How to Clean a Bathtub

Published October 15, 2019
Person cleaning bath

House cleaning isn't ever fun, especially when you get into the bathroom. Take the work out of cleaning your bathtub with methods that don't involve heavy cleaners. Not only will you find the best way to clean your tub, but you'll get some quick hacks for making bathtub cleaning a breeze.

Cleaning an Acrylic Bathtub

In addition to being versatile and durable, acrylic tubs are pretty easy to clean with ingredients that you already have in your pantry. The disadvantage of this tub is that abrasive cleaners will scratch the surface. Therefore, you have to be careful about what you use, especially when getting those stains out. Before you dive into your tub headfirst, you'll need to gather a few essentials, depending on the cleaning method you select.

  • Dish soap (something with a grease fighter works best)
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Sponge
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Soft-bristled toothbrush

Baking Soda Method

  1. Grab the baking soda and sprinkle it generously over your bathtub.
  2. Take the spray bottle and wet it a bit to get it to stick to the sides of the tub.
  3. After about 20 minutes, use the sponge and lightly scrub the heavily soiled areas.
  4. For stubborn stains, use the toothbrush with a pinch of baking soda.
  5. Rinse and you're done.

Vinegar or Dish Soap Method

  1. For a heavily soiled tub, fill the tub with water.
  2. Add a couple cups of vinegar or 4 to 6 squirts of dish soap and allow the mixture to sit in the tub for about 30 minutes.
  3. Pull the plug and use a mixture of baking soda and water (1 teaspoon of baking soda to a squirt or two of water) on a sponge to scrub any remaining stains or mildew using circular motions.
  4. Repeat the scrubbing technique as necessary.
  5. If the stains are still resisting, try the toothbrush.
  6. Rinse the tub when you are finished.

Fiberglass Tub Cleaning Tips

In addition to being affordable, but less durable than an acrylic tub, fiberglass tubs are also prone to cracking, scratching, and fading. Therefore, when you're scrubbing those mildew stains and restoring that vibrant shine, you need to use the right tools.

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Spray bottle
  • Sponges


  1. Pour the vinegar straight into the spray bottle.
  2. Generously coat all your scummy surfaces with the pungent solution.
  3. Wait 30 minutes.
  4. Coat a clean sponge in vinegar and wipe everything down.
  5. Rinse and you're done.

For stubborn stains, you can soak a rag in white vinegar and let it sit on the stain or use baking soda and water in a thin paste and gently scrub.

Getting Your Porcelain Tub Sparkling

Porcelain covering enamel steel is a common option for tubs. While it is durable and easy to clean, the surface can chip and rust. Given the durability of this type of tub, your cleaners can get a bit heavier duty. To get your tub shining, grab some:

  • Bleach
  • Peroxide
  • Sponge
  • Soft bristle scrub brush
  • Spray bottle
  • Gallon bucket or pan

There are a few ways you might go about cleaning your porcelain tub.

Home cleaning products

Bleach Method

This method is super easy but will require a few precautions like rubber gloves. Additionally, you'll want to move on to the next method if your tub isn't white.

  1. Take 2 tablespoons of bleach and add it to a gallon of water.
  2. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
  3. Coat your tub in the mixture.
  4. Relax for a few minutes.
  5. Grab a sponge and scrub the tub. Use the bristle brush on those stubborn stains.
  6. Don't forget to rinse.

Peroxide Tub Cleaner

You might not have realized that peroxide can be the perfect bleach alternative for your tub.

  1. In a spray bottle, combine one cup of hydrogen peroxide with two cups of water.
  2. Coat the tub generously focusing on cleaning those mold, mildew, and hard water stains.
  3. Wait 15 minutes or so.
  4. Use the soft bristled brush to scrub the stains.
  5. Rinse and you are done.

Bathtub Hacks You Can't Live Without

Cleaning the bathtub is a chore. Not only does it hurt you back and knees but sometimes it feels like it takes forever to clean. Try out these simple and easy hacks to make your tub sparkling in no time.

  • Looking for a gentle scrubber in a pinch? Dip a grapefruit cut in half in salt.
  • Brighten a discolored bathtub with lemon juice and baking soda. Cut the lemon in half and rub it in the baking soda and voila. Buff the grim away.
  • Mix a 1/3 cup of dish soap with one cup of vinegar and pour into a spray bottle for a mildew blaster.
  • Got a durable tub? Coat it in dish soap and use a broom to scrub the grim away. Not only will you save your knees and back but it's super quick.
  • Take your dish wand to the tub. Add equal parts dish soap and white vinegar and with a little scrub the grim will melt off.
  • Rub a cut lemon on your fixtures and tub to remove water spots.

Cleaning Your Tub Like a Pro

Cleaning your tub can be a hassle but with some quick, sure-fire methods, you can take the work out of bathtub scrubbing. The great part about these cleaning methods is they can work on more than just your tub. Give it a try on your sinks and toilets too.

How to Clean a Bathtub