Handy tips for keeping your bathtub clean

When it comesto soothing sensations, it's hard to beat a good soak in the bath. But be prepared; keeping your bathtub clean takes regular care. Different tub surfaces and different stains require different solutions.

Handy tips for keeping your bathtub clean

1. Wipe every time

  • For everyday care, wipe down the bathtub after each use with water and a cloth or sponge to keep stubborn soap scum under control.
  • Staying on top of a problem like this goes a long way, especially considering that most bathtubs today come with warnings about the danger of abrasive cleaners.
  • And it's certainly true that if you scrub your way through the bathtub's protective finish, you'll soon have stains that are embedded in its material — whether it's made of fibreglass, porcelain or enamel.

2. To clean porcelain tubs

  • Make your own simple rub-a-dub formula. Prepare a paste made of borax and water, dip a soft scrubber sponge in it and then start scrubbing away.
  • To polish stainless steel parts of fixtures, gently rub with baking soda on a damp sponge.
  • Rinse well with water.

3. To remove rust stains

  • Use one of the many available orange-oil-based, all-purpose cleaners.
  • When the bathtub is dry, apply a small amount of the cleaning substance to a soft scrubber sponge and rub in a circular motion. The rust stains should lift off without much trouble.
  • Rinse with water and repeat if necessary.

4. For really stubborn rust stains

If the stain is old or really stubborn, use a rust remover, available from hardware stores and supermarkets, but follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully, as this type of product is corrosive.

5. To remove blue-green stains

  • To clean stains caused by water with a high copper content, make up a paste. Combine equal amounts of cream of tartar and baking soda — usually 15 ml (1 tbsp) of each is enough — and add some lemon juice drop by drop until you have a paste.
  • Rub it into the stain with your fingertips or a soft cloth.
  • Leave it for half an hour and rinse well with water.
  • Repeat if necessary.

6. To clean fibreglass bathtubs

  • This can prove to be difficult because mild cleaners have little impact on a seriously soiled surface and abrasive cleaners applied with too much scrubbing pressure will quickly dull the finish.
  • For everyday cleaning, spray on a household cleaner or bath and tile cleaner, and wipe with a non-abrasive sponge.
  • If it reaches the point that you have to bring out the big guns, use a powdered cleaner, and a light-duty scrubbing sponge.
  • Always rinse well with water so that the chemicals won't stay on the surface of the bath.

7. CAUTION

  • Avoid using abrasive cleansers on enamel bathtubs, as they wear down the surface finish.
  • If you have a new bath, check what the manufacturer recommends you use.
  • Gentle cleansers are usually okay for older bathtubs, but for badly worn enamel, avoid any kind of abrasive, even cream types.
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