“Ahhh.”

That pretty much sums it up, right? That’s the sound, the thought, the feeling you experience when you sink into your hot tub for a few minutes of relaxation.

That is NOT the sound you make when you have to take care of your hot tub.

It’s OK. We get it. You’re probably already doing a great job of taking care of the chemical balance of your water and cleaning the filter. But there’s one thing you might be overlooking. The cover. Now – stick with us here – if you invest a little time in caring for your hot tub cover, your tub will last longer and run better. You know what that means?

More “ahhh” time.

Keep it clean

Keeping your cover clean and conditioned will help it last longer. If your spa is outside, clean off leaves, twigs and snow as they build up. Otherwise, it will lead to mildew and rot. Definitely not “ahhh”-inducing.

About once a month, rinse off the cover and then wipe it down with a spa cover cleaner. Don’t use a general vinyl cleaner – these can actually damage your hot tub cover. After the cover has been cleaned, you need to apply a protectant. Finally, take the cover off and wipe down the underside with a 10 percent bleach (1 part bleach to 9 parts water) solution.

Keep it maintained

Taking care of small issues always costs less than waiting until they become big ones – or having to replace the cover entirely. If you get a rip or a tear, you can patch it with a vinyl repair kit. Check for small rips and tears while you’re cleaning the cover.

Once a year, take the foam core out of the vinyl cover and do a thorough check for rips and tears. While the cover is apart, check the vapor barrier that surrounds the foam core for rips and tears, too. If you find any, these can typically be repaired with a vinyl repair kit as well.

Leave the lid off

Yeah. Seriously. When the cover is on your tub, there’s a gap of air between the water and the bottom of the cover. When the cover is on for extended periods, that air can fill with chemical gasses from your hot tub. In fact, chemical damage is the number one reason for hot tub cover failure.

But there’s a simple solution. At least once a week (and every time you shock your spa), leave the cover off for an hour. If you regularly get your “ahhh” time in, you might have that hour a week covered.

That’s it! A little time investment in cover maintenance, and more relaxation for you. Easy.

“Ahhh.”