Cleaning the Bathtub

Cleaning a bathtub is a necessary household chore, if not an exciting one. Generally the tub can be cleaned using household cleaners. Sometimes more specialized cleaners may be needed. This is a guide about cleaning the bathtub.

Woman's hand holding blue cloth cleaning the tub spout.
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Tip: Clean Bathtub with Powdered Dish Detergent

By Lynn 6 2

When your bathtub really gets grimy looking and the bathroom cleaners don't seem to be working, try a scrubby sponge and a bit of powder dish washer soap. It doesn't scratch, but it will get things super clean.

By Lynn from WV

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Tip: Quickly Clean Your Bathtub and Shower

By marie cecchini 204 2

To quickly and easily clean your bathtub area or shower stall, fill a bucket with cleaner and hot water. Place the bucket into the tub or at the bottom of the stall. Use a mop with the water-cleaner mixture to wash down entire area.

Rinse out bucket and mop and repeat the same procedure with water to rinse, or if you have a hand-held shower head, you can rinse everything with that. Works like a charm!

By Marie from West Dundee, IL

CommentWas this helpful? Yes

Tip: Cooktop Cleaner for Bathtub Stains

By maymay 1

Today I tried bleaching, Oxiclean, and Lysol foam cleaner. Nothing worked. I wish I had taken a before picture. I decided to try the cleaner that I use to clean my ceramic cook-top. It worked. Right before my eyes, the dirt came clean.

I figured if it could clean grease off the cook-top it could dissolve body oils too. I bought it my local grocery store. It is a paste like cleaner and comes in a tub similar to car wax. It also comes with a small scrubbing sponge. The brand name is Carbona Ceramic Cooktop Power Cleaner. I did have to use the sponge that came with it a scrub a little, but it came off in minutes.

A clean tub after stains have been removed.

    CommentWas this helpful? Yes

    Tip: Use Your Broom to Clean The Bathtub

    By Judy Stahl 22 16

    A stiff broom with plastic bristles makes a nice tool for cleaning the bathtub without having to bend down. Scouring powder works well with the broom. Of course, if there is an unusual amount of hard water deposit, it may still be necessary to scrape it off with a knife. But for ordinary cleaning, a broom is useful.

    Also I have used a sponge mop to clean out my chest freezer after the ice has melted and I have bailed out most of the water with a cut-off plastic milk jug. (To aid in melting the ice I pour some hot tap water down the sides and loosten the ice with my pancake turner.) Using a mop is much easier than trying to reach in with one's arm to wipe out the last of the water.

    By Judy from Valley City, ND

    CommentWas this helpful? Yes

    Tip: Clean Your Tub with Vinegar and Baking Soda

    By Barbara 7 1

    Instead of using chemicals to clean your bathtub, use vinegar and baking soda. Spray vinegar heavily on tub then put baking soda on cleaning rag and rub over vinegar, the smell isn't too great, but keeps all the harmful chemicals from damaging your finishes, not to mention the environment.

    CommentWas this helpful? Yes

    Question: Preventing Soap Scum on a Tub

    By Megan 3 6

    I sprinkle a little Epsom salts to my bathwater to prevent soap scum. The soap seems to float on the top of the water rather than becoming a scummy ring, then goes down the drain. I found this out after using the salts to help sore muscles. It seems that ever so little of the salts in the water helps prevent the scum.

    By Megan8 from Colliers, WV

    AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


    Most Recent Answer

    By Judi 18 938 Flag

    May 21, 2009

    I've read that the liquid soaps don't cause soap scum. That's all I use now but my darling husband won't/can't give up his Ivory so I can't tell if that's true.

    ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

    Tip: Broom for Cleaning Bathtub

    By Alice Hann M. 1 8

    Now that I'm an Oldie but Goodie, I have found an easier way to clean the bathtub. After my shower, I lightly sprinkle cleanser in tub. I got a broom from Dollar Tree, wet it and swish it all over, tub and walls. Let it sit for half hour. Then wet the broom and swish again to rinse. I also like to use a soda bottle to rinse tub and walls. When done, I rinse the broom out. Now, that's nice and clean too!

      CommentWas this helpful? Yes

      Question: Cleaning Soap Out of a Bathtub

      By pat 4 2

      How do you clean soap out of a bathtub (not porcelain)? I also need to clean the fabric liner for the bathtub. It has some rust stains on the bottom.

      AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


      Most Recent Answer

      By Cajun 59 327 Flag

      May 19, 2011

      Fabric liner:

      Purchase a large, nylon net clothes bag [the sort that is used for collecting dirty clothes]. Place Liner and shower curtain inside, tie shut, then wash in the washing machine...the bag will protect the liner & curtain from abuse and you'll have sparkling clean items...available from your K-mart and Wal-marts ......

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

      Question: Bathtub Crud Buildup

      By Wanda 1 2

      I just moved into an apt that had a rubber bathmat in the tub. Now there's about 30 large, round circles of buildup in the tub. How do I remove them economically, or at all. I can't find anything that helps. Jigger

      AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

      Most Recent Answer

      By B 1 56 Flag

      April 29, 2005

      I used the Mr. Clean Eraser on some of the spots in my tub. The previous owner took the decals up and there were brown spots where they were. They are not completely gone but they have lightened.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

      Tip: Next in Line Cleans the Tub

      By Georgetta Ruth 75 76

      My family would love to take baths, but not clean the tub. I finally got them into the habit of before leaving the bathroom, sprinkle cleasner into the tub. The next person will have to clean the tub and so on and so on. Now we can be sure that everyone in the house is cleaning the tub.

        CommentWas this helpful? Yes

        Tip: Bathtub Cleaning Made Easy

        By Diane 13 62

        Use liquid toilet bowl cleaner in your bathtub or shower to remove hard water stains, minerals, mildew, and soap residue. It's stronger than bathtub cleaners and does the job in no time.

        The thicker formula makes it cling to the sides of the tub while it dissolves the offending grime. If you use a product with a color added (the one I use is blue) it can stain white grout, so be careful not to put it directly on the walls. Rinse thoroughly and do not mix with other cleaners.

        Source: Heard it from a friend who restores old houses.

        By Diane from Wonder Lake, IL

        CommentWas this helpful? Yes

        Question: Cleaning a Dirty Tub

        I just moved into a new apartment and everything was new looking and clean. Until my son took his first bath. There are dirty little footprints in the bottom of the tub that won't go away. I've tried every household cleaner I can think of. The tub is not porcelain. I don't know what to use. Please help.

        By Nikki F

        AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

        Most Recent Answer

        By Nina 2 27 Flag

        May 5, 2012

        Use a Mr, Clean Magic Sponge - it works wonders!

        ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

        Question: Cleaning the Bathtub with Baking Soda

        By Krystal 1

        I heard that you can use baking soda to clean out your bathtub. I was wondering how much baking soda would I need to use to clean it out? Thanks.

        By Krystal from Kenora, Ontario

        AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

        Most Recent Answer

        By Carly St.Clair 7 80 Flag

        March 19, 2010

        Make a soft scrub paste of baking soda mixed with enough dish soap to form a good paste. Works wonders in the tub, toilet, sink and in the kitchen too. I've cleaned baked on grease from frying with this paste and some salt added.

        Remember if the soda and soap paste isn't quite getting something clean - add some salt and continue scrubbing.

        ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

        Tip: Use Salt Scrub to Clean a Bathtub

        By cherie 1 36

        You can use salt scrub that you use on your skin also to clean your shower or tub. I take a scrub brush and put a heaping tablespoon across the bottom. Then I spray water around the tub with the showerhead to make the tub damp. Then I scrub the tub with the salt mixture and the tub comes clean of dirt and mildew with not much effort at all. It is safer for the environment compared to Comet, which doesn't always get the stubborn stains out. Also this is cheaper since you can make it at home from a recipe you find on this site.

        By Yard_sale_annie from MI

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        Tip: Rubber Glove for Cleaning Tub and Shower

        By Chuck 7 3

        To quickly and efficiently clean tubs and showers, use this procedure:

        CommentWas this helpful? Yes

        Tip: Cleaning a Tub With Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

        By Heather Stimmel 2 31

        When we moved into our "new" apartment, it needed a good cleaning! The worst of it was in the bathtub/shower. I used cleaner after cleaner, until I talked to the apartment manager one day.

        CommentWas this helpful? Yes

        Tip: Easy Cleaning of the Yuckiest Bathtub or Sink

        By Randa wagner 17

        Fill tub or sink with the hottest water you can. Add at least 1 cup dishwasher powder. Stir to mix well. Let sit until water is cold. Let out water as it is draining wipe sides with a rag...

        CommentWas this helpful? Yes

        Question: Cleaning Stained Bathtub

        By Mariewl 6 8

        I have some stains on my bathtub I would like to get rid off. They're the ones you get when something sits there for too long, like toilet brush holders and such.

        By Mariewl from Waupaca, WI

        AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

        Archive: Cleaning the Bathtub

        There is no shine in my bathtub since son and grandson moved in. Such grime--it stands firm against even Barkeeper's friend. Help.

        Evie from Pensacola, FL


        Tough Tub and Tile Stains

        For bad tub and tile stains use cheap oven cleaner, spray on, and let it sit for 1 hour. Then go it and use sponge and wipe clean. Next take a mixture of vinegar and water and spray the tub and tiles down. This works to block further build up. You can also spray the vinegar and water on tub and tiles weekly for better results.

        By Alyssa

        Editor's Note: I would definitely try this on a small part of the tub before applying to a large area to make sure it doesn't discolor the tub. Also, try Mr. Clean Magic Eraser first. I have found that a lot of stains that used to require drastic measures can be removed with elbow grease and a magic eraser. Also, oven cleaner is quite nasty, so be sure to wear gloves and ventilate the bathroom as much as possible. (06/09/2005)

        By ThriftyFun

        Dryer Sheets To Clean Tubs

        Use a dryer sheet to clean the grime off of the sides of the bathtub. It works great. The texture of the dryer sheet, combined with the fabric softener in the dryer sheet helps lift away any nasty tub ring instantly!

        By Leah Hoffman (07/11/2005)

        By ThriftyFun

        RE: Cleaning the Bathtub

        After the tiles are clean and dry, apply turtle wax to them. Lets water bead up and lets them clean up like a dream. Only needs reapplying 2 or 3 times a year. But remember just the walls never the floor of the shower.
        cj in dallas (07/11/2005)

        By cjgeo

        RE: Cleaning the Bathtub

        We purchased a brush that you use for cleaning tires on a car. It can be used for other things but does good for the tub. It comes with a longer handle or short one. We use baking soda to clean the tub. Once you get it really clean this is all we need to clean the tub. (07/12/2005)

        By Dgrams

        RE: Cleaning the Bathtub

        A product called Tub-Rite will remove those grey stains that accumulate on non-skid surfaces. I bought it at (08/04/2005)

        By pcrown

        Cleaning the Shower and Bath Tub

        I always use a kitchen broom to wash the tub, There's no bending involved and both the tub and the broom get clean. I have used different products over the years but always with the broom. Try it, You won't think it's such a chore with the broom. We have a large shower now and are still scrubbing with the broom, it shines!

        By Jan Wade (09/15/2005)

        By ThriftyFun

        RE: Cleaning the Bathtub

        I have only one suggestion for cleaning the tub and shower area: the magic sponge: the dense white sponge that usual only needs to be wet to take off grime. I spray the shower/tub area with any cleanser and dampen the sponge. All the soap scum and built on lime or calcium deposits come off. This used to be the worst cleaning job in my home. The sponges are expensive, but for me they are worth it. I hope when they are on the market longer there will be store brands which should lower the price. (09/17/2005)

        By SusannL

        RE: Cleaning the Bathtub

        Target has the magic sponges (Mr. Clean Magic Eraser) boxed under the Target brand name at a lower price. (09/17/2005)

        By cookwie

        RE: Cleaning the Bathtub

        You can also buy the magic sponges at the Dollar Tree, a 3pk for a Buck! They work just as well as the Mr.Clean! (09/17/2005)

        By jenjoejace

        RE: Cleaning the Bathtub

        I had no idea the sponges were at Dollar Tree. Thanks!

        PS Have you compared them to the Mr. Clean ones. Same quality? (09/18/2005)

        By cookwie

        RE: Cleaning the Bathtub

        Consider changing from soap to one of the liquid body washes. I believe they are detergent rather than soap, so you will have no more soap scum buildup. I changed to body wash about 6 months ago and just need to do an occasional fast once-over cleaning of the tub, so much easier! (09/19/2005)

        By Claudia

        RE: Cleaning the Bathtub

        I've got a stain in my bathtub that just won't come clean. I have no idea what this grayish brown stain is. So far, I've use a lot of elbow grease and various Clorox products. While it's better, it still is pretty nasty. (03/08/2006)

        By maria

        RE: Cleaning the Bathtub

        I try to buy almost everything from the Dollar Tree, but I was VERY disappointed in the Mr Clean Eraser look-alike. It didn't hold up well at all and didn't have the cleaning power. I had a coupon for the real things while they were on sale at Wal-Mart and got 2 for about $.58! Too bad I didn't have a dozen coupons!!LOL (11/09/2006)

        By hsorbits

        RE: Cleaning the Bathtub

        I love comet bathroom spray for tubs and showers. Best thing I have ever found. (11/09/2006)

        By Dede

        RE: Cleaning the Bathtub

        I have a cleaning service and clean 2 or 3 tubs a day. I used to use a soap scum remover and was worried about breathing in the fumes. I have found that liquid lemon Joy or similar dish soap works along with Comet. I soap down the walls and tub with a large sponge and let set for 15 min or so. Rinse off and if usually there is some buildup left in the tub. I combine liquid dish soap with comet and mix in the bottom of the tub. I use this paste to remove whatever buildup is left. If shine is important, I've found Softscrub the best product, although more expensive than dish soap and cleanser. (11/10/2006)

        By Sally

        RE: Cleaning the Bathtub

        Use straight vinegar mixed with diluted dish soap to clean the tub. i keep mine in a spray bottle. the smell dissipates quickly and it works great.

        You might switch from soap to a gentle dish soap like ivory or joy or palmolive. It will clean the kids and not leave such a ring. Make it a rule-rinse the tub after each use. If it doesn't have time to set up its easier to clean up.

        By Carla Bledsoe

        RE: Cleaning the Bathtub

        Mineral spirits will bring back the clean white luster that you are looking for. Unfortunately, the solvent is volatile and you need lots of ventilation when using it. For light discoloration or stain use and rag and rub on in a circular motion and use another dry rag to wipe away solvent. For big problems use a paint brush to spread solvent over problem areas and let sit for 3-5 hours with windows wide open. Use a rag to wipe away residual. Remove swell by mixing a good hair conditioner and shampoo together and rinsing tub with copious amounts of cool water. (11/10/2006)

        By Delanese

        RE: Cleaning the Bathtub

        Tide cleans tubs very well. If not on hand I use soft scrub and comet with a touch of lemon juice. I also clean my tub every day so this may also help (11/14/2006)


        RE: Cleaning the Bathtub

        The gray/brown stains that the bottom of the fiberglass bathtubs is why I came to this site.I've never had one before always had the metal ones before this one, so this is a new adventure for me.Ive used every cleaner I can think of,and they haven't worked.
        I'll try the Mr.Clean magic sponges and see if that works. You would think there would be an easier way to clean these tubs! (04/21/2007)

        RE: Cleaning the Bathtub

        I own a bathtub repair and refinishing company and I use bar keepers friend you can purchase at local grocery store in work wonders, any stain, rust, scratch etc. Just don't let it sit on tub for no more than 5 minutes. It does have a acid base to it. It will start to etch tub after 10-15 min. However it is a awesome tub cleaner. (03/18/2008)

        By chris cj's bathtub repair

        Archive: Cleaning the Bathtub

        How do you clean bath tub with soil scum?



        RE: Cleaning the Bathtub

        Try the new product from Scrubbing Bubbles. Mega Shower Foamer. It says to spray, wait 2 minutes then wipe. If you wait longer, it will just dry back in place, so be sure to do it within the allotted time period and if you live in a hot dry climate, maybe sooner than later.
        I just bought it a few days ago and liked it so well, I even used it in the kitchen sink. (08/27/2008)

        By cookwie

        RE: Cleaning the Bathtub

        The best trick I have ever learned to clean the bathtub of soap scum buildup is to clean it dry with steel wool. The most important thing to remember is not to get the scum wet. If you keep your tub dry, the steel wool turns the scum to dust and comes right up, vacuum the scum dust, then rinse with vinegar. (10/25/2008)

        By Beth

        Archive: Use Your Broom to Clean The Bathtub

        I always use a broom, whenever I wash the bath tub. I sprinkle Comet (or spray scrubbing bubbles, etc.) then sweep all the residue away. The broom not only prevents me from bending to scrub but gets a good cleaning as well. I was helping a friend clean her house one time and asked for the broom to do the bathroom. When I brought it back to her, she was amazed how clean it was and how fast I did the bathroom! I've always used a broom so never thought of it as special until she did!

        By Janet from Bangor ME


        RE: Use Your Broom to Clean The Bathtub

        I love this idea! Reminds me that I "Swiffer" my windows, lol! I use a microfibre cloth and go outside and "Swiffer" away! Does a great job!!! Now I can sweep my bathtub, too. Love it, love it! (07/18/2006)

        By Luvyabye

        Archive: Cleaning the Bathtub

        I just moved into this house. My bathtub is the color brown and has white stains all over it. I have tried every bathroom and tub cleaner out there, and they are still there. Anyone have advice?

        By Robin from Niagara Falls, NY


        RE: Cleaning the Bathtub

        I just removed some stubborn old stains from a shower with one of those magic sponges! Worked wonders, a little elbow grease was all that was needed! (11/30/2009)

        By HalfWhit

        Home and Garden Cleaning BathroomAugust 8, 2011
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