How to Clean a Bathtub

A bathtub is often the centerpiece of your bathroom. It gets a lot of use and if it’s supposed to clean you, you need to make sure that it is clean, too. Over time, grime, soap scum and mildew can build up around your tub. Luckily, there are many bathtub cleaners out there and there are also quite a few DIY bathtub cleaners to ensure you’re left with a sparkling tub.

Cleaning your bathtub doesn’t need to be a daunting task. With a few supplies and a great cleaner, you can have a sparkling tub in no time.

How often you should clean your bathtub really depends on how often you use it and the number of people in your household.

If your tub gets used a few times a week, you should try to rinse it out once a week and give it a deep clean once a month. If it only gets used once or twice a month, one good cleaning every other month should be sufficient.

If you make a habit of cleaning your tub at least once a month, it will help keep your grout and tile clean too. Cleaning it regularly will help prevent soap scum from building up or mold from growing due to bacterial build up.

When cleaning your bathtub, you can also take the time to clean the drain, grout and tile surrounding your tub. 

Get Your Supplies

  • Gloves-  Before you get started, make sure to use rubber gloves to protect your hands from any harsh cleaners. It’s also important to note that if you are using cleaners with strong chemicals, such as bleach, to make sure the window is cracked or a fan is on in the bathroom to prevent any mishaps.
  • Grout Brush-  A grout brush is an essential tool to effectively cleaning the grout around your tub. This brush works well in tight spaces and can not only get your grout clean, but the shower door tracks as well. It can also be used around your bathtub drain, too.
  • Sponge- When choosing a sponge to clean your tub, be mindful of the material your tub is made from. Whether it’s porcelain, fiberglass or acrylic, you likely won;t want to use an abrasive cleaning pad such as a stainless steel scrub. Rather, aim to use a soft sponge, such as this 3M Scotch-Brite Handled Bath Scrubber. 

Store-bought Cleaners

Once you’ve got your supplies, it’s time to clean! First remove everything from your bathtub. This includes shampoo and bath gel bottles, razors and any toys from around the perimeter of the tub or on shelving.

Some dirt and other grime can be seen surrounding the tub. By applying a store-bought or DIY cleaner, you can easily remove the buildup and be left with a clean, white tub. 

This is a good time to clean out the drain. Even if it’s not clogged, there is likely hair or other residue and build up in it. The grout brush can be used here.

If you’re going to be cleaning your tub, it’s a good time to clean any walls, tile or glass surrounding it.

The walls and tile can be cleaned with an all purpose cleaner, such as 409.  Just follow the directions on the package. The glass can be cleaned with a generic window cleaner or microfiber cloths.

As for the tub itself, Clorox, Mr. Clean and Soft Scrub are some great cleaners. If you’d prefer to use a natural cleaner that is void of chemicals, Mrs. Meyers and Method are excellent, all-natural cleaners. Just follow the directions on the package to ensure you’re left with a clean tub.

DIY Cleaners

Mixture One

A great DIY cleaner that is both simple and efficient is a mixture of white vinegar and water. Simply take half a cup of vinegar and half a cup of warm water. Fill a spray bottle with the mixture and spray it all over the surface of the bathtub. Let it stand at least 15 minutes and then wipe it off with a damp sponge or small towel. Lastly, rinse the tub with water.

A spray bottle filled with equal parts white vinegar and water is a simple and effective cleaner for your bathtub.

If your bathtub has some extra dirty areas that require a little more attention, you only need to take one additional step: take some baking soda and sprinkle it over the dirtiest aresa on your tub. Then take your mixture from up above, half water and half white vinegar, and spray it over the baking soda.

Baking soda is a useful item that can be used to clean different items in your home. It works as a natural scrub that’s not too abrasive.

Baking soda is a great, natural cleaner. Sprinkle it on dirty areas of your tub, Then spray it with a water/white vinegar mixture. Let the mixture sit and work its magic, rinse off and wipe clean.

The mixture will get fizzy as it breaks down the dirt and grime. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes and then wipe it clean with a damp towel or sponge. Rinse out the tub and dry it with a towel.

Mixture Two

Another great DIY bathtub cleaner can easily be made with some other household cleaning products. You’ll need a small bowl. Pour half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of dish soap into the bowl. You can also add several drops of essential oil, such as lemon, to add a fresh scent to the room. Mix everything well.

Then take a sponge or small rag and rub the mixture all over the tub, making sure to put some elbow grease into dirtier areas. You should let the mixture sit on the tub for about 10 minutes. Then rinse it off well and dry with a towel.

After spraying on a mixture of white vinegar and water, the bathtub is left clean.

Tips for Keeping Your Tub Cleaner, Longer

The easiest way to keep your tub clean is simply to clean it after you use it. Of course, this isn’t always practical. However, if you take a bath, a quick rinse out of the tub should help prevent soap scum from building up. Similarly, if you have a pet dog and give it a bath in your tub, you should rinse the tub after you’re done to get rid of dirt and bacteria.

Even if you only shower, your tub can still become dirty due to bacterial growth and traces of soap residue left behind so it’s still important to clean your bathtub at least monthly. Another easy way to keep your bathtub and shower clean is to get rid of leftover, excess moisture. A squeegee works well to get rid of water on the tile leftover after a shower. Taking some time to do this simple step will help prevent mildew and mold from growing.

Now that the task of cleaning your bathtub is done, fill your sparkling tub with some warm water and bubbles and relax!