How to Clean a Bathtub

In terms of bathroom cleaning yuck factor, the bathtub ranks pretty low on the list. And while it might not be the worst job to do, it can be a little difficult, especially if you have stains from the minerals in your water or a ring of soap scum in your tub.

Use all these cleaning hacks to learn how to clean a bathtub so that you can really enjoy your next bubble bath.

bathtub with pink towel draped over the side and two colorful stools sitting nearby

Things you need in order to clean a bathtub

To get started cleaning your bathtub, you’ll need a few cleaning tools and products. Luckily, you probably have most of them around the house already.

Most of the time, you can use natural cleaning products like vinegar and baking soda, along with a scrubbing brush or sponge to get your tub clean. Dish soap and vinegar are also widely used.

If you would prefer to use a store-bought powdered cleanser, such as Bon Ami or Comet, it also works well in cleaning the bathtub.

You may also want to invest in a Magic Eraser for scrubbing away any tough stains. Some people also recommend oven cleaner for getting rid of super tough stains.

If you’ve seen other posts in my How to Clean a House series, you know that I get the majority of my household cleaning supplies from Grove Collaborative. Not only do I like their eco-friendly household cleaners, but I love how easy it is to get them shipped to my front door.

How can I get my bathtub white again?

For your regular bathtub cleaning, all you’ll need to do is to sprinkle your baking soda around the tub, spray it with vinegar until you see the baking soda start to fizz, then scrub all over with a brush or scrubbing sponge, then rinse well.

If using store-bought cleanser, sprinkle it around the tub, then scrub with a wet brush or scrubbing sponge…there’s no need for vinegar with the store-bought cleaner. Rinse very well and you’re all set.

But if you have some extra tough stains, there are a few tricks you can try in order to make the bathtub white again.

Spray full-strength vinegar on the stains and let them sit for 20 minutes or longer, then try scrubbing them with a brush or scrubbing sponge until they disappear. The vinegar helps break down the stain naturally.

If the vinegar doesn’t work, try using a Magic Eraser to scrub the stains away. Most of the time, the Magic Eraser works on tough bathtub stains.

A last resort you can try is oven cleaner. I’ve never tried it myself, but I’ve read about people having good success with it. Just make sure that the bathroom is well-ventilated when using oven cleaner, and rinse very well when done.

Cleaning Mold and Mildew from the Bathtub

If you have some mold or mildew growing around the caulking in your bathtub, you can use a very simple trick to clean it.

box of cellu cotton that is used to clean mold from bathtubs and showers

Using some coiled cotton, which you can get at any beauty supply store, along with bleach, makes getting rid of mold in your tub super easy.

Just lay out a length of the cotton along the area where mold is growing, then soak it thoroughly with bleach, until it is dripping wet. I like to use a squeeze bottle filled with bleach to soak the cotton, since it is less messy and so I can really control where the bleach goes.

Let the bleach-soaked cotton sit for several hours, or overnight. When you take up the cotton, you’ll see that the black mold is completely gone.

One word of caution, however. If your cotton/bleach touches a wall that is painted, the bleach WILL discolor the paint, so be careful to angle the cotton away from the wall or just forgo this cleaning method in that area altogether.

woman in yellow gloves cleaning the bathtub

After a good deep cleaning of any existing stains and/or mold and mildew, maintaining your bathtub should be easy. A few minutes of scrubbing weekly with your baking soda and vinegar mixture (or store-bought powder) is all you’ll need to keep it in good shape.

And you’ll be happy to sit and soak in your bright, clean bathtub for your next bubble bath 😉

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1 thought on “How to Clean a Bathtub”

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    Love these tips Erin. I cleaned our tub last night and it’s so much easier to keep clean now that we have a new tub. Love your tip about using beach and the coil cotton.

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