How to Clean a Jetted [Jacuzzi] Bathtub Naturally

How to Clean a Jetted Tub

I’ve already told you guys a little bit about the master bathroom in our house (mostly that it was covered in wallpaper), but I neglected to mention my favorite thing about it: we have a fantastic bathtub. It’s big and deep and has those jacuzzi jets on the sides, so with just one little punch of a button we practically have a hot tub. I can’t say that I’m proud of this, but that bathtub was kind of a big selling point for the house.

Something that I didn’t consider until after we’d bought the house, however, was that jacuzzi bathtubs are rather more difficult to clean than regular bathtubs. Think about it for a minute. There are tubes that suck up dirty bathwater and shoot it back out at you. That’s bad enough when it’s your dirty bathwater, or your family’s dirty bathwater, but when the dirty bathwater that has been coursing through those jets for the past decade belongs to people that you’ve never even met, cleaning the jets suddenly becomes a huge priority. Add that to the fact that our house hadn’t been lived in for several months and there were dead bugs in the bathtub and (I suspected) inside the jets, and you will understand exactly how frantic I was to get that tub clean.

(I’m sorry if I just ruined Jacuzzi tubs for you.)

How to Clean a Jetted Tub

Luckily, it doesn’t take a lot of supplies to clean your bathtub well. I’m sure you already have everything you need.

How to Clean a Jetted Tub 1

Supplies

  • baking soda (buy it in bulk here)
  • vinegar
  • water
  • cleaning rag
  • your spouse’s toothbrush (Just kidding! Use an old one!)

Step 1

First, you’re going to need to clean all the normal parts of your tub. My favorite thing to use for cleaning bathtubs is baking soda. It’s abrasive enough to take away mold and soap scum, but it doesn’t scratch the tub.

Sprinkle a coating of baking soda over your tub, then scrub with an old, damp cloth. Pay special attention to the waterline area, the faucet, and the area around the drain. Don’t worry about rinsing out the baking soda just yet!

Step 2

You might not be able to see deeply into the tub jets, but with a toothbrush you can deep-clean around the outside of them. Most jacuzzi jets twist to change the water pressure, so it’s easy for them to collect mildew between the tub and the… twisty parts. (There must be a more technical term for them, but I have no idea what it is.) Anyway, loosen them up as much as you can so that you can scrub behind them with your toothbrush.

Step 3

Without rinsing away the baking soda, fill up your tub with water. You don’t have to fill it completely, but fill it enough that the jets will run. I tend to use cold water for the sake of conserving energy, but if your tub is especially dirty, hot water will help loosen the grime.

How to Clean a Jetted Tub 2

Add three cups of vinegar to the water, and turn on your jets. Let them run for at least three minutes, or longer if you’re seeing bits of build-up in the water.

Step 4

If there was a lot of build-up in your pipes, you’re going to need to drain your tub and fill it up again. I know that’s hard to do from a water conservation standpoint, but it’s the only way to ensure that your pipes are truly clean.

When I gave our tub the first good cleaning, I had to re-fill the tub four times. The good news, though, is that I haven’t had to do that since. For regular maintenance cleaning, once is usually enough.

Additional Notes

If the thought of filling up your bathtub with water just for the sake of cleaning it makes you cringe, you can try to use the water in other ways. Sometimes when it gets cold in the winter or we’re expecting a big storm, I’ll fill up our bathtub with water in case we have a power outage. When we are back to normal and the threat of a power outage is over, I use that water to give our jets a quick clean. I’ve also run the jets after a bath before. I can’t say that counts as cleaning, but it does help eliminate build-up in your pipes.

Do you guys have any awesome tips for cleaning jacuzzi-style tubs? Let us know!

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Comments

  1. I own a “green” cleaning company and I can honestly say jetted tubs are my biggest “ick” job. You would not believe the stuff I’ve seen come out of those jets and I now refuse to ever use one. The job has ruined relaxing baths forever. This is an excellent cleaning method and I use it often, but if you have a particularly gross tub (like when you first move in) You can cut at least one cleaning cycle if you use (obviously natural and safe) dishwasher detergent. depending on the size of your tub double or triple the amount used for the dishwasher and allow it to circulate for at least 30 minutes. Use the toothbrush and for really tough stuff just inside the jets use q-tips (or ask your dr for those extra long cotton swabs). Then drain and follow with the baking soda and vinegar wash at least twice. I also ALWAYS use the hottest water I can because it helps loosen the mold that gets in there. Then enjoy a good hot soak for me.

  2. a great idea for an impossible task, but using that much water would make me cry, but filling a bunch of 5 gallon buckets and setting them in the tub to displace that amount of water for the multiple rinses would drastically reduce the amount of water wasted. Then the 5 gallon buckets are reasonably sized enough to carry elsewhere to water the garden, turn into a mop bucket for the kitchen, etc. Anything that displaces the water (like bricks or a fulled container in the toilet tank) that doesn’t interfere with the jets and the cleaning would work. And, per Patti N’s coment about using the hottest water possible, cold water in the buckets would cut down on how much hot water was needed, too. Great ideas as always! thanks.

  3. This is so timely for me. We have mold growing and I’ve cleaned the bathtub using bleach but have had such a hard time getting into those jets. We have the bathtub that is just a little bit larger than the regular bathtub. I’m going to try your method. Thanks for posting.

    • Lisa, just a note, be VERY careful using chlorine bleach. Even without accidentally mixing it with something else, it’s extremely dangerous to breath and can cause serious medical issues. I avoid bleach at all costs. I’ve discovered that vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice, etc can pretty much replace the chlorine bleach completely and I’ve not found anything that I can’t get spotless.

  4. I used to have a jacuzzi tub and then we moved into a house with a narrow tub without jets. The upside is it’s easier to clean! I used to love having a jacuzzi tub in hotels until the day the bubbles from my bubble bath dissipated and I saw all the debris in the water. And I knew all that grunge wasn’t from me! No more hotel jacuzzi tub use!

  5. Thanks you for posting this. The last time I used my jacuzzi I shared it (unknowingly) with a family of spiders. I guess they were in one of the Jets, I didnt notice them until after I shut off the jacuzzi. I had candles lit, lights off, you know just relaxing in my jacuzzi, I notices little dark things floating around me……freaked out when I turned the lights on and I haven’t taken one since! I cleaned it but have been a bit shy getting in there. Just thinking about it gives me the heebie-jeebies

  6. Perhaps I’m stating the obvious or maybe I’m missing something, but why not remove the jets to clean them? I’ve tried the method(s) you described – and the dishwasher detergent suggested by the green cleaning company. None of these do the job right – and you’ll know that when you unscrew the jets (and don’t forget the filter with all the tiny holes – it comes off with one screw on my tub)! I have to get in my tub to scrub out the “innards” (the guts), but the other pieces and parts are easy to remove to scrub clean.