Banish the brown and black gunk in your tub jets with our expert cleaning tips.
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jetted bath tub with flowers
Credit: Jumping Rocks/UIG / Getty Images

Jetted tubs are a luxurious thing to have, but if they aren't cleaned correctly, these tubs can quickly turn into a nightmare. Worst case, jetted bathtubs become virtual cesspools of gunk, bacteria, and mold; this is especially true with some older models, says Leanne Stapf, the COO of The Cleaning Authority. We asked Stapf to share a step-by-step guide to cleaning a jetted tub, which is something that should be tackled at least one per month. "Due to wear and tear, stagnant water gets trapped in the pipes, producing harmful bacteria," she says. "Most modern jet tubs have overcome this issue, but it is still important to thoroughly clean out any tub regularly." There's good news, too: The more you cycle through the steps below, the easier the process will be each time.

What You Will Need

Before you get started, gather your supplies. You can choose a cleaner off the shelf, but Stapf suggests using the following tools (which you probably already have on hand) for the best results.

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Hot water
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Toothbrush

Step 1: Apply Baking Soda and Scrub

Coat your tub liberally with a layer of baking soda. Focus your attention beyond the bottom of the tub; sprinkle the baking soda up along the higher ridges of the basin, as well. Using your microfiber towel, gently scrub the tub's interior.

Step 2: Add Hot Water and Vinegar

Without rinsing the baking soda away, fill your tub (all the way up to jet level!) with hot water. Add three cups of vinegar—and then power up the jets.  

Step 3: Soak and Drain

Let your jets run for up to five minutes, circulating the water, baking soda, and vinegar mixture around the tub before draining. You can use the toothbrush to get into the small creases and grooves where buildup is harder to remove.

Step 4: Fill and Run Jets Again

Refill the tub with clean water and re-run your jets for another few minutes to help rinse the mixture (and any remaining buildup) away from the jets.

Step 5: Drain and Wipe Dry

Drain the water again and wipe any excess water out with a clean, dry, microfiber cloth.

Step 6: Maintain Your Jetted Tub as Needed

If you want to ensure that your jets stay clear in between monthly cleaning sessions, aim to give them a quick tune-up every time you take a bath. "After each use, fill the tub with hot water and let the water sit for 10 minutes," she says. "This will break up leftover soap residue." Then, drain the water and wipe down the tub with a microfiber cloth that has been soaked in a half-part alcohol, half-part vinegar solution. "This will help largely reduce the amount of residue that circulates through your jets," she adds. Best of all, keeping up on this maintenance routine will make those monthly cleans a cinch.

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