How To Clean Bathtub Jets with Basic Household Ingredients

updated Sep 22, 2022
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(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

There’s nothing quite like sitting down for a relaxing bath only to find water with floating black flecks, hair, and who-knows-what-else. Unfortunately, if you’re the owner of a jetted bathtub, this lament may seem all-too-common given that the crevices of the jets tend to collect gunk that is hard to clean by hand. But there are some simple ways to keep those jets clean using basic household ingredients.

How to Clean Bath Jets

  1. Fill the tub until the jets are covered by 2-3 inches of hot water.
  2. Add 2 Tablespoons of a low-sudsing dishwashing liquid and 1/2 cup of bleach. If you want to keep things green, you can substitute 1 cup of white vinegar for the bleach. (Note: Some manufacturers don’t recommend bleach since it can dry out internal gaskets with time, so you may want to resort to the tough stuff only in filth emergencies.) Alternatively, you can use powdered dish detergent.
  3. Run the tub’s jets for 15 minutes.
  4. Empty the tub, and refill it (cold water is fine this time). Run the jets for 10 minutes more.
  5. Drain the tub and rinse it well to get the gunk off.
  6. If you need a really deep clean, you can attack the jets with a bottle brush and a nonabrasive cloth.
  7. If there’s still dirt around the jet covers, try using dental floss to get behind them.

And a final note: Before cleaning your jets for the first time, check the manufacturer’s manual. Some manufacturers recommend closing the air controls, while others recommend leaving them open during cleaning, and certain manufacturers recommend specific cleansers for their tubs.