Families who own a hot tub have been warned over dangerous bacteria that could be lurking in the water - and even human waste.

Experts say bacteria can thrive in the warm bubbling water causing potential health problems, including rashes, diarrhoea, infections and even herpes.

Now QS Supplies has revealed what germs could be hidden in your hot tub and exactly why you should clean it regularly.

The team of experts say that five people in a hot tub will contribute around a tablespoon of faeces to the water from residue on the skin and body.

Shaf Member, purchase director, said: "Often private hot tubs are worse than those in a gym or public pool.

"After all, it is up to the cleaner to keep on top of the cleanliness levels. Sadly, people can get lazy when it comes to their own hot tub as they think family and friends won't mind.

"This really doesn't matter, as you will never know if another person has a virus or is shredding pathogens."

Here are seven hidden hot tub concerns:

Experts say bacteria can thrive in the warm bubbling water

Germs

The list of germs that survive in the heat of a hot tub is long.

While much of the waste in hot tub water is harmless - such as sweat and oil - there are a surprising number of people carrying pathogens and germs that cause disease.

A hot tub is the ideal temperature and setting for them to thrive. For example - the herpes virus can survive in a hot tub for around four hours.

Hot Tub Folliculitis

The Hot Tub Rash, also known asHot Tub Folliculitis, is caused by a bacteria called Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, which grows readily in warm, bubbly water.

This rash is extremely common from hot tub bathing. It looks like chicken pox, is very uncomfortable and difficult to treat. It can even cause scarring for life.

Staph Bacteria

Around 50 per cent of the population carries Staphylococcus aureus, a skin-infecting bacteria on their skin.

If someone with a cut, ingrown hair or any other wound gets in a hot tub, they can very easily contract a staph infection.

Faeces

Faecal matter can cause problems due to build-up

Five people in a hot tub will contribute about a tablespoon of faeces to the water from residue on the skin and body.

The average bather has about a tenth of a gram of faeces in his gluteal fold - or buttocks.

That means five people equates to a whole tablespoon of human waste in the hot tub.

If the hot tub is not cleaned regularly, faecal matter can cause problems due to build-up.

Diarrhoea Pathogens

You should wait at least two weeks before going into a hot tub after having a diarrhoea or gastro disease, however, most people don't.

If you aren't sure who has been in the tub, make sure you keep your head above the water, as if you swallow a bit of water from this, you may become sick.

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Crypto

The parasite cryptosporidium causes severe diarrhoea which lasts weeks - and there's no cure or antibiotics.

This parasite is chlorine-tolerant so it will withstand your hot tub's chemicals.

Legionnaires

This isn't as common as the other potential infections, but it is still a concern.

Legionella will thrive in warm water that isn't clean. All it takes is breathing in the mist from a contaminated hot tub.

How to clean your hot tub

Shaf Member, Purchase Director at QS Supplies added:

"Know your body - If you have been ill recently, don't go in the hot tub. If you have a cut, even minor, please avoid it.

"It's all about just being vigilant and taking a moment before jumping in to think ‘ is this really wise?’ And whatever you do, don't forget to shower and rinse off any germs and bacteria from the day before you get in.

"It isn't relatively difficult to keep your hot tub clean, it just takes dedication and time. Be sure to inspect your tub a couple of times a week to prevent any buildup, and test your levels before every use.

"Remember that the water needs draining and replacing frequently too - which is all dependent on the quality of your filter system.

"After every use, clean using a damp cloth and sanitiser and check its pH levels. Clean the filters weekly and check the pH levels and santise again.

"Shock dosing weekly is also highly recommended. Quarterly (or after heavy use) clean your pipes, drain and refill and give a deep interior clean - and don't forget about regular servicing too!”

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