How to Clean a Very Dirty Bathtub

By Mary Smith. Updated: November 12, 2020
How to Clean a Very Dirty Bathtub

Some cleaning jobs in the home can often be ignored for too long. We may keep the home generally tidy, but if we don't clean certain areas regularly, dirt and grime will build up. This is particularly the case with bathtubs. Even though the majority are white, we might not notice mildew and grime slowly building up. If we leave it too late, the dirt can be so bad, it seems like it will never come off. Fortunately, we have the best ways to clean a grimy bathtub to best ensure you have the cleanest bath possible.

In this oneHOWTO article, we explain how to clean a very dirty bathtub with 8 effective methods to remove grime. We share which products work the best, some of which you may not even think can be used as cleaners.

How to clean a dirty bathtub with baking soda

Whether you want to know how to remove scale from the bathtub or even rust problems, baking soda may be your answer. This product will help you to eliminate built-up dirt and grime of different origin on your tub. It may be sufficient to work on its own, but it may also be an ideal primer to help loosen dirt first and then finish it off with a stronger grime remover after. To use baking soda to clean a dirty bath:

  1. Pour the baking soda on the tub, especially in rust-stained areas.
  2. Add vinegar to the surface.
  3. Wait a half hour for the baking soda and vinegar to penetrate the surface well and have the desired effect.
  4. Scrub the stained areas with a sponge or brush.
  5. Rinse the bathtub with water, rubbing with a sponge the areas with hard-to-remove dirt, and you will have achieved your goal.

If you want some more general tips, you can also see how it can be effective in removing stains from a mattress.

How to clean a very dirty bathtub with vinegar

Sometimes you don't only want to remove dirt, but you want your bathtub to look whiter. At oneHOWTO we help you learn how to clean the bathtub and make it whiter with vinegar. Follow these steps:

  1. Mix equal parts warm water and white vinegar. After mixing, pour the solution into a spray bottle.
  2. Shake the bottle to finish mixing.
  3. Apply the mixture by spraying the bathtub on the dirtiest areas. Wait 15 minutes for the solution to take effect before continuing to clean.
  4. Using a sponge, brush or microfiber cloth, scrub the previously sprayed areas of the tub.
  5. Rinse the entire surface with clean water and, if you detect any stains that have not disappeared, repeat the process. If you want it to be whiter or there is still some residue, another option is to include a little bicarbonate of sida in the vinegar.

In these oneHOWTO articles we tell you more about how to clean your washing machine with vinegar and whether you can use vinegar on marble floors.

How to Clean a Very Dirty Bathtub - How to clean a very dirty bathtub with vinegar

How to clean a dirty bathtub with neutral soap

Another possibility is to use neutral soap to clean the dirt from the bathtub. This is one of the simplest and most mild household cleaning products, but it can also be very effective in cleaning the grime off bathtubs. You can see for yourself by following these steps:

  1. Mix warm water with mild soap in a bowl, using more water than soap.
  2. Dip a sponge or brush into the mixture and scrub the surface.
  3. Focus on brushing the dirtiest areas of the bathtub, but also use the sponge or brush in the corners.
  4. Rinse with plenty of water and this way you will be able to leave the bathtub shiny and completely clean. However, if there was very encrusted dirt and some remains, try a stronger method.

How to clean a very dirty bathtub with hydrochloric acid

Although mild soap can clean some bathtubs, when the tub is very dirty, it calls for something stronger. One of the most effective is hydrochloric acid. To clean a bath with hydrochloric acid effectively, you will need to:

  1. Put on rubber gloves.
  2. Add a glass of water to a plastic container.
  3. Add one part hydrochloric acid to 7 parts water.
  4. Stir the mixture and, to apply it on the surface, use a brush.
  5. Dampen the brush with the mixture and apply it to the stained area.
  6. Wait a few seconds for it to act.
  7. Finally, rinse the bathtub with water and the help of a brush to remove the remains and the acid.

The amount of acid needs to be appropriate for the bath. If the bath is old and does not have much protection, you may need to dilute it further in case it takes off the shine from the tub as well as the dirt. For more information, look at our article on how to clean ceramic, concrete and brick with hydrochloric acid.

How to Clean a Very Dirty Bathtub - How to clean a very dirty bathtub with hydrochloric acid

How to clean a dirty bathtub with detergent

Another product to clean a very dirty bathtub is the detergent you use for your washing machine. You must apply it by following these steps:

  1. Take a spray bottle and combine water and detergent. We also recommend adding a few drops of bleach to enhance the cleaning and disinfecting effect.
  2. Spray the bathtub with the mixture, especially in the corners and in the drain, since these are the areas where the most dirt accumulates. Use it on the tiles if you need to.
  3. Rub the surface with the help of a sponge.
  4. Wait a few minutes and rinse the bathtub with plenty of water.

How to clean a dirty bathtub with detergent hydrogen peroxide

We continue with the tips to clean a very dirty bathtub by using hydrogen peroxide. We recommend this especially if the bathtub is yellow on the sides. To clean a bathtub with hydrogen peroxide, follow these simple steps:

  1. Spray the hydrogen peroxide on the areas with the worst stains.
  2. Wait a while for it to react on the surface. 30 minutes should be long enough.
  3. After half an hour, rinse the bathtub with warm water to remove debris and clean it with another detergent if necessary.
  4. If there are still marks, you can repeat the process by rubbing with a scouring pad or switch to using a stronger product.

How to clean a dirty bathtub with citric acid

Many people are still unaware of just how effective using lemon as a home cleanser can be. Even more effective is using pure citric acid, one of the main cleaning agents in lemon. You can clean your bathtub with citric acid if you:

  1. Pour a powdered citric acid sachet into a full glass of water.
  2. Stir the mixture well before applying to the bath.
  3. Dampen a sponge in the mixture and rub it all over the dirty surface.
  4. For it to have the desired effect, you must wait at least 20 minutes after application.
  5. Rinse the bathtub with plenty of warm water to keep it clean.
How to Clean a Very Dirty Bathtub - How to clean a dirty bathtub with citric acid

How to clean a dirty bathtub with salt

Salt and vinegar are an effective combination for removing stubborn stains on a bathtub. By mixing these two ingredients, you harness the power of both to make a super-cleaner. Use this homemade cleaner regularly to prevent build up in the first place so your bathtub doesn't accumulate grime in the first place.

  1. You can use salt and water, with more salt than water. However, to enhance the effect, use salt and vinegar, with more salt than vinegar.
  2. Apply the mixture by rubbing the surface with a brush or sponge and wait a few minutes for it to take effect.
  3. Rinse with clean water to remove all products and traces of dirt.

An Epsom salt bath can be very enjoyable, but it will also promote dirt and grime collecting on your bathtub. Even if you don't use much product when bathing, you should always rinse it after use. This will prevent dirt collecting and prevent stains. Once you know how to clean a very dirty bath, you may also need to know how to clean the bathroom floor to ensure the whole room is sparkling.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Clean a Very Dirty Bathtub, we recommend you visit our Home cleaning category.

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