How to Clean a Jetted Tub

Clean jetted tub near light-filled windows

The Spruce / Georgia Lloyd

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 30 mins - 1 hr
  • Total Time: 1 hr - 1 hr, 30 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $10

At the end of a long day, there's nothing more relaxing than soaking in a whirlpool tub. Knowing how to clean a jetted tub ensures that your bath time will be a slice of paradise because who wants to see bits of slimy black grit and grime swirling around in the water when you turn on the jets?

Cleaning a jetted tub is not difficult, but it does take some time. Most whirlpool tubs can be cleaned with supplies you have on hand in your pantry. Here's how to clean a jetted tub in a nutshell:

  1. Wipe off visible dirt.
  2. Fill the tub with hot water and add cleaning agents.
  3. Turn on the jets.
  4. Drain the tub and wipe with a sponge or cloth.
  5. Refill the tub and turn on the jets.
  6. Clean the jets with baking soda.
  7. Scrub the air-intake cover.
  8. Clean the tub's interior.
  9. Rinse and dry.

What is a Jetted Tub?

A jetted tub, also called a whirlpool tub, is a bathtub fitted with built-in hydrotherapy jets designed to propel water into the bath for therapeutic and muscle-massaging purposes.

Before You Begin

Jetted tubs work a little differently depending on the brand. Consult the manufacturer's recommendations before cleaning the jets for the first time. Some brands recommend closing the air valve controls and others recommend leaving them open during cleaning. If you cannot find your installation manual, check online, or call the manufacturer's customer service number.

Follow these quick steps using simple ingredients to clean and refresh your jetted tub.

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What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Measuring cup
  • Toothbrush or bottle brush
  • Sponge
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Small bowl
  • Bucket


  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Automatic dishwasher detergent (powder or liquid)


Materials and tools to clean a jetted tub

The Spruce / Georgia Lloyd

How to Clean a Jetted Tub

  1. Wipe Away Visible Debris

    Using a damp sponge or microfiber cloth, wipe away any hair or visible debris from the rim and inside of the tub.

    Visible debris wiped away with damp sponge in jetted tub

    The Spruce / Georgia Lloyd

  2. Fill the Tub With Hot Water

    Fill the tub with enough hot water so that it covers all of the jets by about two inches.

    Jetted tub filled with hot water

    The Spruce / Georgia Lloyd

  3. Add the Cleaning Agents

    To the water add two tablespoons of powdered or liquid dishwasher detergent. If you only have dishwasher tablets, dissolve one tablet in a cup of boiling water before adding it to the tub. Next, add two cups of distilled white vinegar OR one-half cup of liquid chlorine bleach.


    Do not use dishwashing liquid for hand-washing dishes as it will produce too many suds.

    Do not combine distilled vinegar and chlorine bleach because toxic fumes of chlorine gas can occur. Use only one OR the other.

    Distilled white vinegar poured into jetted tub with hot water

    The Spruce / Georgia Lloyd

  4. Turn on the Jets

    Unless instructed by the manufacturer to leave them open, turn off the air-induction valves to the jets. This will force the water and cleaning solution to circulate only through the internal plumbing of the tub and give a deeper cleaning. Turn the jets on high for 15 minutes. You will begin to see debris from the internal plumbing washing into the tub.

    Jetted tub turned on with water and cleaning solution

    The Spruce / Georgia Lloyd

  5. Drain the Tub

    Turn off the jets and drain the tub. Use a sponge or microfiber cloth to wipe away any debris that is clinging to the tub.

    Jetted tub draining water and cleaning solution

    The Spruce / Georgia Lloyd

  6. Refill the Tub

    Fill the tub a second time with warm or cold water to a level of several inches above the jets.

    Jetted tub refilled with water

    The Spruce / Georgia Lloyd

  7. Turn on the Jets

    With the air-induction valves open, turn the jets on high and allow them to run for another 15 minutes. Turn off the jets and drain the water from the tub.

    Jets turned on in tub with water

    The Spruce / Georgia Lloyd

  8. Clean the Jets

    Place about one cup of baking soda in a small bowl or measuring cup. Dip an old toothbrush or small bottle brush in the dry baking soda. Use the brush to clean the interior surfaces of each jet.

    Jets being cleaned with old toothbrush and baking soda

    The Spruce / Georgia Lloyd

  9. Clean the Air-intake Cover

    Unscrew the cover of the air-intake control and scrub the area with dampened baking soda. Wipe away any residue with a damp sponge, rinse the cover, and replace it.

    Damp sponge with baking soda to clean air-intake cover

    The Spruce / Georgia Lloyd

  10. Clean the Interior of the Tub

    Sprinkle dry baking soda on the interior of the tub. Baking soda is a gentle abrasive that will cut through soap scum and grime inside the tub without damaging the finish. Use a damp sponge or microfiber cloth to clean all of the interior surfaces.

    Dry baking soda sprinkled on tub interior for cleaning

    The Spruce / Georgia Lloyd

  11. Rinse and Dry

    Once all of the tub's surfaces have been cleaned, use a bucket to rinse away the baking soda. Use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe down the interior to prevent water-spotting.

    Dry microfiber cloth wiping down jetted tub after rinsing

    The Spruce / Georgia Lloyd

How Often to Clean Your Jetted Tub

If you use your jetted tub regularly, the jets should be cleaned at least monthly. The actual tub should be thoroughly cleaned at least weekly to remove soap scum, body soil, and bacteria, which can help keep the jets from clogging.

Tips to Keep a Jetted Tub Clean Longer

Now that you have a sparkling clean tub, take a long relaxing soak. And to keep your tub clean longer, follow these tips:

  • Once you have the jets cleaned, a routine monthly cleaning will keep them in top shape.
  • Avoid bath oils and bubble baths that leave residue in the jets that can serve as food for mold and mildew.
  • Never use an abrasive cleaner on the tub which can leave minute scratches that capture soil and leave the finish looking dull.
  • Dull finishes can be restored by using an automotive wax recommended for plastics on the walls of the tub. NEVER wax the floor of the tub. That is a slip-and-fall hazard.
Article Sources
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  1. Bleach Mixing Dangers. Washington State Department of Health.