In today’s hectic world, it’s easy to fall into the routine of jumping into the shower, throwing on some clothes, and running out the door. There’s nothing quite like slowing down to take a long, leisurely soak in a hot bath to soothe away the stresses of the day – unless, that is, the condition of your bathtub is what’s stressing you out! Bathtubs are notorious magnets for soap scum, mold, mildew, dirt, and grime – and when you bathe in a bathtub that’s visibly dirty, it won’t feel like you’re truly getting clean, despite all the soap and hot water you’re using.
It's time to get your bathtub really clean. We’ll tell you how here.
How Often Should You Clean Your Bathtub?
Generally, you should clean the bathtub regularly – once or twice per week – to keep surface grime, mold, and bacteria at bay. Once a month, give it a deep scrub to make sure it’s truly clean. Before you get to cleaning, it’s important to make sure you have the right products for your particular tub.
Here are the most common types of bathtubs:
Most modern bathtubs are made of a plastic material called acrylic. Acrylic is prone to discoloration and cracking, so it’s especially important to avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach or acidic solutions like vinegar on this type of tub. Also avoid using heavy duty scrub brushes on an acrylic tub – it’s best to use gentle cleaning materials like a microfiber cloth or a soft sponge.
Enamel tubs look like porcelain, but they’re actually coated metal. If you’re not sure if you have an enamel tub, try sticking a magnet to it. If your bathtub is magnetic, it’s an enamel tub. It’s important to note that enamel coating is incredibly sensitive to cleaning solutions like vinegar and bleach, so always avoid cleaning with those agents. Like acrylic, enamel is also prone to scratching, so use microfiber cloths or a clean sponge when cleaning an enamel tub.
Porcelain tubs are heavy and expensive. They are usually found in older, historic homes more so than newer homes. Generally, these bathtubs are more durable than their modern counterparts and can handle a tougher scrub, but they are also more prone to staining.
Instead of using harsh chemicals or acidic cleansers, reach for a gentler, more powerful solution to clean your tub: Vital Oxide. Unlike harsh cleaning products, Vital Oxide can be used on a range of surfaces, including acrylic, enamel, porcelain, and even natural stone. With a pH of 8-9 (meaning it’s neutral to mild alkaline), Vital Oxide is non-corrosive to surfaces treated, and it’s also highly effective against germs, grime, oily residue, soap scum, and mold and mildew. Vital Oxide is also free from harsh fumes and harmful residues, making it the ideal solution to clean your tub.
Let’s Talk About Your Shower Curtain
In a study done by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), it was revealed through testing that the biofilms (aka, what you may call “soap scum”) on a shower curtain even after only one week of use hold an extensive amount of microorganisms, including Sphingomonas and Methylobacterium. These bacteria can be especially hazardous for immune-compromised patients and could be the cause of numerous issues including urinary tract infections, pneumonia, skin infections, and more. However, a regular cleaning routine will lower the risk of catching any of these diseases.
Your shower curtain and liner should be cleaned at least once a month.
How to Clean Your Shower Curtain & Shower Curtain Liner
- Remove the shower curtain and liner, then toss them in the washing machine along with a couple of white towels. The towels will provide extra scrubbing for better cleaning.
- Add the regular amount of detergent along with ½ to 1 cup Vital Oxide to sanitize.
- Wash in warm or hot water at the highest level.
- Allow fabric curtains to run through the spin cycle, then hang to dry. There's no need to put it in the dryer. If the curtain is plastic, there’s no need to run it through the spin cycle. It’s ready to hang in the bathroom right after it rinses.
- Spot clean plastic shower curtain liners weekly. Simply wipe down with a damp microfiber cloth to remove any grime, spray with Vital Oxide and let air dry.
Note: Generally, every shower curtain is washable, but to be on the safe side, check the instructions on the care tag prior to washing.
Six Steps to a Clean Tub
1. Remove Everything from the Tub
Prior to cleaning, clear out everything that’s inside the tub and anything that might be hanging on the walls. This is a great time to rid your tub of anything empty or broken. Wipe down everything you’ve taken out of the tub with a damp microfiber cloth and Vital Oxide to remove slimy soap scum buildup. Put any bath toys in the dishwasher to get them sparkling clean and clean your shower curtain and liner using the instructions above.
2. Clear Out the Drain
There are a few ways to unclog bathtub drains, but when in doubt, always consult with a professional plumbing service for help. For gunky shampoo buildup, slowly pour a pot of boiling water down the drain to clear it out. Light clogs can be loosened up with a plunger. More extensive clogs may require a heavy-duty drain cleaner (follow instructions on the bottle) or a plumber’s snake.
3. Clean the Tiles, Walls, & Grout Around the Tub
Start by spraying tiled walls with Vital Oxide, and then turning on the hot water for five minutes until steam builds. Wait a few minutes, and then wipe tiles clean with a microfiber cloth. Scrub grout lines with a brush and tackle any stubborn grout stains with Vital Oxide.
Related: The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Grout
4. Apply Vital Oxide to the Interior of the Tub
Spray Vital Oxide and then let sit for a few minutes. Next, scrub the tub with a scrub brush or gently wipe with a microfiber cloth or sponge (depending on the type of tub you have) working from top to bottom. Rinse thoroughly with hot water to send any loosened grime down the drain.
5. Tackle Stubborn Stains
Use a small cleaning brush (or an old toothbrush) to tackle soap scum and other stubborn stains. Start by scrubbing the corners where the tub meets the wall and work your way around the tub where soap scum has been collecting. Rinse with hot water.
6. The Finishing Touches
Finish up by wiping down walls and the tub interior with a microfiber cloth to polish and remove any lingering water. Hang your shower curtain back up, and voilà! Your bathtub is squeaky clean.