A long, comfortable soak in the bath tub is an excellent way to banish stress after a long day at work or play. A bath tub come in all shapes and sizes, and some even sport water jets not unlike a whirlpool or hot tub. This bath tub is a wonderful luxury but many people don’t know how to keep these safe and healthy.

The piping and channels that pump the water through to create hundreds of tiny, pleasing bubbles in the bath tub are the perfect cool, dark and damp place for bacteria to hide and thrive, multiplying by the millions. The bath tub whirlpools work by drawing in water and expelling it, but when the bath tub is drained these little pipes of water don’t drain and they stay wet with moisture.

In the dark, cavernous spaces these bacteria are allowed to grow and all of the soap residue, body oils, dirt, dead skin and hair become food for this bacterial colony. The resulting bacterial slime covers the inner pipes of the bath tub, just waiting to be released next time the jets are turned on. This is an ideal way to get an infection, especially of the ears. The most serious known disease associated with bacterial bathwater is Legionnaire’s Disease.

The lungs, kidneys, eyes, ears and bladder are all at risk of infection from contaminated water. However, there is no reason to avoid the water entirely. In order to keep the jets in your bath tub clean some simple maintenance is all that is required.

Step 1: Close the air intake valve and turn on the hot water, covering the jets by at least 3 inches.

Step 2: Add two ounces of dishwasher detergent and a quarter cup of bleach.

Step 3: Turn on the jets and allow them to run for 10-15 minutes.

Step 4: Drain the bath tub, then refill it with fresh cold water.

Step 5: Let the jets run for another 10-15 minutes to rinse.

Now the bath tub is safe, bacteria free and ready to use.