Ice Bath Maintenance and Cleaning

Keeping your ice bath clean and well-maintained will help to protect it and ensure it's hygienic. Learn how often to change the water, how it clean it, and when to deep clean.
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Ice Bath Maintenance and Cleaning

Keeping your ice bath clean and well-maintained will help to protect it and ensure it’s hygienic. Learn how often to change the water, how it clean it, and when to deep clean.

Owning your own ice bath has several benefits. You can use it where you want to, whether indoors or outdoors. They’re also usually deeper than a standard bathtub, allowing you to really take the plunge.

Whether you have an ice bath for yourself or you use it with clients, they require maintenance to keep them in good condition. Without regular cleaning and maintenance, they can get dirty and even start to corrode over time. Fortunately, keeping them clean is not a lot of effort.

It doesn’t take much to maintain your cold therapy bath, but you do still need to do a couple of things to keep it clean.

Keeping mud and dirt away

To keep your ice bath as clean as possible, start by being careful about how you use it. If you’re using it outdoors, there’s a risk you could get mud and other debris in and around the tub.

Clean off before getting in

If you want to avoid bringing grass, twigs, and other bits and pieces into the tub, just make sure anyone who uses it is clean before getting in. It might be useful to have a separate shower (or just a hose) or a way to wash or wipe down feet before getting in.

Wear shoes

When you’re walking across the ground outdoors to reach the cold water immersion bath, wear footwear that you can take off before getting in. Even if the ground is soft, it’s a lot cleaner to prevent mud from getting on your feet than to have to clean it off.

Covering ice baths

Another way to keep cold baths clean is to cover it up. A good cover can save you a lot of time on cleaning and maintenance. Using a cover will keep out various debris, including leaves and dirt, and prevent bugs or other wildlife from making a home in your tub too.

Covers for your ice bath can be solid covers that fit over the top or you can choose a fabric cover to stretch over the surface of the tub.

Benefits of cold water immersion bath covers

If you’re leaving your tub full with water, especially if it’s outside, putting on a cover will keep the cold water clean in between uses.

It will also protect it from rainwater getting in when you keep your tub outdoors. Protect your cold immersion bath by covering it up when you’re not using it, and you won’t have to clean it as often.

A cover is a smart idea for your cold water immersion bath if you’re keeping it outside, but it’s also useful even if your tub is indoors. You can keep the cold water cleaner for longer or simply keep the tub clean if it’s empty.

Switching out the water

Having to fill up and empty your cold water bath with ice cold water every time you use it might not be the most efficient thing to do. Keeping it full can save you time, making it easier to get it ready to use. It might stay at your desired temperature if you keep it outdoors during the winter or you can add crushed ice to cool the water.

Keeping water clean

When kept at a cold temperature, it should help to prevent bacteria from forming, especially with a cover over it. You can also filter and sanitise the cold water to keep it cleaner for longer. However, you should still change the water on a regular basis to help keep it clean. 

Looking for a convenient way to keep your ice bath water clean then check out our ice bath water sanitiser and water conditioner

When to change the water

Ideally, you should change the water at least every few weeks. How often you should change the water depends on whether you’re treating your cold water or not. Some people and manufacturers recommend changing it every four weeks or so, while others will only change the ice water in their tub or cold plunge every three or four months.

Regular cleaning

You need to clean your cold exposure bath on a regular basis if you want to keep it clean. This is especially true if you keep it outdoors, where it’s more likely to get dirty. You will probably want to clean it every time you empty it or if you have left it sitting empty for a while.

Suggested cleaning products

If you clean it regularly, you probably don’t need any special products to keep it clean. Just pay attention to the material and which cleaners are suitable for use on it. You can often just use a simple soap or detergent with warm water or hot water to clean it.

Whether it’s made from steel, plastic, or something else, simply hosing it down or giving it a good scrub can get it clean.

When to deep clean

As well as giving your ice bath a quick clean when you change the water, it can also be beneficial to do a periodic deep clean. A deep clean will help you to make sure you really clean it out and get rid of any bacteria.

Deep cleaning schedule for cold water baths

You may only need to do this every few months or perhaps just once a year, depending on how well you’ve been keeping it clean during the rest of the year. Whether you treat your water will also affect how often it is necessary to do a deep clean.

Deep cleaning your bath can be pretty simple too. Simply filling it with water and washing up liquid can be a good way to provide a deep clean. You can also get specialist cleaning products if you have a cold water immersion tub with a system for keeping the water cool. Try products similar to those used for hot tub cleaning.

Clean and maintain your ice bath to keep it in good condition

Maintaining your ice bath keeps it clean and hygienic, while also protecting it from damage. If you want to keep it clean, you should combine both prevention and treatment to protect it.

Keep any dirt and debris out of the tub by using a cover when it’s not in use. Before using the bath, wear footwear to keep your feet clean and consider taking a cold shower or washing off before you get in. The tub will give you all of the benefits of cold water therapy, but it’s not intended to get you clean, so it makes sense to get clean first.

Clean your ice bath regularly and change the water on a regular basis too, to keep it hygienic.

Picture of Ryan Abbott

Ryan Abbott

Founder of Urban Ice Tribe

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