The Easiest Way To Clean A Bathtub So Your Kids Aren't Swimming In Germs
Bath time is all fun and games until you start thinking about what lies beneath the surface. More often than not, you’re bound to find a whole lot more than just fruity-scented bubbles come tub time... like, bacteria. And since you want your child to leave the tub cleaner than when he went into it, you’ll need to find the easiest way to clean a bathtub. Sure, it might take a few steps, but your efforts will mean a more sanitary experience for everyone.
We know, we know. Of all the household chores you have to do, being on your knees and scrubbing a tub probably ranks right at the bottom. It’s not really a lot of fun, but when you think of the alternative (i.e., your kids sitting in staph, salmonella, and a whole host of other nasties, per WebMD), you’ll probably want to whip out the wipes and start scrubbing immediately. Of course, the key to keeping your bathtub sparkling, is, well, cleaning it frequently. “When you clean your tub more often, the easier it is to clean,” Mary Cherry, a cleaning expert, tells Romper. “Soap scum and dirt will not have ample time to build up, and you will save your arms from scrubbing.”
So get ready to sanitize your space, because these tips will help you get your tub totally clean — well, at least until next week.
1. Gather Your Supplies
Since you want to minimize the amount of time you have to spend spritzing and scrubbing, it’s easier if you have everything you need at the ready. Start by spraying the tub with hot water to help loosen any dirt. It’ll save you time and eliminate all that elbow grease.
2. Start Scrubbing
Grab an all-purpose bathroom or tub and tile cleanser and apply it to the tub. “You want to let the product sit on the surface to loosen all of the soap scum and grime,” says Cherry. Then, use a sponge, cleaning eraser, dish or microfiber towel to wipe and scrub the surface.
For a natural option, cleaning expert Kait Schulhof recommends combining one part distilled white vinegar and one part dish soap. “Shake in a spray bottle, and spray inside and around the tub,” she says. “Then 15 minutes later, scrub and rinse clean.” You’ll spare yourself the fog of chemicals clouding your bathroom and be able to breathe easier.
And if you’re not sure if you’ve gotten it totally clean, just run your hand along the surface of the tub. “A smooth tub is a clean tub,” says Cherry. “One that feels gritty or sticky is still dirty.” Rinse the tub and tiles with warm to hot water, and then squeegee or towel dry the tub and tiles.
3. Bleach Judiciously
You can use bleach to whiten the mold or mildew, but it might not be as effective as you think. “Bleach does not kill mold or mildew,” says Cherry. “Mold and mildew have roots, and bleach will not penetrate those roots.” In fact, you might actually be contributing to the growth by supplying the damp conditions they thrive in. While bleach can make your tub appear brighter and whiter, the best way to really get rid of the mold or mildew is by removing the grout or caulking, letting the surface air dry, and then replacing it.
4. Ventilate Your Bathroom
Mold and mildew love moisture, which your bathroom has plenty of. That’s why you need to keep moisture to a minimum. “Open a window or turn on the bathroom air vent for 15-30 minutes after steamy baths and showers,” Schulhof says. Plus, if you’re using heavy cleaners, you’ll need to work by an open window to prevent unhealthy inhalation of fumes.
5. Stop Soap Scum
Soap scum just makes your bathroom look, well, dirty. You can get rid of the scum by combining baking soda and dish soap for an effective, safe cleaning paste. It’s an organic way to get your bathtub looking more beautiful and uses household products you probably already have on hand.
If you think of all the things that can happen in the tub apart from bathing (your partner brushing their teeth, a kid tinkling in the tub, or even, ahem, nookie), you’ll realize that while cleaning your bathtub might not be the highlight of your week, it’s an important step towards keeping everyone healthy.
Mary Cherry, cleaning expert
Kait Schulhof, cleaning expert