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Your jacuzzi jets are a breading ground for mildew — here's how to clean them so you can bathe in peace

We're sorry to say, but you gotta get to cleaning. Here's a step-by-step guide.

There's nothing like soaking in a warm bath after a long day and pretending your bathroom is a luxurious spa retreat. This is doubly true if you have a jetted tub. The last thing you want is to be at peak relaxation and notice visible gunk floating around you. That "gunk" is mold, debris and other gross stuff that you absolutely do not want intruding on your bath time. So, yes, it's important that you know how to clean your jetted tub.

Quick overview
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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that any surface exposed to water and moisture can build up mildew, mold, bacteria and other pathogens. Those luxurious, massaging tub jets? They can suck in soaps, bubble bath, oils, salts and even hair. And if you don’t clean them regularly that stuff can build up. Fun! Suffice to say, your jetted tub needs a little more love and care than a regular bath tub.

Luckily, cleaning your jetted tub is pretty simple and way less intimidating than it sounds — and only requires a handful of products. You probably already have them in your home! Plus, depending on the size of your tub, the whole process will only take about an hour tops.

To make sure your jacuzzi bathtub is squeaky clean and ready for use, follow the simple tips below on how to clean it to keep your bath time the relaxing getaway it was meant to be.

Germs and mold are the last things you want to think about when taking a well-deserved bath! (Getty)
You deserve to take a relaxing — and clean — spa bath tonight. (Getty)

How often should you clean your jetted tub?

It depends! The CDC recommends cleaning high-touch surfaces regularly. So if you only use your tub every once in a while, then a few times a year is fine to keep it sanitary. But if you're a bath enthusiast, you should be giving it a good disinfecting once a month and a regular maintenance clean every time you clean your bathroom.

While most people use the term "cleaning" and "disinfecting" interchangeably, they actually mean two very different things. Per the CDC, cleaning removes dirt, surface germs and debris with simple cleaning agents like water, soap and scrubbing. Meanwhile, disinfecting uses stronger chemicals like bleach that work by killing any remaining germs on surfaces.

No matter what, though, if you see bits of gunk floating in the water once it's filled or when you turn the jets on, skip the bath (sorry) and get to scrubbing.

How to clean a jetted tub

Step 1: Review your manufacturer's recommendations

Before doing anything, it's important to grab your owner's manual or call up the manufacturer to see if there are explicit cleaning instructions. If there are, make sure you follow them carefully and only use products that are compatible with your tub. We want a pristine and relaxing tub, not a cracked one!

Step 2: Wipe away debris

Grab a damp sponge, rag or microfiber cloth and wipe away any visible debris and hair in and around the basin.

Microfiber clothes are the ultimate cleaning sidekick. Not only are they reusable, they're also super gentle on all surfaces and great at picking up all kinds of dirt and debris. 

$8 at Amazon

Step 3: Fill the tub

Before you start to furiously scrub those jets, the household cleaning experts at Angi (formerly known as Angie's List) recommend first filling the the tub using hot water until it covers the jets by a couple of inches. While hot water alone won't kill off any bacteria, it is capable of killing some germs, making it an easy way to get a head start on the cleaning process.

Step 4: Add the cleaning agents

While the tub is soaking in hot water, take another look at the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning. Unless there are specific products noted in the manual, you have a few options when it comes to the actual cleaning.

Vinegar: If your jets are only in need of a routine maintenance clean, then two cups of white vinegar is really all you need. The acidic nature of white vinegar makes it a powerhouse for effectively dissolving any buildup without using harsh chemicals.

It's important to note that while vinegar is great cleaning agent, the EPA has not recognized it as a disinfecting product. If your jets need a deeper clean, you need a stronger solution.

If you don't already have it in your cleaning arsenal, Amazon users love this classic distilled white vinegar for household cleaning. 

$2 at Amazon

Dishwasher detergent and bleach: If your jetted tub is in need of a deeper clean, use two tablespoons of powdered dishwasher detergent and 1/2 cup of bleach. Just make sure you use powdered dishwasher detergent and not liquid dishwasher detergent unless you want a bleach-y bubble party (you do not want this).

When it comes to cleaning your tub jets, it's always best to go with something simple like this Cascade formula. 

$7 at Amazon

This formula is made with sodium hypochlorite bleach, cleaning agents and corrosion inhibitors, making it an obvious choice for household bleach. 

$6 at Walmart

Tub Jets Cleaning Solution: Yes, specific tub jet cleaners exist, and they're super easy to use. Read the ingredients carefully to make sure they're compatible with your tub and then closely and carefully follow the instructions. Check out a few favorites below!

Amazon users are obsessed with this unscented liquid formula, giving it an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, including more than 25,000 five-star reviews. 

"Just a small amount really cleaned out the muck and gunk out of the jets and the pipes. You could see all the dirt swirling around in the tub," writes one customer. "I felt much more confident that I wouldn't be soaking in crud."

$18 at Amazon

If you love the ease of cleaning tablets, Amazon reviewers can't stop raving about these effective little pods. All you need to do is drop one in the tub, fill the basin with water and run the jets for 15 minutes. 

$18 at Amazon

Another popular cleaner is this powerful gel formula. At $35 it's more expensive than the other options, but Amazon customers say that it's seriously worth the price and lasts forever. 

$35 at Amazon


Step 5: Run those jets, baby!

Once your cleaning agent of choice is mixed in, check the manufacturer's instructions as some recommend closing the air induction valves before running the jets while others don't. Then turn on the jets and run the tub for 15 minutes. Use this time to clean the rest of your bathroom or just zone out and watch the cleaning agents work their magic.

Step 6: Drain the tub

Turn off the jets and drain the tub once the time is up. Then, use a sponge or microfiber cloth to wipe away any debris that was dislodged and blown into the water.

Step 7: Scrub the jets

It's time to get up close and personal with your jets. Grab a toothbrush (or small scrub brush if you have one) and baking soda. Create a soft paste by adding water to the baking soda. Use the toothbrush to scrub the actual jets themselves, including the inner air intake valve, with the paste. If your jets are adjustable, remember to reposition them so you can get every last bit of dirt.

Step 8: Scrub down the tub

Once the jets have been thoroughly scrubbed, grab another clean microfiber cloth and baking soda and gently scrub the surface of the tub.

Step 9: Run another rinse cycle

To finish off the cleaning process, fill up your tub one more time with only hot water. Do not add any additional cleanser. Run the jets again for 15 minutes and then drain the tub. Wipe the tub dry with a microfiber cloth. Marvel at your handiwork.

Step 10: Take a bath

Hop into your clean and shiny new jacuzzi tub! We highly recommend that you light a few candles, add in some bath oils and pour yourself a glass of wine. You deserve it after all of that cleaning.

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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