How to Clean a Whirlpool Tub

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Having recently taking residence in a “new to us” home… it looked like the whirlpool tub was in need of some cleaning. The former owner’s maintenance records indicated “heavy” use and that the motor was replaced sometime in the past.

Our tub is a Royal Bath Products whirlpool tub but, this cleaning procedure should work fairly universally for all whirlpool bath tubs.

As always, check the owner’s manual/website for the manufacturer of your whirlpool tub for any specifics/warranty.

I tried to contact Royal Bath Products of Houston, TX the manufacturer of our whirlpool tub but, they were unable to respond to my website contact request for a recommended cleaning procedure and no cleaning information was available on their web site. So, with a little research and creative thinking… here is how we cleaned our whirlpool tub (and you might clean yours).

What You Will Need

  1. 1/4 C Bleach
  2. Cascade Dishwashing Powder
    (or similar)
  3. Vinegar
  4. Dawn Ultra Concentrated Dish liquid
  5. Bar Keepers Friend® Cleanser & Polish
  6. A toothbrush
  7. Phillips head screwdriver
  8. Adjustable wrench or pliers
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Whirlpool Tub Cleaning Steps Overview

Briefly, here’s how we’ll clean the whirlpool tub

  1. Remove parts to be cleaned
  2. Start the parts soaking
  3. Clean the tub

Removing the Water Inlet Screen

  1. Close the drain.
  2. With the a Phillips head screwdriver remove the water inlet screen. (In our tub there are three screws that hold the screen in place.)

Removing Whirlpool Tub Jet Nozzles & Air Controls

In our whirlpool tub we only need a set of pliers to budge the threads to the get nozzles spinning off. The air control just unscrewed.

Cleaning Whirlpool Tub Jet Nozzles, Air Controls and Water Inlet Screen


Soaking the whirlpool tub parts in bleach. 7 jets and 1 inlet.
Soaking the whirlpool tub parts in bleach. 7 jets and 1 inlet.
  • Get the bleach and put it into a non reactive bowl with all of these parts to soak a while.
  • After the bleach soak it’s time to go to work.
  • Grab the toothbrush, Dawn and some vinegar and scrub and scrub some more. When you are happy with the cleanliness of parts, rinse them off and set aside to dry.

Cleaning the Whirlpool System Pipes

You may not have thought about it… but, there is a hidden part of the whirlpool tub that needs to be cleaned too. It’s the system of pipes that lead to and from the whirlpool tub pump and to/from the jets and control inlets.

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To clean this system you will fill the whirlpool tub a total of 3 times with hot water.

  1. Adding detergent aka detergent cycle
  2. Adding bleach aka bleach cycle
  3. Water only

Detergent Cycle


  • Fill with hot water to just above the highest nozzle
  • Add some detergent. In our case, I added the contents of two of those “gel pack” Cascade Dishwashing Powder detergent packs.
  • Let it run about 15 minutes
  • Drain

Bleach Cycle


  • Fill with hot water to just above the highest nozzle
  • Add 1/4 C Bleach
  • Let it run about 15 minutes
  • Drain

Water Only Cycle

  • Fill with cold water to just above the highest nozzle
  • Let it run about 15 minutes
  • Drain

Cleaning Whirlpool Tub Surface

To clean the whirlpool tub surface follow these steps:

  1. Generously sprinkle the surface of the tub with Barkeeps Friend
  2. Scrub all tub surfaces until clean with a sponge
  3. Rinse with water
  4. Re-install all tub fittings

Enjoy your newly cleaned whirlpool tub.

4 Responses

  1. Rob. Thanks for the article. You might want to update the article and indicate how much bleach to put in during the bleach step .

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