How To Clean a Bathtub — Pro Housekeepers Leave a comment

You get into the bath to get clean, but how clean is your bathtub itself? Dirt and grime can collect in bathtubs without regular cleaning. Soap scum can also accumulate, and that can lead to plumbing problems, not just unsightly rings around your tub. Cleaning your bathtub should be part of your regular routine, and our Pros are here to help ensure you do it right!

Just follow our Pro tips for cleaning your bathtub, whatever material your tub is made from. Our cleaning Pros are experts at cleaning all kinds of tubs, including acrylic, fiberglass, marble, copper, and more.

The best way to clean a bathtub

The best way to clean and maintain your bathtub is to make cleaning it part of your regular weekly routine. This ensures you need to do less intensive cleaning each time. You can use a commercial bathroom cleaner for your tub or just follow the simple steps below.

How to clean a bathtub with baking soda

  • Spray the tub with hot water using the showerhead, or use a large sponge to wipe down the bath
  • Dust the tub with baking soda and leave for 5-10 minutes
  • If the tub is noticeably dirty, use a 1:2 solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle to spritz the baking soda and help lift dirt
  • Fill the bath to a depth of 2-3 inches with hot water
  • Use a scrubbing brush or microfiber cloth to clean the tub and remove the baking soda residue
  • Let the water out of the tub
  • Rinse the tub again with hot, clean water
  • Use a microfiber cloth to polish the faucets, shower attachments, drain, and handles

That’s it! It takes just a few minutes to clean your bathtub if you make it part of your regular routine. Keeping your bathtub clean doesn’t just make bathtime more pleasant for the whole family, it can also keep your bathroom fresher and healthier by reducing drain odors and mold and mildew growth.

Pro Tip: Once your bathtub is clean, it’s time to do the rest of your bathroom. Find out how to clean ceramic tiles and get your walls gleaming!

How to clean an acrylic bathtub

Some bathtubs are made of more delicate material, so you have to be cautious about what cleaning solutions you use. Acrylic bathtubs are resistant to most cleaners but can scratch easily. To prevent this, avoid using any abrasive scrubbing tools, like stiff-bristled brushes or steel wool, to clean your acrylic tub.

Pro Tip: How to identify what your bathtub is made from





Anything non-abrasive

Baking soda

White vinegar

Abrasive scrubbers




Anything non-abrasive and non-acidic

Baking soda

White vinegar

Abrasive scrubbers



Citrus-based cleaners

Porcelain-enameled steel or iron

Anything non-abrasive and non-acidic


Baking soda

Abrasive scrubbers


White vinegar

Stone resin

Medium-strength surface cleansers

Ammonia-based cleaners


Baking soda

White vinegar


Medium-strength surface cleansers

Baking soda

Ammonia-based cleaners


Baking soda

Abrasive scrubbers

Any corrosive cleaners

White vinegar




How to clean a bathtub that is stained

Stains in bathtubs can be tricky to remove if they’ve built up over time. Dirt and soap scum are the most common causes, especially if you usually fill the bath to the same level each time. In hard water areas, which includes most of the US, limescale and other minerals can also build up on your tub over time.

Here’s what causes the most common bathtub stains.




Iron deposits, or low pH/acidic water


Low pH/acidic water



Soap scum and skin oils

Some stains should be tackled at the source. If your water is causing pipe corrosion or extensive mineral deposits, consider investing in a whole house water filter or softener system. An investment in improving your home’s water quality will protect your pipes and make your water safer for the whole family to use.

Each type of stain responds best to different cleaners. Here’s how to get rid of them from your bathtub. Remember, once the stains have been removed, it’s easier to maintain your bath by cleaning it regularly.

  • To remove soap scum and organic matter, spray with vinegar, wait 20 minutes, and then clean with fresh water
  • To remove sulfur bacteria or mold, use a 2:1 paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Apply to the stain, leave for 30 minutes, then scrub with a nylon brush
  • To remove blue-green or rusty stains, use an oxygen bleach like OxiClean and a melamine (magic eraser) sponge. Make a paste with OxiClean and water, apply to the stain, and use the sponge to scrub

While these are the best methods of treating each stain, always remember to only use cleaners that are safe for your bathtub. You can’t use melamine sponges on acrylic baths, for example, because they will scratch the surface. Sometimes removing a stubborn stain is a matter of trial and error to find the right cleaner for the job.

How to clean a bathtub drain

Once your bath is gleaming like new, it’s time to clean the drain as well. Everything that goes down the plughole can end up accumulating in your pipes. To prevent this, clean your drains once a week as well.

Step 1: Pour about a gallon of boiling water down the drain to dislodge any loose debris

Step 2: Pour ½ cup of baking soda into the drain

Step 3: Slowly add 1 cup of white vinegar

Step 4: Wait 10-15 minutes

Step 5: Flush the drain with another gallon of hot water

White vinegar and baking soda will clear any potential blockages in your drains, and deodorize as well. It’s a simple, non-toxic way to keep your bathtub drain fresh and clean.

How to clean a bathtub faucet

Faucets are prone to showing water marks that can let down the look of your clean bath. To clean them, use a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water, or hot water with a little dish soap. Wash the faucet thoroughly with the cleaning solution. Then use a microfiber cloth and fresh water to remove any residue. For the best effect, dry the faucet thoroughly with a clean cloth.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to clean your shower curtains as well!

How to clean a bathtub with jets

Your bathtub jets can accumulate a lot of hidden dirt and mineral buildup. To get the most from your bathtub, they also need to be cleaned regularly. The good news is, the jets can help to clean themselves.

Step 1: Fill the tub to 2-3 inches above the jets

Step 2: Add a cup of white vinegar to the water

Step 3: Run the jets for 15 minutes

Step 4: Drain the tub and fill again to the same level

Step 5: Run the jets for another 10 minutes

Step 6: Drain the tub and wipe away any debris that came out of the jets

Cleaning a bath with bleach

Most bathtubs aren’t suitable for regular cleaning with bleach. However, if your tub is very dirty, you can use bleach for occasional cleaning. The simplest way to do this is to add half a cup of bleach to a gallon of hot water and use a sponge to wipe down the tub. Let the solution sit on the tub for 10 minutes, then wash clean with fresh water.

You can also use a spray bottle to apply the bleach solution or use a bleach-based bathroom cleaner. Always keep your bathroom well ventilated while using bleach to avoid inhaling the fumes.

Don’t ever use bleach on marble or copper bathtubs, as it has a corrosive effect.

How to clean a bathtub mat

Once your bath is fresh and clean, don’t overlook your bath mat! Every time you step out of the bath, the mat gets wet, and that can lead to the mat smelling or even getting moldy. Cleaning it regularly will prevent this from happening.

One of the easiest ways of cleaning a bathtub mat is to put it in the bath and submerge it in cold water with a cup of white vinegar. Leave it for an hour or two, then scrub it with a stiff-bristled brush. Then rinse the mat thoroughly and hang it to dry, preferably outside.

Some bathtub mats are also washing machine safe, so check the label. If yours can be washed, place it in the machine on a delicate cycle using cold water and your regular detergent. Let the mat air dry once the wash cycle has finished.

Pro Tip: While you’re cleaning, learn how to clean your washing machine too!

Final thoughts

Cleaning a bath isn’t a fun job, but somebody has to do it! If you make cleaning your bathtub part of your regular routine, it’s a fast and easy task that will make bathtime much more pleasant for the whole family.

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