Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
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
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
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
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.
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
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. She shared a little secret with me, when the maintenance men cleaned the units (after someone moved out), they used a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and a little bit of water to clean the tough stains in the shower!
I couldn't believe it, so the next day, I went out and got these Magic Erasers. I wet the eraser just a little, and used some good ol' elbow grease and scrubbed. To my sheer delight, the eraser cleaned all of the built-up gunk! Not only did I find the solution to my daunting dilemma, but I also used no chemicals, no cleaners, and it was all environmentally friendly. Now, that is something to smile about!
By Heather from WV
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...
The cleaner used for ceramic cooktops works very well for other cleaning jobs such as a dirty bathtub. This is a guide about cooktop cleaner for bathtub stains.
Using a broom to clean your tub eliminates the bending and kneeling associated with more traditional methods. This is a guide about use your broom to clean the bathtub.
This is a guide about cleaning your tub with vinegar and baking soda. Instead of using expensive and sometimes harsh chemicals try this method of cleaning your bathtub.
This is a guide about cleaning bathtub rings. A well used tub will often develop rings over time. If they are allowed to build up it can be quite a chore to get rid of these unsightly rings.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
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.
Try baking soda on a sponge to clean the tub. Also try baking soda on the curtain, wet curtain area that needs stains removed and sprinkle on baking sode. Rub baking soda in, scrubbing back and forth. Launder as usual.
Try Comet or AJAX or get that shower cleaner that is on the commercial that sprays every 10 minutes or so. I can't recall the name of the product though.
Try an old credit card to scrape the gunk off. If it's really built up: if you're REALLY VERY CAREFUL you can use a single blade razor held as parallel to the surface as possible to scrape the accumulation off. Needless to say, I wouldn't do this to a new tub, ours is 40 years old.
I'm assuming the bottom of the shower curtain actually has orange mildew on it. If it really is rust, ignore this suggestion. If your shower curtain is vinyl, wash it in warm water with a warm rinse (so it doesn't get cold and tear) with a couple of towels and a healthy dose of liquid bleach along with the normal detergent. Then just hang it back up on its hooks to dry. If you have a fabric liner as I do, you can wash it in any temperature the same way and it will kill the mildew. I have to do mine about once a month to keep it looking decent, but it's easy to do and a lot cheaper than buying a new liner.
P.S. Oops, I see you stated you have a fabric liner. If anyone else has a vinyl one, be sure to use warm water.
Never use Comet or AJAX to clean unless you want to scour the surface away, this junk is nothing more than powdered 'sandpaper'.
Now get in the habit of wiping down the tub/shower enclosure each day... Purchase the following:
2) Microfibre cloths
Squeege the surfaces first, then finish with a microfibre cloth wipe down, this will take about 3 minutes and your bath enclosure will be clean every day.
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 ......
http://www.laun … form2834-yel.htm
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
I don't know if this will help, but I used to have those non-slip stickers on bottom of tub and I filled tub with about a half-inch of HOT water and added ammonia and let it soak overnight, then used a cleaner called greased lightning after I drained the tub and used a 'scratchy' pad (the green pads on a sponge). Hope this helps you.
I wash my bathroom and tub every week but I find even with my weekly cleaning the dirt and soap scum builds up in my tub so once a month I get down and dirty and with a single edge razer I scrap all the soap from the sides and from the bottom of the tub. Then I spray with the new TILEX Mildrew root penetrator and scrub and when I am done my tub looks great and ready for my weekly cleaning until the following month. Try it I"m sure you can save your tub "good luck"
Go natural first - I like to sprinkle bi-carb on crud, then pour vinegar on it. It will fizz and bubble for a while. When this has settled down I use pieces of polar fleece to clean, so I just wipe down with this and warm water. It may take a little bit of elbow grease at first, but much better than inhaling chemicals in a confined space. I use this method for cleaning everything - success so far.
Greased Lightning works fabulous but make sure you ventalate the room VERY well and use gloves. If anyone takes a bath make you you rinse the tub well too.
Try the 'green pad' scourer and scouring powder first - if that doesn't work try fine grade sand paper - BUT only if you have a ceramic bath! Don't use abrasive cleaners on 'plastic' baths or you will damage/dull the surface.
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.
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
Soft Scrub works wonders, it's like magic. A little goes a long way. Make sure you use it alone, then rinse with water. Hope this helps.
Yeah, Soft Scrub is what I've been using for years. But I would try bleach and comet.
Use a Mr, Clean Magic Sponge - it works wonders!
mr clean sponges don't work and fall apart after a few minutes. waste of money
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
Step 1) You will first need baking soda, a cloth, toothbrush or a sponge.
Step 2) Make a paste in a small bowl. Use baking soda and water. You want this to be thick, but easy to spread.
Step 3) Take the sponge and dip it into the mixture. Clean your tub or shower as usual. For tough stains, spread a small amount of the mixture on it and let sit for about 10 minutes. Then clean with a towel that has been soaked in vinegar. The vinegar will activate the baking soda, and help remove the stain.
Step 4) Use the toothbrush for the grout. Just dip the toothbrush into the mixture and scrub. You may want to let it sit for a few minutes to help with the stains.
I keep a container of baking soda in my bathroom (in a cheese shaker) and I use the cheapest shampoo I can find (usually a gallon jug from Sally's Beauty Supply). I just sprinkle the soda (doesn't take much - your judgement) in the bottom of the tub and pour a dollop of shampoo and scrub with the wash cloth I just bathed/showered with - using my feet! I also use this "recipe" on my sinks!
If you don't want to use body parts to clean just get an old broom and use it to scrub all surfaces; rinse it and let it dry in the tub! Easy and clean and refreshing to your room!
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.
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
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
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
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)
How do you clean bath tub with soil scum?
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)
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)
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.
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)
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)
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)
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)
A product called Tub-Rite will remove those grey stains that accumulate on non-skid surfaces. I bought it at www.tub-rite.com. (08/04/2005)
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)
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)
Target has the magic sponges (Mr. Clean Magic Eraser) boxed under the Target brand name at a lower price. (09/17/2005)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
I love comet bathroom spray for tubs and showers. Best thing I have ever found. (11/09/2006)
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)
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
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)
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)
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)
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