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Hot tub myths busted

Separate the babble from the bubbles

Picture this: you look out of your balcony doors into a forest. Stepping out onto your secluded deck, surrounded by tall oak trees, a small pool bubbles away. You hear the sound of a champagne cork popping in the background. Dipping your toe into the warm water of your private hot tub, you know that blissful relaxation awaits.

But WAIT. Is the tub clean? When did someone last switch out that water? You’ve just had a spray tan? What if the water turns brown? Oh goodness, what if your skin wrinkles up like a prune? And how are you ever going to relax if you’re only supposed to spend 15 minutes in the water?! That’s it, you’re out.

We all know there’s only one way to zhuzh up our staycation. Hot tubs and swimming pools are more popular than ever, adding a splash of luxury to our holiday. Yet plenty of myths exist about the best way to enjoy them. If you’re cynical about swim spas or a hot tub denier, read on for our myth-busting advice so you can relax in no time.

1. The self-cleaning myth

Myth: Hot tubs can magically clean themselves

Respondents: 23% agree

Truth: Water that miraculously self-cleans through the power of… bubbles? Just, no. Don’t be had by a cheap hot tub provider flogging their self-cleaning tubs; our accommodation providers are quality hot tub owners who use sanitisers and pH levellers to ensure chemical balances (chemical-free options are available), drain the water frequently and clean the filters regularly. ‘Self-cleaning fairy’ myth busted - just don’t get us started on Santa.

2. The chlorine smell myth

Myth: The water isn’t clean unless it has a pong of chlorine about it.

Respondents: 15% agree

Truth: So if hot tub fairies don’t exist, cleaning your hot tub must involve dumping a load of chlorine in it, right? Absolutely not. High chlorine usage is also a sign of poor hot tub hygiene. That whiff of chemicals might indicate that the acid/alkali water balances are out. Just like when you can smell yourself, if you can smell your hot tub then you probably need to get that checked out.

3. The bubble bath myth

Myth: It’s totally acceptable to put bubble-bath in your hot tub water.

Respondents: 100% disagree

Truth: Unless you’re currently at primary school or a member of the Jackass crew, there’s absolutely no reason to put bubble bath in your hot tub. Sure, it might sound super relaxing. Or even a bit funny. But wading through a thick mountain of foam is hard work, not to mention stressful. And don’t even think about putting the hot tub cover back on to hide your mistake. The moral of this story? Leave the fake bubbles in the bathroom.

4. The 15 minute myth

Myth: Staying for more than 15 minutes in the hot tub causes serious health problems.

Respondents: 92% disagree

Truth: Soaking in a tub raises your body temperature, and admittedly that does come with a few risks. No one wants to faint in a pool of 40 degrees. Well fear not, most guidelines suggest taking a break after 15-30 minutes, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re done for the evening. Use that time to go to the toilet, top up your hydrating green juice or pet the dog. Then hop back in. Serious warning though - the NHS warns against using a hot tub if you’re pregnant.

5. The skin irritation myth

Myth: Hot tubs will bring you out in a rash.

Respondents: 100% disagree

Truth: Unless you’re allergic to relaxation, there’s no reason why a hot tub would turn you red and raw. If (and it’s a big if) the tub hasn’t been cleaned properly (see myths one and two), some infections can be caused by small bacteria that enjoy those warm temperatures. Don’t be nervous - all our hot tubs are thoroughly cleaned and treated regularly by their owners.

6. The fake tan myth

Myth: Hot tubbing after fake tanning will leave you streakier than a dirty windshield.

Respondents: 61% agree

Truth: Sadly for bronzed gods and goddesses, this one is actually true. Imagine hopping in the tub as Adonis and exiting stripier than the streakiest bacon. Not a good look. And your carefully manufactured glow might end up lining the sides of your hot tub; you don’t want to have that heated discussion when you check out of your holiday rental. Go for the porcelain look this year, and your hot tub will thank you.

7. The UTI myth

Myth: Soaking in a hot tub is a one-way ticket to a urinary tract infection.

Respondents: 8% agree

Truth: Wow, buying a hot tub suddenly seems like a terrible investment as we enter the gross end of the hot tub myths. Contrary to popular belief though, your nether regions won’t be infected by the act of sitting in bubbling water. It’s very, very unlikely that you will get a UTI from using a hot tub. The mere act of soaking in a spa will not cause an infection, but it may be possible if it isn’t cleaned properly. Again, check out myths 1 and 2 and trust that a reputable holiday home owner will do their due diligence.

8. The more is better myth

Myth: The more jets a hot tub has, the more powerfully you’ll be pummelled.

Respondents: 46% agree

Truth: Phwoar, check out the jets on THAT thing! What self-respecting spa lover hasn’t thought that when staring down the bubbles of a frothing Jacuzzi? Well hold your horsepower because it’s quality over quantity in the hot tub game. You’ll get a better hydromassage from the right placement of jets, rather than how many of them there are. Side note: this is also more energy efficient. And you can’t get sexier than that.

9. The weight loss myth

Myth: Shedding the pounds is guaranteed with a regular hot tub visit.

Respondents: 84% disgaree

Truth: The educated people at Loughborough University have actually done some research into the effects of hot water on the body’s metabolism. The research shows that relaxing in a hot bath (bubbling or not) can burn as many calories as a 30-minute walk. But before you throw away your trainers, it’s pretty obvious that while a hot tub has some health benefits, it’s not going to be a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise. Don’t get rid of the broccoli just yet.

10. The period myth

Myth: The hot water will stimulate heavy bleeding while on your period.

Respondents: 92% disagree

Truth: Unbelievably there are two contradictory menstruation myths doing the rounds; one says that soaking in a hot bath or hot tub will cause women to bleed heavily while on their period. The other says that the heat will cause the bleeding to stop completely. So which is it, mythmakers?! The fact is that hot water will help menstrual cramps, and that taking a dip can only help improve your mood and ease the pain. So our advice is to grab your cossie and don’t look back.

Top five hot tub holiday types

A hot tub weekend might be synonymous with romantic breaks. But hot tubs are so much more than that; ideal for family vacations, large group celebrations and even fishing weekends, hot tub holidays come in all shapes and sizes. There is no holiday that won’t be improved with the chance to relax in your private hot tub! The perfect spa match isn’t far away...

1. The Treehouse Holiday

Best for: A unique holiday experience

A treehouse holiday offers a totally unique experience that your family will remember for years to come. Enjoy your morning coffee surrounded by nature or spotting birds from the treetops. It’s the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion. Inside, they’re fully equipped with double beds, en suites, living rooms and fantastic views.

2. The Caravan Park Holiday

Best for: Fun-packed family holidays

Caravan holidays come with the connotations of an older generation but these days caravan parks and campsites can offer as many different possibilities as a cottage. With loads of on-site amenities, great locations that are close to beaches, forests and nature, and options for large groups, families or couples, caravans give you convenience as well as comfort. And of course, all of ours come with a hot tub.

3. The Coastal Holiday

Best for: Summertime holidays

Heading to the beach is always one of the best things about a British summer. We have a fabulous coastline here in the UK, with long runs of golden sands, fun arcades, historic villages and seafood restaurants. Coastal holidays blow away all the cobwebs, and they are just as good for a romantic weekend as they are for a pull-out-all-the-stops family get-together.

4. The Log Cabin Holiday

Best for: Cosy romantic staycations

For the ultimate romantic weekend, why not choose a gorgeous log cabin? Cuddling up on the sofa in front of a warming fire or soaking in the heat of a hot tub, while surrounded by the great outdoors, is the ultimate in seclusion. There’s no better setting than a wooden chalet, a bubbling tub and nothing but nature for miles around.

5. The Big Group Holiday

Best for: Large groups of family or friends

Big gatherings with all of your family or friends are extra special. You might be planning a celebration or an event or just looking for a reason to get together. Whatever your plans, a large cottage is a great way to socialise and spend quality time with the people you love. And having a few drinks together in the heat of a private hot tub will be the cherry on top of your bonding time.