How to Clean and Sanitise a Bathtub

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Bathtubs are for treating ourselves to some form of luxury by immersing and relaxing our tired bodies in warm water (and some bubbles, perhaps?) after a long, hard day. It sounds amazing and, for the most part, it is! If you’re wondering about the times when soaking in your tub isn’t so amazing, that’s usually when you are bathing in a dirty, unsanitary bathtub! Of course, most homeowners refrain from using a bathtub altogether if it is stained and grimy, and for good reason. Bathtubs can be one of the most unsanitary components of a home if not cleaned and sanitised routinely. Merely rinsing the tub after a bath is not enough to clean and remove dirt, oils, and bacteria that settle on the surface after being washed off our bodies. 

So, if you want to enjoy an amazing soak in the tub every time, you’ve got to learn how to clean a stained bathtub and sterilise it after abolishing grime. Read on to find out the professional approach to cleaning and sanitising bathtubs from the experts at Sydney’s favourite house cleaning service — Simply Maid!

Inspect First, Clean Second

Before you implement just any method to clean your bathtub, start by figuring out the type of cleaning it requires. To reach that conclusion, inspect the bathtub interior closely to check for mould, types of stains, stubborn grime, discolouration, and the overall condition of the surface. Tubs that haven’t been used or cleaned in a long time tend to develop a dull, translucent layer over the surface which will require the use of specific products and techniques to remove.

Similarly, if you’re dealing with fungus, it’s important to follow a tried and tested method to remove mould from your bathtub. Well, worry not because we’ve got all the relevant information on bathtub cleaning to keep it sanitary and clean from here on out! Let’s get started.

General Bathtub Cleaning Guide

If you’ve just had a bathtub installed and are looking for ways to keep it clean and sanitary, here is a general bathtub cleaning guide to follow once a week.

    1. If you have a hand shower with hot running water, use it to wet the entire surface of the bathtub interior. The alternative to this is heating up water on the stove and then pouring it over the bathtub.
    2. Next, apply your chosen bathtub cleaning product to the surface. For a natural approach to cleaning your tub, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the damp tub, and move on to the next step. 
    3. In a bucket, make a soapy solution of liquid dish detergent and hot water. Be sure to swirl the water around with a long-handled brush to create suds.
    4. To effectively remove grime from the surface, a semi-hard nylon brush is advised. Simply dip the brush in the cleaning solution and scrub down the tub. If the tub has gotten dry, wet it with the soapy water, and continue scrubbing the interior. 
    5. Rinse the tub at intervals so that missed spots are visible. 
    6. For a thorough clean, replace the soapy water (which may be dirty by now owing to re-dipping the brush in it), and give the tub a final scrub.
    7. Using the same solution, scrub the bathtub exterior, and wipe down the shower fixtures.
    8. Rinse off the scrubbed components (exterior, interior, and fixtures) thoroughly to remove all traces of the cleaner(s).
    9. To prevent water spots, wipe the tub dry (inside and outside) using a clean lint-free towel.

How to Remove Mould from Bathtubs

Humidity, poor ventilation, and improper cleaning techniques (or lack thereof) can cause mould and mildew in your bathroom. Along with wall tiles and the sink, your bathtub is not spared when it comes to mould buildup in the bathroom. As we all know, mould has many negative effects on one’s health and therefore, should be removed immediately.

Here’s how you can safely and effectively remove mould from your bathtub.

    1. Start by taking the following safety precautions:
      • Wear a mask, rubber gloves, and protective eyewear
      • Protect your skin with full-length clothing
      • Increase ventilation by keeping the window and door fully open
    2. Whilst wearing the necessary protective gear, mix 3-4 tablespoons of household bleach in 1 litre of warm-hot water; stir well and pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
    3. Locate the mouldy areas in your bathtub, and spray them generously. Allow the bleach-water solution to soak for 15-20 minutes. During this time, the bleach will work to kill the mould in your bathtub.
    4. Use a non-abrasive scrubbing pad to wipe up the mould; rinse the cleaning tool at intervals and repeat until all the mould has been cleaned up.
    5. After you rinse the tub, proceed with a general clean of your bathtub using the guide above – skip steps 1 and 2 when applying the general bathtub cleaning method.

How to Remove Stubborn Bathtub Grime

In order to break down stubborn grime in your bathtub or even tough stains for that matter, you need something with a stronger cleaning power than just baking soda or dish soap and water. More importantly, you want something that does most of the work and requires less elbow grease to remove bathtub stains and grime!

Here’s a simple solution that is guaranteed to do the trick.

    1. In a bowl, combine baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to create a paste. 
    2. Pour water over the stain/stubborn grime, put on a pair of rubber gloves, and apply the paste (enough to cover the affected area). Allow the paste to dry up completely before moving on to the next step.
    3. Using a damp, non-abrasive scrubber, gently scrub the area, and clean up the paste.
    4. Rinse off the tub and inspect the scrubbed areas; if there are traces of grime or stains leftover, repeat the process 1-2 more times.

How to Remove Hard Water Bathtub Stains 

Mineral content in the water running through your faucets leads to hard water stains which are made up of magnesium ions and calcium. They leave a visible residue that is dull and grimy, causing your bathtub surface to look dirty and stained. One surefire way to prevent hard water stains on bathtub interiors is to rinse the tub thoroughly after a bath, and then wipe it dry immediately.

To remove hard water stains from your bathtub, follow the cleaning guide below.

    1. In a spray bottle, mix equal parts warm distilled water and white vinegar; close the bottle and shake well.
    2. Spray the solution all over your tub or just the areas where hard water stains are visible.
    3. For the next few minutes, grab a lint-free towel or non-abrasive scrubbing pad and dampen it with the water-vinegar solution.
    4. Wipe down the bathtub interior in quick, successive swipes.
    5. Immediately after you have wiped down the tub, wipe over the surface with a dry towel.

How to Sanitise Your Bathtub

As much as cleaning your bathtub is important, sanitising it on a daily basis is too! If you don’t bathe in your tub every day, perhaps disinfection once a week can be prioritised instead. It should also be noted that the frequency of cleaning one’s bathtub will depend on how often it is used, or the overall condition of the tub. In other words, if your bathtub is looking grimy or stained every other day, general cleaning is advised. 

Bear in mind that you cannot sanitise a bathtub without cleaning it, and you cannot clean a bathtub without sanitising it if you want both tasks to yield effective results. Here is a quick step-by-step guide to sterilise your bathtub after you have cleaned it:

    1. Purchase a bottle of rubbing alcohol (70%); mix 2 parts with 1 part water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and shake well before each use. Rubbing alcohol has multiple uses, and in this case, it is 100% effective in killing bacteria including highly contagious viruses.
    2. Spray your bathtub interior with the disinfectant and allow it to act for 5-10 minutes.
    3. Rinse the tub thoroughly and wipe dry.

Nobody likes to bathe in a less than sanitary bathtub, and no one ever should! With the comprehensive step-by-step guides above, you will be able to clean and sterilise your bathtub and, more importantly, keep it that way!

Karen Saunders

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