Bacteria Alert: How To Easily Clean A Jacuzzi Bathtub Or Whirlpool Tub (Hot Tub Bath With Air Jets)


We all know what a dirty bathtub ring looks like. Now imagine what that scum buildup is doing inside the jet plumbing of your Jacuzzi style bathtub!

Sure, you can clean the bathtub itself, but once you start up the air jets all kinds of nasty looking bits and specks will come floating to the surface if you don’t properly clean the jets themselves and the interior plumbing system.

That’s right, the jets and pipes behind your jet tub can quickly become contaminated with all sorts of infectious bacteria — some you can see, and some you can’t see!

This video shows how the plumbing in air tubs works and why you need to clean your jet tub system:


Fortunately, cleaning the inside of your air tub’s elaborate collection of pipes, jets, and nozzles is really straightforward and easy.

Here’s how to properly clean a whirlpool tub yourself in just a few quick steps…


Jacuzzi Tub Cleaning Tips

#1 – First, check your bathtub’s manual to see what the manufacturer recommends. They typically specify which cleaners work best, as well as which ones you should avoid. Each air tub is different. Can’t find your owner’s manual? Find it online.

 – Close all of the air controls on the individual jets so there is no air induction. Then fill the tub until all jets are submerged by 2 to 3 inches of water.

NOTE: Some air tub manufacturers call for the air controls to be fully opened, so it’s best to read the manual first to confirm which method is best for your specific bathtub.

 – Add 2 tablespoons of a low-sudsing dishwasher detergent (such as powdered Cascade or Calgonite) and 1/2 cup of bleach. Some recommend adding these both to the water in one step, while others make it a 2-step process: first clean once with the detergent, then clean again afterwards with the bleach. I guess it’s a personal choice.

NOTE: As an alternative to using bleach, you could use 1 cup of white vinegar instead. Or, you may prefer to use a commercial jet tub cleaner made specifically for cleaning jetted air tubs.

 – Run the jets for 15 minutes, then drain the tub. Refill the tub with water 2-3 inches above the jets and run the jets again for 10 minutes to rinse thoroughly.

 – Drain the water and wipe down the tub and all nozzles using a soft cloth (like a cloth baby diaper). Use a Q-tip to get into the cracks and crevices around the nozzles.

#6 –
Finally, in order to prevent health problems associated with biofilm (a residue that forms around bacteria in the plumbing lines), it’s important to end your whirlpool tub cleaning routine with one of the many products that have been designed to remove biofilm. Here’s why:

big-gray-quote57Jetted tubs have about 15-20 feet of plumbing lines that run underneath the tub. These lines are full of warm stagnant water after each bath. This nasty water forms a residue called biofilm. Biofilm houses and protects bacteria from standard cleaning products like bleach, detergents, vinegar etc. Just like the cooling tower industry that has to deal with biofilm, it takes specialized chemicals to safely clean jetted tubs … If the jetted tubs are cleaned properly they are perfectly safe to use. I attached efficacy testing on the product we make. As you can see we effectively kill bacteria commonly found in jetted tubs, including legionella. There are other good products on the market as well.  — Bill Soukup, President of Scientific Biofilm Solutions


What You Need To Know About Cleaning Jet Tubs

Over time, your jet fixtures may start to yellow or become discolored. This is a normal and natural process that occurs as plastic ages. In most cases, there is little that can be done to rectify this condition. Painting is an option though not a very good one — because with continual use in water, the paint is not likely to hold up very well and the resulting peeling or bubbling will look worse than the natural discoloration of the plastic.

Without a doubt, proper cleaning of your jet tub is very important and cannot be overlooked. Since moisture is always present in the jets and pipes of your air tub, bacteria can easily build up and mold, mildew, and other health risks can quickly become an issue.

How often you need clean the jets in your air tub depends on how often you use your tub. For the everyday user it may be necessary to clean and sanitize once a month (or more). Those who only use their jet tub occasionally can probably get by with cleaning and sanitizing it once every 3 to 4 months.

Proper Jacuzzi tub cleaning isn’t a hard task, it’s just one that can’t be forgotten. If you don’t stay on top of it, then you may have to pay to have your jet tub professionally cleaned, which comes with a pricetag of about $180, as described in this video:



More About Cleaning Jet Tubs

Curtis Carper

Curtis Carper

I’ve been involved in RVing for over 40 yrs -- including camping, building, repairing, and even selling RVs. I’ve owned, used, and repaired almost every class and style of RV ever made. I do all of my own repair work. My other interests include cooking at home, living with an aging dog, and dealing with diabetic issues. If you can combine a grease monkey with a computer geek, throw in a touch of information nut and organization freak, combined with a little bit of storyteller, you've got a good idea of who I am.

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