How to Clean a Bathtub

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How you clean a bathtub is going to depend on what sort of surface the tub has. Here are some general guidelines that will work with most sorts of tubs.

If you are cleaning your bathroom regularly with the suggestions here: how to clean a bathroom, than hopefully you won't have to pay any particular attention to the tub. However, if you have let things get out of hand or if your tub sees a lot of use, here's how to clean a bathtub without damaging it or yourself.

Bathtub Cleaning Equipment

how to clean a bathtub scrub brush
OXO Household
Scrub Brush

Scrub Brush

- Don't try scrubbing your tub with a flat scrub brush - you're going to knock your knuckles and get mad and never want to clean the tub again. Instead find a brush that has an angled or raised handle and fairly soft bristles. You'll be able to get into all the nooks and crannies without bodily damage.

Some sensitive tub surfaces may not even tolerate a scrub brush. In that case, I recommend a microfiber cleaning cloth which is very soft and incredibly effective.


- You'll want to go gentle when selecting a cleaner for your bathtub. Most scouring powders are too rough, not only for more persnickety fiberglass tubs, but also acrylic and enamel ones. What happens is that the powder makes tiny scratches on the tub surface, and those tiny scratches become great hang outs for dirt and scum. A vicious cleaning circle.

method cleaning products tub
Eucalyptus Mint
Tub and Tile Cleaner

o look for a mild commercial cleaning product. One that promises to treat your particular bathtub with kindness, but still get the job done. Many times you can use your favorite dishwashing liquid to great effect in the tub. Fill a spray bottle with a small amount of liquid and complete with water for a mild yet effective spray on tub cleaner.

For extra scrubbing powder, try baking soda, which is a very mild abrasive and safe for most surfaces. If you're not sure, review bathtub materials before scrubbing.


- Here are my favorite cleaning diva gloves. Always protect your hands when cleaning - even water can be harsh on them.

How to Clean a Bathtub - Technique

how to clean a bathtub

Step 1. Open the windows and let the air circulate for the whole time you are cleaning. If you're using mild natural cleaners, this may be unnecessary, but it is always a good idea to air out your house.

Step 2. Begin by cleaning the walls around the tub if they are dirty. What cleaner you use for this depends on how the walls are surfaced. I reommend regular cleaning with vinegar, which will keep tiled bathroom walls free of soap scum and mineral build up. Thoroughly rinse the walls with a shower head or buckets of clean water, than dry with a clean towel.

Step 3. Once your walls are as clean as your going to get them, liberally sprinkle or spray the tub with your cleaner of choice. Sometimes the cleaner will act without you, so why not take a break for 15 minutes?

Step 4. When you're back, put on those cleaning gloves and pick up your scrub brush. There's no getting around it, it's time to scrub. Pay particular attention to the areas around the faucets, the drain, where the tub meets the wall, and any ring around the tub.

Step 5. Thoroughly rinse the bathtub with running water from the shower head, than dry with a clean cloth. Now you know how to clean a bathtub.

Bathtub Stains


- If you have mold stains on the silicone caulking around the edges of your tub, don't bother trying to get them out. They are particularly stubborn. Instead remove the old caulking, clean the area with bleach, allow to dry completely, than apply new caulking according to the manufacturer's directions. (Don't use your tub or shower when it has no caulking.)


- Most rust stains will come out with a pumice stone like this Pumie Scouring Stick . I would be careful though as it may damage sensitive surfaces.

Prevent Stains

- Remove rubber bath mats from the tub after every use. You should hang them to dry so that they don't develop mildew themselves. Get your family in the habit of rinsing and wiping the tub after they use it. This will go a long way in preventing a ring from forming. [an error occurred while processing this directive]

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