How to clean a jetted bathtub, according to cleaning experts

Although it may seem difficult to clean jetted baths thoroughly, it can be made a simple process by following these steps

Jetted bathtub
(Image credit: Future / Ema Peter/ Falken Reynolds)

Cleaning a jetted bath is essential to maintain functionality and hygiene. While jetted baths can be the height of luxury, making relaxing from the comfort of your own home feel like a trip to the spa, with their intricate jet systems, jetted baths can become a breeding ground for bacteria if they are not cleaned properly.

To maintain the spa-like experience, it's important to know how to clean your bathtub to keep it in pristine condition, maintaining hygiene and cleanliness in your bathroom, allowing you to unwind and enjoy without worry.

Our experts have explained the steps for how to clean a jetted bath, and it's easier than you may think.

How to clean a jetted bathtub

'Jetted bathtubs offer a luxurious and relaxing bathing experience, but without proper cleaning and maintenance, the intricate systems of these built-in baths can accumulate residue, bacteria, and mold over time, compromising its performance and cleanliness,' says Elizabeth Grace, founder of Dream Home Making. 

Here's how to maintain this type of bath to keep it as good as new.

elizabeth grace, pro interior designer
Elizabeth Grace

Elizabeth Grace is an interior designer, and furniture and home expert. She received her degree in Interior Designing from the University of Notre Dame. Elizabeth landed her first job as an intern with a leading firm in New York City, learning from some of the city’s top designers. She currently works as an interior designer for both residential and commercial clients.

1. Fill the bathtub, add detergent and run its jets

wood panelled bathroom with tub and black tiles

(Image credit: Future PLC)

First, fill the tub with hot water to effectively loosen and soften dirt, soap scum, and other contaminants, ensuring that the jets are covered to allow the water to flow through all the intricate passages, reaching all areas.

2. Add detergent

Bath ideas with white tub and neutral wall

(Image credit: György Kőrössy)

Next, add cleaner. There are two methods you can choose for this:

'Add a dishwasher detergent tablet or about 1/4 cup of dishwasher detergent powder,' advises Angela Rubin, cleaning expert at Hellamaid. 'Run the jets for 15-20 minutes.

'Drain and rinse the tub thoroughly.'

The powdered dishwasher detergent will break down stubborn oil and soap scum residues that often accumulate in jetted tubs.

'Or, for a more thorough clean, fill the tub with hot water again, covering the jets,' continues Angela Rubin. 'Add 2 cups of white vinegar and 1/2 cup of baking soda. Run the jets for about 20-30 minutes. 

'Drain, rinse, and wipe down the tub with a clean cloth.'

Vinegar's natural acidity can eliminate harmful bacteria and germs that may lurk within the jet system. Vinegar also serves as a mineral buildup remover, dissolving and eradicating any calcified deposits that may obstruct the smooth operation of the jets. Cleaning with baking soda can remove tough stains and eliminate odors.

Angela Rubin
Angela Rubin

Hellamaid is an award-winning cleaning company in Canada that's been featured on multiple global media brands.

2. Scrub the tub

Marble bathroom with fluted bath, dark wooden flooring

(Image credit: Artisans of Devizes)

'Mix a paste of baking soda and water to create a gentle abrasive cleaner. Use this paste to scrub the surfaces of the tub, paying attention to the area around the jets,' advises Muffetta Kruger, founder of Muffetta’s Domestic Assistants

'For stubborn stains or soap scum, you can use a mild dishwashing detergent and a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid using abrasive or harsh chemicals that can damage the tub's finish.'

Use soft brushes in repetitive circular motions to not damage the bath.

'Use a small, soft brush or an old toothbrush to clean the individual jet openings and air holes. Stubborn residue can accumulate here and may need some extra attention,' says Angela Rubin. 'Be sure to clean these areas with the chosen cleaning solution thoroughly.'

Muffetta Krueger
Muffetta Krueger

Muffetta Krueger is a cleaning expert and founder of Muffetta’s Domestic Assistants with over 16 years of operational management experience in the service industry. Muffetta’s Domestic Assistants provides housekeepers, house cleaners and maids, and is based in New York.

3. Rinse and repeat

green marble bathroom with freestanding tub

(Image credit: Photos: Ema Peter/Interior design: Falken Reynolds)

Following the scrubbing phase, it's essential to rinse the bathtub once more to eliminate any loosened residues and particles. 

'Rinse the tub thoroughly to remove any cleaning residue. Wipe down the tub, including the faucet and handles, with a clean, damp cloth. Ensure that you've removed all traces of cleaning products,' says Muffetta Kruger.

After rinsing this residue away, refill the bath with clean water. Run the jets for an additional 10 minutes to rinse out any remaining residue.

Then, drain the tub again and rinse to remove any remnants of the cleaning solution and dislodged grime are washed away completely. Draining the bath removes the cleaning solution, preventing any potential skin irritation during use, and ensuring the tub is free from any residual chemicals.

'Afterward, wipe down the tub with a clean, dry cloth to prevent water spots and maintain a pristine finish,' advises Angela Rubin.

4. Tips for long-term maintenance

black and white bathroom with freestanding tub

(Image credit: Future)

1. 'Avoid harsh chemicals: Refrain from using abrasive or harsh chemicals, as they can damage the jet system and the surface of the bathtub,' recommends Elizabeth Grace, founder of Dream Home Making.

2. 'Check manufacturer guidelines: 'Familiarize yourself with the specific cleaning recommendations provided by the bathtub manufacturer, adhering to their guidelines to ensure effective cleaning without causing any potential damage to the jetted system.

3. 'Regular inspection: Conduct routine inspections of the jet system, checking for any signs of wear or malfunction. Address any issues promptly to prevent further complications and ensure the longevity of the jetted bathtub.'


Why is it important to run the jets when cleaning a jetted bath?

'It facilitates the complete circulation of the cleaning solution throughout the intricate network of jet passages. 

'The high-pressure water flow generated by the jets propels the cleaning agents, reaching even the most inaccessible nooks and crannies within the jet system. The result is an efficient and thorough cleaning that dislodges accumulated gunk, grime, and debris that may have built up over time,' explains Andrew Arthurs, founder & CEO of Alpine Home Air.

'As the jets propel the cleaning solution, it dislodges and removes unwanted particles, ensuring that every component of the jet system is thoroughly cleansed. This systematic process guarantees that your jetted bathtub is not only spotless but also sanitized, ensuring a safe and refreshing bathing experience.'

Angela Rubin advises, 'To prevent excessive build-up, consider running a quick cleaning cycle after each use. Simply fill the tub with hot water, add a small amount of dishwasher detergent or a specialized jetted tub cleaner, and run the jets for a few minutes. This will help keep your tub clean between deep cleanings.

You can check out our guides for the best bath tubs if you are looking for a new model.

Lola Houlton
News writer

Lola Houlton is a news writer for Homes & Gardens. She has been writing content for Future PLC for the past six years, in particular Homes & Gardens, Real Homes and GardeningEtc. She writes on a broad range of subjects, including practical household advice, recipe articles, and product reviews, working closely with experts in their fields to cover everything from heating to home organization through to house plants. Lola is a graduate, who completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has also spent some time working at the BBC.