What could be better than a long, luxurious, therapeutic soak in a jetted tub? Unfortunately, jetted tubs often go unused, because owners spot some gunk in the jets and then refuse to use it anymore. That’s too bad. You can easily clean and maintain a jetted bathtub.
To keep a jetted tub clean, use low-foam bath products. Clean the tub on a set schedule to keep the water and bathtub surface free of bacteria and germs. Do a routine cleaning once per month and deep clean once per quarter. Also, run the ozonator regularly.
Of course, how often you need to clean and deep clean really depends on how often the tub is used and by how many bathers. But it’s wise to schedule regular cleaning into your calendar to prevent a buildup of biofilm.
So how do you even know when your jetted tub is truly clean? And what happens to your skin if it’s not? This article answers these questions and many more regarding the hygiene of your jetted tub.
A Clean Jetted Tub Is Good for Your Health
A jetted tub is good for your health…but only if it’s kept clean!
(By the way, a jetted tub or jetted bathtub is usually kept indoors, fits 1-2, and does not use chemicals like bromine or chlorine. If you’re looking for information about keeping a hot tub or spa sanitary read this post instead.)
Anyway, research shows that a hot bath can improve mental health even more than aerobic exercise. And the warmth of the water and massaging jets can help reduce pain in your joints while helping to improve your circulation.
But when the jets get dirty, mold and mildew can grow along with other harmful bacteria. Then the health benefits you get from your tub can turn to health problems instead.
How to Clean a Jetted Tub
To keep a jetted tub clean you’ll want to do four things:
- Regularly use the ozone sterilization system
- Only use low-foam bath products
- Do routine cleaning about once per month
- Do deep cleaning about once per quarter
Let’s dive into details.
Run the Ozonator on a Regular Schedule
Each jetted bathtub is equipped with an effective water purification system that pumps ozone into the water. Ozone, otherwise known as energetic oxygen, is a powerful oxidizer. It’s used as a sterilizer in jetted tubs to eliminate algae, mildew, mold, bacteria, and viruses in the water.
The ozone sterilization system should help keep your jetted tub fresh and clean after each use. Ozone is responsible for preventing the build-up of calcium in your tub, resulting in the water feeling softer on your skin!
An ozonator creates the bubbling water which spews out from the tub’s jets. Keep an eye on the bubbles – no bubbles or tiny bubbles could mean that your ozonator is dirty or clogged and should be cleaned.
Although there is not a hard and fast rule regarding the length of time you should use the ozonator to sanitize the water in your tub, to ensure that you get the best results from your ozonator, allow it to operate 4 to 6 hours per day.
Running your ozonator should depend on the number of people using the tub and how often the tub is used. Consult the tubs owner manual for guidelines on how to use the ozonator effectively.
Each ozone system should operate for 9,000 one-hour soaking sessions without requiring any maintenance, making this an easy-to-use sanitizing system! Simply program your ozonator to run on a set schedule for the best results.
Only Use Low-Foam Bath Products
You can’t use the same shampoos, soaps and bath oils in a jetted bathtub as you can in a regular bathtub. Normal bath products leave too much residue for your jets to handle. Instead, look for products specifically designed for jetted bathtubs:
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.
Spa & Bath Aromatherapy by InSPAration
These aromatherapy products are water-soluble and safe for all jets,. They don’t contain carrier oils and won’t leave a residue but the pleasant fragrance will cover any chemical smell in your tub 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 jets.
Routinely Clean Your Jetted Tub Once a Month
Routinely clean your tub at least once a month (and more depending on frequency of use and the number of bathers).
Simply pour in the cleaning solution, let the jets run 15-30 minutes, drain the tub and refill.
Not all regular household disinfectants and cleaners are suitable for effectively cleaning your jetted tub. But here are some great ones that are quick and easy to use.
Oh Yuk Jetted Bathtub Cleaner
Oh Yuk cleaner is designed to remove the Yuk from your tub. Each 15-minute soak is engineered to remove black flakes, soap build-up, and body oils from your tub. Simply fill the tub with water, pour in Oh Yuk, run your jets, and watch the grime disappear!
Get the GREEN solution for jetted bathtubs. (They have a LIGHT BLUE solution for hot tubs.)
Oh Yuk Bathtub Cleaner is available from Amazon in a 16 ounce (454 ml)bottle.
Jetted Tub Miracle
Proudly made in the USA, this product guarantees to clean hard-to-reach places in just 15 minutes! Although this is a natural product free from harmful chemicals, it will remove all harmful contaminants, dirt, grime, mold, and mildew from your tub.
Jetted Tub Miracle is available from Amazon in a 32 Fl Oz (909 ml) bottle.
Deep Clean Your Jetted Tub Once a Quarter
Deep cleaning a tub is not hard, but it does take time to do a proper job. How often you deep clean depends on the number of people using your tub and the frequency of use. But let’s just say on average it’s a good idea to schedule a deep clean at least once per quarter.
You can use the same cleaning solution as you do for your routine cleaning.
- Cotton rags
- Toothbrush or baby bottle cleaner
- Dental floss
- All-purpose bucket
- Cleaning solution – either a chemical solution or home remedies
Method to deep clean a jetted tub
- Wipe away any debris from the rim of the tub with a rag.
- Fill the tub with water – the water should cover the jets by at least 3 inches (7.6 cms).
- Pour the cleaning solution into the water – always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use the product.
- Turn off the air-induction jets (unless the manufacturer recommends leaving them on) by turning them clockwise. This forces the water to circulate through the internal plumbing only, resulting in a deeper clean.
- Run the jets on high for 10 to 15 minutes or until the debris from the internal plumbing stops washing into the tub.
- Drain all the water from the tub.
- Refill the tub with water above the jets. Water can be cold.
- Run the jets once more for 10 to 15 minutes to flush out even more debris.
- Drain the tub once more.
- Grab a rag and the cleaning solution and gently rub inside the tub! Clean away all the soap scum, mold, and mildew. Don’t forget to clean the faucets and drain!
- Gently scrub the jet nozzles with the toothbrush to remove any grime and bacteria that could be lurking in and around the jets. If you can’t remove the build-up with a toothbrush, try getting around the outside of the jets with the dental floss.
- Unscrew the air-intake cover, wash with soap, rinse off, and screw back into position.
- Rinse the tub thoroughly to remove all soap suds and the last of the debris.
- Fill up the tub and relax!
Homemade Solution to Clean a Jetted Tub
If you’re against using chemicals in a jetted bathtub, and want to save some money, try this cleaning method. All you’ll need are some lemons and vinegar:
Why the Bad Rep?
A jetted bathtub can be great for your health, as long as you keep it sanitary. You can keep your jetted tub sanitary by routinely cleaning it and deep-cleaning it periodically throughout the year.
The misconception that jetted tubs are unsanitary stems from the old days when the Whirlpool company first created jetted tubs for home use.
The company used flexible piping instead of the more modern PVC piping to transport the water into the tub. The flexible piping eventually sagged because of the force and weight of the water running through. As a result, water remained trapped in the pipes.
Then bacteria would grow in the stagnant water, which would eventually be expelled into the tub.
Thankfully, it’s rare for modern tubs to have this problem, because they are designed to expel all the water out of the pipes when the jets are on.
With an air tub, the air automatically goes on after the water from the tub has drained. This blows out any water drops that could remain in the air jets, helping you prevent bathroom mold. (For more on air tubs, read my post Are Air Tubs Worth It? The Pros, Cons and Alternatives.)
Why Is an Unsanitary Jetted Tub Dangerous?
No one wants to soak in a tub that could be unsanitary. Dirty or murky water is often one of the first signs of trouble, closely followed by black flecks, brown scum, or sludge in the water.
Although rare, mold and mildew can breed in dirty pipes and jets or under the cover of the tub. The next time that the tub is used, the mold and mildew could be dislodged and end up soaking in the tub next to you!
Warm dirty water is the ideal environment for nasty organisms to grow and thrive, but the primary source of bacteria in a jetted pool is the residue, or biofilm, that accumulates in the piping. Biofilm is residual soap, skin, hair and body secretions, oil, dirt, and other unmentionable substances in the tub.
Lounging in a dirty tub and dirty water can allow germs and bacteria to cause severe skin rashes, eye or ear infections, and possibly pneumonia! Other diseases can be transmitted through bodily fluids in the water.
If the tub displays any of the following, don’t get into the water:
- Dirty or murky water
- Black flakes (See this post for help!)
- A grungy ring around the tub
- Visible signs of mold and mildew
- Smelly water
- Anything floating in the water
Keep Your Jetted Tub Clean
Soaking in your jetted tub should be a great experience. Worrying about dirt and contamination and an unsanitary tub will distract you from the fantastic, amazing benefits of a jetted tub, so always make sure that your tub is clean every time you use it.
But don’t just learn how to clean a jetted tub. You actually have to do it!
Cleaning your tub should be standard practice, and the more you clean it, the easier it will become, leaving you with more time to relax and enjoy your sparkling, sanitized tub!