How To Clean A Bathtub

I don’t know about you, but cleaning my bathtub is the bane of my existence. There’s nothing I love more than taking a bath—in fact, I take a bath about two to three times per week, all year-round. Because of this, my bathtub gets a lot of use, and gets dirty pretty easily. If you, too, aren’t the biggest fan of cleaning your bathtub, read on for some helpful tips on how to get it done fast and effectively, as well as how to avoid having to deep clean it so often. 

Cleaning a Bathtub

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Considerations Before Getting Started

First of all, you have to determine what type of material your tub is made of. According to  Sara San Angelo, a professional home cleaner and founder of Confessions of a Cleaning Lady in Charleston, South Carolina, the most common materials are cast iron (porcelain coating), acrylic, and fiberglass. “There are certain chemicals and materials you do not want to use on each of these,” she explains. 

Sara San Angelo is a professional home cleaner and the founder of Confessions of a Cleaning Lady in Charleston, South Carolina.

What You Need

For cast-iron bathtub:

For acrylic and fiberglass bathtub:

  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Soft sponge
  • Magic Eraser (if there is a lot of soap scum buildup)

How To Clean a Bathtub

A cast-iron bathtub:

  1. Gather all your materials together.
  2. If you are using powered Bar Keepers Friend, get the tub wet first then sprinkle cleaner.
  3. Wipe around with a sponge to make a paste and coat the entire surface.  
  4. Let sit for 15 minutes.  
  5. Scrub with sponge and rinse.  
  6. If using Magic Eraser, wet Magic Eraser and scrub, then rinse.

An acrylic or fiberglass bathtub:

  1. Spray tub surface generously with vinegar solution (one part vinegar to two parts water in a spray bottle). These materials are not as durable as cast iron and can scratch easier. Vinegar is a disinfectant and can help cut through soap scum and dirt and will kill mold.
  2. Let sit for 15 minutes.  
  3. Scrub with sponge. 
  4. Rinse. 
  5. If using Magic Eraser, wet Magic Eraser and scrub, then rinse.

How To Remove Stains from Bathtubs

This will depend on what type of material your tub is. “Cast-iron tubs tend to rust around the drain and fixtures,” explains San Angelo. “Bar Keepers Friend works wonders for rust stains.” While cast-iron tubs are very durable, you still don't want to use anything too abrasive—Bar Keepers Friend is non-abrasive.

For acrylic and fiberglass, San Angelo suggests making a paste using baking soda and water. “Baking soda has natural bleaching properties,” she explains. “Let it sit on the stain for at least an hour, then scrub and rinse.”

How Often To Clean Your Bathtub

According to San Angelo, you should clean your tub at least once a week depending on how often you use it. “If your tub is not used often or in a guest bath, just rinsing it out one a week will suffice,” she explains.

Tips For Keeping Your Bathtub Clean

When you are done bathing, drain the tub fully and then rinse it out.  “Also, keeping the fan on can help with air circulation and dry the tub faster to help prevent mold and mildew growth,” suggests San Angelo.

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