How to Clean a Bathtub

Evelyn Long

May 27, 2022


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Over time, bathrooms accumulate bacteria and germs. Most residents focus on cleaning their toilets and neglect their sinks, floors and bathtubs. When individuals flush their toilets, particles disperse throughout the bathroom.

Bacteria can land and grow on all surfaces. Bathtubs accumulate microbial contamination from toilet plums, mold and wastewater. Residents may protect themselves and their environment from contamination by learning how to clean a bathtub.

Why Should You Clean Your Bathtub?

When it comes to bathroom sanitation, individuals must broaden their scope from the toilet. Researchers discovered only 15% of bathroom contamination is fecal. They also found human papillomavirus (HPV), Escherichia coli (e. coli), staphylococcus and other microbes on bathroom surfaces like bathtubs.

Exposure to bacteria like e. coli can cause severe intestinal damage. Infections induce fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, renal failure and other adverse health effects. Residents can protect their health and well-being by knowing how to clean a bathtub and doing so regularly.

Remove Bottles and Clutter

The first step in cleaning your tub is removing bottles and additional clutter. Bacteria and mold can fester under your shampoo bottles, leaving a pink ring. The pink residue contains Serratia marcescens, which is a gram-negative pathogen.

Serratia marcescens causes nosocomial infections. Removing containers from your tub’s ledge can expose mold and bacteria, helping you effectively clean its surface. After individuals declutter their tubs, they can find the best cleaning solutions.

Find the Best Cleaner

An important step in learning how to clean a bathtub is finding the best cleaner. The green revolution is influencing the consumer market. Individuals can minimize their exposure to bacteria and harsh chemicals by using natural cleaners. Vinegar is a natural, anti-viral substance.

Individuals can apply the acidic solution to their tubs to kill viruses and bacteria. Lemon is another highly acidic, natural material. If you are sensitive to vinegar’s smell, you can squeeze lemon juice into a spray bottle and apply it to your tub.

Researchers at the University of Arkansas also developed an all-purpose cleaner recipe. The homemade cleaner is safer for the environment and residents. Individuals can make the solution by combining a ¼ cup of vinegar with 2 cups of distilled water.

You may also add a teaspoon of dish soap and about 12 drops of essential oils. Residents can additionally use traditional cleaning solutions to disinfect their bathtubs. When removing mold and mildew, individuals may use environmental protection agency (EPA) registered products like Microban.  

The solution prevents bacteria from growing in bathtubs for 24 hours on average. If you are removing rust and calcium from your tub, you can use deposit loosening sprays. After you access your cleaning solutions, you can gather your scrubbing utensils.

Gather Sponges and Brushes

Most residents clean their bathtubs using sponges. The foam fibers can gently remove unaesthetic buildup and bacteria. While sponges help loosen contaminants in tubs, they may also spread disease-causing bacteria.

Sponges can carry staph and strep infection bacteria. Individuals must switch out their sponges frequently to protect their health and safety. Scientists suggest residents replace their sponges every other week.

Individuals can also clean their sponges by soaking them in vinegar for about five minutes. They may additionally microwave them to kill germs and bacteria. Some residents stray away from sponges and use tub brushes instead.

When calcium and limestone build up in bathtubs, they produce a hard residue. Individuals must use metal or stiff bristle brushes to remove the material. Residents can also apply their cleaning solutions before using sponges and brushes.

Spray, Wait and Scrub

After gathering all of your cleaning supplies, you can prepare to scrub away any contaminants. You can start by straying down your bathtub with your solutions. If you are using bleach, you may let the solution sit in the tub for at least five minutes.

Once the cleaner kills bacteria and germs, residents can lift the contaminants using their sponges and brushes. You should focus on scrubbing each crevasse of your tub with small tools. Some individuals use toothbrushes and q-tips to clean hard-to-reach places.

Before residents wash down their tubs with water, they may clean their drains.

Clean the Drain

Hair, bacteria and other contaminants can accumulate in tub drains over time. Cleaning your drain and preventing clogs may minimize mold buildup. Individuals can first purchase a drain snake or make one out of a hanger.

You may use the snake to remove hair and other large materials from your drain. Then, you can pour hot water into the tub to loosen excess buildup. Next, residents may apply drain cleaning solutions.

Finally, individuals can run hot water through their whole bathtub to remove all bacteria and cleaning materials. If residents clean their drains and still experience clogging, they can reach out to plumbers for professional help.

Wash the Grout or Caulk

Residents should also clean the borders and exterior of their tubs. The grout and caulk around bathtubs can accumulate bacteria over time. If you have tiles on or around your tub, you may notice mold and mildew in the cracks.

If you remove mold in grouts when it first appears, you can prevent extensive growth. Individuals can clean their grout and caulk with hydrogen peroxide and traditional washing soda. The solution is eco-friendly and safe for humans.

Cleaning professionals recommend using a toothbrush to apply the solution to your bathtub. Residents can scrub the cleaner into the cracks between tiles and let it sit for a few minutes. Next, you may raise the area with warm water, allowing excess mold and mildew to run down the drain.

After rinsing your tub’s grout and caulk, you may dry the area with a clean cloth to prevent additional buildup. Residents can clean the areas every month to minimize mold-related health conditions. Long-term mold exposure can cause mental and physical distress.

Clean the Faucet and Showerhead

The final bath element individuals may clean is the faucet. Showerheads and faucets can accumulate bacteria and mold over time. Individuals can protect their health and well-being by thoroughly cleaning their waterspouts.

Professionals suggest the morning and evening are the best times of day to clean faucets and showerheads. It would help to detach the aerator from your faucet before applying cleaning solutions. Residents can apply vinegar or other solutions to their faucet and showerhead components.

Then, they can scrub away buildup with toothbrushes. You may also soak your faucet in a cleaner by placing a plastic bag over the opening. Individuals can secure the bag with masking tape.

You may let your bath spouts soak for three to five minutes. Then, you can run the faucet and wipe down its exterior.

How Often Should You Clean Your Tub?

After exploring how to clean a bathtub, you may wonder how often you should engage in sanitation. Residents can follow small cleaning routines each day to prolong deep cleans. Mold and mildew grow in 24 to 48 hours.

Residents may keep squeegees in their bathtubs to remove excess water before leaving the bathroom. They can also turn on their fans or dehumidifiers to prevent bacterial growth. You may additionally keep an all-purpose spray near your tub and coat your tiles after a bath.

Cleaning professionals suggest deep cleaning your bathtub about two to four times a month. When you thoroughly and frequently sanitize your tub, you can lower your risk of illnesses and diseases.

When Should You Call a Professional?

If you notice excessive mold and mildew development in your tub, you may hire a cleaning professional. Some bacterial growth becomes out of hand and requires professional intervention. Residents may also have unique tubs that require specialized cleaning tools.

You may hire a cleaning professional to skillfully sanitize your tub a few times a year using designated tools. When you invest in expert help, you are protecting your health and well-being.

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