The use of oil and bubble bath is different for both hot tubs and whirlpool tubs. Therefore, it is important to know the difference between the two if you are considering using such products.
Definition of Hot Tub
A hot tub is a large tub full of heated water that is used for soaking and relaxation. Most are equipped with jets for the effect of massage. The water is only drained a handful of times a year and requires chemical treatment.
Use of Oil and Bubble Bath in a Hot Tub
The use of oil and bubble bath is not recommended. Both can affect the chemistry of the water and cause bacteria to form.
Definition of Whirlpool Tub
A whirlpool tub is a bathtub that has circulation jets throughout, providing massaging action.
Use of Oil and Bubble Bath in a Whirlpool Tub
Oil-based additives are not recommended for use in a whirlpool tub. Bubble bath is OK to use, but be careful as to how much; the jets will generate many more bubbles than a regular bathtub. After use of such products you should purge the tub's system. In order to do so, fill the tub with hot water and bring the water lever 2 to 3 inches above the highest jet. Turn the unit on and add 1 cup of bleach and 1/8 of a cup of dish soap. Let it run for 10 minutes and drain. Fill the tub again with cold water and let run for an additional 10 minutes to rinse.
The use of bubble bath and oils can increase the level of residue in the whirlpool system. If excess accumulation occurs, stop using the products immediately.
Even if oils and bubble bath are not used, the tub should be purged once or twice monthly depending on the frequency of use.