How Should I Clean My Bathtub?

How should I clean my bathtub? Cleaning your shower with bleach or Tilex gets rid of unwanted soap scum and mildew. Bathtubs should be cleaned regularly, preferably once a week. Regular cleaning prevents...

Bathtubs should be cleaned regularly, preferably once a week. Regular cleaning prevents mildew formation and keeps soap scum from building up. As with most cleaning tasks, the longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes. Yet, even if you have neglected your bathtub for a little too long and mildew has appeared, the cleaning process is the same as for a more recently cleaned tub. It may simply require a little more cleanser or a bit more scrubbing, though.

Before you begin cleaning your bathtub, be sure to remove any hair that has collected along the drain and also any stray hairs that may be stuck to other surfaces. You don't want to allow too much hair to flow down the drain because it will gradually build up and eventually cause a clog.

Next, remove the soap, shampoo bottles, washcloths, children's bath toys, and any other items that may be sitting around your tub. If you'd like, you can wash these items before returning them to their places around the tub. You may find that things such as shampoo bottles, which often spend long periods of time sitting in puddles of water, turn black with mildew on the bottom. A quick wash in the bathroom sink with ordinary hand soap and warm water will have these items looking as fresh as brand new.

When you're ready to clean the tub, apply your choice of cleanser. Melissa Briones, owner of Melissa's House Cleaning in Lawton, Oklahoma, says, "I would use some kind of bathroom and tub cleaner." For special problems like mildew, Briones says, "I would use Tilex or bleach to get it off. You can dilute bleach with water in a spray bottle and then spray the mildewed areas. If there is a lot of soap scum built up, use a soap scum cleaner. If there is too much soap scum for an ordinary cleanser, use a cleaner like Tilex." She also recommends trying a mild abrasive cleanser such as Soft Scrub.

You may find that certain areas around your tub need a little extra attention. For example, grout and caulking develop mold and mildew quicker than other areas do. To clean mildew stains from grout and caulking, apply bleach diluted with water and let the solution sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off. If the stains remain, use an old toothbrush to scrub at them with the same solution. Remember to wear protective gloves when cleaning with bleach or other harsh chemicals.

To keep your bathtub fresh in between cleanings, it's important to keep it dry. Wipe all surfaces with a towel or squeegee. Any moisture that is left behind can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew. If you have a shower door or shower curtain around your tub, keep it part way open so that air can circulate. A quick misting with a disinfectant spray or a product such as Arm & Hammer Clean Shower will also help keep your tub clean.

Cleaning your bathtub may seem like a big chore, but regular cleanings will insure that it doesn't become a bigger task than necessary.

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