Here’s the definitive guide of everything you need to know to hot tub entertain without stress. When everyone is on the same page as far as expected behavior, life goes more smoothly. I last published our hot tub etiquette advice on Hot Tub Bliss in 2009. It remains one of the most popular posts so I decided to update it and send it out again because new hot tub owners are constantly asking about the dos & don’ts of hot tubbing with friends.
Here’s the scene: You’ve just purchased a new hot tub. You’ve invited friends over for a test dip. The hot tub’s hot and ready to go….but before that test dip, here are a few tips to make your experience and theirs a perfect one.
Before your hot tub party:
1. Nude or not nude? Be sure to let your guests know what the rules of the “house” are. There is nothing more embarrassing than having your guests strip to the buff when you and your partner have opted for suits or vice versa! If you’ve opted for nudity, it is really important to tell your guests when you invite them date so they have a chance to decline if nudity’s not their thing. As gracious hosts, you want your guests to be comfortable. A mix of suits and nudity doesn’t work for either group. Either way, do only what’s comfortable for you! Check out our post: “Nude or Not Nude”.
2. Opted for suits? An important tip. If suits are worn, make sure you tell your guests to rinse theirs thoroughly in plain water. Most suits carry soap power residue from the washing machine! Even a small amount of soap powder can cause a mountain of bubbly foam when the jets are turned on. It’s hard to get rid of all that foam and its very ugly to look at.
3. B. Y. O. T. It’s a great idea to ask guests bring their own towels and take them home for drying. Eliminating a big stack of laundry to wash & dry is a winning idea.
4. Shower before soaking, please. Ask all guests to do a quick rinse off before soaking. Washing all of the lotion, deodorant & sweat down the drain instead of leaving it behind in the tub will help keep your new hot tub water clean.
At the party:
5. Open cuts & sores? Make it a rule to stay out if you have open cuts or sores (and ask guests to do the same) and never discuss your scars! Ditto about asking others about their birthmarks, warts or scars.
6. Love in the tub? If you’re with your lover, hold the passions until you reach dry land. Intimacy is best done in private.
7. No foamy stuff, please! Ask guests to refrain from adding bubble bath, bath oil or any foreign substances to the hot tub. If suds do foam up, reach for the SeaKlear Clarifier and follow these tips.
8. Photo op?Not a great idea. Don’t take pictures without getting everyone’s permission first. Better yet, don’t take pictures. There’s nothing drearier than showing the office gang the photos of your Saturday night hot tub party.
9. What to serve? Light finger foods especially fruit are the best choices when soaking and make good party fare for guests. Note: potato chips are the worst thing to eat in a hot tub. Potato chips or other snack foods (crackers, goldfish) if spilled accidentally into the hot tub make a gummy mess that’s hard to clean up.
10. Save alcohol for after soaking. Alcohol in the tub can be deadly. Hot water is a stimulant and alcohol a depressant on your system. Alcohol’s effects are felt very swiftly in a hot tub at 104°. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages for guests-iced tea, sparkling water are great choices. Check out our “Top 10 No Nos of Hot Tubbing: What NOT to Bring to the hot tub.”
11. Share the jets! Many hot tubs today have different types of jets at each seat. By changing seats, you’ll get to sample the effects of each jet. Let everyone have a turn in front of all jets for the best experience.
12. Electronics.Water and electronics don’t mix. Stick to battery operated toys and games unless the music or television system is part of your hot tub and designed to operate near water. Wouldn’t you hate to drop your i-pod or iphone in the water?
13. Pets in hot tubs? Cute, but NO! No matter how cute the dog or how much he wants to hot tub with you, pets in hot tubs are not recommended both for the pet and the water quality!
14. Children? Kids love hot tubs, but NEVER leave children alone in a hot tub-even for a minute!
Sit back and relax. Enjoying your new hot tub. Having friends over to share the hot tubbing experience is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Follow our tips for a relaxing, healthy and memorable time for all. We’re always open to suggestions from readers. Any other hot tub etiquette tips we should add to this list?
SANUM PER AQUA. Latin for Health through Water.