How To Clean A Jetted Tub in the Easiest Way Possible

How to clean a jetted tub easily is key to having a relaxing soak. Don’t ruin the serene vibe of a leisurely soak with soap scum and dirty bits floating around. Keeping the jets clean and sanitary is key for good health as well as great relaxation.

how to clean a jetted tub

Like many fixtures and appliances, all the parts of a jetted tub need regular cleaning to maintain proper working order.

The proper method for how to clean jetted tubs isn’t difficult but it is more involved than cleaning a regular bathtub.

This is because there are a number of small parts and spaces that are hard to reach, meaning a little more time elbow grease to get the job done. These little spots collect mold and yucky gunk that isn’t easily tackled with your usual bathroom cleaning routine.

The payoff for your added work is the regular enjoyment of a sparkly clean jetted tub.

Is this a DIY job or do I need a professional?

This guide for how to clean a jetted tub lays out everything you need to get it done and each specific cleaning task.

That said, there might be times when you need to call a professional for a problem you can’t solve. If you follow all the steps and your jetted tub still spews out bits of gunk, it might be that the pump or internal plumbing need expert service or a deeper clean.

The pros are trained on how to access the mechanisms of most whirlpool tubs and determine where the problem lies.

Why did my jetted tub get yucky in the first place?

Why did my jetted tub get yucky in the first place?View in gallery

Any place in the bathroom that is constantly moist or wet can build up mildew, mold and muck in the jets, pipes and crevices. The goo build-up comes from bath oils, soaps, bubble bath or other bath products.

Many tub manufacturers have recommendations about the limited types of bath products and the amounts that you should use while running the jets.

If you do add things to the water during a jetted soak, you’ll have to be scrupulous about keeping everything clean to prevent any major build-up of slime and soap scum.

Even if you only use products when taking a regular bath, they can still enter the jets, so knowing how to clean a jetted tub properly is critical to keeping things sanitary.

How often do I need to clean a jetted tub?

It depends. Actually, the frequency of cleaning comes down to how often you use it.

If the tub only gets used once in a while, then four or five times a year should be enough to keep it safe and sanitary.

If you’re a real devotée of soaking away your stress frequently, then you’ll need to do a proper deep clean of your jetted tub regularly, which would be at least monthly.

Of course, any time you notice bits of gunk floating in the water, it’s best to forego a bath and prep for a cleaning session instead.

What do I need to clean a jetted bathtub?

There are ready-made cleaners for jetted tubs available and your owner’s manual may have specific recommendations. No special jetted tub cleaner is necessary. The best way to clean your jetted tub can be with easily accessible household products that you may already have in the cupboard.

  • White vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Dishwasher powder
  • Non-Chlorine bleach
  • Borax (optional)
  • Toothbrush
  • Dental Floss
  • Soft cloths
  • Bottle brush (optional)

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Clean a Jetted Tub:

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Clean a Jetted TubView in gallery

Flush Out the Yuck

First things first mean wiping up any debris, hair or gunk that you can see in and around the tub.

Next, fill the tub with enough hot water to go above the jet nozzles by two or three inches. For the next part of this, you have a couple of options for the products that you can use.

Be cautious using cleaning agents. One thing to remember is that some manufacturers recommend avoiding chlorine bleach. This is because it can dry out internal gaskets over time, leading them to deteriorate.

Vinegar Option

The first option for cleaning the tub is to add two cups of white vinegar to the hot water. You may already be using vinegar for household cleaning because it’s natural and acidic, eliminating scum and buildup without any toxic elements. It will do the same thing in cleaning your jetted tub.

Non-Chlorine Bleach Option

A second option is to add a cleaning solution made of 1/2 cup of non-chlorine bleach and a few teaspoons of powdered dish detergent. Some sources suggest you can use liquid dishwashing liquid too, but be sparing because some types can create more suds than you want.

The dishwasher detergent will also help minimize mineral deposits if you have very hard water. Borax is also an option for this part of the process.

You can always opt for a commercial product formulated specifically to clean bathtub jets.

Check Your Manual Before Running the Jets 

Before you turn on the water jets, check the manufacturer’s instructions that came with your tub. Some will recommend that you turn off the air induction valves before running the bathtub jets to clean the tub.

Others suggest that you leave them open. Your manufacturer’s manual will tell you how to do this.

Generally, you can adjust the valves clockwise all the way to turn off the air induction valves. Your particular tub model may also have an “off “indicator on the valves.

Closing the air valves makes the water flow only in the tub’s internal plumbing, meaning that you’ll get a more thorough cleaning.

In either case, turn on the jets and run them at the high setting for 10 to 15 minutes.

Flush it Again 

Drain the tub. At this point, you can wipe up some of the gunk and debris from the tub if you wish.

Repeat the process of letting the tub fill with warm water and adding the cleaning products of your choice for a second time. Then, flush any additional debris from the jet system. Drain the tub again.

Scrub the Tub 

So far, the process has been pretty simple but here’s where the elbow grease comes in: It’s time to scrub the inside of the tub.

You don’t need any fancy tub cleaning solution, just some baking soda and a soft, clean rag, which will clean up any scum, mildew or greasy residue. Sprinkle the baking soda around the tub. Let it sit for a few minutes and then gently scrub to remove soap scum!

You don’t want to rub with too much pressure when cleaning or you might scratch the surface of your jet tub.

Clean Each Jet 

The last step in how to clean a jetted tub is giving attention to each individual jet. It’s important to clean in and around each jet nozzle. This is where an old toothbrush, or a bottle brush, can come in handy to reach into the spaces and crevices.

Dental floss can be useful for cleaning all the black stuff from around the nozzle trim. Finally, you can use the same equipment to clean the air intake. Just remove the air intake cover, clean inside the intake and the cover, rinse it, then put it back on.

Finally, give everything a super good rinsing to get rid of the baking soda, dirt and goo that you loosened.

How to keep jetted tubs clean

How to keep jetted tubs clean

Keep it Sparkling

Now that your tub is squeaky clean inside and out, there are a few little things that you can do to help keep it in tip-top shape and perhaps eliminate the need for extra scrubbing next time.

  • Every time that you’re finished with your relaxing soak in the tub, don’t immediately drain the water.
  • Add vinegar to the tub water and let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Then run the jets for 10 or 15 minutes. This helps keep the system clean and doesn’t waste a lot of hot water.

About the filter…

Whirlpool tubs have a filter that you will also need regular cleaning. Otherwise, it can get clogged and affect the water pressure through the jets.

Depending on the type of tub and manufacturer, you may have a removable filter. Follow any specific instructions in the manual to clean it.

For those who have a tub without a removable filter, you can take off the filter cover and clean it. Then clean inside and around the filter opening before replacing the cover.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

What is the black stuff coming out of my Jacuzzi jets?

The gunk and specks spewing out of your jacuzzi jets are a mix of mold, mildew, oils, sloughed-off skin and other bits. These collect and fester in the jets and pipes between uses and will get worse without regular cleaning.

Can you use vinegar to clean jetted tub?

Yes, vinegar is good to use for cleaning a jetted tub. Fill the tub with enough hot water to cover the jets by about three inches. Add one-quarter cup of powdered dish detergent and one-half cup of vinegar to the tub. Run the jets to circulate this mix throughout the system.

How often should you clean a jetted tub?

How often you clean your jetted tub depends on how often you use it. With regular use, you should clean it at least once a month. If you only use the tub once in a while, you only have to do it once every three or four months.

What can you not put in a jetted tub?

First, always check the manufacturers’ recommendations for your specific tub regarding what types of products you can use in the tub. Generally, you should not use oils, salts or bubble baths when using the jetted tub. These get into the system and can cause problems in the pipes and jets.

Can you use dishwasher pods to clean a jetted tub?

While dishwasher pods are generally safe to use in a jetted tub, it’s probably not the best way to clean it. The water in your tub will not be hot enough to quickly and efficiently dissolve the pod.

Is a jetted tub worth it?

A jetted tub is worth the money if you are looking for a way to reduce stress. They are also a good investment if you want hydrotherapy for specific health reasons. Lastly, jetted tubs can be an added bonus when it comes time to sell your home.


Let’s face it, there’s nothing like sinking into a tub full of whirling, crystal clear water at the end of a long and stressful day. Cleaning a jetted tub takes some effort, but if you maintain it well, it’ll provide years of relaxing soaks.