You love bubbles in your bath. And you love your jacuzzi jets. But can you safely combine the two?
As a general rule, don’t add bubbles, shampoos or soaps to a jetted tub. Only use bath products specially formulated for a spa, so that you don’t clog the jets, pumps or motor with oils and other debris.
Can You Use Bath Products in a Jetted Tub?
Read on to discover 8 important dos and don’ts of using bath products in a jetted tub. These will help you maximize the pleasure from your spa while avoiding expensive repair fees.
1. DO know whether you have a jacuzzi or air tub.
It’s important to know what type of jetted tub you have. It makes a difference in understanding whether you can use bubbles, oils and other bath products.
A jacuzzi sends streams of water out of jets that create a vigorous, targeted massage. (You could have a jacuzzi bathtub, which is generally indoors. Or, you could have a jacuzzi spa that is often outdoors, built into the ground, and regulated with chemicals like bromine and chlorine.)
Air tubs, on the other hand, have smaller jets that send air through them. An air tub provides an overall gentle body massage to the bather.
Combo tubs use both air jets and water jets, providing an experience that’s the “best of both worlds.”
2. DON’T use bubble bath in any jetted tub.
The biggest problem with using bubble bath is that air and water jets both agitate the water. If you use a regular amount of bubble bath, you’re likely to end up with a mountain of bubbles. This mountain will slowly rises to the ceiling or sky. Then, when the mountain gets too big, it then will topple over onto your bathroom floor or deck.
Assuming this is not the experience you want, be judicious with your bubble bath. You can usually use a very tiny amount of regular bubble bath in an air tub without a problem. But this is not so with a jacuzzi. The reason is that a jacuzzi recirculates the water, and with it, any additives. In addition to upending the chemistry of your spa water, bubble bath will travel through the pipes and back out the jets. In the process, the debris can clog your jets.
Some people try to use bubble bath as a cleaning agent for the jets. Forget it! (Here are some much better ideas for how to clean your jacuzzi.)
3. DO try bath bombs specially formulated for jetted tubs.
A great way to disperse an essential oil across a tub is through a fizzy, spinning bath bomb–one that is made specifically for a jetted tub. I’ll recommend some of these in the product section below.
If you simply add essential oil directly to your spa, you’ll need to add quite a lot in order to notice the scent. But adding that much essential oil could irritate your skin (depending on how sensitive you are).
Instead, try a scented candle at the side of your air tub or spa. Or drop in a bath bomb specially formulated for your jetted tub. See some product suggestions below.
4. DON’T use carrier oils in jetted tubs.
There are two types of oils commonly found in bath oils: essential oils and carrier oils. Essential oils are made from compressing flowers, roots or berries to remove the essential scent and healing properties. Examples of essential oils include rose essential oil, bergamot essential oil, cedarwood essential oil, and turmeric essential oil.
Carrier oils are other oils used to disperse the essential oils throughout a bath product. Carrier oils also have their own properties that often nourish and heal the skin. Examples of carrier oils include sweet almond oil, jojoba oil and lanolin oil. Thickest of all is lanolin oil, so avoid that one at all costs.
Many bath oils are made with both carrier and essential oils. However, in a jetted tub, you’ll want to avoid carrier oils at all costs. While essential oils added to your spa will quickly evaporate, the carrier oil will create a film. This film can clog pipes, motors and jets.
5. DO try specially formulated bath salts.
If you’re looking to jazz up your spa experience, you can try bath salts as long as you’re sure they do not contain carrier oils.
You can use any kind of salt as the base of your product: pink Himalayan salt, Epsom salt, or Dead Sea salt. These salts contain trace minerals like magnesium, zinc and potassium that are said to heal skin problems, relieve anxiety, and decrease pain.
Either whip up your own DIY Bath Salts so that you can be sure that they don’t contain carrier oils or soap colorants. Or, purchase bath salts that are specially formulated for jetted tubs.
6. DON’T use a jetted tub to wash yourself.
You don’t want to use body soaps or shampoos in a jetted tub for similar reasons. Again, these are more likely to be problematic in a jacuzzi than an air tub, but if you want to be safe, don’t use soaps or shampoos in either tub type.
Technically speaking, you should be able to run the air jets after you drain the tub, in order to clean them out. But it’s possible some residue from soap or shampoo will settle there and be too heavy for the air jets to clear.
Similarly, you really shouldn’t get into a jetted tub–either air or jacuzzi–without showering off first. The reason is that body oils can act similarly to soaps, shampoos and other products that create a grimy film.
If you repeatedly get into your spa without rinsing off, you’re also putting yourself at risk for experiencing “hot tub rash,” which is redness, itchiness, and blotchiness.
For much more about hot tub rash, read my post Why Jacuzzi Jets Make You Itch.
7. DO check the manufacturer’s instructions for your spa.
Your particular spa or air tub came with the manufacturer’s instructions and a warranty. Be sure to read both. They probably specify exactly which ingredients you can safely use in your particular spa or air tub.
For example, while Epsom salts are usually fine, you won’t want to use more than the recommended amount and that will be determined by the volume of your tub.
8. DON’T run afoul of products barred under warranty.
Better safe than sorry. As costly as it would be to break your tub by clogging the pipes with bubble bath, it would be worse if you are excluded from coverage under the warranty because it explicitly states that you cannot use bubble bath in your spa.
So proceed with caution and your best bet is to use homemade bath products or those specifically made for use in a jetted tub.
Bath Products Designed for a Jetted Tub
It’s quite difficult to track down bath products designed for the spa. Whirlpool normally carries a whole line of bath products called Relaxan Low Foam Aromatherapy, but when I recently checked the site it says they are currently out of stock and transitioning to a new supplier.
Spa & Bath Aromatherapy by InSPAration
These aromatherapy products are water-soluble and safe for all jets, pumps and filters. They don’t contain carrier oils and won’t leave a residue but the pleasant fragrance will cover any chemical smell in your spa and enhance overall relaxation. Available in scents called “Tropical Island,” “Heavenly Honeysuckle,” and “Romance.”
Spa Bomb Gift Box by InSPAration
Get 6 five-ounce moisturizing bath bombs that are spa safe and come in scents like “Eucalyptus Mint,” “Cucumber Melon,” and “Lavender.” These bath bombs are Ph neutral and don’t contain any harsh chemicals. They won’t change your water chemistry and won’t foam or bubble, but they will disperse a wonder scent across your spa. This product is safe for all hot tub motors, pumps and jets.
These Epsom salts infused with healing essential oils will not damage, stain or affect your jetted tub’s equipment. What they will do is decrease your stress and tension, while inducing self-healing and detoxification. This Dead Sea Salt product comes in formulations such as “Green Tea” to invigorate you, “Verbena Lime Coconut” to awaken you, “White Musk Vanilla Jasmine” to create allure, and “Lavender Palmarosa” to instill you with a sense of calm.
So Can You Put Soap in a Jetted Tub?
Generally, it’s not safe to use soap, bubbles or shampoos in a jacuzzi tub. It’s safer in an air tub, as long as you use a very small amount. But that said, the least risky way to add any bath products to a jetted tub is to buy formulations that won’t alter the chemistry of the water or deposit film in the motor, pumps or jets.
Instead, get your bubbles on in the bathtub! Check out my post The Secret to a More Bubbly Bubble Bath for help maximizing your bubble powers.
And if you’re looking for tips on the best ways to keep your tub sanitary, don’t miss my post How to Keep a Jetted Tub Clean.