How to Clean Bathtubs: A Homeowner’s Complete Guide

August 18, 2023

Is there anything that can beat the comfort of a relaxing dip in your bathtub with warm water after a tiring day? We bet that spending time in a bathtub to relax is something many people look forward to at the end of a stressful day. In that case, one should make sure that one’s bathtub is in perfect condition for one to be able to have this experience.

A bathtub can also turn out to be a source of stress if it is left uncleaned. It will then accumulate a lot of dirt, grime, filth, and mould in addition to stains from hard water and rust. You might be tempted to use harsh or toxic cleaning solutions to remove all the filth and grime. However, take some time to think of safer alternatives before you proceed with using harsh chemicals on your bathtubs. After all, you have to keep in mind that your bathtub is somewhere you immerse yourself in, literally!

Steps to Basic Bathtub Cleaning at Home

Here are the most basic yet important steps in cleaning your bathtubs.

Before Anything Else, Tidy Up the Tub

Cleaning your bathtub ledge will be difficult if it is cluttered with products and styling accessories. Take away your bathing accessories from the ledge before you start cleaning the bathtub. You can hang them from a showerhead shelf for a while until you clean the tub and put them back. Your tub is all set for detailed cleaning.

Rinse the Bathtub

It is now time to rinse your tub using hot water. Remove all the visible debris and filth and flush it into the drain. Doing this way makes it easy for you to clean it using a brush.

Now, Sprinkle Some Baking Soda

Put some amount of baking soda over the bathtub, faucet and in the drain too. You can use a tub and tile cleaner instead of baking soda if your bathtub is left uncleaned for a long time. Chances are that it gets filthy when you leave it like that for a long time. Remember to follow the cleaning guidelines on the product while using it.

Add Some Soapy Water and Scrub the Tub

Take half a bucket of lukewarm water and add a few drops of mild dish soap to it. Add this solution to the tub and give your bathtub a good scrub using a sponge or scrub brush. You can refill the soapy water solution as much as needed as you proceed with the cleaning. However, you must rinse it all off well in the pail.

Put Some Baking Soda on the Sponge or Cleaning Brush

Put some amount of baking soda over the sponge or cleaning brush while cleaning the tub if it is unclean. You can then wash the sponge or brush and give it a good cleaning. The baking soda will form a thick paste when you combine it with soapy water. It is something that will work its magic on your bathtub.

Now, Rinse the Tub Thoroughly

It is important to brush the filth and scum away as you keep cleaning using water. Otherwise, it will stiffen again on the tub. We remind you that you should keep filling the bucket and pouring it into the tub. It will help wash out the dirt when you clean.

Do Not Skip Sanitizing

Disinfecting your bathtub is an unavoidable step in cleaning. Get a spray bottle and fill it up with a diluted bleach mixture. Now spray this solution to remove mould and leftover germs. See that you have kept all the windows open and switched the fans on. This will ensure thorough airflow through the bathroom during this step.

Polish the Faucet

Do not miss cleaning the faucets, handles, and all the areas surrounding the bathtub’s drain. You can use a clean rag and a small amount of cleaning solution to do it. Dry them to see them sparkle.

Our Tip is to Go With Natural Cleaners

We agree that chemical cleaning products are effective in cleaning bathtubs. However, they are not the only effective choices for cleaning the tub. Make use of a natural tile and tub cleaner. They usually come in a variety of alternatives and that makes it easy for us to select one for our needs.

The use of eco-friendly cleaners will help keep hazardous chemicals out of sewer tanks. It also cuts down on the pollution from our source of water. Natural and homemade cleaners are biodegradable. You can also find environmentally friendly dish soaps that are suited to use in both the kitchen and bathroom. Even a mixture made using vinegar and a little amount of baking soda works magic on bathtubs.

How to Clean Different Bathtub Materials?

Now that we have covered the basic steps of cleaning a bathtub, we can discuss how we should clean bathtubs made of different materials. Of course, each material demand a different treatment, so knowing and doing it the right way is crucial to keeping your bathtub in good condition for a long. Let’s go.

Bathtubs Made of Porcelain Enameled Steel

Many people choose to make their bathtubs using porcelain enamelled steel as it is an affordable choice. Bathtubs made using this material are comparatively heavier than those made of fibreglass or acrylic. They are very easy to clean and they last well for a long while. However, one of the greatest disadvantages of bathtubs made from porcelain enamelled steel is that they chip easily. These chipped areas tend to corrode fast too.

How to Clean Porcelain Enameled Steel Bathtubs?

Never use harsh cleaners or abrasive scrubbers to clean this type of bathtub as they tend to damage the tub easily. You should also not use white vinegar or steel wool as they work against the finish of the bathtub. Pick a mild bathtub cleaner from a nearby shop. You can use mild cleaners once a week to clean these types of tubs. Just make sure that the cleaner you buy is safe to use on porcelain enamelled steel tubs.

  1. Put one or two teaspoons of dishwashing liquid into a gallon of warm water. Now scrub the surface of the bathtub using a soft sponge or rag.
  2. Now wash the porcelain bathtub and rinse it thoroughly using fresh water.
  3. Do not rely on this method of cleaning more than once a month. Doing it more than once will damage your bathtub. We understand that you might want to impart a fresh and shiny look to your bathroom in between the days, especially if guests come over. In that case, massage the sides of the porcelain bathtub using a small amount of lemon oil.

Bathtubs Made of Acrylic Material

Acrylic bathtubs are a common choice for people these days as they are highly adaptable and durable. They also have the benefit of being available at affordable prices. Acrylic bathtubs are created using vacuum-formed acrylic sheets, which are then bonded using fibreglass. They also have a non-porous surface that you can restore to an extent in the case of damage. Acrylic bathtubs are also available in a variety of sizes, colours, and forms.

Though acrylic bathtubs are quite durable, you should be careful while cleaning them. They are prone to scratching when you clean them using a harsh solution.

How to Clean Acrylic Bathtubs?

You must be careful while cleaning your bathtub if it is made of acrylic plastic. The use of chemicals and harsh materials can cause a lot of damage to acrylic bathtubs. Therefore, exercise more caution while maintaining your bathtub. Here are some ways how you can do it.

  1. Fill the acrylic bathtub with warm water and soak it. Leave it undisturbed for a while.
  2. Now massage the surface of the bathtub using a moist piece of cloth by applying a little bit of shampoo on the cloth. Do the massaging in circles.
  3. Make sure to rinse the cloth frequently enough. Otherwise, soap will build upon it. Rinse the surface of your bathtub again and continue these steps until the tub is really clean and free of spots.
  4. Now add a coat of automotive wax to the tub’s surface using a cloth when the bathtub dries. Apply the wax to its surface in circles just like how you apply auto wax to your car.
  5. Wait for some time for the area to dry well. Now buff the surface of the bathtub using a clean cotton ball.

The wax prevents soaps, hair products and water from sticking to the surface of your bathtub while using it. Repeat the procedure if necessary.

Bathtubs Made of Fibreglass

Fibreglass bathtubs are good choices for bathrooms. They are popular because they are cost-effective. However, you should know that they are not very long-lasting. You should be careful while cleaning your fibreglass bathtub as it is not strong as other bathtub materials. The finish of these bathtubs will go away as you begin using them continuously.

How to Clean Fibreglass Bathtubs?

Here are some easy procedures everyone can follow to clean fibreglass bathtubs at home using a cleaning combination.

  1. Mix a good quantity of baking soda and half a cup of dish soap in a cup of warm water to make a paste. Make sure that you combine the paste well.
  2. Now keep adding baking soda into the solution until it sticks to the bathroom wall.
  3. Apply this mixture to the surface of your bathtub using a sponge and leave it undisturbed for about half an hour.
  4. Now scrub the surface of the bathtub thoroughly using a soft sponge or microfibre cloth.

Get a high-quality rubbing wax formulated for fibreglass to use on it. The use of this wax will ensure that the bathtub has a lustrous new look. Let’s see how you should do it:

  1. Get a good quality auto wax and an orbital buffer.
  2. Now put the wax in smaller bits for it to do its magic while you continue cleaning the tub.
  3. Keep in mind that leaving the mixture for too long in one area might burn the fibreglass.
  4. Buff the wax on a cloth before you apply it to the tub. Use the cloth to apply it to the bathtub’s surface. Now, complete the job by spraying cold water to solidify the wax and make it last for more time.

Bathtubs Made of Enameled Cast Iron

Enamelled cast iron is a material that is very sturdy and hefty. It is made using moulded iron and it has an enamel finish. It is extremely sturdy and hefty when compared to other types of bathtubs. It is why it is more expensive too. However, all these things about it make it durable.

The strong enamel finish of this material prevents chipping and scratching of the bathtub. It will thereby maintain the look of the bathtub for many years. However, you must ensure not to use any harsh chemicals to clean enamelled cast iron bathtubs to keep them looking new for years. You can use baking soda and water to clean it.

How to Clean Cast Iron Bathtubs?

It is important to treat your cast iron bathtub with utmost care. Do not use any toxic chemicals as they might result in discolouration of the material. We recommend using warm water and baking soda for regular cleaning of cast iron bathtubs. Here is how you can do it easily:

  1. Make a paste using baking soda and warm water and apply it to your bathtub.
  2. Keep the paste for about half an hour to work its magic.
  3. Now scrub the dirt and grime using a damp and soft microfibre cloth or sponge.
  4. Rinse the tub using warm water.

There will be times you find stubborn stains on your cast iron bathtub. In those times, add a small quantity of a mixture made of trisodium phosphate cleaner and water to a sponge. Massage the surface of the tub in a circular motion and rinse the dirt away.

Bathtubs Made of Cast Polymers

Cast polymers are hard surface elements and are designed from natural stones. They are formed with polymeric compounds, minerals and resins to form a solid surface. This particular surface will have a gel-cast finish. You should be very careful while cleaning bathtubs made of cast polymer. Even small scratches will ruin the appearance of these tubs. Here also, we recommend avoiding the use of harsh cleaners or chemicals while cleaning them.

How to Clean Cast Polymer Bathtubs?

It is important to follow the right cleaning procedure while cleaning a bathtub made of cast polymer. Follow these easy steps for the safe cleaning of cast polymer bathtubs:

  1. Do the cleaning only with mild soap or detergent.
  2. Use vinegar and water in equal parts to treat soap scum on the surface of your bathtub.
  3. Wipe clean the surface of your cast polymer tub using a soft rag.

Now, Let’s Move to How to Clean the Drain of Your Bathtub

Flush the sink drain of your bathtub using boiling water at least once a week. Doing this will prevent the accumulation and clogging inside the pipes. You can also pour a cup of vinegar into the drain and leave it undisturbed for 30 minutes before rinsing it. Make sure that you rinse twice with two gallons of boiling water.

As an alternative, you can also pour a good enzyme cleaner down the drain to prevent the accumulation. Doing it once a month would be enough to keep them clean and in good condition. The enzymes in these cleaners will dissolve the accumulated buildup, thereby making the drain clean eventually. Rinse the drain using cold water after this step and before using the bathtub again. This helps in solidifying the leftover dirt and makes it easy for it to go down the drain lines.

How to Unclog Your Bathtub Drains?

There will be times when you get ready to start the day with a nice shower! But as you shampoo your hair, you will see that the water is around your ankles. This is one of the most irritating things that happen while we take a shower, right? The same is the case with bathtubs too. It is why you should unclog the drain before the next shower.

Using chemical drain cleaners might be the first thing that comes to your mind. However, their use is dangerous for many reasons. We do not advise the regular use of chemical cleaners on new bathtubs as they will destroy the tub and cause many problems later. Secondly, flushing harmful chemicals down the drain is not at all a good idea as it contaminated the water system.

Here are some alternative ways and a few non-chemical solutions with which you can clean your new bathtubs. Follow these steps:

Get Rid of Debris from the Bathtub

Start by detaching the stopper to remove the muck. Insert a screwdriver under the lid of the stopper of the bathtub. Then release the screw and remove the plug. You will see that body hair and other dirt might have gathered on it while you lift it. You can use a pair of gloves while removing this. Pull out similar foreign stuff from the drain.

Pulling and removing such dirt manually will sometimes make it easier. You can now pour some boiling water down the drain to complete this task. You must understand that the obstruction is much deeper if your bathtub continues to clog. In such situations, you will need to resort to other alternative home treatments to clear your bathtub’s drain. We recommend that you get in touch with a service provider like Sendhelper to do it for you. Our professionals are equipped with everything such a situation demands. Plus, you won’t need to worry too much either. Download the Sendhelper app and book our handyman service. If you’re determined that you can manage it, we have some more tips for you to try.

Also, drain cleaning is not just for bathrooms. Read our article on how to clean kitchen sink and drain to get a better understanding of it.

Pour Some Boiling Water into the Drain

Flush a big bowl of boiled water through the bathtub drain. Be careful while handling boiled water. Doing this will help remove the soap scum and accumulated dirt. Pouring a mixture made using a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar is also an effective method to clear bathtub drains.

Use a Plunger to Clear the Drain

Unfasten your drain stopper and use a plunger to clear the drain. Start by establishing a vacuum by plugging the overflow drain. Now lift the cover plate below the bathtub’s tap and cover the opening using a hand towel. Doing this will help prevent air from escaping. Now fill the bathtub with a few feet of hot water and keep the plunger on your bathtub’s drain. Use a series of thrusting actions to make things flow.

We have covered almost everything about cleaning your bathtub. However, if you need some tips on how to keep your bathroom odourless, read our guide. You will also find useful guides on how to choose bathroom fittings and accessories for your home so that you can make better decisions. We also didn’t want you to miss our guide on how to clean ceramic, stone and fibreglass showers.

We have covered almost everything about cleaning your bathtub. However, if you need some tips on how to keep your bathroom odourless, read our guide.You will also find useful guides on how to choose bathroom fittings and accessories for your home so that you can make better decisions.

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