Awesome And Easy Guide On How To Clean Bathtub: Based On Material

Nothing helps us relax and unwind like spending the night on our bathtub after a hard and tiring day’s work. But, a dirty and filthy bathtub with spots and scratches is hardly a relaxing sight! Not only this, a dirty and poorly managed bathtub can also act as a breeding ground for germs and bacteria which can be dangerous to you and your family. Here we will be talking about some of the best ways on how to clean bathtub and how to protect it from dirt and spots.

There are many ways by which you can prevent your bathtub from getting dirty and acting as a breeding ground for germs. Needless to say, most of us don’t get the time and energy to clean our bathtub as much as we should. But, for sure, cleaning bath tub is far easier and simpler process if it is done smartly and with the correct tools.


Before we go into the actual process of how to clean bathtub, it is important to learn a few basics about the bathtub, including the materials that are used for creating the bathtub. Depending on the material that the bathtub is made from, different cleaning methods can have different effects on your bathtub.

Materials Used To Create A Bathtub

Depending on the material that is used to create the bathtub, different methods of cleaning can have different effects on the bathtub. Some of the materials are easier to clean when compared to others whereas some might take longer and more effort. Let’s have a quick look on a few materials that are commonly used to make bathtubs.

Porcelain Enameled Steel Bathtub

Porcelain enameled steel is a commonly used and comparatively inexpensive option when it comes to making bathtubs. These bathtubs tend to be heavier than acrylic and fiberglass bathtubs. They are extremely durable and are easy to clean.

Some of the disadvantages of using a porcelain enameled steel bathtub are that they tend to get chipped easily and these chipped areas can quickly begin to rust.

Acrylic Bathtub

Acrylic bathtubs are extremely used today due to their versatility, durability, options and economic affordability. The acrylic tub is made up of vacuum formed acrylic sheets which are then reinforced with the help of fiberglass. They have a non-porous surface and can be repaired to some extent in the case of any damage. They come exclusively in a range of colors, shapes, and sizes.

But care should be taken while cleaning such bathtubs as they easily tend to get scratched when cleaned with an abrasive cleaner.

Fiberglass Bathtub

Fiberglass bathtubs are another affordable option when it comes to bathtubs. They are created with layers of surface coat, polyester resin, and fiberglass reinforcements. they are less durable as well.

You should take care when you are cleaning your fiberglass bathtub as they are not durable like other materials and the surface can easily get cracked and scratched. The finish also tends to fade away with constant use.

Enameled Cast Iron Bathtub

An enameled cast iron bathtub is an extremely durable and heavy bathtub which is made up of enameled cast iron. It is made up of molded iron and is coated with enamel. It is more expensive when compared to the other kinds of bathtubs but this makes them all the more durable and long lasting.

The thick enamel cover makes it resistant to chipping and scratching and helps you maintain the look for years to come. However, avoid using harmful chemicals on an enamelled cast iron bathtub and use baking soda and water to keep it new for years to come.

Bathtubs Made of Cast Polymers (Like Cultured Marble, Granite or Onyx)

These are special engineered natural stone or solid surface materials that are molded together with minerals, polymeric materials, and resins to form a solid surface, and are usually finished off with a gel cast finish.

Proper care should be taken while cleaning cast polymer bathtubs as even the slightest scratches can destroy the shine of the bathtub. It is thus highly recommended to avoid using abrasive scrubs and chemicals on it.

When you are choosing a bathtub, there are many things to look for and to keep in mind. The appearance and the affordability is one major factor. Similarly, durability, the weight, and the likes also decide which bathtub to buy. As bathtubs cannot be replaced easily, it is better to get a good and durable bathtub for your bathroom.

So what type of bathtub do you have? Once you have evaluated the material your bathtub is made up of, it is the time to move confidently onto the cleaning process.

Like we have talked about above, there are many ways on how to clean bathtub and give it that new and elegant appearance. Let’s now delve deeper and know about the materials that can be used to clean your bathtub.

Things That Can Be Used To Clean Your Bathtub

Cleaning Your Bathtub With Natural Homemade Cleaner

One way of cleaning your bathtub and making it spotless back again is by using homemade bathtub cleaners. They are not only highly effective, free of chemicals but are pocket friendly too.

You can use grapefruit and salt for the process. All you need to do is take a halved grapefruit and apply a generous amount of salt on the bathtub’s surface. Also, apply salt on the bathtub where there is dirt or rust. Scrub the walls of the bathtub lightly. It is an extremely good method to remove rust from your bathtub, making it ideal to clean porcelain enamel steel bathtubs and other such bathtubs. You can also use lemon in the place of the grapefruit to clean the bathtub.

We have talked about the procedure to make the homemade cleaner at the bottom of the article under the ‘bonus’ section!

Cleaning Your Bathtub Using Store-Bought Bathtub Cleaners

There are a large number of brands and companies that produce bathtub cleaners. Apply the solution on a dry rag of cloth and scrub the bathtub surface. When choosing such a store-bought chemical product, make sure to check the label and see that the chemical is safe for use on the type of bathtub in your home. Let’s have a quick look on few cleaners that can be used to clean bathtubs.

  • Bathroom Cleaners

Choose a good and reputable brand of bathroom cleaner which has also a pleasant smell to it. The major brand includes Scrubbing Bubbles, OxiClean, Clorox Clean-Up and Clorex Oximagic. Always refer to the instructions provided by the manufacturer before using the product on your bathtub.


  • Perfect for bathtubs which have become filthy with soap scrum
  • Leaves a pleasant smell
  • Doesn’t scratch or discolour the bathtubs


  • Has a very strong odor, and so, it is highly recommended to open the bathroom windows or turn on your bathroom exhaust fan
  • Use gloves while cleaning
  • Needs at least 15 minutes for proper cleaning

  • Laundry Detergent Powders

You can also clean your bathtub off any marks or stains by filling the bathtub to the top with hot water and adding 2 or 3 cups of laundry detergent powder. Let the mixture soak for overnight and drain and wipe the tub with the help of a hot and wet sponge.


  • They are easy to use and easily available
  • Cheaper
  • No side effects if abrasive scrubbing is avoided


  • Might not be effective on stubborn grime
  • Excessive scrubbing can chip off the bathtub

  • Oven Cleaners

A lesser known but effective solution for cleaning the stains in your bathtub is with the help of oven cleaner. Scrub the stained area of your bathtub with the help of a store-bought oven cleaner.


  • Ideal for cleaning barbecue grills and non-aluminium and non-chrome pots and pans, but these are also suitable for porcelain enamel and stainless steel.
  • Easily available


  • Be careful when applying the oven cleaner on your bathtub, especially if you have a bathtub made of colored porcelain as the oven cleaner can lead to the loss of color of the bathtub.

Most varieties of store-bought detergent can be used to clean the bathtub. You can also clean the bathtub using a mixture of baking soda and bleach. Use a wet sponge to apply the solution and scrub off any grime.

Cleaning Your Bathtub Based On Their Material

Believe us, your bathtub is cleaned best only when you use the suitable cleaner based on the material it is made up of. This is the reason that we introduced you to the types of bathtub in the above-sections of the article, just to help you understand the material your bathtub is made up of. Once you have investigated that, the cleaning process would not only get easier but highly effective too.

Here are a few methods by which you can clean your bathtub. Fret not, the procedure is very simple to follow.

Cleaning Cast Iron Bathtub

Cast iron bathtubs require different cleaning methods. For a gentle weekly cleaning of your cast iron bathtub, follow the following steps:

  • Mix a gallon of hot water with nearly 2 tablespoons of any dishwashing soap that contains a grease cutting agent.
  • Apply the solution on the tub using a rag to a piece of sponge and rinse well to remove the stains.

If you are really busy and do not get time to clean your bathtub every week, then you can use this mixture to give it a new and shiny appearance:

  • Take a bucket of warm water and add up to a quarter cup of baking soda and a quarter cup of ammonia. Baking soda is safe to use on porcelain and is slightly abrasive.
  • The ammonia in the solution can help cut the grease and remove the scum build-up due to soap.
  • Use a nonabrasive sponge to apply the baking soda ammonia mixture to the walls of the bathtub. Apply the solution lavishly and scrub till all the stains are removed.
  • Once finished, use a clean rag to wipe away the remaining solution on the surface as the baking soda can cause a thin white layer to form.

You can also use the mixture of vinegar and baking soda on your bathtub to remove all the stains. Sprinkle a good amount of baking soda on the bathtub, over the stain and scrub the surface. Pour some vinegar on the sponge and wipe harder.

Cleaning fiberglass bathtub

You can clean your fiberglass bathtub with the help of a shower or cleaner mixture as explained in the steps below:

  • In a part of hot water, mix a healthy amount of baking soda and half a cup of your dish soap.
  • When the components are mixed, it will begin to form a paste.
  • Keep adding baking soda to the mixture till it is able to stick on the wall of the bathtub.
  • Use a sponge and apply the mixture on the bathtub and allow it to stand for 30 minutes or more.
  • After half an hour, wait and scrub the bathtub vigorously.
  • Rinse the fiberglass bathtub with the help of cold water and wipe away the excess water with the help of a paper towel.
  • Now you can use a magic eraser to wipe away all the stains and dirt once again.

To give your fiberglass bathtub the shine and appearance of a new bathtub, use a good grade rubbing wax that is made especially for fiberglass. Here is what you need to do:

  • Take a good grade auto wax and an orbital buffer.
  • Apply the rubbing wax and work your magic in small sections.
  • Don’t apply the mixture for long on one area as it can burn the fiberglass.
  • Buff the rubbing wax with the help of a terry cloth and complete the process with the help of auto wax.
  • Rinse with cold water to harden and allow the shine to stay for longer.

Check the tutorial video below:

Cleaning Acrylic Plastic Bathtub

It is extremely important to be careful when cleaning your bathtub if it is made up of acrylic plastic. Acylic plastic can be easily damaged by the effects of chemical and abrasive materials. So, it is highly recommended to take all the more care while cleaning a acrylic plastic bathtub. Here is what you need to do:

  • Use warm water and wet the bathtub before you begin the cleaning process.
  • Pour a small amount of your baby shampoo on a damp rag or a piece of cloth and rub the surface of the bathtub in circles.
  • Rinse the rag often as the rag can begin to accumulate soap on it. Rinse the surface of the bathtub and repeat the process till you think that the bathtub is clean and spot free.
  • After the surface has dried and is cleaned, use a can of car wax and a rag to apply the wax on the surface of the bathtub.
  • Apply the wax on the surface of the bathtub in circles, like how you would generally apply car wax on your car.
  • Allow the surface to dry out for a few minutes and buff the surface of the bathtub with the help of a dry cotton ball.
  • The car wax applied on the bathtub makes the soap, water, and shampoo do not stick to the surface. Repeat the process if necessary.

Cleaning Porcelain Bathtub

When cleaning a porcelain bathtub, avoid using abrasive cleaners as they can chip the surface of the bathtub. Also stay away from scouring powder, white vinegar, and steel wool as they can damage the finish of the bathtub.

If you are looking for a cleaner that is gentle on the surface and can be used weekly, then you can choose any of the bathtub cleaners available in the store. Be sure to check if the given cleaner is safe on porcelain enamel.

You can even make your own porcelain bathtub cleaner at your home by following the given below steps:

  • Add a couple tablespoons of your dish washing soap to a gallon of hot water and apply on the surface of the bathtub using a sponge or a rag.
  • Scrub the porcelain and rinse well with water. You can also use a mixture of ammonia and baking soda in water that was given above to clean your bathtub.

Make sure you only use this process once a month at most as it can damage the bathtub with overuse. If you wish to give your bathtub new and shiny appearance, dab a small amount of lemon oil and rub the sides of the bathtub.

Cleaning Enamelled Cast Iron Bathtub

Handle an enamelled cast iron with caution as you can end up discoloring it with the use of harmful chemicals. For daily cleaning, it is highly recommended to use baking soda with warm water. All you need to do is:

  • Make a paste out of baking soda and warm water and apply it on the stains
  • Let the paste sit there for around 30 minutes
  • Use a cleaning towel to scrub the scrum and filth
  • Rinse with warm water.

However, if your bathtub has some tough stains, follow the following steps:

  • Mix a teaspoon of trisodium phosphate cleaner (TSP) with hot water.
  • Apply the solution on the stain with gentle rubbing using a sponge and rinse well.

Cleaning Cast Polymer Bathtub

It is important to adopt proper steps while cleaning a cast polymer as even the slightest scratches would be easily visible. It is highly recommended to avoid using abrasive cleaners and scratchy sponges. Follow the following steps to stay safe:

  • Use a mild detergent or a mild soap for cleaning.
  • In order to remove soap scrums, mix vinegar and water in equal amounts and spray on the affected area.
  • Wipe the area with a soft cloth.

With that being said, you by now would be an expert in cleaning bathtubs. However, care should be taken as even the smallest mistake can fade away the shine of your bathtub. Here are a few tips or you!

Tips For You If You Are Looking To Clean Your Bathtub

Cleaning your bathtub can be a hard and time-consuming process, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips and tricks that you can follow to make the process of how to clean bathtub easier and less time-consuming.

Heating the surface of the bathtub can help you clean it faster and increases the efficiency of cleaning by two folds. You can increase the temperature of your bathtub by pouring hot water into it. This rise in temperature can destroy most of the bacteria and microbes in the bathtub and makes some of the stains to come off easier.

​When cleaning your bathtub, it is important to apply the mixture evenly on the surface and to scrub it vigorously. Also, let the disinfectant or the mixture to sit on the surface for at least 5 to 10 minutes. A disinfectant needs to be able to stay on the surface to successfully activate and start cleaning.

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When applying any chemicals or mixture on the bathtub, make sure that you test the substance in a small area before you start cleaning the whole thing. Some of the chemicals and mixtures can cause harm to the bathtub and should be avoided.

​Use a spray bottle to apply the solution more easily and evenly on the surface of the bathtub.

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Never mix bleach and ammonia together as it can damage the bathtub.

​Make sure that you work with chemicals and mixtures in a well-ventilated area or room. Many of the chemicals produce harmful and intoxicating fumes that can be harmful to the body if taken in large quantities. Never mix 2 chemical cleaners together as this can also lead to problems.

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There are many safe and effective homemade bathtub stain removers and cleaners available on the web today. Always be daring and experiment with such combinations till you find the perfect solution.

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Some of the chemicals like the mixture of hydrogen peroxide and bleach can cause your fabrics to discolor. So, use an old and unwanted pair of clothes when using the chemicals in your bathtub.

Always wipe away any soup and cleaning product's residue from the bathtub as it can cause more stains and marks on the bathtub.

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With that being said, you should also be at alert and avoid using chemicals which can damage your bathtub instead of cleaning it.

Things To Avoid When Cleaning Your Bathtub

By avoiding some of these common and silly mistake and errors that most people do, you can make sure that your bathtub shines and keeps shining for a longer duration.

  • Don’t leave your soap or shampoo bottles on the bathroom or bathtub floor as this can cause more stains and marks to emerge. The acids in these products make the bathtub easier to crack and for the bacteria to grow.
  • Never use any abrasive scrub pads, hard tools or steel wool to rub or scrub the surface of the bathtub. This can cause the bathtub to crack and start showing marks and scratches.
  • Stay away from products that are too hard for the bathtub. Stay away from paint thinners as they have the same effect of an abrasive scrub pad or steel wool on the bathtub.
  • Don’t work with chemicals without any form of ventilation. The ventilation can be in the form of a window or an exhaust fan. Working in enclosed situations with these chemicals can cause fumes which can be harmful to the lungs and the skin of the user.
  • Don’t have all your hopes on one product. Every part of your toilet deserves and requires its own products. Use the products that are most suited for the area and the work.
  • It is important to let the disinfectant sit on the surface of the bathtub for at least 5 mins.
  • Don’t just clean the dirty area. Many of us think that it is enough to clean the dirt and stain from the visible area or in the areas that have the stain. Nothing could be further from the truth. Clean the whole bathtub and bathroom for a clean and germ-free environment. Clean the sides, hidden areas, inside the structure and all around to make sure that your bathtub is free of any stains and bacteria.
  • Trim your shower curtain to match your bathtub. When the shower liner hits the bathtub, the area is too wide and can act as an easy breeding ground for mold and mildew.

Frequently Asked Questions When It Comes To Making Your Bathtub Spot Free

There are obviously many questions and problems that you will face when you finally decide to clean your bathtub. Here we will be trying to answer some of those questions and problems.

Do all the methods of cleaning work similarly in your bathtub?

How do I reach the nook and corner of the bathroom?

How to return the old shine to your bathtub?

Can’t seem to be able to remove the non-slip bathtub stickers?

How often should I clean my bathtub?

A Final Bonus: Easy Homemade Bathtub Cleaner That Stays For A Long Time

Here are some homemade mixtures and solutions that can be used to clean your bathtub and also has a long shelf life. These can be created when you need then and the excess can be stored away till you use it again.

Betty from Crunchy Betty has some recipes that you could try out.

  • recipe 1
  • recipe 2
  • Mix 3/4 cups of baking soda, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of salt and 3 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid with half a cup of vinegar and essential oil for smell.
  • Mix all the components together to create a wonderful smelling and effective mixture for cleaning bathtubs and tiles.
  • Use a spray bottle to store and use the mixture whenever required to clean the bathtub.

Laura from Greatist has a solution that can work wonders on your bathtub.

  • recipe 1
  • recipe 2
  • Mix a quarter cup of baking soda and 1/8 cup of lemon juice and fine sea salt with enough vinegar to make a paste.
  • You can also add 2 tablespoons of Castille liquid soap or dishwashing soap for more effect.

Katie from Wellness Mama has a scouring powder recipe you should try.

  • recipe 1
  • recipe 2
  • You can also make a bathtub cleaner using a grapefruit juice. All you need to do is take a halved grapefruit and apply a generous amount of salt on the bathtub’s surface.
  • Apply salt on the bathtub where there is dirt or rust.
  • It is an extremely good method to remove rust from your bathtub, making it ideal to clean porcelain enamel steel bathtubs and other such bathtubs.
  • You can also use lemon in the place of the grapefruit to clean the bathtub.


There is nothing more relaxing than a nice hot bath in your bathtub after a hard day’s work. But bathtubs can become dirty and start accumulating dirt and scum with the time and each bath. Here we talked about some of the well known and more widely used home remedies for making your bathtub shiny and as good as new. With these tips and knowledge, you can make the process of how to clean bathtub a lot easier and effortless.

​If you have any more queries or doubts about any of the recipes or methods talked about in the article, feel free to contact us through the comment option and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Also, share the article with your friends and family if you found it informative and helpful. Remember, sharing knowledge can only help improve and enhance it.


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Abigail Jones

Hi, I'm Abigail. I like spending time tearing my house apart and putting it together back again. Join me on home improvement tutorials, tips on my blog.

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