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

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.

We’ll show you how to deep clean, disinfect, and whiten a dirty bathtub.

How to Clean a Bathtub with Bleach (Deep Cleaning)

bathtub cleaning

Bleach is one of the best cleaners for a bathtub – it kills germs and removes 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

clean with rubber hands

Dip your sponge in the solution and wipe the bathtub. Start with the tub surround, working from top to bottom.

To remove stains, dip your shower scrub brush in the bleach solution and scrub. Allow the solution to sit for at least one minute to disinfect. Leave it on even longer to whiten a dingy bathtub.

(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. 

Step 4: Allow the Tub to Dry

Allow the tub to dry, and then put the 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 deep clean as needed.

For regular cleanings, use a bathtub cleaning product (tub and tile cleaner). Many products are available that range from heavy-duty to all-natural.

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 bathroom mold, mildew, and soap scum build-up, and it only takes 1-2 minutes.

How to Tackle Bathtub Stains

How to Tackle Bathtub Stains

If you bleached your bathtub and it had no effect on the stains, scrub them out. Use a product like the Pink Stuff Miracle Paste, which is a mild abrasive cleaner that removes surface stains. We tried it on a cast iron sink, fiberglass shower, and grout with good results.

To make a DIY bathtub stain remover, pour baking soda into a bowl and mix with dish soap until a paste forms. Dip an old toothbrush into the mixture and scrub the bathtub stains. Rinse well afterward. (Failure to rinse all of the dish soap will leave a slippery film.)

how to clean a bathtub

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.
  • Use a battery-operated shower scrub brush to help lift dirt and stains with less effort.
  • Fix a slow shower drain by placing a mesh stopper over it to prevent hair clogs. You can also clear the drain with a homemade vinegar and baking soda drain cleaner.