Avoiding Hot Tub Rashes

Everyone loves spending time in the hot tub, but, as with most things in life, too much of a good thing can have unpleasant consequences. For those who use hot tubs frequently, one such consequence is a rash. Most rashes are minor and will clear up in a few days, but in the meantime they are annoying, itchy, and sometimes painful. Furthermore, minor rashes will become major irritants and can lead to dangerous consequences if not treated properly. With this in mind, we’ve put together a few tips to help you and visitors to your hot tub avoid rashes.

Check Disinfectant and pH Levels Daily

It’s important to check these levels twice daily to ensure your hot tub is as clean as possible. For example, check them in the morning at least an hour before you allow anyone into the hot tub. You can check them in the evening after you have closed off access so the levels can be adjusted for the next day, as well.

Also, ask your hot tub salesperson or a hot tub and pool expert about the best disinfectants for hot tubs. Since hot tub water is warmer than pool water, it breaks down chlorine and other common disinfectants more quickly, making the hot tub more vulnerable to bacteria and germs. If you want to use free chlorine keep the level at 2-4 ppm, or for bromine 4-6 ppm in your hot tub. But there are many better alternatives to these harsh chemicals. At SpaCap.com they use and recommend PristineBlue which is a copper based disinfectant.

All hot tub pH levels should be between 7.2 and 7.8. Anything different should be fixed immediately.

Keep Yourself Clean

Always shower or bathe before entering the hot tub. Avoid scented soaps or those made with harsh chemicals, as these irritate the skin and provide breeding grounds for more rashes. Use a gentle, unscented, and all-natural soap, such as one made with goat’s milk. Also, make sure your swimsuits are always cleaned with non-irritating soaps and detergents.

Limit Your Tub Time

Swimsuits hold water directly against the body, which makes it easy for microorganisms to grow and cause irritation. Constant exposure to hot water may also dry your skin and cause irritation. Limit your time to thirty minutes or less per day.

For the best Hot Tub Covers, check out SpaCap.com. We build the only hot tub covers that don’t get saturated or break.

Hot Tub Yoga

YogaYoga sessions and using the hot tub are both thought of as relaxing pursuits. Did you know you can do them together? Several yoga poses are conducive to the hot tub, making it easier to stretch your body and relax your mind. Below, we’ve listed some benefits, plus a few of the best yoga poses for optimum physical and mental health.

 

Who Benefits from Hot Tub Yoga?

 

Almost anyone can benefit from hot tub yoga, because the goal is to be healthy while remaining relaxed. Athletes, for example, are used to rigorous workouts and stretching routines. This can cause psychological stress and increase the amount of lactic acid in their bodies. Hot tub yoga can reduce both of these. Non-athletes can benefit from hot tub yoga too, because it’s not a formalized workout. There’s no need to worry about messing up or not burning enough calories. In fact, the goal is to clear the mind, which can help with more rigorous tasks later.

 

People who find any level of exercise difficult will find reprieve in hot tub yoga. Senior citizens with sore or arthritic muscles will gain relief through the hot water, and muscle tone will improve with gentle stretching. The same goes for people with physical disabilities who may have hypertonia or hypotonia. Traditional exercise might be hard on them, but the simple poses of yoga will offer health benefits without pain or stress.

 

What Poses Should I Use?

 

There are plenty of poses appropriate for the hot tub. Here are a few:

 

  • Half-Boat. Sit on the edge of a seat in the hot tub, back straight, hands on the seat, with knees bent. Lift half-bent legs with shins parallel to the water’s surface, and then straighten your arms out toward your shins.
  • Breakwater. Stand up straight in the middle of the hot tub, feet at hip width. Place your arms out in front of you and turn right using only your torso. Repeat on other side.
  • Crab. Stretch your legs across the tub using the seats. Place your hands in the Namaste pose and squat down, keeping your backbone axis from tailbone to head.

Always be sure to use a spotter for safety when participating in activities like hot tub yoga.

One thing you want to avoid after getting relaxed is straining yourself getting a heavy hot tub cover back onto your spa. At SpaCap.com we have been building lightweight hot tub covers that are easy to use for nearly 30 years. Visit us today and get one for yourself.

How Your Hot Tub Helps You Sleep Better

Sleep Better after RelaxingIn our busy world, it’s not uncommon for people to have trouble sleeping. In fact, many turn to prescription sleep aids to avoid this problem or simply suffer through it. There is a more natural solution – using your hot tub. Today, we’ll explore exactly how and why your hot tub can help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake refreshed.

How Does This Work?

Soaking in a hot tub mimics the natural rise and fall of your core body temperature. The hot water relaxes tense muscles, draining the last of any energy or adrenaline that may still be pumping through your system. Once you leave the tub, your body temperature will drop, signaling to your body that it’s time to go to sleep.

No More Tossing and Turning

Many people toss and turn at night because they can’t find a comfortable sleeping position. This happens for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the room’s temperature feels off, or sometimes the person has aches and pains and can’t find relief. Using a hot tub can alleviate both these problems. As mentioned, hot tub use helps control body temperature, so you’re less likely to feel extremely hot or cold after usage. Thus, you’re better able to settle into a room temperature environment. Hot tub use also opens blood vessels, which helps tense muscles relax. This also calms down pain receptors in the brain.

Stop the Stress

Many insomniacs report they can’t sleep because their minds won’t “turn off” at night. A restless mind equals a tired body and can also lead to physical symptoms the next morning, such as headaches or stiff muscles. Hot tub use has been proven to alleviate stress. The hot water encourages leaning back, closing eyes, and relaxing. People with jets in their hot tub may also find the gentle bubbling soothing. Finally, you will feel relaxed after hot tub use, so you’ll be less likely to refocus on stressful thoughts.

One more thought

The last thing you want to do after getting nice and relaxed is to wrestle a heavy saturated hot tub cover back onto your spa. Aside from risking injury, you’re also likely to get your heart rate racing and maybe even get angry. Best to take this step out of the equation by replacing that old heavy hot tub cover with a custom spa cover from SpaCap.com. The only Swim Spa Covers in the world that are as easy to use as a comforter on your bed.

Swim Spa Purchasing Tips

Swim Spas are considered luxury items for most homeowners, and almost everyone would love to have one. However, not every hot tub is right for every homeowner, and not all hot tub retailers carry the same benefits. Today, we’ll examine the three most important things you should consider when purchasing a Swim Spa.

Tub Type

First you must decide whether you want a portable spa or a permanent spa. Most hot tubs are portable spas, meaning they’re built above ground and can be moved as needed. Permanent swim spas are built in-ground, usually with cement. Before buying a swim spa, determine where you want to place it and how much space you have. For example, you probably don’t want to place a permanent spa on a deck, but one could work if you have a large yard. Also, determine how many people will use the hot tub regularly. If you throw hot tub or pool parties, you’ll want a much bigger tub than you’d use for yourself or your immediate family.

Materials and Horsepower

Some people buy plastic hot tubs because they’re cheaper, only to deal with cracks, breaks, and debris later. Flimsy hot tubs may also indirectly cause rashes and infections because they can more easily let in germs, bugs, and microorganisms. Make sure your hot tub is made with fiberglass-based acrylic or a stronger material. Also, if your hot tub has jets, horsepower should equal one for every five to eight jets. Any less and you won’t get the full benefit; any more and the pressure could be dangerous.

Cost

Most hot tubs cost between $7,000 and $9,000 before taxes, and if run year-round can mean as much as a $500 increase on your electric and water bills. Before purchasing a swim spa, discuss with the family or friends who’ll be using it how often it will be used and for how long per day. Talk to your salesperson to set up a payment plan that works for you to guarantee the tub is paid off quickly.

Once you make your decision you’re going to need a quality hot tub cover to keep out debris and insulate the water. At SpaCap.com they have been building custom Hot Tub Covers for thirty years. What makes SpaCap swim spa covers so revolutionary is they don’t use rigid foam panels to do the insulating because no matter how it’s wrapped the foam will ALWAYS end up saturated or broken. Instead, the SpaCap uses air chambers which stay light weight and easy to use. In fact the design was invented by a woman so she could use the spa by herself. Check them out today.

3 DIY Ideas for Spa Décor

The majority of people don’t think of a spa as something you should decorate. After all, people come to a hot tub to relax rather than admire décor and designs, and many also have their eyes closed during their time soaking. However, creating an aesthetically pleasing spa area can actually help you and your visitors relax and enjoy yourselves more. Today, we’ll talk about some easy do-it-yourself spa décor tips.

Canopies

Hot tubs are often used in the summer but may lose their appeal; on a warm day, the last thing anyone wants is to soak in a tub of hot water. Installing an inexpensive cloth canopy will keep your guests shaded and encourage them to stay in the spa for longer periods of time. If you want to use the hot tub during fall and winter, you can also rig it so it can be pulled back or easily taken down and stored. Canopy colors and designs add to the fun atmosphere; try blue, white, or aqua for an extra-relaxing ocean theme. Along the same lines there are some great Patio Umbrellas that are supported by a pedestal that is off to the side so that the umbrella can easily reach over the spa when desired or collapsed and moved off to the side when not in use. Some of these even come with lights that can add to the enjoyment.

Floating Food and Drink Containers

Mom may have told you not to eat and swim, but eating and drinking in the hot tub is a real treat. You can make it more so with your own floating food and drink container. Cut a pool noodle to fit around a small- to medium-size Rubbermaid or other plastic bin. Fill the bin with ice and your favorite drinks or snacks. Fruit slices are a great idea in the summer; in fall or winter, try frozen hot chocolate.

Candles on the Water

Of course, you should never place anything electric in or around your hot tub. However, flameless candles can be a great way to brighten the atmosphere while encouraging tension release. Set a few in your favorite scents around the hot tub area. Some candle brands also offer varieties that emit a slight crackling sound when activated. Use these to replicate the soothing sound of the fireplace.

Another way to accent your spa area is to get a cover that compliments the décor. At SpaCap.com, we custom build Spa Covers using Sunbrella outdoor fabric so you can really let your inner designer go. We can mix and match colors to bring out the colors of your home or patio furniture, or you can go nuts and show your team colors. Why not order yours today.

Date Night in Your Own Backyard

All couples enjoy date nights but may shy away from them because of the expense, or because they’re bored with options they’ve already exhausted. For a wonderful date night in your own backyard, consider using your hot tub. You don’t need to go anywhere or spend any money, and you and your partner can be as casual as you like because you won’t need to wear anything except bathing suits. There’s also no need to worry about getting kicked out; the hot tub closes when you say it does. Here, we’ve provided a few tips and tricks to help you create a perfect hot tub date night.

The Food of Love

Some people don’t like to eat in the hot tub because they worry the snacks will drop into the water. If this is a concern for you, make your own floating containers using Rubbermaid containers and pool noodles cut to fit them. Try easy, portable snacks like fruit kebabs or squares of dark chocolate. Veggie trays or chips and dip can also be a good idea, but make sure the dip is securely anchored in the center of your container or plate. Other fun ideas include miniature sausages, cheese cubes, or small sandwiches.

Play, Then Love

Many couples find it easier to get “in the mood” if they’ve been active first. Try exercising together and showering before getting in the tub, or alternate time between your hot tub and pool. Do silly dives together (safely!) or play pool games, or if you don’t want to be too active, try hot tub yoga with some relaxing music in the background. Many aquatic yoga websites have plenty of partner stretches to choose from.

Set the Mood

Overall, the hot tub should be a mellow and fun location. If you and your partner want to enjoy it together, set the mood. Use flameless candles in your favorite scents; rose, lavender, mango, and melon are all great olfactory aphrodisiacs. Play some soft music, and massage each other while in the tub.

 

Life with a hot tub is good
Owning a Hot Tub makes life a lot better

Don’t kill the mood by hurting yourself trying to get that heavy saturated Hot Tub Cover back onto your spa. Nothing ruins an evening like a trip to the emergency room. Keep the mood going by making putting the spa cover back on as easy as pulling the comforter off your bed. At SpaCap.com we build easy Hot Tub Covers that are as simple to move as a comforter. Visit us today and get one for yourself.

Winter Hot Tub Fun

winter snowHot tubs are traditionally associated with summer, but the fun doesn’t have to end once winter arrives. In fact, winter can be a great time to uncover the hot tub again – especially because hot water is an irresistible temptation once the temperature drops. However, there are a few crucial things you need to know about upkeep if you’re going to keep your hot tub open during cold weather. Read on for a few tips for making your hot tub a hot spot this winter.

Level Out

Chlorine and pH levels always need to be checked, but more so during the winter. Winter is cold and flu season, so all kinds of germs are rampant. Check your pH and chlorine levels at least twice daily to ensure any microorganisms are eliminated. Require guests and family members to bathe or shower before using the hot tub, and don’t open the tub on days when it’s freezing or below. Anyone who is ill or recovering from an illness should stay out of the tub.

Clear the Way

Trekking to the hot tub can be dangerous if there’s snow on the ground or your hot tub area is slippery from rain. Always clear an easily accessible path to the hot tub, and don’t go out alone. Children and teens especially should not be out unsupervised. Encourage guests to wear shoes until they actually reach the hot tub area and remove them just before entering the tub.

Invest in a Towel Warmer

Swimsuits hold water against the body, which is one reason why you feel cold after stepping out of a hot tub. Further, when leaving the tub, your body temperature naturally drops. To ensure your guests don’t freeze, install a towel warmer in or near the hot tub area. This will encourage guests not to hurry through the hot tub experience. As a bonus, a warm towel may give more incentive to shower or bathe after use.

Don’t Forget the Cover

One crucial factor that can really dampen your enjoyment is attempting to get a heavy, frozen hot tub cover off and back onto the spa. Traditional rigid foam filled Hot Tub Covers will always end up saturated and that water inside the foam cover will freeze essentially you’ll end up with a block of ice over your spa. Not to mention that moving a heavy cover when there can be ice around the hot tub can be dangerous. Avoid the hassle by visiting SpaCap.com and ordering a custom made, lightweight hot tub covers that won’t get heavy or break.

Beautify Your Spa

Everyone enjoys a spa, and part of the experience revolves around the aesthetics. If your hot tub is in a stark, boring, or dirty area, guests and family members won’t want to use it. You’ll end up with an unused luxury item and a pile of wasted money. Fortunately, plenty of ways exist to brighten up your patio space and entice guests to use the spa. We’ve detailed three of the top ways below.

Slatted Fencing

Fencing isn’t normally considered decorative, but it has big advantages over some other options you might consider. First and foremost, fencing provides privacy. Being able to duck behind a fence or securely close a gate offers spa users the feeling of retreating to their own private hideaway. Fencing can also block noise and insects, two of the biggest deterrents to relaxation while in the hot tub.

Finally, fencing is a big help for more modest guests or guests who have particular uses for the spa. Modest guests won’t have to worry about being walked in on. Lovers can enjoy each other’s company in peace, and exercisers can complete their routines without being ogled. (Caution: when exercising in the tub, always use a spotter).

Decorative Furniture

Patio furniture is always a big draw for guests, especially if your patio also comes with a spa. You can decorate your patio with any theme you like, including tiki, Mexican, or English garden. Hardware and specialty stores sell many varieties of lanterns, coffee tables, chairs, and more. Some homeowners also choose to use decorative flooring to draw people to the patio and spa. Stone is a popular choice, since it evokes associations with castles or ancient homes in Greece and Rome.

Lighting

You must always be careful when placing lighting around your hot tub. Consider tiki-style lighting, which is sold by many different hardware retailers. Chinese or Japanese garden lanterns are also a popular choice. For fall and winter, consider Christmas lights to create a cheerful and relaxing atmosphere.

Spa Cover

Why do everything you can to make your spa area awesome and settle for a boring hot tub cover? At SpaCap.com, we build designer Hot Tub Covers with Sunbrella outdoor fabric. Sunbrella is not only long lasting and color fast but available in a wide range of colors that can really set off your spa.

Gazebo or Canopy

Many people love the idea of overhead hot tub décor. The problem is that when faced with the two most popular options – gazebo and canopy – they encounter a tough decision. Both sound wonderful, but which one is right for their particular hot tub? If you’ve been asking yourself that question, don’t despair. We’re here to help clear up the advantages and disadvantages of each so you can make the right decision.

Appearance

Both gazebos and canopies are beautiful, and can be chosen to fit any theme you like. For example, many canopies have fringed ends or decorative ribbons, putting one in the setting of an Arabian caravan or a bedroom in an English manor house. Gazebos can be made with silk or silk-rayon combinations and undergirded with the sturdiness of wood or steel. Both options can also be used for total privacy and relaxation, though for privacy, a gazebo might be the better choice. Gazebos can be outfitted with doors or drapes that open and close, while canopies may provide more shade and shadow than privacy.

Stability

Nothing ruins a hot tub party or a private getaway faster than a canopy or gazebo crashing onto the water. Unfortunately, this can happen with flimsy materials. In addition, certain materials like rayon and silk can soak up water and are difficult to wash or repair. When considering a canopy or gazebo, ensure your option isn’t simply a piece of cloth. Look for sturdy fabrics like cotton or colored canvas with silk or lace embellishments. When considering a gazebo, look for those made with strong woods like mahogany or oak.

Cost

Canopies and gazebos are both expensive, and size doesn’t always influence the price. For example, a cheap “instant patio canopy” can cost $100, while a well-built gazebo could cost more than $400. Before purchasing a gazebo or canopy, decide how much you’ll actually use it and what the benefits will be. Canopies and gazebos are beautiful, but should be purchased with an equal mix of aesthetics and practicality in mind.

Ease of Access

With all hot tub accessories, it’s important to leave plenty of space to walk around the spa and ensure the hot tub can easily be covered. You may have seen Hot Tubs displayed at a fair of home show that had a quaint looking “Tea House” type gazebo that was fitted right to the spa cabinet. They look great on the showroom floor but they are a real nightmare in reality. They don’t allow enough access to remove or replace ANY cover with ease. Anything that inhibits the opening and closing of the hot tub will eventually be the reason you don’t use the spa. Don’t fall for cute, make sure you choice leaves you enough room to easily walk around at least three sides of your hot tub.

At SpaCap.com, they have been building custom Swim Spa Covers for years. Because of that, they have been contacted many times about building covers for all kinds of hot tubs in all kinds of layouts. They have had to tell owners that their limited access is not enough to easily use one of their hot tub covers (or ANY cover). So before you decide on how to best add an overhead covering to your hot tub area, take a serious look at how you use your spa and don’t do anything that might interfere with that especially just for the sake of decor.

A nice alternative is the patio umbrella that mounts on it’s own pedestal but swings out over the spa when in use or retracts out of the way for storage. This makes it easy to cover your hot tub when you want while giving you a quick easy option to remove it when you would rather look at the stars.

One more thought in closing, in most parts of the country, heavy rain, hail, wind or snow can be a concern. Most gazebos and Canopies are not built to withstand these so you’ll want to make sure you have them disassembled and stored before the storms come.

Landscaping Around Your Hot Tub

New hot tub owners often come home almost as excited as new parents. They’ve done their research, chosen the right hot tub, and now it’s arrived. They can picture all the hot tub parties, all the relaxing evenings, and the way their tense muscles will finally relax – but wait. What about landscaping? Doing so around a hot tub can be tricky. The temptation is to overdo it, so guests’ eyes will immediately be drawn to the area. Too much, though, and guests will feel overwhelmed. We’ve provided some tips to help you ensure quality landscaping around your hot tub.

Listen to Your Mother

Mother Nature, that is. Plants are a great way to provide creative landscaping, but you must be aware of your climate and your plants’ needs. For example, cacti and cactus flowers will do well in the Southwest, but don’t make the mistake of trying to move them to Florida. Yes, Florida is still the South, but it’s far more wet and humid. On the other hand, it’s best to use hardy, sturdy plants if you live in New England. Evergreens are a wonderful choice; think of the fun hot tub party guests might have decorating an outdoor tree in the wintertime. You might also try chrysanthemums or certain types of asters.

Use Stair Steps

By this, we don’t mean literal stairs. We’re suggesting you place plants at different levels. For example, you could have a couple of hanging baskets, but also place smaller plants on the upper ledges of the hot tub. You can also use rocks, flagstones, or bricks to create a unique pathway to the hot tub. If you have young children or loved ones who are elderly or have disabilities, include railings, and always be sure to incorporate plenty of space for walking around the spa.

Try a Theme

If your family members or guests are coming to your hot tub for a relaxing getaway, consider landscaping with a theme in mind. Perhaps you live in an area where Chinese or Japanese influence is heavy. Try using a stone walkway, Chinese lanterns, or a few bonsai trees near the tub for atmosphere. If an English garden look is more your style, consider wildflowers, roses, or topiaries.

Not Too Close

It’s easy to get carried away and put plants right up to the spa on every side but this is a mistake. You have to leave room for access, removing and replacing hot tub covers as well as maintenance if the spa needs to be worked on. Besides, when you’re in the hot tub you want to enjoy the landscaping. If it’s all crowded around the spa it won’t be very pleasing or relaxing. Think of the view from the spa and try to keep an open, uncluttered, peaceful area. Remember, plants grow.