How to Clean Whirlpools or Jetted Tubs

Keep your whirlpool or jetted tub clean and healthful with these helpful cleaning tips.

How Whirlpools and Jetted Tubs Differ

Whirlpool Tub

Today's master bathrooms often include a whirlpool tub or jetted tub (also known as an air tub) to provide massaging action to stiff muscles. Whirlpools accomplish this by circulating water through several openings that can be adjusted. Jetted or air baths circulate air only through adjustable outlets. Air baths have an automatic function that purges and dries any moisture in the jet chambers.

Cleaning a Whirlpool Tub

Because water runs through the outlet chambers of the whirlpool, most manufacturers encourage use of light bath salts rather than oils. Either way, the chambers should be cleaned twice a month to discharge bacteria, mold, and deposits that build up in the water jet assembly. The most common procedure is to fill the whirlpool with hot water to about 3 inches above the jets. Add 1/4 cup powdered dishwasher detergent and 1/2 cup household bleach. Turn off the air-induction function and run the water jets for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the tub and refill with cold water to the same level. Run again for 10 to 15 minutes. The surface of the tub can be cleaned with mild or nonabrasive cleaner and a soft cloth. Wiping your whirlpool after use can also reduce the growth of bacteria and mold in areas near the jets.

Cleaning a Jetted or Air Tub

Cleaning the surface and air-jet surround of a jetted/air tub is also suggested. Use a smaller amount of powdered dishwasher detergent -- only 2 teaspoons -- and no more than 1/2 cup bleach. Fill the bath with hot water 6 inches above air-injector holes. Put in the cleaner and turn on the blower for 2 minutes to mix cleaner with water. Shut the blower off and let the water stand in the jetted/air tub for about two hours. Then run the air bath for five minutes, drain, and turn off. As with the whirlpool tub, use nonabrasive cleaner and a soft cloth to wipe the surface of the tub.