Cheap Oil-Absorbing Scum Sponge - doing the job or not?

Kenneth N

Member
Nov 5, 2016
10
Sweden
Are the cheap Oil-Absorbing Scum Sponge (such as Scumbug) any good for Spa / Hot Tub?
After reading the reviews of the products in Amazon the buyers are divided between great product and worst product possible.
Since I trust this forum, I ask for guidance. I have tried both and I can see and feel they are made from different material, and they behave differently in the water.
It seems like the low-cost versions is more like the same plastic as you have in a bed mattress while the expensive ones are more like plastics that are wrapped around a TV or a computer (the inner wrapping).
The low-cost version turns yellow/brown in just a couple of days. Some reviews make the conclusion the product is doing the job (catching the dirt/oil/biofilm) while others say it is proof that it is a counterfeit, and it is just a waste of money.
I have tried both the cheap products and the ones that is sold in spa shops.
The price difference is huge. In Sweden I can get 15 cheap Scum sponge for the price of 1 Scum sponge from a spa store. I can definitely see they are made of different materials, and I can see that the expensive ones never shift in color. If the shift in color just prove it is doing its job, I am fine with that (so does Ahh-Some). I am not sure if it turns brown because the sponge is doing its job collection dirt and oil or if it is turning brown because of a chemical reaction. And even if it is the chemicals (bromine) in the water that turns the cheap sponge brown it might still do a god job independent of the color it has. Or it might be useless. I don't know.

I have very good water quality, so it is nothing wrong with my water.

Is 1 expensive Oil-Absorbing Scum Sponge (that never shift color) better than 15 cheap ones?


I see this was up for question in this thread a few years back - but never came to a conclusion.

Scumbug Turned Yellow?
 

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Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,179
NY
Many of us use tennis balls for the same affect. They find their way to the skimmers. At worst a kid finds them and plays with them for a bit and then they find their way back to the skimmer.
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,138
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
I have had the “scum ball”version which turned brown immediately & started to disintegrate like the old nerf balls from my childhood. It didn’t seem to absorb anything & only caused a mess of foam bits.
I only like the rollachem scum bugs - they do in fact absorb oils & I squeeze mine out to release the oils every time i get in the tub. It is only in the water while i soak. The rest of the time it lives in the cup holder. I get them in a 2 pack & they last forever. I have had my spa 3 years & only been through 2 or 3. If i have a swim party i throw one in the pool for the sunscreen. The genuine ones don’t discolor. I have had good luck ordering on amazon with spa depot as the seller as well as through their website.
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,138
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
I don’t have “scum” either but as a lady who uses moisturizing body washes & such, when i get in the tub i can see a hint of oils on the water if the lighting is right. I use the scum bug when i soak to prevent this from making it to my filter.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,179
NY
+1. 2 of my 3 gals have thick hair and the residual shampoo/conditioner made the tub a suds rave party anytime they got in. The bathing suits too. We learned not to clean them every time real quick. Lol.
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,138
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
+1. 2 of my 3 gals have thick hair and the residual shampoo/conditioner made the tub a suds rave party anytime they got in. The bathing suits too. We learned not to clean them every time real quick. Lol.
Yes 🙌 the hair! I instruct all the tweenaged girls to put their long hair up when hot tubbing. The pool has such a large volume it’s not noticeable but it will make my little tub cloudy in a heartbeat.