How to Clean a Bathroom Tub (Step-by-Step)

A clean bathroom tub is vital for enjoying a relaxing soak after a long day.

A well-kept, sparkling clean tub not only looks inviting, but it also contributes to a healthier environment by reducing the accumulation of dirt, soap scum, and mildew.

However, keeping it clean can be a challenge if you don’t do it frequently enough.

Clean it once a month, and you’ll have to spend ten minutes each time. However, you can expect to spend an hour or more if you wash it twice a year.

Therefore, this article will help you ensure your bathtub is squeaky clean at all times with a guide on how to clean it.

Step 1. Determine Your Bathtub’s Material

You will first have to determine your bathtub’s material.

This way, you can make specific care adjustments during cleaning to prevent damage to it.

Here are some types of materials and the cleaning supplies you will require.

Acrylic Bathtubs

You will need to be extra careful when cleaning acrylic bathtubs.

These tubs can get damaged by scrubbers that have metal parts.

Baking soda or a mild bathroom cleaning product is best for cleaning bathtubs of this material.

Porcelain Bathtubs

Porcelain bathtubs are as durable as they are luxurious.

However, you will have to use gentle cleaners and a soft cloth for cleaning to prevent damage.

Fiberglass Bathtubs

Fiberglass bathtubs are relatively easy to clean.

However, they tend to pick up scratches easily. So, you must avoid using brushes to clean these tubs.

Baking soda and vinegar are best for cleaning bathtubs of this material.

Stone Resin Bathtubs

Stone resin bathtubs are one of the most durable types of tubs.

They are resistant to scratches and stains. That said, you only need a cloth to scrub these tubs and dishwasher detergent for cleaning.

Doing your due diligence first is important. It ensures that you don’t damage your tub without knowing it.

Following proper cleaning practices will keep your bathtub in good condition for a long time. It will also save you money because you won’t need to secure a replacement as often.

Step 2. Gather Your Supplies

Gather the necessary cleaning supplies based on your bathtub’s material. By gathering these items before you start, you’ll ensure a smooth and effective cleaning process.

That said, here are lists of cleaning materials and equipment you may need.

Cleaning Materials

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Dishwasher detergent
  • Mild bathroom cleaner
  • Tile cleaner
  • Glass cleaner
  • Drain cleaner

Cleaning Equipment

  • Cleaning cloths
  • Sponges
  • Scouring pads (non-abrasive)
  • Small cleaning brush or toothbrush
  • Grout brush
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Bucket
  • Gloves

You may not require all of the cleaning materials and equipment mentioned above.

So, pick the ones that are suitable for your bathtub’s material.

Step 3. Remove All products from Your Bathtub

You must remove all products present in or near your bathtub before cleaning. These products include bottles, toiletries, loofahs, toys and shower caddies.

You will risk getting cleaning material on them if you don’t remove them.

Moreover, use a clean cloth to wipe down these products. Soap scum builds upon these products too.

Consider using your dishwasher to clean bath toys. You could also use this opportunity to get rid of some products you no longer need.

Step 4. Clean the Walls and Tiles Around Your Bathtub

It’s important to clean the walls and tiles around your bathtub before the tub itself.

By doing this, you’re eliminating any surface dust, dirt, and hair that could interfere with the cleaning process. This way, any residue that falls won’t dirty your clean bathtub.

Start from the Top to Bottom with Tile Cleaner

Use your grout brush and tile cleaner to clean the wall.

Start working from the top and make your way to the bottom. You will need to perform this step to prevent your tile grout from getting mildewed.

Follow the instructions present on your tile cleaner of choice. After that, you can rinse the tile cleaner off.

For stubborn grime and mold, you can create a paste by mixing equal parts baking soda and water.

Apply the paste to the grout, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, and scrub again. Rinse the area thoroughly with water to remove any residue.

Spray the Walls with Bathroom Cleaner

You must spray the walls around the tub with bathroom cleaner.

After it soaks in the cleaner, use a clean cloth to wipe down the walls. Make sure to be thorough, giving extra attention to dirtier areas.

Ventilate the bathroom for a bit if you use a bleach-based cleaner.

You could use a fan or open a window. After the scent subsides, resume the cleaning process.

Step 5. Clear Your Bathroom Tub’s Drain

Keeping the drain clear is just as important as cleaning the bathtub itself.

Therefore, you must pour half a cup of baking soda down your drain. Next, pour an equal amount of vinegar down the drain.

Let the solution sit for about 2 minutes. After that, you can flush it with a bit of hot water. This process will eliminate any clogs in your drain.

Step 6. Fill the Tub with Water and Vinegar

Fill your bathroom tub with hot water and vinegar. Let the water rest in the bathtub for about half an hour to an hour. Only use vinegar on bathtubs that can withstand it.

You will only need to perform this step if you have not cleaned your bathtub in a long time.

It will help remove tough stains and pesky soap scum. Skip this step if your tub is relatively clean.

Step 7. Apply the Cleaning Material to Your Bathtub

You should apply the cleaning material that is suitable for your bathtub’s material.

As mentioned above, you could use a mild bathroom cleaner, baking soda, a solution of baking soda and vinegar, and dishwasher detergent.

Let the Cleaning Material Sit

Make sure to cover all parts of the bathroom tub with the cleaning material. Once you complete that, let the cleaning material sit for about 5 minutes.

This step will make the cleaning material more effective. Also, it will make your work easier.

Wipe Down Your Bathtub

Wipe down your bathtub thoroughly to remove the cleaning material. Work from the top and make your way to the bottom.

Be sure to cover every part of your bathroom tub. Next, rinse your tub.

Step 8. Scrub the Surface of the Bathtub

You will need to remove soap scum from the surface of your bathroom tub.

You can achieve that by scrubbing the tub with your brush or soft club.

The choice of cleaning equipment will depend on the material of your tub.

Start with the Point Where the Bathtub Connects to the Wall

Soap scum tends to collect at the part where the bathtub connects to the wall.

Therefore, you should start scrubbing there with your brush, cloth, or sponge.

You can detect soap scum by looking for darkened areas. If not, you can also feel for unevenness on the surface of your tub.

Keep a Light Hand When Scrubbing

Make sure to scrub thoroughly but gently.

Some soap scum may take longer but don’t increase the pressure. You do not want to damage your bathtub in the process.

You can dip your cleaning equipment in a bit of cleaning material. This can help with getting rid of peskier soap scum.

Rinse the Bathtub Once More and Scrub Stains

After removing slimy soap scum, rinse your bathroom tub with clean water. After that, get back to scrubbing the tub to remove stains.

Removing stains can be an arduous process. This is especially so if you haven’t cleaned the tub in a while.

You could sprinkle some baking soda on the cleaning equipment to speed up the process.

Inspect the Bathtub to Determine If More Cleaning Is Required

Rinse the tub with clean water. At this point, you must inspect the bathtub to determine if more cleaning is required.

If not, move on to the next step.

Step 9. Wipe Down the Bathtub to Dry It

Once you are satisfied with the cleaning, rinse the bathtub thoroughly. Make sure there is no cleaning material residue in the bathroom tub.

After rinsing, use a clean and dry cloth to wipe down the entire bathroom tub.

Take a close look at the tub to ensure you did not leave any water spots or residue behind.

Step 10. Clean the Glass Doors

For glass shower doors, mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the glass, allowing it to sit for a few minutes to break down soap scum and limescale.

After the solution has had time to work, use a squeegee or a clean microfiber cloth to remove the solution and grime from the glass.

If you encounter any stubborn areas, use a non-abrasive sponge or an old toothbrush to scrub gently, being cautious not to scratch the glass surface.

Step 11. Polish Your Faucet and Handles with a Dry Cloth

You should finish off the bathtub cleaning process by polishing your faucet, handles, and drain. Use a clean, dry cloth for this process. You won’t require any cleaning solution.

Rub the faucet, handles, and drain well. This way, you’ll remove soap scum and eliminate water spots.

For a deep clean, you can also soak a small cloth or paper towel in the water and white vinegar solution, wrap it around the faucet, and allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes.

This will help to dissolve any mineral deposits and stubborn buildup. After the soaking period, remove the cloth, and use a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush to scrub away any remaining residue.

Rinse the fixtures thoroughly with water to remove any remaining vinegar solution and ensure a sparkling, clean finish.

The whole bathtub will look and feel clean because of this process.

Step 12. Place Your Toiletries and Bath Toys Back to Their Original Position

It’s best to place your toiletries and bath toys back to their original position right after cleaning.

This way, you won’t have to search for them later.

Maintaining a Clean Bathroom

Keeping your bathroom tub clean and free of scum is essential for a hygienic and pleasant bathing experience. To maintain a spotless bathtub, follow these simple tips and tricks.

Firstly, deal with soap scum and residue promptly. A combination of baking soda and dish soap works wonders for removing soap scum.

Mix equal parts of both with a few drops of lemon juice, coat the tub using a sponge, and let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing. For tougher stains, use a scrubbing brush or a scouring pad.

Cleaning the drain is vital to avoid clogs and slow drainage. Remove hair and debris from the drain regularly, and consider using a vinegar and baking soda mixture to clear any buildup inside.

Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by one cup of vinegar. Let the mixture sit for 20-30 minutes, and then flush with hot water.

Consider using bath bombs and other additives sparingly, as these may leave additional residue in the tub. When using bath bombs, rinse the tub well afterward to prevent buildup.

Store a cup or small container filled with your chosen bathtub cleaner next to the tub. This will make it convenient for you to remove any residue after each bath. Keep a sponge or scrubbing brush ready to use on hand as well.

Lastly, be proactive in maintaining your bathtub. Give it a quick wipe down after each use and deep clean the area at least once a week. By following these bathtub cleaning tips, you’ll enjoy a sparkling clean bathroom that’s ready for use anytime.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most effective products for cleaning a bathtub?

There are various cleaning products available in the market that can effectively clean your bathtub. Some popular options include bleach, ammonia, and commercial tub cleaning solutions.

Ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and wear appropriate protective gear while cleaning.

Can baking soda and vinegar be used for tub cleaning?

Yes, baking soda and vinegar can be used for cleaning a bathtub. This natural alternative is effective in removing dirt, soap scum, and mildew.

To use this method, sprinkle baking soda onto the tub, and then spray vinegar over it. Allow the mixture to fizz, then scrub with a sponge or brush before rinsing thoroughly.

How do you remove tough stains from a bathtub?

To remove tough stains, try a mixture of equal parts warm water, ammonia, and baking soda.

For particularly stubborn stains, apply a paste made from salt and lemon juice on the stain and let it sit for up to 1 hour before scrubbing it off. Remember to rinse the tub thoroughly after the cleaning process.

What is the quickest method to clean a bathtub?

The quickest method to clean a bathtub involves using a ready-made cleaning solution or a mixture of household cleaners like dish soap and warm water.

Spray the solution onto the tub surface, let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub with a sponge or brush. Rinse the tub thoroughly to complete the process.

How can you clean a bathtub with natural products?

For a natural cleaning solution, try combining baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils like tea tree or lavender oil. Apply the mixture to the tub, allow it to sit, then scrub and rinse.

This method is effective in removing dirt and grime without using harsh chemicals.

What are some tips for maintaining a clean bathtub?

To maintain a clean bathtub, follow these tips:

  1. Rinse the tub after each use to remove soap scum and residue.
  2. Use a daily shower spray to keep mildew and mold at bay.
  3. Clean your bathtub regularly, preferably once a week, to prevent buildup and stains.
  4. Use a drain protector to catch hair and debris and prevent clogs.
  5. Keep bathroom ventilation running during and after showers to reduce moisture levels and prevent mold growth.

Last Few Words

How frequently you should clean your bathtub will depend on frequently you use it. Cleaning it once a month is ideal.

It makes it easier to clean and shortens each cleaning session.

That said, you may even have to consider cleaning it once every one or two weeks in some cases.

If more than one person uses the tub every day, you will need to clean it weekly.

You can prevent soap scum from forming as a result.

Moreover, always look out for the growth of mildew on the caulk. In that case, remove it early with a bleach-based spray.

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