How to Clean Bathtub Jets So You Can Soak Without Stress

By Sharon Brandwein

Water and a warm environment are all that is necessary for harmful bacteria to proliferate, so to keep that in check, you’ll want to clean the jets in your bathtub.

Also known as biofilm, the bacteria that grows in your bathtub jets are an icky combination of soap residue, sloughed-off skin cells, bath oils, and soaps, as well as a bit of mold and mildew. If you don’t clean bathtub jets regularly, you’ll inevitably find brown scum and mold setting up shop in your tub. Moreover, you’ll be exposing yourself to that harmful bacteria and a slew of health issues each time you sink in.

In this guide, we examine how to clean jacuzzi tub jets. All you need are a few cleaning household items that you probably have on hand and a few tubs of water. Relax—it’s not as bad as it sounds. So, if you’re ready, let’s dive in!

white jacuzzi tub

Photo via Shutterstock

How Often Should Bathtub Jets Be Cleaned 

There are no hard-and-fast rules for how often you should clean your bathtub Jets. Truth be told, the answer to that largely depends on how often you use your tub. If you're taking baths a few times per week, then you should clean your tub more frequently—around once a month. If your jacuzzi bathtub is used infrequently, you may be able to limit deep cleanings to a few times per year.

Signs It’s Time to Clean Bathtub Jets

While you should clean your bathtub jets as often as we told you in the section above, your tub will also let you know when it’s time to clean the jets. Some common red flags of dirty jets include:

  • Cloudy, discolored water
  • Smells 
  • Visible slime on or around the jets
active jet in a filled bathtub

Photo via Shutterstock

How to Clean Bathtub Jets

You’re a few steps away from soaking without stress. Here’s how to properly clean your bathtub jets using vinegar and bleach. Be sure to ventilate your work area as best you can!

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Non-abrasive bathroom cleaner
  • A few clean microfiber rags
  • Toothbrush 
  • Vinegar
  • Bleach
  • Rubber gloves
  • Stirring utensil

Step 1: Ventilate Your Work Area 

You’ll be working with bleach or vinegar, both of which tend to produce some pretty strong fumes, so before you begin, turn on the fan in your bathroom, open all windows, and make sure all doors remain open for the duration of the process. 

Step 2: Pre-Clean Your Tub

Before you dig into the deep cleaning portion of the program, spray your tub with a non-abrasive bathroom cleaner and wipe it down with a clean microfiber rag. If you don’t pre-clean your tub, all your hard work will essentially be for naught, as you’ll only end up recirculating the residue in your jet system while you’re trying to clean it. 

Step 3: Clean the Jets 

Use a toothbrush to scrub the inside of the jets to loosen dirt and soap scum build-up. If your tub has removable jets, you can take them out and scrub them at a sink, sparing yourself time on your knees and bent over the tub.

If you find that you’re having a hard time removing the dirt buildup or if you’re dealing with hard water stains, you can soak the jets in equal parts vinegar and water for 30 minutes or so and give them another scrub. If the jets aren’t removable, soak a rag in this solution and manually scrub the jets until the scum is gone. Once they’re clean, reinstall the jets if removed and continue on to step four.

Step 4: Let the Jet System Run With Only Water

Fill your tub with hot water, making sure the water is at least one inch above the jets. Turn the jet system on and let it run for 15 minutes or so. When you’ve given the jet system ample time to run, drain the tub.

Step 5: Disinfect the Jet System 

Refill the tub with hot water again, making sure that the water level is at least one inch above the jets. Add one to two cups of bleach or distilled vinegar to the water (choose one or the other; not both, which can create a potentially lethal chlorine gas), and mix the solution with a gloved hand or a long kitchen utensil. Turn the jet system on again and let it run for about 15 minutes. When the time is up, drain the tub.

Consult Your Manual

You may want to consult your tub’s owner’s manual to determine whether you should use bleach or vinegar. In some cases, bleach may be too harsh for the jet system, so it should be avoided to prevent permanent damage to the tub.

Step 6: Flush the Bleach (or Vinegar) From the Jet System

Fill the tub one last time with warm water, filling to one to two inches above the jets. Turn on the jet system and let it run for a while to rinse away the bleach or vinegar residue from Step 5. Running the system for 10 minutes or so should do the trick. Drain the tub when you’re done. 

Step 7: Wipe Away Any Residue Or Gunk 

Spray the tub with the bathroom cleaner you used in Step 1 and wipe away any residue or gunk that may have shaken loose in the previous steps. 

Step 8: Give The Tub A Final Rinse

Give the tub a thorough final rinse with clean water and wipe it dry with a clean microfiber rag. 

Tips for Keeping Bathtub Jets Clean

After you tackle a thorough deep cleaning of your jacuzzi tub or bathtub jets, you'll quickly realize that it’s definitely a chore. No doubt, you'll promptly search for ways to prevent the gross buildup in the first place and keep your bathtub jets clean. Keep in mind that when you're dealing with water, there is no way to eradicate the mold and mildew buildup, but there are ways that you can keep it to a manageable minimum; here's how.

  • Take a rinse-off shower before getting into your tub.
  • Skip the bath bombs, bath gels, and moisturizing oils.
  • Do not use your jetted tub as a pet bath.
  • Be sure to rinse your tub thoroughly after each use.
  • Wipe the jets dry with a microfiber rag.
  • Keep the drains and jets free of hair and debris.
  • Give your tub and the jets a quick wipedown with an antibacterial cleanser once a week.
  • Check the owner's manual or specific directions on how to clean and maintain your tub, and replace the tub filter as directed.

Do you have any tips for cleaning bathtub jets? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!

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