How to clean a bathtub: What to know


Showers and baths are hardly refreshing if you’re bathing in a dirty bathtub. This post will teach you how to get your bathtub sparkling clean without too much effort.


For starters, plan on deep cleaning your bathtub at least every month. If several people regularly use the bathroom, you’ll likely need to clean a little more frequently.


Many people struggle to keep their bathtubs and showers clean because it can require lots of bending over and scrubbing, but there are some easy hacks to use that can make the job a little less physically demanding, which we’ll also talk about here.


What you’ll need to clean a bathtub


There are lots of products out there specifically for bathroom cleaning, as well as natural alternatives. Your cleaning tools will depend on how dirty your bathtub is, what material it’s made of, and your preferences.


Here are a few supplies you may need to gather before cleaning:


  • A large bucket
  • Hot water
  • Baking soda
  • Tub-and-tile cleaner
  • Vinegar
  • Dish soap
  • Scrub sponge
  • Old toothbrush
  • Bleach (for tubs with mold or mildew)
  • Respirator
  • Rubber gloves
  • Magic Eraser sponge


Don’t use steel wool or abrasive sponges on your bathtub, and never mix chemical cleaning products.


How to clean a bathtub without bending over


Cleaning your bathtub can be difficult, but using the right cleaning tools and maintaining your bathtub between cleans can make the job a lot easier.


Here’s how to deep clean your bathtub, and keep it clean:


1. Clear out the clutter


Remove your soap bottles, loofas, and toiletries from the bathtub.


If they’re covered in any soap scum, give them a quick rinse in the sink and let them dry while you clean the rest of the tub.


1. Start scrubbing at the top


The grout and caulk around your bathtub and shower will likely be the toughest to clean. Use a tile cleaner and old toothbrush to scrub the grout, starting at the top and working your way down.


2. Deal with the drain


Make sure the tub is training properly by letting the faucet run for a few seconds. If the water isn’t going down, you’ll want to pour in a drain cleaner to loosen up the clog as you clean – we’ll give specific tips for cleaning drains later in this post.


3. Spray the bathtub with cleaner


Fill the bathtub with an inch of warm water.


As the bathtub fills, grab a spray bottle filled with your bathroom cleaner of choice. We recommend a mixture of white vinegar and hot water, but some people prefer using specialty tub-and-tile cleaning products.


Spray the cleaning solution on the sides of the shower and tub to completely coat the surface.


Let the cleaning solution sit for 10-20 minutes so it can loosen up the dirt and soap scum. As it sits, it will run down the sides of the tub into the warm water on the bottom.


4. Spot clean any dirty areas


Get a sponge or an old toothbrush and scrub any noticeable stains or hard-to-reach corners.


If you’re using vinegar and water, sprinkle a bit of baking soda over tough stains and let it sit and bubble for a few minutes before scrubbing it away.


Drain the tub and tackle any stains left on the bottom before giving the entire area a quick scrub to ensure it’s thoroughly clean.


For stubborn stains, soak a rag in vinegar or cleaning solution and let it sit over the stain for a few minutes to make it easier to remove. Dish soap works well on tough soap scum stains.


To prevent too much bending over while cleaning, use a sponge with an extended handle or a mop to scrub stains.


5. Rinse the tub


Once you’ve scrubbed your tub and shower, fill a bucket with warm water and gently pour it down the sides of the tub and shower to wash away the cleaning solution. You’ll probably need to refill the bucket a few times to rinse the entire area.


You can use your bathtub hand sprayer if you have one.


Finally, use a microfiber cloth or dry mop to wipe down the bathtub and prevent water spots. Glass shower doors can be polished with glass cleaner, such as Windex.


6. Let the bathroom air out


Once you’re done cleaning, turn on the bathroom fan and open any windows to help the bathroom air out. This is especially important if you used chemicals to clean your tub.


8. Maintain your tub


Keep a Magic Eraser sponge in the shower for quick touchups between deep cleans. You can quickly wipe down the shower walls and sides of your bathtub as you condition your hair or enjoy a warm shower.


If you have a glass shower door, consider investing in a squeegee tool to whisk away any standing water after you’re done bathing.


How to clean a bathtub drain


It doesn’t take a lot to clog a bathtub drain, and you can get rid of minor clogs with a bit of baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water.


First, try to remove the drain cover to check if there is any hair or residue in the drain you can pull out.


Then, pour a half cup of baking soda followed by a half cup of distilled white vinegar down the drain. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes before flushing the drain with boiling water.


How to clean a really disgusting bathtub


Bathrooms can get dirty pretty fast, and they tend to be a breeding ground for mold and mildew.


It’s important to eliminate any mold or mildew in your tub to prevent it from spreading. To do this, create a mixture of water and bleach in a spray bottle and saturate the area with the solution. That means you’ll need to wear rubber gloves and a respirator to protect your lungs.


Allow the bleach to sit for a few minutes before using an old toothbrush to scrub the mold off of the tub. Rinse the spot with warm water and proceed to clean the rest of the bathtub as usual.


For really dirty bathtubs, plan on letting the cleaning products sit for at least 20 minutes to make the scrubbing process a little easier.