I've acquired recently a flat with a spa bathtub, which has some water jets nozzles.

The nozzles are very dirty, with black residue all over them, and I've failed to clean them yet. I've already try to remove them from the bath to clean them in a separate container, but I can't find a way to remove them.

How would you proceed to clean them?

Here are some pictures

  • 4
    Don't remove them! Resealing them to the tub wall is not a DIY job, may require replacement parts and may require access to the entire underside of the tub.
    – jay613
    Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 21:49

3 Answers 3


Probably have to fill the tub with cleaning solution and let it run for a while. First stab would be a bleach solution to kill off any biofilm (don't go overboard, the fumes will be bad enough with a reasonable strength solution - be sure to run the exhaust fan) then perhaps follow (after rinsing out the bleach!) with citric acid or vinegar (or a more expensive acid product such as phosphoric acid descaler) since some of that may be hard-water deposits that will need acid to dissolve them.

Citric acid (available as a dry white powder) is generally cheaper than vinegar for the same effect, and is also less volatile (lower amount of fumes.) Vinegar is often easier to find.

Unsurprisingly, given all the extra nooks and crannies and inaccessible spaces involved, there are also products specifically marketed for cleaning whirlpool/spa/jetted tubs. Those might be worth a try.

  • 1
    Also, use an old, or new, toothbrush to help scrub out the insides of the jets.
    – JACK
    Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 15:02
  • 5
    To the extent that you can get it to clean out without scrubbing at it, you can expect the pipes behind that you can't reach or see to be likewise cleaned as you are pumping the same cleaning solution through them. So I'd follow that route as far as it will take me before whipping out the toothbrush.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 15:13
  • How much bleach would you use? Also, for how long? Same for the other products, which concentration would you recommend? It's hard not going overboard there.
    – blue112
    Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 15:38
  • cdc.gov/hygiene/cleaning/disinfecting-bleach.html suggests 1 cup standard-strength unscented bleach to 3 gallons, or roughly 250ml/12 liters depending on your usual units/location. Their minimum is a minute, I might leave it an hour or more, or even all day or all night - time I don't have a problem overdoing, but there's an actual loss of effectiveness (as well as the stench) from the excessive amounts of bleach to water that some folks knee-jerk to. The acids mostly just work slower the less concentrated they are, and how much you'll need, if any, depends on the deposits you have
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 15:49
  • 1
    Citric acid is cheap, and an excellent descaler! Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 20:06

There are many different formulations of commercial cleaner for the pumps and pipes. Read their ingredients and uses. You may need to buy (or make) more than one given the condition of the tub.

A good method is to fill the tub to the level of the highest jet, add chemical, run for 5 minutes to mix, let soak for one to eight hours depending on concentration and desired action, run for another 5 minutes to flush released gunk from pipes, and empty.

If any jets are on an upward sloping wall (back jets) you may need to fill higher so they don't spray outside the tub given no person inside to block them.

Do not bathe in acids and disinfectants. Apparently that needs saying. Expect disgusting sludge to be released by this process.


To save filling the whole bath, then using a huge amount of vinegar, etc, to compensate for the diluting effect that has, tape plastic bags over each nozzle, and leave the top open. Fill with vinegar, etc, as mentioned in the other answer and you'll be able to get a far better concentration of whatever. Duct tape would do the job sealing the lower and side parts of the plastic bags.

And - you could even use the bath while it's all happening!

  • 3
    ...and how will you be running the pump to circulate the solution through the pipes and nozzles with this brilliant idea, hmmm? I'll give you the benefit of my usual policy of avoiding needless downvotes on things that are not outright dangerous, but taping plastic bags to the tub? Yeah, good luck with that.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 17:39
  • @Ecnerwal - thanks for saving me the ignominy of a dv, but I guess it's worth a try, as the solution will eventually soak back through the holes. Or won't it? Otherwise, your idea, which could put the bath out of bounds for a while seems like the other option..
    – Tim
    Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 18:00
  • 1
    DV for bathing in vinegar/sludge mixture, running the pump empty, and using duct tape on the tub walls. When you return from hospital you'll need a new tub.
    – jay613
    Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 22:05
  • @jay613 - pump doesn't need to run, point of plastic is that the vinegar stays around the nozzles, duct tape shouldn't harm tub surface. Thanks anyway.
    – Tim
    Commented Feb 6, 2023 at 9:09

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