The Genius Way To Get The Gunk Out Of Your Bathtub Jets

What are the gray and black floaties in your bathwater?

Did you land on this page because you got ready to step into a hot, steamy bath to relax after a stressful day and saw mystery flakes and other gunk swirling around in your bathwater?

If so, you’re not alone!

I remember the first time this happened to me.

My family was out and I had been making plans for this evening all week. The day finally arrived and my thoughts were distracted the entire day as I looked forward to a calm and tranquil evening of personal pampering and relaxation at home.

My plan was set.

As soon as I got home from work I would light my vanilla and almond candle in the bathroom, throw a vanilla and lavender moisturizing bath bomb into my jetted tub and fill it up with the hottest water I could slip into, then pour me a small glass of white wine while the tub started filling up.

Well, all that went perfectly without a hitch.

Before I stepped into the steaming tub, I switched on the soft mood lights that were built into the tub. They created a soft glow that rippled through the water and made me even more anxious to dip in my first toe.

As I prepared to slip into total decadence, I flipped on the jets and lifted my foot over the edge of the tub.

It was barely sinking into the water when I saw gray and black pieces of stuff spurting into the water from the jets.

The mood was over.

What was in my bathwater and whatever it was, I didn’t want to share my bath with it!

Does this sound familiar? Has it happened to you too?

What is a jetted bathtub?

A jetted bathtub is often called a whirlpool or jacuzzi tub.

It has jets installed around the inside of it that are connected to air circulation pipes on the inside that blow out air. This makes bubbles in the water while massaging the skin.

Jetted bathtubs can create a totally relaxing experience!

Add a bathtub with mood lights installed and this is a place you will want to retreat to every night before bed!

Have you ever drained the water out of your bathtub (even one without jets) and there was a dirty ring left from the used bathwater?

Imagine this inside of the jets on your jetted bathtub . . . but built up over time because every time you drain the water it doesn’t completely drain out of the interior pipes. Then when you turn on the jets, it spits all that dirty water back into the bathtub creating the pieces of gunk you see floating around.

Ick! Who can relax in dirty bathwater?

Even worse, the contaminated water can start to grow infectious bacteria called biofilm.

The good news?

It is an easy fix to get rid of the grime and bacteria so you can get back to your relaxing bath after just a few simple steps!

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Signs It Is Time To Deep-Clean Your Bathtub Jets

When the following is true, it’s time to get to cleaning:

  • You see dark, icky, gunky chunks floating in your bathwater
  • When you turn on the jets it creates an unpleasant smell

Outside of these two things, if you use your jetted bathtub daily my recommendation is to follow these steps a minimum of once per month.

If you only use your jetted bathtub every now and then but not consistently, deep-cleaning the jets every 2-4 months should be sufficient.

About twice a year remove the actual jets and clean behind the plastic nozzles to remove any residue that has gotten stuck.

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Cleaning A Jetted Bathtub How-To Guide

Be sure to check your manufacturer’s handbook to make sure special products are not required to clean your bathtub, or that specific product should be avoided.

If you aren’t sure where to find your manual, or if you did not install the bathtub new, you can find your manufacturer and model book on the Hot Tub Manuals website.

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Gather Your Supplies

The following list will give you a focused start:

Step-By-Step Cleaning Directions

  1. Fill the tub with hot water 2-3 inches above the highest jets.
    • While the hot water is running, add the cleaning product of your choice – either 2 tablespoons of Cascade powder dishwashing detergent, directions from Oh Yuk per your bathtub size, 2 cups of vinegar, or you can make your own jetted tub cleaner (see recipe below.)
    • I prefer the Cascade because it infuses a clean and refreshing smell into the bathroom during the cleaning process.
  2. Turn the air jets on high and run for 20 minutes.
  3. Drain the bathtub.
  4. Fill the bathtub with cold water 2-3 inches above the highest jets.
  5. Turn the air jets on high and run for 15 minutes.
  6. Drain the bathtub.
  7. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda or bathroom cleaner inside the tub, around the jets, and on the faucet.
    • Let sit for a couple of minutes, then use the nonabrasive rag to clean leftover soap scum residue and other gunk that came out of the pipes.
    • Use the toothbrush and q-tips to clean the jets as needed.
  8. Rinse thoroughly.


Recipe to make your own jetted tub cleaner (combine and mix):
2 cups of white vinegar
1/2 cup of baking soda
1 cup of hot water

Interested in keeping the irritating and dreaded bathtub ring out of your bathtub (hint: it’s #2)? 12 Time-Saving Cleaning Hacks You Will Wish You Had Started Sooner

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