteria in fact, they are happy with it. Couple the warmth with the wet environment and they have the perfect breeding ground. They’ll swim around for days or even weeks without dying.
2. You Have a High Risk for Infection
You may be asking, don’t pools pose the same problem? The water gets warm and it’s wet. There are also a large number of people in them.
The difference is that pools are rather large while hot tubs are concentrated. All it takes is one person to contaminate a hot tub. It would take a lot more than that to contaminate a pool.
It also takes way less chlorine to get rid of bacteria in a pool. You have to use a huge amount of chlorine to disinfect a hot tub. Almost an impossible amount.
In short, soaking in a hot tub is like taking a bath with everyone that’s used it that day. You can imagine that this puts you at a huge risk for infection.
3. It’s Hard to Keep Them Clean and Chlorinated
Hot tubs require a lot of maintenance and not everyone performs it. Some toss in cleaning chemicals and call it a day but it takes a little more than that. Especially since the high temperatures of the water breaks down the chemicals at an alarming rate.
Hot tub owners should be checking and adjusting all chemicals after every use or every hour if the tub is used a lot. You also have to check for a gross biofilm on the walls every so often and be diligent about cleaning the filter. Even businesses like hotels have problems keeping up with all these steps.
4. Chlorine Can be Depleted
Heat isn’t the only thing that can break down chlorine at a rapid rate. If you don’t rinse off before you step into the tub you bring everything on your body in with you. Your sunscreen, sweat, shampoo, and conditioner all deplete chlorine.
The more people that fail to rinse before getting in, the faster the disinfectant levels in the tub decrease. This isn’t all.
Your dead skin cells and urine residue also clash with the chlorine and create something called chloramines. These chloramines will irritate your skin, eyes, and respiratory tract.
5. Hot Tubs Can Cause a Rash
Pseudomonas Aeruginosa is a bacteria that grows in water. This bacteria grows quickly in warm water which makes it most common in hot tubs. Chlorine can kill this virus but the concentration has to be high which again, is hard to do with hot tubs.
The bacteria results in a rash called hot tub folliculitis. This rash attacks your hair follicles and it spreads over your entire body. To give you a comparison, it looks like chickenpox and it’s just as irritating.
There is no real way to get rid of hot tub folliculitis. All you can do is wait it out. It will go away over time but it will leave some nasty scarring in its wake.
6. Ingrown Hairs and Cuts Can Get Infected
A lot of people carry Staphylococcus aureus on them. Chlorine can kill it but again, most of the time hot tubs don’t have enough chlorine to get rid of common bacteria.
If you or someone else gets into a hot tub with an open wound or ingrown hair, the bacteria can wiggle its way in resulting in a staph infection. MRSA can live in hot tubs and get in your body the same way but it’s less common than staph.
7. There is Quite a Bit of Poop in Hot Tubs
No matter how well you wipe in the bathroom unless you take a full shower every time you poop, there is fecal residue left on your skin. So, everyone is carrying at least a little bit of fecal matter on themselves at all times.
When you get into a hot tub, this residue jumps off of you and into the warm embrace of the tub. This fecal matter builds up fast depending on how often the hot tub is used and it will make you sick.
Pools gather just as much fecal matter but again, the chlorine and other chemicals are much more effective in killing bacteria in pools.
Think Before Getting in a Hot Tub
Getting in a hot tub is one of the perfect things to do to relieve stress when you’re on a vacation. It’s a popular way to unwind but you’ve got to consider all of the bacteria swimming around inside public tubs.
You’re much better off buying your own and taking steps to keep it clean. Destress but stay healthy.
If you buy a hot tub, you’re going to need a filter to keep things sanitary. Use our site to find and purchase your filter to keep your hot tub or pool clean.