Baking Soda, Bleach and Vinegar: Which is the best for a clean bathtub 2022

Whether you own a fiberglass bathtub or a luxurious copper bathtub, cleaning is an essential part of making you and your household happy. If proper upkeep is not maintained in a bathtub, mildew, mold and soap scum will naturally collect on the surface and edges. This will, of course, result in both health issues as well as rust or deterioration if neglected. Here are some common cleaners, some natural solutions and a few chemical solutions that will keep your bathtub clean.

What is the best way to clean your bathtub?

There are many solutions and cleaners out there, all with varying potencies, toxicities and sizes. Well, which is the best for cleaning your bathtub? Well, ultimately your decision will come down to ease of clean, price, and availability of substances.

Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate, in addition to helping with your baked goods also doubles as a decent cleaner for your bathtub. How it works is that baking soda reacts with the grease in stains to form glycerol, a common cleansing agent found in soaps. If it is mixed with vinegar it also releases carbon dioxide, creating a weak alkali or acid that eliminates strong smells.

How to clean a bathtub with baking soda

To clean your bathtub, simply sprinkle baking soda on every surface that is dirty then add warm water. The mixture should begin to bubble and after about two to three minutes, begin scrubbing. If you have tough stains, combine your baking soda with either vinegar or ammonia. Your showerhead is a different story.

You can scrub it clean with baking soda, but you’ll be left with a gross white film which will be a small hassle to remove. Instead, fill a plastic bag with a mixture of vinegar and baking soda, then fasten it to your showerhead and let it sit overnight. A similar solution also applies to your drain. You want to dump half a cup of baking soda down the drain with an equal amount of vinegar.

Facts about Cleaning with Baking Soda

  • Baking soda is cheap and non-toxic, meaning it is very safe to use on most surfaces making it highly versatile
  • Will work on a wide variety of surfaces and materials without fear of harming or damaging them long term
  • Will also leave a very noticeable clean film behind after. And the baking soda stain smudge may in fact be more difficult to remove than the original stain. As such, it is highly recommended that if you have a stone resin or wood bathtub, you should stay away from using baking soda to clean.
  • Will only work on mild scum or mildew build up, any larger dirt build up will require a different cleaner.
  • Is considered a mild abrasive substance, so it is advisable to mix it with either vinegar or ammonia solutions to lessen any damages to your bathtub due to over scrubbing
  • Labor intensive compared to other cleaners-you are looking to get in a good workout if you plan on using simply baking soda and warm water to clean your bathtub, which is the price you pay for a ‘natural’ cleaner.
  • Will corrode or damage enamel finish on bathtubs over time.

Baking Soda and Common Bathtub Materials:

Here is how baking soda effects these bathtub materials:

  • Fiberglass: Baking soda friendly
  • Porcelain: Baking soda friendly
  • Acrylic: Baking soda friendly
  • Ceramic: Baking soda friendly
  • Stone Resin: No baking soda, will leave film and damage finish
  • Cast Iron: Baking soda friendly
  • Cultured Marble: Baking soda friendly
  • Copper: Baking soda friendly
  • Wood: Baking soda ok-do not scrub too hard or use a steel wool to clean

Baking soda is a decent green alternative compared to harsh chemicals, but you certainly do pay for it in other ways. The chemical reaction is a lot slower compared to other leading cleaners, meaning that you have to supplement most of the cleaning with your own muscle and cleaning pad. If you have nothing else in the house and you are trying to be economical, baking soda is a great choice, otherwise other cleaners might be a bit more efficient.

Vinegar:

Another natural cleaner, similar to Baking Soda, vinegar or more specifically, white vinegar, cleans by chemical reaction on account of its higher acidity, making it a good cleaner for accumulated soap scum and mildew. Similar to Baking Soda, it will also require a decent amount of labor to get a surface clean.

How to clean a bathtub with vinegar

To clean your bathtub with vinegar, simply mix it with warm water and begin scrubbing the surface of your problem area. If the stain persists, mix vinegar and baking soda and let sit for a few minutes before vigorously scrubbing. Showerheads are much the same. Grab a plastic bag or simply remove your showerhead and submerge it in a baking soda and vinegar solution over night. Drains are the same as baking soda. You want to dump half a cup of baking soda and around half a cup of vinegar in your drain.

Facts about cleaning with Vinegar

As another natural cleaner, it’s acidity is very useful for removing build up or gunk on tiled surfaces. Anything that has stone or tile surfaces, it also does wonders on

  • Non-toxic and easy to use
  • Good versus soap scum build up
  • Aside from tiled surfaces, if you have a porcelain, marble bathtub or anything with a strong enamel finish
  • You may want to stay away from vinegar as its acidity will corrode your bathtub that much quicker. You can easily solve this however by diluting your vinegar solution with water.
  • While stronger than baking soda, will not remove heavy or deeper stains.

Vinegar and Common Bathtub Materials

  • Fiberglass: Vinegar friendly
  • Porcelain: Vinegar friendly, diluted only
  • Acrylic: Vinegar friendly
  • Ceramic: Vinegar friendly
  • Stone Resin: No Vinegar, acidic solutions will damage the finish
  • Cast Iron: Vinegar friendly, diluted only
  • Cultured Marble: Vinegar friendly, diluted only
  • Copper: Vinegar friendly, diluted only
  • Wood: Vinegar friendly, diluted only, no steel wool and do not scrub too hard

Another natural cleaner, vinegar is useful for cleaning your bathtub if you are shying away from any harsh chemicals. Although it is stronger than baking soda, it shares very similar negatives to it as well. Unless your bathtub is made from stone resin, stone tiles or metal, you actually may want to stay away from both baking soda or vinegar, as the heavy scrubbing from both substances will eventually damage the enamel coating on your bathtub.

Bleach:

Moving out of natural safe cleaners, we have bleach. A highly toxic, strong corrosive substance.

How to clean a bathtub with Bleach

First and foremost, clear out your bathroom of all loofahs, brushes, carpets and rugs before you apply the bleach to your bathtub as it is quite toxic. Now, add about 118 milliliters of bleach to about a gallon of water.

Wear protective gloves, eyewear and a face mask, then dip a sponge and begin scrubbing. Also, you want to be in a well ventilated area and please do not mix bleach with any other household cleaners.
You are going to repeat this method for your showerhead as well, scrubbing it clean with the same sponge that you used to clean your bathtub.

Afterwards, drain your bathtub and wash every surface off with warm water. To clean your drain, simply pour roughly the same amount, about one fourth of a cup in your drain. Though, keep in mind, repeating use of bleach on your drain will lead to long term damages over time.

Facts about cleaning with bleach

  • Cleans much quicker and more efficiently than both baking soda and vinegar combined.
  • All stains will come off with little to no effort physically.
  • Strong disinfectant
  • Removes strong odors
  • Highly effective at cleaning and whitening any bathtub it is compatible with
  • Highly toxic, and if not handled properly, you may hospitalize yourself and those around you. The gas it emits can damage your eyes, lungs and stomach lining if exposed in an area without proper ventilation or protection. If mixed with other cleaning products such as ammonia, it will create a toxic gas.
  • Invariably, there are some materials that bleach can easily damage-if your bathtub has any traces of iron in it, stay away from bleach as it will create red streaks all along the surface of your bathtub that will be difficult to remove.
  • If your bathtub has an acrylic or enamel coating, it is highly recommended you stay away from bleach as well, as it will invariably lead to further corrosive damage down the road.

Bleach and Common Bathtub Materials:

  • Fiberglass: Bleach friendly
  • Porcelain: Bleach friendly, white porcelain only! Any other porcelain will discolor.
  • Acrylic: No bleach, will damage the coating
  • Ceramic: Bleach friendly
  • Stone Resin: Bleach friendly
  • Cast Iron: No bleach, will leave red streaks along your bathtub
  • Cultured Marble: Bleach friendly, diluted with water only! Do not use concentrated bleach with cultured marble or it will damage the material
  • Copper: No bleach, most metallic substances will stain in the presence of bleach
  • Wood: No bleach, will corrode and eat through your wooden bathtub

Bleach is a highly effective cleaner. It is also very toxic and hazardous if not used properly. Many would advise using bleach as there are plenty of alternatives, but for ease of access and speed of cutting through nearly all grime and gunk, bleach is unmatched compared to more natural solutions.

Just be safe and well-equipped while using it otherwise you may have other issues than a dirty bathtub. There are also other cleaning products such as Comet or Ajax which contain bleach, but are overly less potent than concentrated bleach which might be more suitable for your cleaning situation and be much safer to handle.

How to Clean A Bathtub

Today, we will explain the steps required to clean your bathtub to ensure its health and longevity.

 Before you begin, you will need the following tools:

  • Toilet brush/bowl cleaner
  • Tube and tile Cleaner
  • All-Purpose Cleaning Spray
  • Glass Cleaner
  • Clean Rags
  • Sponge
  • Broom
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Stiff Brush
  • Microfiber Cloth
  • Grout Brush

2. Empty The Tub

  • Before beginning, you need to empty the tub. This is to prevent your toiletries, loofahs, and other bathing products from being contaminated by cleaning products. It is easier to clean the area when it is clear. Next, wipe down all the items that have been removed and set them aside in a separate area.

3. Clean Around the Tub

  • Start using a tile cleaner and grout brush, work from top to bottom, and spray down the walls with your all-purpose cleaner. Wipe down walls thoroughly with cleaner and ensure that the area is properly ventilated. Next, you want to clean the outside of your bathtub so that all the contaminants and grime drip downwards and can be cleaned later. This gives you more freedom to focus on your walls and clean as you see fit.

4. Clean The Bathtub Drain

  • Pour a half-cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a half-cup of white distilled vinegar. Let it sit for a couple of minutes, then flush with hot water. This should clear up any clogs in your bathtub drain. 

5. Apply Cleaner To The Inside Of The Tub

  • Apply an all-purpose cleaner to the interior of the tub. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes to power through the grim and wipe it down. If there is still grime on your tub, repeat the process and rinse the area thoroughly when you are finished. 

6. Eliminate Soap Scum

  • Using an old toothbrush, scrub the corners where the tub meets the wall and thoroughly remove any soap scum build-up that has accrued. Be patient and remember that this step will take some time. 

7. Scrub Stains Away

  • Stains will eventually form on your bathtub. Using a scrub brush and cleanser, patiently work on removing any stains that might have formed. Rinse thoroughly when you are finished. 

8. Wipe Everything Down

  • Explain why the reader should wipe everything down at the very end of cleaning the tub
  • Dry out the bathtub by wiping it down with rags or a clean towel and ensure that no water spots or residue remain in the tub. 

How To Clean A Bathtub With Jets

  • If your bathtub has jets, you can utilize the water flow system to easily clean your tub. 
  • Fill the tub until the jets are covered with hot water
  • Add 2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid and white vinegar. If your tub is filthy, you can use bleach, but this should only be used in emergencies
  • Run the jets for 15 minutes
  • Empty the tub and refill it, then run the jets for 10 minutes. 
  • Drain the tub
  • Rinse well.

How Often Should You Clean A Bathtub?

  • In general, you should disinfect and lightly clean your bathroom weekly. In addition, deep cleaning your bathroom should be done monthly to prevent any build-up.

Whether you prefer the natural cleaners to the more heavy chemical side, you have many options today. If you prefer weekly maintenance, natural solutions such as vinegar, lemon and baking soda can do the trick, though if you wait for months without upkeep, bleach can be quite an effective way to restoring your bathtub and bathroom to a more liveable state.

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Sonya henson
Sonya henson
3 years ago

The vinegar,water and a little Dawn ,and baking soda work wonderful on a fiberglass tub. Also vinegar and water work great on some stains.vingar also works on the yellow stuff that builds up in toilets.

RightOnTopOfThatRose
RightOnTopOfThatRose
3 years ago

WTH? Who wrote this, first you state…”As such, it is highly recommended that if you have a fiberglass or acrylic bathtub, you should stay away from using baking soda to clean!”

Then go on to list:
Fiberglass: Baking soda friendly
Porcelain: Baking soda friendly
Acrylic: Baking soda friendly..
Uhm…was your intent to confuse or deceive people or do you always talk out of both sides?

jbadeloft
Admin
3 years ago

It’s been fixed thank you 🙂

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