How to Clean a Tub Without Hurting Your Back

After trying this simple trick for cleaning your tub, you won't want to clean it any other way.

Knowing how to clean a tub is essential for removing bacteria and possible viruses that linger on the tub's surface and helps reduce the risk of infection. Bathtubs get dirty over time from soap scum, dirt, and bacteria that spread within the bathroom. Jill Nystul, creator of the blog One Good Thing By Jillee, shares a simple, pain-free trick for cleaning your tub. Follow these tub-cleaning tips for a sparkling bathroom.

How Often to Clean a Tub

You should clean and disinfect your tub every one to two weeks. This includes the shower curtain. That way, you prevent bacteria from building up. Then, every month, do a deep cleaning of the tub.

Considerations Before You Get Started

Before cleaning your tub, check the tub's material. Some materials are more susceptible to damage from abrasive tools or cleaners. The following tips work best for porcelain and fiberglass bathtubs.

What You Need:

How to Clean a Tub With Dish Soap

The old-school, hands-and-knees method for cleaning a bathtub is such a pain (quite literally). But, using a clean, angle broom with synthetic bristles is the secret weapon in this trick Nystul shares with us. The long handle means you won't have to bend down, so your back and knees will thank you. Here are step-by-step instructions.

Step 1: Add Water and Soap

Splash warm water around the tub using a cup or handheld showerhead. Then, pour ¼ cup of dish soap over the surface in streaks.

Step 2: Scrub Tub

While standing outside the tub, scrub away soap scum, dirt, and any buildup with the broom.

Tip: This only works with a clean broom. We suggest keeping a brand-new broom solely for cleaning the tub.

Step 3: Soak Tub With Vinegar Solution

If the tub is especially grimy, combine equal parts white vinegar and dish soap in a glass measuring cup. Microwave until hot (about 30 seconds), then stir. Pour the solution all over the tub, let it sit for 30 minutes, then sweep.

Step 4: Rinse Tub

Rinse the tub thoroughly with cold water, which chases suds away faster than warm water. Be sure to rinse away all soap and vinegar (if used).

How to Keep Your Tub Clean Longer

To maintain a clean tub and help it stay clean longer, try these tips.

  • Rinse the tub after every use to avoid soap from sitting on the surface. To prevent hard water spots, try wiping the tub dry with a towel after rinsing.
  • Turn on the bathroom fan (if available) while showering or taking a tub bath.
  • Unclog the drain and keep it clean between uses.
  • Prevent mildew and mold by keeping any caulking around the tub clean and dry. Clean any visible mold.


Do you still have questions about how best to clean a tub? These answers to common questions may help.

Can bleach damage a bathtub?

Depending on the material of your tub, bleach may be OK to use, or it may cause damage. Acrylic tub manufacturers often give a warning about using bleach and claim it will void the bathtub's warranty. But if cleaning a fiberglass or porcelain tub, bleach should be safe.

How do I get my bathtub white again?

To remove stubborn stains on a tub, try cleaning them with baking soda. Simply spread baking soda onto the tub's surface, then spray with a half-and-half solution of vinegar and warm water. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes before scrubbing it with a sponge or cloth to form a paste. Allow the paste to rest for about 15 minutes, then wipe and rinse away.

Is it OK to use a Magic Eraser to clean a tub?

If your tub needs a quick cleaning in-between the deeper cleanings, it's safe to use a Magic Eraser to help it stay clean. This works best if the tub isn't very dirty. A Magic Eraser will get rid of tub rings and other similar stains. Bonus: You won't have to rinse out any cleaners.

Should I clean the tub before or after I shower?

It's best to rinse and quick-clean a tub after a bath (or shower) to avoid soap, bacteria, and more from building up on the tub's surface. Of course, if you haven't cleaned the tub in a while, make sure to clean it before taking a bath.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles