There are few things as luxurious as taking a bath in a jetted, Jacuzzi-type, or whirlpool bathtub. The warm water and body massage make for one amazing way to relax. But the last thing you want to see are chunks of mystery debris swirling about—all the gunk and grime that’s built-up inside the jets and connecting hoses since the last time you cleaned it, which would be uh, when?
Follow these steps to get the tub, the air jets plus all of the interior plumbing system squeaky clean and sanitized so you can relax in crystal-clear water without fear of filth.
Before you begin, it is important to note that while the process below provides useful guidelines, you should check your the owner’s manual for your tub to see what the manufacturer specifically recommends. Can’t find it? Look at Jacuzzi and Whirlpool tub manuals online.
Materials and tools
- Baking soda
- Vinegar OR automatic dishwasher powder like Cascade Complete
- Liquid bleach (optional)
- Measuring cup
- Soft cloth
Close all of the air control knobs, if your model tub has this feature. Not all tubs do.
Fill the tub with hot water so that the water level is at least 2-inches above the highest jets.
Add two cups Cascade Complete powdered dishwashing detergent OR 2 cups of vinegar. Your choice, however, I much prefer Cascade for my tub.
Turn the tub’s air jets on and let it run on high for at least 20 minutes or until it appears that all debris from the internal plumbing has stopped washing into the tub.
Drain the tub, rinse well, and then refill with hot water a second time, at least 2-inches above the highest jets. Add 1/2 cup liquid bleach (optional; you continue with water alone). Run the jets on high for another 15 to 20 minutes to flush out even more gunk and grime. Drain the water.
Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda inside the tub and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, using a soft wet cloth scrub away all the grime. You can also use baking soda on the faucet and the drain. The purpose here is to break up mold, mildew and soap scum. Baking soda is non-abrasive which is good as most whirlpool tubs are made of acrylic, which can scratch quite easily.
Use an old toothbrush to clean around and inside the jets. Reach in with the brush as far as you can to clean this area very well.
Unscrew the air-intake cover and give it a good scrub with the toothbrush and regular hand soap. Rinse well, then screw it back on, making sure it is tight.
Give the tub a good rinse, and you’re done! Repeat monthly if you use the tub regularly, or at least once every three months if it is used infrequently.
When bathing in your jetted tub, do not use bath salts, mineral salts, or bubble bath. The use of highly sudsing soap is also not recommended. These products can cause residue to build up in the plumbing system of the tub. When that happens and then clean water runs through those lines that have this residue, it backwashes into your bathtub, contaminating your clean water.
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