A sparkling, clean bathtub provides a welcoming and sanitary place for you and your family to bathe. However, tubs can quickly become coated in soap scum, hard water stains, mildew, and grime. Learning how to clean a dirty bathtub fast and efficiently ensures you can restore yours to a pristine condition.
Why is it important to Keep Your Bathtub Clean?
Keeping your bathtub clean offers a number of benefits:
- prevents the buildup of dirt, grime, mold, and bacteria. Soap scum, hard water deposits, and grease from bath products allow mold and bacteria to thrive. A dirty tub becomes a health hazard.
- Makes bathing more pleasant and sanitary. Sitting in a dirty, contaminated bath is unappealing. A clean tub helps you feel relaxed and freshly cleaned after bathing.
- Maintains good hygiene for you and your family. Bathing in contaminated water exposes you to bacteria and viruses. Proper cleaning kills germs and keeps family members healthy.
- Keeps bathroom looking tidy and nice for guests. An immaculate tub projects cleanliness and makes guests feel comfortable using your bathroom.
Supplies You’ll Need
Cleaning a filthy tub requires using the right supplies. Arm yourself with these powerful ingredients:
- Baking soda – Acts as a gentle abrasive to break down grime. Also neutralizes odors.
- White vinegar – Cuts through soap scum and mineral deposits. Avoid using apple cider vinegar which can stain.
- Liquid dish soap – Removes oily residue while providing antibacterial protection.
- Spray bottle – For applying cleaners to vertical surfaces and hard-to-reach areas.
- Scrub brush or sponge – Manual scrubbing dislodges stubborn grime that a rinse can’t remove alone.
- Old rags or towels – For wiping away dirty solutions and buffing the tub dry.
- Rubber gloves – Protect hands from harsh chemicals and hot water.
Here are few Bathtub Cleaning Hacks for a Sparkling Tub.
How Much Baking Soda and Vinegar Should You Use?
For a standard 60-inch bathtub, use:
- 1⁄2 cup baking soda
- 1 cup white vinegar
Adjust the amounts based on the size of your tub:
|Tub Size||Baking Soda||Vinegar|
|Standard 60″ tub||1/2 cup||1 cup|
|Large/Whirlpool tub||3/4 cup||1 1/2 cups|
|Small tub||1/4 cup||1/2 cup|
Follow these steps to restore your tub’s sparkle:
Mix the Baking Soda and Vinegar
- Sprinkle the baking soda liberally over the bottom and sides of the dry tub. Focus on areas with buildup.
- Spray or pour the vinegar over the baking soda. The mixture will fizz as it works to break down grime. Read this guide on cleaning the Bathtub with Baking Soda.
- Let the paste fizz for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing the tub. The longer it sits, the better it cleans.
Scrub the Tub
- Use a scrub brush or sponge to work the foaming paste over all surfaces of the tub.
- Apply light pressure as you scrub to avoid scratching the finish.
- Pay close attention to tough stains and areas of soap scum buildup.
- For extremely dirty tubs, allow the paste to sit for 5 more minutes before scrubbing again.
- Thoroughly rinse the tub with hot water to wash away the grime and cleaning solution.
- Use a detachable showerhead or large cup to rinse hard-to-reach areas, like around the drain.
- Continue rinsing until all signs of dirt and chemicals are gone.
Disinfect with Dish Soap
- In a spray bottle, mix together:
- 1 part liquid dish soap
- 3 parts hot water
- Generously spray the soapy solution over the entire tub and let it sit for 2-3 minutes.
- The soap will penetrate and loosen any remaining residue.
- Rinse once more with hot water to wash away disinfectant.
Dry and Shine
- Use an old rag or towel to wipe down the entire tub and remove all moisture.
- Buff dry with a clean rag to leave a sparkling shine.
Troubleshooting Stubborn Stains
Some typical bathtub stains require extra effort to remove:
For Dark Stains or Mildew
- Make a paste using:
- 1 part bleach
- 3 parts baking soda
- Apply paste directly to the stained areas.
- Let it sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing away.
- Rinse thoroughly.
For Rust Stains
- Make a paste by mixing lemon juice and baking soda.
- Use a scrub brush to work the paste into the rust-colored marks.
- Let it sit briefly before rinsing. Lemon’s acidity dissolves rust stains.
For Mineral Deposit Stains
- In a spray bottle, mix:
- 1 part white vinegar
- 1 part hot water
- Generously spray the vinegar solution onto mineral deposits and let it fizzle for 5 minutes.
- Scrub deposits away before rinsing clean. The vinegar dissolves alkaline deposits.
A clean, hygienic bathtub provides a welcoming place to bathe and improves the aesthetics of your bathroom. While regular maintenance makes the job easier, even filthy tubs can become spotless again with some elbow grease and the right products.
Target tough stains with homemade pastes using ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice. With the proper technique, you can restore your tub’s sparkle in 30 minutes or less.
Always remember to open windows and wear gloves when working with harsh chemicals like bleach. Take care to rinse thoroughly after cleaning to protect the skin from irritation. Investing a little time and effort into a deep clean provides a fresh, sanitary bathtub everyone can enjoy using.
How do you clean a really dirty bathtub?
Mix equal parts baking soda and dish soap into a spreadable paste. Apply over the tub and let sit overnight. In the morning, scrub with a brush and rinse clean. The paste will dissolve grime, so it washes away easily.
What removes black mold from bathtubs?
Make a paste of baking soda and bleach. Apply to moldy areas and let sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing away. The bleach kills and removes mold spores.
How do you unclog a bathtub drain?
Pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, followed by 1 cup vinegar. Cover and let fizz for 5 minutes. Then rinse with boiling water to remove debris. Repeat as needed.
How do you clean grout in a bathtub?
Make a paste from baking soda and 3% hydrogen peroxide. Spread onto grout and let bubble for 5 minutes. Scrub before rinsing clean. The peroxide whitens and disinfects grout.
How do you clean bathtub jets?
Fill the tub with hot water and add 1/2 cup bleach. Run the jets for 10–15 minutes, allowing bleach to circulate. Drain and rinse the tub 2-3 times until the bleach smell is gone.
William J. Bullock is a licensed plumber with over 15 years of experience installing and repairing bathtubs. He runs his own plumbing company in Greenville and serves residential and commercial clients. William is dedicated to providing honest, transparent advice to help homeowners make informed decisions about their bathroom renovations.
He has established expertise in selecting bathtubs, planning custom installations, diagnosing issues, and completing repairs. William aims to share practical tips and reliable recommendations based on extensive hands-on work. When he isn’t on a job site, William enjoys spending time with his family and volunteering at local community events. He takes pride in delivering quality service and enjoys helping people upgrade their homes.