How to Clean Your Bathtub

Updated: Aug. 04, 2023

Follow these steps to keep your tub sparkling.

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A few minutes






Who doesn’t like to soak in a nice warm bath? But if the tub hasn’t been cleaned in a while, you may just opt for taking a shower. Here are a few quick bathtub cleaning tips you can schedule in.

Tools Required

  • Rubber gloves
  • Soft Sponge
  • Soft-bristle brush

Materials Required

  • All-purpose spray cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Window cleaner

Tubs and Suds

  • Most modern bathtubs are made of fiberglass or acrylic, which are beautifully functional but tend to scratch easily. Stay away from abrasive cleaners and scouring pads when cleaning a fiberglass tub. Instead, use a bathroom spray cleaner along with a sponge or soft bristle brush. You can purchase cleaners specially designed to clean fiberglass tubs and showers.
  • Old cast iron tubs have a durable porcelain enamel finish baked on them. Again, stay away from abrasive cleaners and scouring pads – even bleach and white vinegar may dull or yellow the finish. Look for products that say “safe for porcelain.” Make your homemade cleaner with a bucket of warm water, 1/4 cup of ammonia and 1/4 cup of baking soda. Always use a sponge, soft cloth or soft bristle brush.

Project step-by-step (5)

Step 1

Clear the Decks

  • The first thing to do is remove anything that will get in the way of your cleaning project: shampoo bottles, bath salts, candles, bath toys, etc.

Bathtub ClutterFamily Handyman

Step 2

Do This After Every Use

  • Before and after every bath, rinse out the tub with hot water. This will ensure that you’ll start with a nice clean bath and leave a clean tub for the next person.

Bathtub RinseFamily Handyman

Step 3

Do This Every Few Weeks

  • Routinely clean your tub with all-purpose spray cleaners such as Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Grime Fighter or Clorox Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner. These work well to clean and disinfect your tub.
    • Spray your product of choice onto all surfaces of the tub until it’s thoroughly wet. Let it sit for a few minutes. Thoroughly rinse off the soap with warm water and towel dry to help eliminate water spots.

Bathtub Scrubbing BubblesFamily Handyman

Step 4

Once a Month Deep Cleaning

  • If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned your tub and you have caked on soap scum and limescale deposits, you may need a little extra help and some elbow grease. These are our top picks for best bathtub cleaners.
    • Again, spray the product of your choice onto all surfaces of the tub until it’s thoroughly wet. Let it sit for a few minutes. Using a sponge and/or soft bristle brush, wash the entire tub. Rinse thoroughly and repeat, if necessary. Then towel dry completely.

Bathtub Scrub BrushFamily Handyman

  • For stubborn limescale deposits around faucets and drains, try a 50/50 mixture of calcium, lime and rust remover (CLR) and water. Sponge or spray the CLR solution onto the limescale deposits. Let it work for three minutes, then scrub it with a soft bristle brush, rinsing thoroughly with warm water.

Bathtub ClrFamily Handyman

Step 5

Faucets that Sparkle

  • After cleaning and drying the tub, use window cleaner on the faucets to make them shine.
    • Spray the window cleaner onto all the faucet parts and wipe dry with a paper towel.

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