Dear Home Ec 101:
Help! I’ve got funky stuff coming out of my jetted tub. I turned it on the other night and bits of black sludge ruined my bath. How do I clean out the jets? What is it, anyway?
~ Jetty Betty
Do you really want to know what that sludge is? Each time you bathe and use the jets tiny bits of skin, body oil, dirt, and soap are left in the jets. This moist environment is just perfect for bacterial growth. YUM!
So, here are some steps to clean and maintain your jetted tub. If you have a septic system consult a professional, as the chlorine bleach may kill off the good bacteria that keeps your system in working order.
For tubs that have not had a deep clean in several months begin with the first step otherwise skip to step number two.
- Fill the tub with hot water just high enough to operate the jets, add between 1/2 and 1 cup of dishwasher detergent and run the jets for 10 – 20 minutes.
- If it has been a long time since your tub has had a thorough cleaning drain, and repeat with 1 – 2 cups of bleach instead of the dishwasher detergent.
- Drain and fill again with plain hot water to rinse out the jets.
I typically run a bleach cycle every month or two and have never had a problem.
In addition there is a product called Whirlout available. I have not tested this product and cannot verify its effectiveness.
Send your domestic questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.