how to clean a bathtub
Bathroom Cleaning

How to Clean A Bathtub

Is your bathtub in need of a thorough clean? Find out how to remove soap scum, limescale, and get your bathtub spotless with this helpful guide.

The bathtub should be a place of cleanliness, but keeping it so can sometimes be a chore. The following article contains a selection of bath cleaning tips – from killing mould to how to clean bathtub and faucet stains – so you can get the job done in no time.

How Do You Clean a Bathtub? It Depends!

There are three main types of bathtub, and the method for cleaning the bath is different in each case. So, the first thing to do is to find out what type you have: porcelain, enamel, or acrylic?

Cleaning the Bath: Porcelain

Made of very hard clay, porcelain baths are the most hard-wearing and, consequently, the easiest to clean. Pretty much any standard cleaner will do – we recommend Cif Cream Cleaner to remove grime easily.

Cleaning the Bath: Enamel

Enamel bathtubs comprise of a metal base with a layer of glass over the top. Though this glass (the enamel) is hard, it isn’t totally immune to scratching. Additionally, corrosive cleaners can work their way to the metal base and badly damage it if you’re not careful.

It might not then be obvious how to remove stains in an enamel bathtub. But in fact, a mild cream cleaner solution should be sufficient. (Make sure not to use anything too rough like abrasive powder or a scouring pad.)

For extremely stubborn stains, dilute 5ml of trisodium phosphates in a litre of water. Be careful though – it is very powerful. Wear heavy gloves and don’t let it mix with other cleaners. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Cleaning the Bath: Acrylic

Acrylic baths are made of plastic and are therefore the most delicate of all. Scouring pads and abrasive cleaners should be avoided: a cream cleaner and a soft cloth are preferred instead. It’s a good idea to clean acrylic baths regularly so that hard scrubbing is never needed!

How to Clean Bath Faucets

  1. Clean the worst of any grime using a small brush and a bathroom cleaning spray. An old toothbrush is ideal.
  2. If there is rust, specialised commercial products are available to tackle it effectively. Follow the instructions on the label carefully.
  3. Consider buffing with metal polish and a rag to get your faucets really sparkling!

The Tricky Bits: Soap Scum, Hard Water Marks, and Mold

  • Hard Water – Since rain water is naturally slightly acidic, it can dissolve minerals which then end up in the water supply and, eventually, your bath. This flaky residue can be pretty unattractive, but don’t worry: mild acid can help to remove it. A little lemon juice should be all you need.
  • Soap Scum – Soap scum, however, can be a different story. If allowed to build up, it can prove near-impossible to remove. So it’s best to prevent it entirely with regular cleaning with something mild like Cif Cream. But, if you’re stuck, strong ammonia can help to shift it, too. This is very powerful, so wear protection and read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  • Mold – If you own a fitted bath, a nasty ring of mold can grow on the sealant. Wiping with a diluted solution of Domex should be enough to remove it. (Be careful of the metal base if your bath is enamel and remember: always wear gloves and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.) If there is a lot of mold, it might be a sign that your sealant is trapping water and should be replaced.

Top Tip


If you want a gentle cleaner for your bathtub, try washing it with warm water and biological laundry detergent, such as Surf Liquid Detergent Antibacterial. Bio detergents are designed to break down organic grime and grease, making it ideal for most bathtub stains.

Key Steps

  1. Find out what type of bath you have.
  2. Deal with any extra bits, such as taps, mold or limescale.
  3. Clean the body of the tub as described.
  4. Don’t forget to read the instructions of any cleaning products before use!