how to clean a disgusting bathtub
Kristina Davis

Worried about how to clean a disgusting bathtub and unable to find any perfect guide? Then your search ends here!

Bathing is synonymous with relaxation and pleasure.

A dirty bathing environment, however, sucks out all the joy that comes with the activity.

Unfortunately, from soap scum to rust, bathtubs are easily riddled with stains that make the bathroom an eyesore.

Bathtub stains are unavoidable, and scum builds up if neglected, thus making both harder to remove.

If you have missed your cleaning routine or moved into a house with a neglected tub, learning how to clean a disgusting bathtub will make your task easier.

Guide Outlines

  • Prepare Your Cleaning Material
  • General Cleaning Methods
  • Essential Tub Hacks
  • How to Get Rid of Yellow Stains in Bathtub
  • Removing Specific Stains in the Tub
  • How to Clean Bathtub with Baking Soda
  • Bathtub Cleaning Hacks

Prepare Your Cleaning Material

bathtub cleaning materials

Cleaning a disgusting bathtub is easier if you have all the necessary cleaning material on hand.

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The material you need will include clean rags or pieces of cloth that you can use for wiping, a brush for scrubbing, a sponge, your choice of chemicals, a spray bottle, a small bucket and mug, and rubber gloves to protect your hands.

If the smell of chemicals overwhelms you, use a face mask while working.

Tip: Bathtubs come in all shapes and sizes.

There are “basic” bathtubs (with faucets, overflow, and drain) and high-end bathtubs (with water or built-in hydro jets, like those used in a Jacuzzi tub).

You might want to note which tub you have and follow the manufacturer’s specifications or directions when it comes to cleaning.

How to Clean a Disgusting Bathtub

clean disgusting bathtub

General Cleaning Methods

Though there are specific rules for cleaning stains and build-ups, these general cleaning methods will boost your efforts.

1. Preheat Surfaces

Preheating most surfaces makes them easier to clean.

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Preheating could also increase the effectiveness of cleaning products by about ten times.

To heat your bathtub, fill it with about fifteen centimeters of hot water.

Splash or pour water on the remaining areas. Let the tub heat up for ten minutes before you drain the water and spray a cleaning agent of your choice.

2. Apply Cleaner Evenly

An even application of a cleaning agent makes cleaning a disgusting bathtub easy.

Scrubbing a tub’s surface without a uniform application of cleaner could make the task a daunting one.

Frequent reapplications of the cleaner can also speed up the process.

3. Let the Cleaner Sit for a While

Leave the cleaner for a few minutes to permeate the stains and scum.

Cleaning agents tend to work better when they are left to tackle tough stains before scouring.

4. Scrubbing

This is the hardest and most important part of cleaning.

Applying just enough pressure could show desired changes.

For bathtubs, a non-scratch pad will give the best results without filling your tub’s surface with scratch marks—areas that will be more susceptible to scum build-up.

5. Rinse

Wash away the cleaning agent with plenty of water.

Essential Tub Hacks

Need hacks to address other tough stains? Don’t worry! We have got you covered with these tips:

  • How to clean a slow drain
  • Removing stubborn stains
  • Using a drain cover
  • Keeping the tub dry

Clearing a Slow Drain

Loosened gunk, grime, and hair are some of the top culprits.

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Clearing a slow drain is as simple as pouring a quarter cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by some vinegar.

As soon as the fizzing stops, flush all the gunk away with boiling water.

Voila! Your drain is as clear as a newly fitted pipe.

Removing Stubborn Stains

Baking soda works wonders when it comes to stubborn stains. Add a little water to a cup of baking soda and create a paste.

Apply the mixture to the stain and wait for a few minutes before scraping away the baking soda and scrubbing the stain. It will come right off.

Tip. Baking soda is an environment-safe cleaning agent, but it has abrasive properties.

Remember to brush gently instead of vigorously when using baking soda.

Using a Drain Cover

A drain cover collects debris like hair and keeps it from flowing into the drain.

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Using one will help reduce the frustration and disgust of cleaning a clogged drain.

Keeping the Tub Dry

Take a few moments to wipe your tub after your bath.

Using a microfiber cloth will remove soap and hard water residue and keep your tub safe from yucky stains.

How to Get Rid of Yellow Stains in Bathtub

how to get rid of yellow stains in bathtub

Since most tubs are white, stains of any kind stand out. However, yellow stains are hideous in bathtubs.

The stain is formed when deposits of soap scum, metal, and mildew build up in the tub.

The longer these deposits sit in the tub, the worse the stain looks.

The yellow becomes more intense, and ultimately the entire bathing area becomes a revolting sight.

The five-step process below comprehensively covers how to get rid of yellow stains in bathtub.


Step 1. Mix just about enough detergent in a bucket of water (or any multi-purpose household cleaning solution.)

Step 2. Dip a piece of soft cloth in the detergent mix and rub over the yellow stain.

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If the stain proves challenging to remove, add more detergent into the mix.

Step 3. Baking soda helps rid tubs of yellow stains as well.

A cup full of baking soda and water mixed to a paste-like consistency should be applied to the stained area. Use a brush to scrub.

Step 4. Once the scrubbing is done, use lukewarm water to rinse the paste and the stain down the drain.

Step 5. This step is only necessary if the stain doesn’t go away completely.

For very stubborn yellow stains, a harsher solution of trisodium phosphate would work wonderfully.

Mix the chemical with water (wear gloves).

Trisodium phosphate is used just the same way as the baking soda paste. It is, however, essential to rinse with more water.

Tip. For mold and mildew, you might want to use some bleach to prevent it from returning.

How to Clean Bathtub with Baking Soda

how to clean bathtub with baking soda

Cleaning with baking soda is more of a general approach applied to stains that haven’t been neglected for a long time.

Cleaning a tub with baking soda involves sprinkling it over the stain, pouring some warm water, and waiting for the bubbling to stop.

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After about three minutes, begin scrubbing.

Baking soda does not contain toxins, unlike many cleaning agents. It is very cheap and useful for almost all forms of cleaning.

It is arguably one of the best cleaning substances that poses no threat to your skin, your health, or the environment.

It rarely damages surfaces or materials, even with repeated usage.

Baking soda will easily clean mild soap scum and mildew build-up. However, tougher stains might require something stronger.

Baking soda is often mixed with vinegar as the chemical reaction helps lift stains, ergo reducing damage from over scrubbing.

A stone resin or wooden tub should not be cleaned with baking soda as it leaves a clean film that could be harder to clean than the stain itself.

Removing Specific Stains in the Tub

bathtub specific stains

From tough stains to mild stains, cleaning your tub requires specific tools and methods.

For Mild Stains

  • Sprinkle baking soda and pour some vinegar
  • After a few minutes of fizziness, scrub with a sponge or soft cloth
  • Rinse properly and wipe with a clean cloth afterward

For Tough Stains

  • Mix hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and apply to the stained area
  • Let it sit for forty minutes to an hour before cleaning as usual

Removing Hard Water Stains

  • Dip several rolls of paper towels in vinegar and place them on the stained area for 2 hours
  • Scrub with vinegar paste and baking soda, rinse, and wipe clean

Removing Rust Stains

  • Borax powder and lemon juice is a sure way to remove rust stains
  • First, sprinkle some borax on the rust-stained area
  • Cut some lemons in half, rub them on the site until it forms a paste
  • The mixture sits for about thirty minutes, followed by heavy rinsing
  • Wipe the moisture off with a clean rag

Bathtub Cleaning Hacks

bathtub cleaning hacks

As much as baths are great for unwinding and relaxing, cleaning a bathtub is not particularly enjoyable.

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While general cleaning methods could help to clean bathtubs, some stains require more effort.

Here are a few bathtub cleanings hacks that make removing tough stains look easy.

Dish Soap and Broom Hack

  • Squirt dish soap over the tub’s surface. Like general cleaning hacks, make sure to squirt evenly.
  • Let the soap sit for about two minutes.
  • Wet the broom and scrub every part of the tub, working the bristle against the surface of the tub properly.
  • The grease-cutting power of the soap and the broom’s bristles will break residue build-up in the tub.
  • Rinse the tub with a shower wand or use a bucket and mug. Ensure that the soap and loosened residue doesn’t pool around the drain.


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This hack cuts down strenuous activity—like kneeling and bending—associated with cleaning, making it great for people with limited movement or injuries.

A broom is convenient for hard corners, while dish soap removes stains with less effort.

Tip: If you are a fan of this method, dedicate a new broom just for your bathtub.


Cleaning your bathtub can be a tedious affair. Hacks, when clubbed with a regular cleaning routine, will make the process faster and easier.

One thing is for certain, though—stubborn stains are no match for the knowledge you now have on how to clean a disgusting bathtub.

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