Bathtubs can get really dirty over time, especially if they are not cleaned on a regular basis. If you have never cleaned your bathtub before, it can seem like a daunting task when you finally decide to do so.

However, with the right tools and instructions, it is not as hard as you think. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps of how to clean a bathtub like a pro. If you have a walk-in tub, here’s how often you should clean your walk-in tub

Tools Required

  • Bucket
  • Sponge or cloth
  • Dish soap / Soap scum
  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Rubber gloves

Materials Required

  • All-purpose spray cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Window cleaner
  • Cleaning products (optional)
  • Tile cleaner



Bathtub cleaning might seem like a daunting task, but it is actually quite easy! With the right tools and instructions, you can have your bathtub sparkling clean in no time. Here is a step by step guide on how to clean a bathtub:


Prepare your materials

Before you start cleaning, make sure that you have all the necessary tools and materials. You will need a bucket, sponge or cloth, dish soap, soft-bristle brush, rubber gloves, all-purpose spray cleaner, paper towels, window cleaner, and a cleaning product (optional).

It’s best to have everything ready before you start so that you do not have to stop in the middle of cleaning to search for something.


Remove everything from the tub

The first step is to remove everything from the tub. This is a great time to toss anything that you no longer use or need, or any products that may be past their expiration date. Wipe down all the items that you removed with a damp cloth, and set them aside. You can put bath toys in a mesh bag and hang them up to dry.


Clean the tiles and walls around the tub

Start by cleaning the tiles and walls around the tub. Use your all-purpose spray cleaner or tile cleaner and paper towels to wipe down the entire tub. Be sure to pay extra attention to any soap scum or mildew that might be present.

If you have a shower curtain, take it down and wash it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Ventilate the area by opening the bathroom door or window. This will help speed up the drying process.


Clear out the drain

If you think there’s a clog in your bathtub drain, you can use a plunger to try and remove it. First, fill the tub with enough water to cover the plunger. Then, put the plunger over the drain and push and pull it up and down vigorously.

If this does not work, you can try using a drain snake. Insert the drain snake into the drain and turn it clockwise until you feel resistance. Then, pull the snake out and see if the clog has been removed.


Apply an all-purpose cleaner or tub cleaner to the interior of the bathtub

Let the cleaner sit for three to five minutes to allow it to penetrate the dirt and grime. Afterward, wipe down the tub from top to bottom with a sponge or cloth.

If you have any tough stains, you can use a soft-bristle brush to scrub them away. You then have to rinse the tub with clean water, and dry it off with a towel.


Get rid of soap scum

Tackle soap scum next. Mix one part vinegar to four parts water in a spray bottle, and spritz the tub. Let it sit for five minutes before scrubbing with a sponge.

You can also buy a commercial soap-scum remover, you’ll want to test it on an inconspicuous spot first to make sure it doesn’t damage your tub’s finish.


Scrub away any stains

If you have any stubborn stains, use a toothbrush, or other small brush, to scrub them away with a cleaning product. To remove stains caused by rust, use a paste made from equal parts cream of tartar, and a few drops of lemon juice. Scrub brush until the stain is gone.


Wipe everything down again one last time

Once you have scrubbed away all the dirt and grime, wipe down the tub one last time with a damp cloth. Then, dry it off with a towel.


Put everything back in its place

Now that your bathtub is sparkling clean, it’s time to put everything back in its place. Hang up your shower curtain, put out your bath mat, and put away all of your cleaning supplies.

If you’d prefer to be cleaning a shower rather than a tub, see Average Cost to Convert a Tub to a Walk-in Shower



If your bathtub won’t drain, it’s probably because there’s a clog in the drain. Here are five common reasons your bathtub won’t drain – and how to fix them.

Clogged Hair

One of the most common reasons for a clogged bathtub is hair. Hair can build up over time, causing a clog. To fix this, you’ll need to remove the hair from the drain. This can be done with a plunger or a drain snake.

If you have long hair, it’s best to keep it up in a bun or ponytail when you take a bath. This will help keep it from clogging the drain. If your hair is constantly getting clogged, you can also try using a hair catcher in the drain. This will catch any loose hairs, and prevent them from going down the drain.

Dirt and grease buildup

Dirt and grease are the main enemies of a clean bathtub. Over time, they can build up and create a film on the tub’s surface. This film can be difficult to remove, and may require special cleaners or scrubbing.

To prevent this buildup, it’s important to clean your tub regularly. A good rule of thumb is to clean it at least once a week, especially if you like to use bath bombs and lotion in the tub. If you have a particularly dirty tub, or if the tub sees a lot of use, you may need to clean it more often.

Septic backup

If your home is connected to a septic system, a clogged bathtub can cause the septic tank to overflow. This can be a major inconvenience, and may require the services of a professional plumber.

If you think your septic tank may be overflowing, call a plumber immediately. Do not try to fix the problem yourself – you could make the situation worse.

Soap scum and hard water

Soap scum and hard water can be a real pain to clean. If you have soap scum or hard water build-up, use an abrasive cleaner like Comet or Ajax to scrub it away. Be sure to rinse the area well afterward. If your bathtub has a strong limescale build-up, you may need to use a product specifically designed to remove limescale.

To prevent soap scum and hard water build-up, wipe down your tub after each use with a soft cloth. You can also apply a coat of car wax to the tub once it’s clean and dry; this will create a barrier that will make it easier to clean the next time.

Bigger objects down the drain

Sometimes, things that aren’t meant to go down the drain accidentally fall in. This can cause a clog, and prevent the bathtub from draining properly. If you think something may be blocking your drain, try using a plunger or a snake to clear it.

How to Prevent Bathtub Dirt and Grime

From Building Up

Preventing bathtub dirt and grime from building up is a simple matter of regular cleaning. Aim to clean your tub at least once a week, using a gentle cleanser meant for bathroom surfaces.

A non-abrasive sponge or cloth will help avoid scratches. For an extra shine, you can follow up with a vinegar solution: mix one part vinegar with four parts water, and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto your tub, and wipe it clean with a sponge or cloth.

Frequently Asked


Below are some frequently asked questions related to cleaning tubs:

Chlorine bleach can damage the finish on your bathtub if it is used too frequently, or in too high of a concentration. When using chlorine bleach to clean your tub, be sure to dilute it with water, and only use it occasionally.

You can also try using non-chlorine bleach for cleaning. This type of bleach is designed to be used on bathroom surfaces, and is much gentler than chlorine bleach.

Fiberglass tubs are durable and easy to clean, but they can be damaged if you use the wrong cleansers or if you scrub too hard. Be sure to read the labels of any cleaners before using them on a fiberglass tub. Here’s our guide on Acrylic vs. Fiberglass Tubs

Fiberglass tubs can also be coated with a special sealant to help protect them from damage. If your tub is starting to show signs of wear and tear, consider applying a coat of sealant.

Baking soda is a great cleaner for many surfaces, but it may not be the best choice for cleaning your bathtub. It can be abrasive, and may damage the surface of your tub.

It doesn’t matter if you use hot water or cold water to clean your tub. However, hot water may dissolve soap scum and grease more effectively. Warm water is usually more comfortable for cleaning, anyway.

If your tub is particularly dirty, you may need to use a stronger cleaner. Be sure to read the labels of any cleaners before using them on your tub, and follow the instructions carefully. You may also want to try a natural cleaner like vinegar or baking soda.

Scrubbing Bubbles is a great all-purpose cleaner, but it may not be the best choice for cleaning your bathtub. It can also be abrasive, and may damage the surface of your tub. Try using a milder bathroom cleaner instead.

Cleaning a bathtub doesn’t have to be difficult. By following the steps above, you can have your tub sparkling clean in no time.

This guide should help you troubleshoot any common issues you may have with your bathtub drain. So, don’t dilly-dally, and get started on cleaning your bathtub.