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8 Best Bathtub Cleaners

It's time to say goodbye to the filth creeping in your bathtub. To get it clean and shining again, you need the right cleaner for the job.

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From soap scum and grime to mold and mildew to rust stains and hard water spots, cleaning your bathtub can be a real chore. And not all cleaners are created equal, so choosing the best bathtub cleaner is crucial for a sparkling result. That’s where we come in.

What to Consider When Choosing a Bathtub Cleaner

Before you make a purchasing decision, consider a couple things to make sure you’re picking the best bathtub cleaner for your bathroom. First off, what kind of bathtub do you have? Most tubs these days are acrylic or fiberglass, which can scratch easily. Porcelain and cast iron tubs may require special cleaners. Next, does your bathtub need to be cleaned of just soap scum buildup and germs, or does it need a deep clean to remove tough stains?

“If a tub hasn’t been cleaned in a long time, it might need some extra love and attention, and that’s where the deep cleaning comes into play,” explains Jon Laczniak, a field advisor at Two Bettys, an eco-friendly green cleaning company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. “However, if it’s relatively well-maintained and getting cleaned once per month even, it usually doesn’t take too much time to get it looking nice.”

Laczniak adds that sometimes it just takes a little bit of elbow grease to remove those tough stains. Plus, it may take some trial and error to find the right kind of cleaner and tool for the job.

Clr Brilliant Bath Foaming Bathroom Cleaner Spray Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best All-Around Bathtub Cleaner

Clr Brilliant Bath Foaming Spray

Clr’s Brilliant Bath Foaming Spray eliminates dirt and grime buildup and works on the toughest stains, including those from hard water. Just spray this versatile cleaner in your bathtub and wipe it clean. It’s free of ammonia, bleach and phosphates, and is part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Safer Program, which recognizes products as a safe alternative to traditional chemicals.

Pros:

  • Safe on tub, glass, stainless steel, etc.
  • No harsh chemicals
  • Eliminates hard water buildup, calcium deposits, lime and dirt

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work on marble or natural or synthetic stone

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Best Dual-Purpose Bathtub Cleaner

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Bath

No matter what type of bathtub you have, when it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, try Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Bath. It’s safe to use on most surfaces, meaning it can also be used to clean the toilet, sink, tile and grout. Each order includes 10 magic erasers, and you’ll just need to add water and squeeze the eraser to activate the cleaner.

When it comes to soap scum and hard water stains, Hannah Fiedler, who also works as a field advisor and trains new cleaners for Two Bettys, says a magic eraser is her weapon of choice, combined with her company’s all-purpose concentrate and a scouring powder. “They are a powerful combination that does great at kicking hard water stains and soap scum to the curb!”

Pros:

  • Works on most bathroom surfaces
  • Cleaner built into the pads
  • Inexpensive with fresh lavender scent

Cons:

  • May need to dispose eraser after each use
  • Doesn’t work with chlorine bleach or other household cleaners

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Rejuvenate Scrub Free Soap Scum Remover Shower Glass Door Cleaner Works On Ceramic Tile Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best No Scrubbing Required Bathtub Cleaner

Rejuvenate Scrub Free Soap Scum Remover

If your bathtub or jacuzzi is looking a bit dull, get it shining again with just a few sprays of Rejuvenate’s Scrub Free Soap Scum Remover. This dual-purpose cleaner removes soap scum and leaves a streak-free finish on not only the tub, but also glass shower doors. Just spray it on, wait three minutes, then rinse clean—no elbow grease required!

Pros:

  • Rinse clean after three minutes
  • Fragrance-free
  • Effective on ceramic tile, fiberglass, natural stone, etc.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t kill germs

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Best Cast Iron Bathtub Cleaner

Kohler Cast Iron Cleaner

Having a cast iron bathtub requires special precautions when cleaning. Kohler’s Cast Iron Cleaner is safe to use, as it’s a non-abrasive, cream-based cleaner that will leave the tub shining and looking like new. One reviewer, S Smith, noted he had given up on ever getting his bathtub clean from its hard water stains. “With this product, it was clean within an hour. I started out with a dry washcloth, and it was definitely coming off. I had to apply a lot of pressure that way though. So, I grabbed a sponge with a soft scrubber on the reverse side and within minutes, I was done,” he writes.

Pros:

  • Restores shine on enameled cast iron surfaces
  • Non-abrasive and cream-based
  • Works on cast iron kitchen pots and pans

Cons:

  • On the expensive side
  • Only available in 8-ounce bottle

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Rmr 86 Instant Mold And Mildew Stain Remover Spray Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best Mold and Mildew Bathtub Cleaner for Tile and Grout

Rmr-86 Instant Mold and Mildew Stain Remover Spray

This Instant Mold and Mildew Stain Remover Spray will banish those stubborn bathtub stains on tile and grout while also eliminating unwanted odors. Just spray it on and watch stains disappear in seconds. “I used this in my bathroom on the wall above the shower and it worked great. The mold had built up over several months, and I suspect it was just painted over before I moved into my apartment, but it cleared up almost immediately when I sprayed it,” notes Amazon reviewer, Ashli. This is a dependable option for those with an undermount bathtub or for those with hard-to-reach spots.

Pros:

  • Removes stains caused by black mold
  • No scrubbing required
  • Also works on wood, vinyl, concrete, etc.

Cons:

  • Contains strong chemicals
  • You should wear protection when using

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Bring It On Cleaner Hard Water Stain Remover Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best Bathtub Cleaner for Hard Water Stains

Bring It On Cleaner Hard Water Stain Remover

Extra power may be needed to get rid of those stains left behind by hard water. The Cleaner Hard Water Stain Remover from Bring It On contains potent oxygen bleach, which, unlike chlorine bleach, is nontoxic, so it’s safe to use around children and animals. Apply the product to the desired surface, leave it on for a few minutes so it can penetrate the hard water stains, then brush by hand or with the company’s drill brush (sold separately) and rinse.

Pros:

  • Designed to remove hard water stains
  • Safe to use around children and pets
  • Also works on calcium, mineral and rust stains

Cons:

  • Not recommended for marble or acrylic

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Better Life Natural Tub And Tile Cleaner Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best Natural Bathtub Cleaner

Better Life Natural Tub and Tile Cleaner

When it comes to the best commercial bathtub cleaner with no harsh chemicals, look no further than Better Life Natural Tub and Tile Cleaner. This plant-based option will leave your bathtub sparkling clean and smelling fresh while not polluting the planet. It’s safe for all tub materials, including ceramic, porcelain, stainless steel, fiberglass and acrylic. This natural cleaner can also be used on tile, grout and shower curtains. “This gets rid of bathtub rings in seconds—it’s a super-powerful cleaner and is eco-friendly,” writes Amazon reviewer Kirta65.

Pros:

  • Doesn’t contain harsh chemicals
  • Plant-based and not tested on animals
  • Works on most bathtub materials

Cons:

  • Tea Tree & Eucalyptus scent not for everyone

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Best Daily Spray Bathtub Cleaner

Method Daily Shower Spray Cleaner

If leaning over your dream bathtub and scrubbing isn’t your style, a daily spray cleaner is the best option to cut down on how often deep cleaning is needed. The Daily Shower Spray Cleaner from Method will keep your bathtub shining with just a few sprays after a bath or shower. Plus, there’s no scrubbing or rinsing required.

Pros:

  • Plant-based and safe to use every day
  • Doesn’t need to be scrubbed or rinsed off
  • Bottle made from recycled plastic

Cons:

  • Not for heavy cleaning
  • Can leave water spots on glass doors

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How often should you clean your bathtub?

Just because you come out clean, that doesn’t mean your bathtub is clean. If you’re asking yourself how often a bathtub should be cleaned, the answer depends on how often it’s being used.

“If it’s not a tub that is used often, it could be cleaned every few months. If it’s one of the tubs you use most often, either once or twice a month will do,” notes Fiedler. “The important thing is keeping up with the buildup! Once you’ve given it a good deep cleaning, keeping it up with regular maintenance cleanings is what is important.”

How can you tell whether your bathtub is porcelain or acrylic?

Not sure what your bathtub is made of? There are a few little tricks you can do to get the answer. Try pressing on the side of the tub. If it has a little give, it’s likely fiberglass or acrylic, as these materials flex under pressure. Porcelain tubs are prone to chips and cracks, so any chipping or cracking is a tell-tale sign of porcelain. Also, if you hold a magnet to the side and it falls, it’s porcelain, not cast iron or steel.

Can you bleach your bathtub?

If a bathtub is especially stained or dirty, you can use bleach if the tub is made of fiberglass or white porcelain. Most manufacturers don’t recommend using bleach on acrylic bathtubs, as it can be damaging. Bleach can also discolor some colored bathtubs.

How do you remove stubborn stains from a bathtub?

For stubborn bathtub stains, there are a few ways to get a tub looking like new again. You’ll need an eraser or melamine sponge and a spray bottle. Depending on the stain’s color, it’ll require baking soda, a dry abrasive cleaner, hydrogen peroxide and/or white vinegar.

If the stain is yellow, spray some vinegar on the surface, wait 20 minutes, wipe away with a sponge and rinse.

For red or black stains, mix of two parts baking soda and one part hydrogen peroxide into a paste. Apply the paste and let it sit for 30 minutes. Scrub with a sponge to remove the stain and rinse. Don’t use this method in an acrylic tub, as it can cause scratches.

Use an abrasive cleaner for rust-colored and blue-green stains. If it’s an acrylic tub, just use vinegar. For rust-colored stains caused by hard water, you can also make a paste with equal parts cleanser powder and water. Apply the paste to the stain and let it sit for 10 minutes. Scrub with a wet sponge and hot water. Then rinse with hot water. Ta-da! Good as new.

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Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.