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How to Clean a Bathtub with Bleach

If you’re wondering how to clean a bathtub with bleach, you’re in the right place. It’s a good idea to do your research on the proper way to use bleach to clean a bathtub. After all, bleach is a harsh yet effective cleaner (1), and it’s important to use it safely.

The first thing you should do is gather your supplies and cleaning products.

Materials Needed to Clean a Bathtub with Bleach

You’ll need:

  • Bleach (name brand or generic are both fine)
  • Hot water
  • Sponge
  • Gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Mask
  • 1-gallon mop bucket
  • Paper towels or microfiber cloth

cleaning a dirty bathtub with bleach

Step 1: Dress Properly

It’s very easy to get bleach on your clothes when cleaning your bathtub, so wear clothes you don’t care about. If you have a pair of painting pants or an old pair of sweatpants, wear those to clean with a bleach solution. When you get bleach on your clothes, it lightens them. So, it’s very easy to ruin clothes with bleach spots.

If you have a particularly dirty bathtub full of grime and you know you’ll be cleaning it for quite some time, consider wearing goggles or a mask. Bleach can be very dangerous if you accidentally get it in your eyes or mouth. The longer you’re exposed to it, the more likely you are to get it on your skin or in your eyes.


Step 2: Prep Your Bathroom

Before you clean your dirty bathtub with bleach, open your bathroom windows and your bathroom door. Every time I clean with bleach, I notice I can easily get light-headed from the fumes if I forget to open a window. Again, although it’s an effective cleaner, bleach is a harsh chemical, so it’s important not to breathe it in for long periods of time.

Next, remove everything from your bathtub, including shampoo bottles, loofahs, razors, and place them in a cabinet or in a different room. If you have a shower curtain, remove it or fold it over the curtain rod, so it doesn’t get in your way.


Step 3: Mix Bleach and Water

The ingredients for cleaning with a bleach solution are pretty simple. Use a 1-gallon mop bucket and fill it 3/4 of the way with water. There’s no need to fill it with an entire gallon of water because you’ll need room to slowly add 1/4 cup of bleach. If you feel like the bleach and water solution is too strong, you can dilute it with more water or simply stop adding bleach if it’s too much.


**Caution: Do not combine bleach with ammonia or any other cleaner. It can create a toxic gas that can be incredibly harmful. Bleach must be used alone and only mixed with water.**


Step 4: Wear Gloves and Use a Sponge

how to clean bathtub with bleach

Before you start cleaning your bathtub with your water and bleach solution, put on gloves and grab a sponge. Dip your sponge into your mop bucket, and rub the cleaning solution on the sides and bottom of your bathtub.

Pay special attention to places where the walls meet at the corners and where the rim of your bathtub begins. Those are the spots where it’s most likely for soap scum, mold, or mildew to appear. If you do encounter mold or mildew, use the rough side of the wet sponge to scrub it off.

Keep cleaning with your wet sponge until your entire bathtub is clean and every part of your bathtub has been scrubbed with your bleach mixture.


Step 5: Rinse and Dry

Once you are finished cleaning your tub with bleach, rise your entire bathtub with water. If you have a combination shower and bathtub, you can use your shower head to rinse the walls and the bathtub easily.

When you’re finished rinsing, use a white microfiber cloth or paper towels to dry your bathtub’s surface. 


How to Clean a Bathtub with Bleach

How to Clean a Bathtub with Bleach FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions when it comes to bleaching a bathtub.

How long does it take for bleach to disinfect a bathtub?

It takes 6-10 minutes for bleach to fully disinfect a bathtub. So, after you scrub your bathtub with your bleach and water mixture, wait 6-10 minutes. Then, rinse your bathtub.

Cleaning day? Get our How to clean a bathroom checklist here

Can you leave bleach in a bathtub overnight?

It’s not advised to leave bleach in a bathtub overnight, as it is too harsh of a chemical and can potentially damage your bathtub. Simply leave it on for 6-10 minutes, then rinse.


Can you clean grout with bleach?

Yes, you can clean grout with bleach. For this, use a 1:1 bleach and warm water ratio and purchase a cleaning brush specifically for cleaning grout. Typically these cleaning brushes have tough bristles, which are better for grout than the sponge used to clean the bathtub.


Is cleaning a bathtub with bleach safe?

how to bleach a bathtub

Yes, it is safe as long as you use proper precautions, using bleach to clean a bathtub is safe. It’s advisable to wear gloves when handling bleach as well as eye protection and a mask. Open windows to air out the bathroom while cleaning, and only leave the bleach on your bathtub’s surface for 6-10 minutes.

I like to use a sponge instead of a spray bottle because I can better control where the bleach goes, which means it’s less likely to get on my clothes or my skin.

If you are cleaning with small children or pets nearby, make sure you dispose of the bleach and water solution in your mop bucket as soon as you’re finished cleaning. Keep all young children and pets out of the bathroom when cleaning with bleach to avoid any potential accidents.

Lastly, remember not to mix bleach with ammonia or any other cleaner to avoid creating toxic fumes.


Do you need to rinse your bathtub after cleaning with bleach?

Yes, refer back to step #5! Rinsing your bathtub with water and drying off your tub surface with paper towels or microfiber cloth is the final step when cleaning your bathtub using bleach. It’s important to complete all the steps on this list to ensure you properly clean your bathtub with bleach and avoid damaging it.


Final Thoughts on How to Clean Your Bathtub with Bleach

Although there are many different types of disinfectants you can use to clean your bathtub; bleach is one of the strongest cleaners you can use to kill any bacteria and germs in your bathroom.

Bleach is especially helpful if you’re trying to get rid of mold or mildew. Just remember to wear cleaning gloves and protective eyewear when using bleach. Also, be sure to dilute it with water.

Sometimes, a bleach smell will linger in your bathroom after cleaning, but you can usually get rid of this smell by keeping your bathroom windows open for a few hours after cleaning it so the room has time to air out properly.

Hopefully, this step-by-step guide will help you to properly clean your bathtub with bleach and will pave the way for a sparkling clean bathroom in the future.

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