The top 5 spa headrests problems and how to solve them

Looking for a guide on how to resolve problems with spa headrests including smelly headrests, mould, mildew, disintegration and discolouration of your headrests? This article is for you.

After a long day, you hop in the spa to unwind and lay your head back on the headrest. Wait... what's that smell?

In this article, we will address the five common problems that spa owners face with their headrests including bad smells, mould, mildew, disintegrating foam and discolouration of your headrests.

Read on to learn how to resolve some of these problems and avoid them in the first place. so you can enjoy a quiet relaxing soak in your spa without any of these headrest headaches!

What are my spa headrests/pillows made from?

Your spa headrests will most likely be be made from a type of PU (polyurethane) foam or EVA Foam. Both these products are clean and safe, but they have some differences.

PU foam is the same material that is used in foam mattresses, seat cushions, carpet underlay and other soft plush products. PU foam is affordable but it has the disadvantage that it does disintegrate more quickly over time. It can absorb water more easily and it is more susceptible to bacteria growth.

The other material your spa headrests may be made from is EVA (Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate). EVA is also used in shoe manufacturing, bike seats, water toys, exercise mats and many more common products.

EVA is a much better and more robust material for spa headrests as it has a closed cells structure which means headrests are less susceptible to bacteria intrusion, disintegration and waterlogging.

What causes my spa headrests to smell and how to fix it?

Mould and mildew can begin to build up on your headrests if you are not maintaining them correctly. Your spa headrests live in a damp, humid environment under the spa cover with lots of steamy moisture which is a perfect place for mould to develop!

You may notice mould appearing as a dark green, red or black residue which is slimy to touch. A similar issue that can occur is mildew which appears white. The good news is that you can usually get rid of the smell by cleaning the headrests with an approved mould and mildew remover.

How do I clean mould or mildew off my spa pillows/headrests?

If you see any mould or mildew on your spa pillows or headrests, it's important to clean it off as soon as possible.

Mould and mildew can cause all sorts of problems, including respiratory issues, so it's not something you want to ignore. They'll be much easier to clean if you take care of the issue straight away, instead of leaving it to develop and grow further!

The good news is that cleaning mould and mildew off of your spa headrests is relatively easy. You'll just need some basic cleaning supplies and a little bit of elbow grease.

Recommended products for cleaning mould and mildew off spa headrests.

  • Rubber Gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Bleach-free Mold remover
  • Clean water for rinsing
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Cleaning cloth or scrubbing pad

Follow the steps below to clean your spa headrests.

  • Step 1. Remove your headrests
  • Step 2. Spray a small amount of bleach-free mold remover onto a cleaning cloth or pad and gently wipe the headrests all over, then allow to stand for 15-30mins.
  • Step 3. Rinse with fresh water and wipe clean. Allow them to completely dry
  • Step 4. Clean the headrest compartment with some chlorinated water and a damp cloth or scrubbing brush to remove any dirt that may have built up behind your headrest
  • Step 5. Replace your headrests

How can I prevent my spa headrests from smelling?

To prevent your spa headrests from smelling, you can follow the steps below.

  • Dry them off after each use.
  • Ensure you don't overfill your spa so that your headrests don't live underwater. Keep the waterline down below the spa headrests (when no-one is in the spa).
  • Wipe your headrests down with some chlorinated water right when you sanitise to help stop mould from growing.
  • You can also remove the headrests from your spa if your spa is out of use for a period of time. Store them in a dry container out of direct sunlight when not in use.

Why are my spa headrests disintegrating?

Your spa headrests may be disintegrating for a few different reasons. The most likely reason is that you are over-sanitising your spa, resulting in your water being too acidic which is eating away at your headrests. Ensure you are checking your water balance and adjusting your balance as needed so it falls within the ideal range.

You should also make sure you are following the dosage instructions on your sanitiser labels, but start at the low end of the recommended range on the label if you suspect you are over-sanitising your spa.

If the water level in your spa is too high, your headrests are sitting in water and sanitiser continuously and may begin to break down. Lower your water level until your headrests are not sitting in the water.

The other reason your headrests may be disintegrating is from exposure to sunlight, You should ensure you replace the cover on your spa when it is not in use to protect your headrests and other spa components from UV rays in the sunlight.

Why are my spa headrests changing colour? (Discolouration)

Your spa headrests are discolouring for the same reasons as we explained above - either you are using too much sanitiser in your spa or your headrests are being exposed to too much sunlight.

How do I preserve a foam headrest / spa pillow that is crumbling?

There are several ways to preserve a foam spa pillow that is crumbling. One way is to cover the pillow with a vinyl cover. Another way is to store the pillow in a dry, airtight container when not in use.

Finally, you can also try using a mild detergent and scrubbing the pillow gently with a clean sponge or cloth.

Should I remove my spa headrests/pillows when shocking the spa?

Yes, you should remove your spa headrests/pillows when shocking the spa. Shocking the spa can cause high levels of chlorine in the water, which can damage the headrests/pillows.

If you use Jacuzzi® J-200™,J-300™ and J-400™ Collection Spas, our detailed article on clean and remove spa headrest can be a helpful guide.

Can I use bleach to clean my spa headrests/pillows?

No, you should not use bleach to clean your spa headrests/pillows. Bleach can damage the material and cause it to break down prematurely.

Got more questions?

Talk to us on live chat, or email us your spa headrest questions and we'll be happy to help!

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