How to Properly Maintain a Whirlpool Tub

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Make sure to properly maintain your Whirlpool tub.
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A jetted whirlpool bathtub is a serene respite from the pressures of the world, unless it spits out black specks or chunks of crusty debris as it runs. Clean the jets and the tub to ensure no unwanted guests float to the surface during your relaxing bath.

When to Clean Jetted Bathtubs

A jetted tub requires a bit more care than a standard bathtub. The hot tub parts can get clogged with mold and mildew from moisture in the humid room and with bacteria from body oils, soaps and dead skin cells that attach to the crevices of the jets.

US Inspect suggests cleaning a jetted whirlpool tub after each use and deep cleaning it at least once a month. Wipe down the tub and give the jets a gentle swipe with an old toothbrush after each use. Each month, set aside time to thoroughly clean out the tub and jets to keep mildew from turning to mold and bacteria from gaining ground.

Gather Your Cleaning Tools

A jetted whirlpool tub has many components and working parts that can be difficult to gain access to during a regular cleaning. Thoroughly cleaning all of the parts of the tub requires a team of tools and products.

An old toothbrush or narrow nylon brush for cleaning straws or baby bottles works well to get into the crevices and water jets. An all-purpose bucket will rinse cleaners from the edges and sides of the tub, and soft microfiber cloths buff the surface dry for a tub that's ready to use. Hot water should be used when cleaning a jet tub, and latex or rubber cleaning gloves can make the job easier.

Cleaning a jet whirlpool bathtub doesn't require expensive cleaners. Baking soda and vinegar, when used in the correct proportions, are typically enough to give the jetted tub a thorough cleaning. Stronger cleaners, such as bleach, can be used for jets crusted with soap scum or other debris.

Cleaning a Whirlpool Tub

Give the tub a once-over with a clean microfiber cloth. This will remove the layer of dust, hairs or fine particles that tend to gather on the slick surface of the bathtub. Fill the tub with hot water until the jets are submerged a few inches. Add 2 cups of vinegar to the water and let it sit for 15 minutes.

Bob Vila recommends that the air induction valves be turned off before turning the jets on. Consult your owner's manual to see whether the jet tub manufacturer recommends that the air induction valves stay open. Closed induction valves will force the water through the internal plumbing for a deeper clean. Run the jets, with the valves open or closed, for 10 to 15 minutes. When the water runs clear from the jets, turn them off and drain the tub.

Rinse the resulting debris down the drain and follow up with your favorite tub cleaner or with a sprinkle of baking soda and a spritz of vinegar. Scrub the tub and jets with the cleaner, making sure to get into the nooks and crannies with an old toothbrush or narrow scrub brush. Unscrew the air intake cover, scrub it inside and out and rinse well before reattaching. Fill the tub with water, rinse the cleaners from the surface and buff dry.

references & resources

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.

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