How to Clean a Bathtub (Deep Clean and After Each Use)

If you’re wondering how to clean a bathtub that’s full of germs and grime, we’ve got you covered.

Bathing in a dirty tub is never a pleasant experience. Despite scrubbing yourself with soap, you feel like you can’t get clean. The good news? Once you get your bathtub fresh and sanitized, maintaining it is easy.

Here’s how to clean a bathtub.

How to Clean a Bathtub with Bleach (Deep Cleaning)

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Bleach is one of the best cleaners for a bathtub. Not only does it kill germs, but it can remove stains, leaving your tub whiter and cleaner. 

Open your windows to ventilate the room before cleaning with bleach. Then remove all toiletries from the tub and gather the following supplies.

Note: Bleach is safe for acrylic, fiberglass, and chrome. It’s also safe for ceramic and porcelain tile surrounds. 

  • A bucket
  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Rubber gloves
  • Shower scrub brush (safe for your shower/bathtub material)
  • Sponge

Step 1: Mix Your Bleach Solution

Put on your rubber gloves. Add one gallon of water and ⅓ cup of bleach to your plastic bucket. Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting bleach on. 

Step 2: Wipe the Tub

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Dip your sponge in the solution and wipe the bathtub. If you’re also cleaning the tub surround, start with that first, working from top to bottom.

If there are stains in your bathtub, dip your shower scrub brush in the solution and give them a light scrub. You can also use the brush to cover the entire tub to ensure you don’t miss a spot. 

Allow the solution to sit for at least six minutes to disinfect.

(Tip: Get a shower brush with an extended handle to tackle hard-to-reach areas.)

Step 3: Rinse the Tub

If you have a removable shower head use it to rinse the tub and surround. If you don’t have a removable shower head, dump the bleach solution out of the bucket. Then fill the bucket with water and use it to rinse the tub. 

Rinse the tub, shower surround, and your shower scrub brush well.

Step 4: Allow the Tub to Dry

Allow the tub to dry, and then put your toiletries back in place.

How to Clean a Bathtub After Use

There’s much debate on whether to clean your bathtub after each use. Some swear by it, while others go a month between cleanings. At a bare minimum, aim to clean your bathtub at least once per week and do deep cleanings as needed.

For regular cleanings, you can use a bathtub cleaning product (tub and tile cleaner). Many products are available that range from heavy-duty to all-natural – pick one that suits your needs.

To clean the bathtub after each use, spray it with your cleaner of choice, scrub it with your shower brush, and rinse. Doing this will cut down on mold, mildew, and soap scum build-up, and it only takes 1-2 minutes.

If you use a heavy-duty product, clean the tub at least 24 hours before the next person uses it so that the fumes can dissipate. 

How to Tackle Bathtub Stains

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If you bleached your bathtub and it had no effect on the stains, you may need to scrub them out. Consider trying the Pink Stuff Miracle Paste. It’s made a giant difference on my enameled cast iron sink and grout.

If you’re looking for a DIY bathtub stain remover, pour some baking soda into a bowl and mix with dish soap until paste forms. Dip an old toothbrush into the mixture and scrub the bathtub stains. Rinse well afterward. If you don’t rinse all of the dish soap, it will leave a slippery film.

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Tips for Keeping the Tub Clean:

  • Don’t go too long in between cleanings. A quick spray and scrub will prevent stubborn mildew and soap scum build-up.
  • Ditch the bar soap or place a tray underneath it. Cleaning bar soap build-up can be a cumbersome job and a place that attracts dirt.
  • If your drain clogs often, place a mesh stopper over it to prevent hair from clogging it.