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The No-Nonsense New Owner’s Guide to Looking After Your Whirlpool Bath


So, you just bought a new whirlpool bath? Well, first things first: congratulations, and welcome to the club. You’ve just made one of the best purchasing decisions of your life, but before you can start planning those indulgent nights in soaking your troubles away in bubbly bliss, there’s something we need to talk about: maintenance. Yes, we know it’s a dirty word — literally, in some cases — but it’s vital to at least know the basics of keeping your tub in good shape. Plus, knowing how to look after your whirlpool bath could save you a big chunk of change in the future through avoided repair costs.

Don’t worry, we’ll make it as painless as possible. Let’s start with the absolute basics.

Part I: The nitty-gritty of whirlpool bath maintenance

As a new whirlpool bath owner, it might not be immediately apparent exactly where to direct your attention when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. After all, with a powered jet system in place, there’s a lot more to think about than a conventional bathtub – including the bath’s pipework. With regular use, each of these areas can be susceptible to dirt and grime build-up, and in time you could find yourself facing blockages or even a damaged pump. It’s for this reason that regular whirlpool bath maintenance is so essential. So, where do you begin? Below we’ve listed the core areas of maintenance for a whirlpool bath, each of which you’ll need to pay attention to as a new bath owner:

  • The shell and inner surfaces of the bathtub. This basically refers to any part of the whirlpool bath which you can see (or sit on) when bathing. Because these areas will see a lot of use over the lifetime of the tub, it’s important to keep them in good shape. Most of the shells you’ll find here are made from acrylic, so it’s a good idea to keep this in mind when looking for surface cleaners – the gentler, the better!
  • The air jets. All those lovely bubbles may seem like magic, but the jets which produce them aren’t self-cleaning just yet. Ensuring the jets are free from debris and build-ups such as limescale will extend the lifetime of any tub.
  • The whirlpool bath pipework. Any spa bath will include a hidden network of pipes and hoses with different purposes, distributing either water or air where it’s needed. Like any pipes in a home, all of these are susceptible to dirt and grime build-up which can lead to blockages or worse.

Now you know the basics, let’s move on to specific steps for cleaning your whirlpool bath.

Part II: The essentials of cleaning a whirlpool bath

Each of the areas we discussed in the previous section will require a different approach to keep them all in full working order — so let’s go through each of them, starting with the exterior shell of your whirlpool bath.

Like any surface in your home, it’s important that you clean your tub’s shell in the right way and with the right product. Whether you want it to or not, dirt and grime will inevitably build up on the surface of your bath, and you may also start to see a “tide mark” of sorts developing around the location of the waterline. It could be tempting to grab any multi-purpose surface cleaner and give it a good scrub, but we don’t recommend this. Firstly, the surface will react differently depending on its material, so you need to ensure the cleaner you choose is suitable for your bath. For example, many of the whirlpool baths we offer at The Whirlpool Bath Shop are made with acrylic shells, so no abrasive surface cleaners should be used. In fact, to be totally safe, it’s a good idea to use your own ultra-gentle homemade cleaner – here’s a blog post to help you do that.

Now let’s consider cleaning the pipework and other internal systems of your whirlpool bath. Because these aren’t areas which are easy to keep an eye on, it’s quite easy to inadvertently allow pipes to get clogged with dirt, grime, hair and other nasties. We’ll talk more about how to prevent this build-up in the next section, but in the meantime, let’s see how best to give your whirlpool bath’s pipework a thorough clean. Here’s the step-by-step process we recommend you carry out every 6-8 weeks:

  • First, fill up your whirlpool bath with cold water, ensuring that the air control is set to ‘off’ to reduce the amount of bubbles.
  • Pour in approximately 100ml of whirlpool and jacuzzi bath cleaning fluid and let it dissipate a little.
  • Next, run the whirlpool system for around 10 minutes or so to circulate the cleaning fluid around the bath’s internals. Note that you should do this with windows open for ventilation.
  • Finally, unplug the bathtub and let the water run away, then refill it again with cold water and drain immediately.

Depending on how long it’s been since you last carried out this procedure, you may well see some grimy residue in the water – but don’t worry! This residue is simply the grimy build-up from the pipes being washed away (and that’s a good thing). If you’ve never done this before, you might need to use more fluid than the recommended 100ml, or simply run the procedure again. Either way, you’ll soon see for yourself why this is such a strongly recommended form of whirlpool bath maintenance – it just works!

Part III: “Clean as you go” and other regular maintenance tips

Now that you know what to do when you want to give your whirlpool bath a bit of an MOT, let’s focus on how to keep it spick and span without too much elbow grease from you. After all, ideally you want a great-looking tub with minimum effort. And how do you achieve this? It’s simple — you clean as you go.

We’ve mentioned a few times during this guide that it’s the build up of grime which causes the biggest problems when it comes to whirlpool bath maintenance. It stands to reason, then, that the best way to solve or prevent these issues is to not allow this build up to occur. You can do this quite easily for the surface of your bathtub — just use the gentle cleaner we mentioned during your regular cleaning, at least once per week. But what about the internals of your bath? For that, we recommend one simple step which you can take care of every time you finish taking a bath in just a few minutes. Simply drop a whirlpool bath sanitising tablet into your bathtub just after you get out, run the whirlpool system for around two minutes, then let the water drain as normal. Doing this will flush your bath’s pipework with a powerful yet gentle cleaning agent, which will eliminate dirt and grime, plus degrease the pipes to keep everything flowing smoothly.

Before we conclude this in-depth guide to keeping your whirlpool bath looking its best, we’ve compiled a shortlist of “quick wins” which will help you give your new whirlpool bath a long and happy life:

  • When using bath oils, never use foaming oils. Regular foaming bath oils aren’t designed to be agitated at quite the speed a whirlpool bath is capable of, so you may find yourself set upon by a huge cloud of bubbles. Beyond this, the residue from these foaming oils can lead to build-up in the pipework. To avoid these headaches, we’d recommend investing in a set of low-foaming bath oils designed expressly for use in a whirlpool bath.
  • It’s a good idea to periodically check all of the jets in your whirlpool bath for debris and other potential blockages – especially if you live in a hard-water area. A blocked jet can lead to far more expensive problems down the line, so, if you do see a build-up of anything which looks like it may impede water flow, it’s a good idea to clear it right away.

If you’re a proud new owner of a whirlpool bath, we hope this guide has given you some valuable information to help care for your tub. Don’t forget that, if you have any questions at all about your new bath, you can reach our friendly team any time. We’re always happy to help you get the most out of your whirlpool bath. 

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