How to Clean a Bathtub

Rose Morrison

Apr 25, 2022


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Have you ever bathed in a tub where dirt, grime and soap scum are visible? In that instant, it doesn’t truly feel like your getting a good scrub down, despite the clean water and soap you’re using. Therefore, you’ll have to clean your bathtub regularly to keep the surface sparkling. On top of regular cleaning, you’ll also have to give it a deep clean. 

Getting your bathtub free of soap scum, limescale, dirt and mineral deposits may seem difficult. However, you can ensure you give it a squeaky clean feel in just a few simple steps. 

Why Should You Clean Your Bathtub?

When it comes to bathroom sanitation, you must broaden your 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. You can protect your health and well-being by knowing how to clean a bathtub and doing so regularly.

How Often Should You Clean the Bathtub?

You can follow small cleaning routines each day to prolong deep cleans. Mold and mildew grow in 24 to 48 hours.

Try to keep squeegees in your bathtubs to remove excess water before leaving the bathroom. You can also turn on your fans or dehumidifiers to prevent bacterial growth.

How often you clean your bathtub depends on the frequency of its use. A tub used daily by a family will need cleaning more often than someone who uses it weekly. If you use the bathtub regularly, every other week or more is good enough. 

Additionally, it would help if you gave it a deep clean — meaning lots of scrubbing — at least once a month. 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.

How to Clean a Bathtub

Before cleaning a bathtub, it’s essential to use the right products for a particular tub. For example, scrubbers can damage an acrylic tub. The same goes for enamel tubs as well. So you’ll want to be sure you’re not using the wrong brush for your bathtub.

Furthermore, you should wear gloves to protect your hands from the cleaning products. You’ll also want to ventilate it by opening a window or using the bathroom fan to protect yourself from breathing in harsh chemicals.

What you’ll need:

  • Tile cleaner
  • All-purpose cleaner or bathroom spray
  • Toothbrush or cleaning product with bristles
  • Grout brush
  • Cleaning cloth or sponge

1. Remove Accessories From the Tub

Before cleaning, remove everything from the tub like toiletries, shampoo bottles, toys and loofahs. This step is essential, so you don’t get the cleaning products on them. This part also gives you a chance to toss any empty items, or you’re not going to use anymore. 

You can also wipe down these items since soap scum and mildew can build up on them. Moreover, you can get the bath toys extra clean by placing them in the dishwasher. If that’s unnecessary, you can also set these items aside to put them back in the bathtub later.

2. Wipe Down Tiles and Walls Around the Tub

Grout can build up mildew and dirt after each use. To clean these areas, use a tile cleaner and your grout brush. Working your way from top to bottom, be sure to follow the instructions on your tile cleaner. Once you finish scrubbing, you can rinse down the tile cleaner residue with hot water.

You should also clean the borders and exterior of your 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 your 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. You 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. Pay special attention to any sticky residue and obvious areas with dirt. It’s recommended to clean the areas every month to minimize mold-related health conditions. Long-term mold exposure can cause mental and physical distress.

3. Clean the Interior of the Tub With an All-Purpose Cleaner

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

You can apply the acidic solution to your 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. You can additionally use traditional cleaning solutions to disinfect your 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.

4. Finish Wiping

Once you spray down the bathtub with your all-purpose cleaner, let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Doing so will allow it to break up the grime and make wiping up easier. After waiting a few minutes, you can wipe the tub from top to bottom and rinse it with hot water.

If you have soap scum, grab the toothbrush, vinegar, and baking soda to scrub the areas where soap scum stains and buildup remains. To scrub away larger stains, use a scrubbing brush and cleanser to remove them.

Once you finish scrubbing, you can dry out the bathtub to ensure it doesn’t build up residue, water spots and mildew. Grab a clean towel or cleaning cloth and dry every wet area you see in the tub. 

5. 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, run hot water through the whole bathtub to remove all bacteria and cleaning materials. If you clean your drains and still experience clogging, you can reach out to plumbers for professional help.

6. 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. Protect your health and well-being by thoroughly cleaning your 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. Apply vinegar or other solutions to your faucet and showerhead components.

Then, 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.

Final Tips for Maintaining Your Bathtub’s Cleanliness

To keep your bathtub fresh and clean for a longer amount of time, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Every time you use the bath, make sure you rinse the tub thoroughly and wipe off the excess moisture. Doing this will prevent mildew, soap scum and limescale buildup.
  • Use dish soap to clean the stubborn buildup like soap scum.
  • If you notice mildew forming around the tub, use bleach spray to get rid of it and prevent even further growth.

A Fresh Clean Bathtub

Once you know how to clean your bathtub properly, you can ensure you keep a lasting freshness every week. In addition, cleaning your tub must be done regularly. Make sure you use the proper cleaning supplies, and you’ll be well on your way to giving it a good deep clean.

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