Scum absorbing products

poolintern

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 9, 2015
10
Arcadia, CA
Hi everyone!

I just purchased a new spa and am in the process of balancing the water. Used the TFP method on my pool in a former house with great success, and would like to do the same here.

Within a day of filling my spa, and after 1 use, we noticed a scum line around the edge. This was easy to clean up, but it got me looking at the various "Scum absorbing sponge" type products out there, such as the Scumball, Scumbug, Zorbo, etc. In the process, I came across some products from China that look like the same thing for WAY cheaper:

Amazon.com : Chuangdi 24 Pieces Oil Absorbing Scum Sponge for Hot Tub, Swimming Pool and Spa (Turtle) : Garden & Outdoor

They say they are "polyurethane sponges". Anyone know if this is actually the same product, just sold wholesale? Or is it worth the extra money to buy the brand name products?

Thanks!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
22,170
Bedford, TX
P,

I have not tried that specific one, but the ones that I did try, Scumall and Scumbug, etc.. were all useless..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
41,573
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Did you complete an Ahhhsome flush of your tub before using?
 

poolintern

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 9, 2015
10
Arcadia, CA
Thanks for the input!

@Jimrahbe - that's too bad. I've seen mixed reviews - some like yours that say they don't work, as well as some that say they work great.
@mknauss - unfortunately no. I didn't even think of that because it's a new spa, but I did get some and have it on hand if I need to do it sooner rather than later.
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 12, 2009
4,969
NW Ohio
unfortunately no. I didn't even think of that because it's a new spa, but I did get some and have it on hand if I need to do it sooner rather than later.
That will probably fix the underlying problem causing the scum rather than hoping something will soak it up. I'd do it now and get it done with, get the tub back in operation as quickly as possible.
 

poolintern

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 9, 2015
10
Arcadia, CA
You are probably right. I'll monitor the situation for the next few days and see if it keeps coming back.
Would you use any of these types of products to help with maintenance re: body oil, lotion, etc? Or don't even bother?
Thanks!
 

5tan

Active member
Jan 9, 2021
37
Canada
Pool Size
1643
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Before my water change a month ago, I got a Scumbug from a local national retailer due to people's unrinsed (soapy) bathing suits foaming up my water, it was mildly helpful but I wouldn't say very helpful - still had to remove foam by scooping it out with a frisbee and squeezing out the Scumbug frequently.

I've read that knockoffs from Amazon/eBay/etc are made of totally different material and will cause even more problems, so if you do get one, buy from a retailer with a legitimate supply chain. Most of the bad reviews I suspect are from people receiving counterfeit items.

On my second fill now and did a plumbing decontamination with Ahhsome when draining the first fill, and am not using the Scumbug on this new fill. It's been over a month and the water is perfect so far, so my Scumbug is currently in retirement. It makes for a good sponge for monthly/bimonthly cleaning of the water line and top surfaces of the spa, and good for scrubbing the backs of the Bullfrog JetPaks.

For your situation with a new spa without any plumbing decontamination performed, it wouldn't hurt anything but your wallet to drop one or 2 Scumbugs in the water. Some online spa supply stores sell a 2pack for the same price as buying 1 from a local national retailer.

However, assuming it's not winter wherever you are, it is strongly advised to decontaminate the plumbing ASAP using Ahhsome, and then getting your water good enough to not need any Scumbugs.

Also, make sure your waterline "scum" isn't from your CH increaser or TA increaser - don't add CH or TA within 24 hours of each other, otherwise they bind together and precipitate out into the water, causing your CH and TA results to be lower than calculated. If your CH and pH is too high, this could also cause a mineral buildup on the waterline. If your scum line is dead skin, add 1 or more hours to your filtration cycle duration.
 

poolintern

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 9, 2015
10
Arcadia, CA
Thanks for the input!
I've had to clean the scumline twice now. Nothing major - comes off very easily with a microfiber cloth, so haven't done anything else more drastic. Water is otherwise crystal clear. When I filled, I mixed softened and hard water, so CH is on the low side. TA was initially quite high (250+), and I've been gradually lowering it whenever I get a chance - now at 150.

Will definitely do the Ahhsome decontamination next.
Thanks everyone!
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
8,783
NY
Hey intern !!! Not only are tennis balls dirt cheap, but they work wonders sucking up oils and whatnot. They would at the very least help a good chunk.