How to Clean a Home Foot Spa: Cleaning and Disinfection Procedures

The frequency of using the home foot spa is relatively low compared to commercial foot spas. Still, you must clean it after each use to prevent infections and maintain its condition. Dangerous microorganisms like Trichophyton Mentagrophystes, Staphylococcus Aureus, Salmonella Enterica, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, and HIV-1 are found in foot spas and can be transmitted to other users without proper cleaning.

Clean the foot spa using warm water and an EPA-registered hospital disinfectant as directed on the foot spa and disinfectant labels. Clean after every use and disinfect overnight at least once weekly. Clean the outer parts and adequately dry the spa to prevent the growth of germs. 

Always clean the foot spa right after using it. This doesn’t give germs and other types of dirt the time to cake unto the sides of the foot spa. The cleaning process is a pretty simple one, as shall be shown in the steps below. Always use EPA-registered cleaners like CleanSmart to clean your foot spa.

What you need

You need a detergent, an EPA-registered hospital disinfectant, and a soft-bristled brush for this procedure. You should have large amounts of clean water as well. 

Home foot spa cleaning procedure 

Whether you share your home foot spa or not, avoid using it if you have any openings on the skin in the areas to be submerged. Also, avoid using the foot bath after skin procedures, such as waxing or pedicure, as they can damage the skin.
These precautions prevent passing on any infections or diseases to the foot bath and other users. For yourself, they prevent reinfections. 

The cleaning steps are as follows:

  1. Drain the foot spa removing debris in the basin, then rinse with water. 
  2. Remove all the removable parts, including the inlet jets, filter screen, and others.  
  3. Clean out any debris left in the foot spa. 
  4. Using a soft brush and disinfectant or ordinary soap in warm water, scrub the parts removed from the spa, then rinse them with clean water. Ensure the jet holes are cleaned properly, or else you may have a foot spa that doesn’t bubble due to clogged jet holes. Fix them on the spa after that. 
  5. Fill the foot spa with warm water, then add an EPA-registered hospital disinfectant as directed on the bottle label. The mixture should go above the fill line for better cleaning. 
  6. Turn the foot spa on at least 10 minutes or as directed on the disinfectant label. This will circulate the disinfectant in the bowl and other parts for a thorough cleaning. Avoid heating the spa.
  7. Clean the outside of the foot spa with the disinfectant, then leave it for 10 minutes before rinsing. 
  8. Drain the disinfectant, then rinse with clean water. The rinsing process entails turning on the foot spa and may be done more than once. Proper rinsing is required to prevent irritating your skin when you use the foot spa again. 
  9. Air dry the foot spa. 

Ensure you clean and rinse the brushes and any other parts used with the foot spa. 

The video below by the California Department of Consumer Affairs displays some important spa cleaning tips and procedures:

Foot spa cleaning considerations

Some of the most important aspects to consider when cleaning your foot spa include the following:

  • Ensure the disinfectant you get is registered by the EPA for hospital use. This type should have an EPA registration number on the label and be approved as a medical disinfectant. This is the most effective type for killing common foot spa germs such as HIV-1, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella enterica (S. choleraesuis), and many others. 
  • Always follow the instructions on the disinfectant label for the best results. Some may require keeping the disinfectant in the spa overnight once a week. This is the case, especially when there’s heavy use of the foot spa.
  • Rinsing with hot water (within the stated temperatures) gives better cleaning results than cold water. If your spa doesn’t heat water, you must clean or replace its filter, among other solutions.
  • If two people use the foot spa one after the other, clean it after each person is done without removing the parts. You simply follow the other cleaning steps between each use without removing the parts. 
  • Clean your foot spa as soon as you’re done using it. Doing it later doesn’t guarantee proper cleaning as some sediments from Epsom salts, essential oils, and dirt may crumble up on the foot spa’s sides, making it hard to wash them off. They may even clog it up. 
  • Only use Epsom salts or essential oils with your foot spa if approved by the manufacturer. Otherwise, these quickly build up sediments that are hard to clean off. Some of the best foot spas for home use allow both. 
  • If you use the foot spa alone, use 5% household chlorine bleach instead of the disinfectant. For this type of cleaning, avoid ammonia products, as mixing ammonia and chlorine emits toxic gases. 
  • Before keeping the foot spa, always dry it up. This prevents rusting, bacterial growth and other issues caused by dampness. If you can’t air dry it, use a blower.

These pointers will keep your foot spa in good condition and prevent infections, especially if you share the spa with someone else. 

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