Since bathtubs are unlike hot tubs in that they’re located indoors and don’t need chemical purification systems, it can be easy to forget that bathtubs need some occasional TLC, too.
Here, we’ll show you how to properly maintain your bathtub so you can enjoy countless relaxing soaks for years to come.
To take care of your bathtub, make sure to:
- Give it a quick rinse after each use.
- Spray it down with a gentle cleanser each week.
- Flush out and clean its jets every month or so.
- Scrub the entire tub each month.
- Remove stains as necessary.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these steps so you can learn how to keep your bathtub squeaky clean and smelling fresh.
Rinse After Each Use
Although it may seem like you’re cleaning your bathtub every time you use it, any soap, oils or bubble bath can contribute to the nasty build-up of scum and slime in the long run.
To avoid this, simply take a minute after each use to rinse your bathtub with plain old water. It only takes seconds to do, but it can save you a lot of cleaning time in the future.
If your bathtub is located underneath a shower, simply run the shower for a few seconds. Or, if your bathtub is separate from your shower, run the faucet and splash the water around with your hands, or use a spray bottle filled with tap water.
No matter which rinsing method you choose, be sure to get water on all of the bathtub’s exposed surfaces.
Spray With a Gentle Cleanser Weekly
Another equally easy measure you can take to avoid more cleaning in the long-run is giving your bathtub a spray of gentle cleanser on a weekly basis.
Many major cleaning brands sell spray-on bathtub cleansers designed for frequent use, and most grocery stores offer a generic version at a lower price.
However, you can make your own, more natural cleanser by simply filling a spray bottle with a mixture of water and white vinegar. Once you’ve sprayed down your tub, you can either rinse off the vinegar right away or let it sit for a few minutes for a more thorough cleanse.
If you see any signs of soap scum, mildew or other unwanted buildups, simply use a scrubbing brush to target problem areas before you rinse the cleanser away — a long-handled scrubbing brush can make this step even more effortless.
Flush out the Jets on a Monthly Basis
If you have a whirlpool tub or air bath, it’s important that you regularly flush out and clean its jets.
With an air bath, this process is easy: Just turn on the jets when the bath is empty, or use your bath’s built-in drying cycle. Either way, doing so will dry and flush out your tub’s jets in a matter of minutes.
With a whirlpool tub, cleaning is a bit more involved:
- First, you’ll need to fill the tub until the water is a few inches above the jets.
- At this point, you may add a couple cups of vinegar to the water, or a cleaning product like bleach or dishwashing detergent (refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure this won’t damage your tub).
- Then, turn off the air induction valves and turn on the jets. After about 15 minutes, drain the tub and repeat.
Although flushing a whirlpool tub’s jets is undeniably a chore, it’s worth it to prevent chunks of debris and mold from ruining an otherwise relaxing bath.
Remember, if you use your jetted tub frequently (i.e., several times per week), you’ll have to flush out its jets more frequently, too.
Scrub the Entire Tub Each Month
About every month (or every couple of weeks if you’re a frequent bather), you’ll need to use some good old-fashioned elbow grease to give your bathtub a thorough scrub.
You can purchase a commercial bathtub scrubbing solution, or you can make your own.
Simply mix about a cup of baking soda with two-three tablespoons each of liquid Castile soap and hydrogen peroxide. For extra scrubbing power, add a half cup of salt or cornstarch.
Then, use a washcloth or scrubbing brush to work your chosen scrubbing solution into all your bathtub’s surfaces, paying extra attention to its grout, drain, faucet and jet covers.
You’ll be left with a sparkling tub that’s completely free from any mold, mildew, scum or mineral buildup.
Remove Stains as Necessary
Even with regular cleaning and maintenance, your bathtub may start to develop some unsightly stains and discoloration over time.
To fight stains the natural way, simply spray down the stain with a water-vinegar mixture (or undiluted vinegar if the stain is particularly severe), then sprinkle baking soda on top.
Once the area has foamed for a few minutes, use a washcloth or scrubbing brush to work the mixture into a paste. Allow the paste to sit for about 15 minutes, wash it away with water and repeat as necessary.
Alternatively, you can purchase a commercial stain remover. To use it, just follow the instructions on the packaging.
While almost everyone dislikes cleaning their bathtub, performing proper maintenance can reduce overall cleaning time in the long-run and help your bathtub stay spotless and beautiful for many years to come.