Monday, July 21, 2014

Cleaning the Bathtub

Cleaning the bathtub is a dreaded but necessary chore. In our home, with 5 people bathing constantly (and two of those being boys that are dirt-magnets) the tub can get! We have an older, claw foot tub. It does not do well with bleaches or harsh chemicals (plus, who wants to use that stuff anyway?). 

I am going to share with you what *I* use to clean my tub. These ingredients (plus a lot of elbow grease) help to keep my tub sparkling (well, as close as we can get. With this being an older tub, it still holds onto some of it's stains from years past).

 I fill my hand-dandy Mrs. Meyer's Bucket (which has been well-used) with warm water and some Mrs. Meyer's Basil All Purpose Cleaner and swish it around until I have great-smelling, sudsy, warm water! (I put the bucket right in the tub while I am scrubbing!) I sprinkle some borax and baking soda (which I keep in an old parmesan cheese container...notice it needs refilled...) onto the surface of the tub. Then...using my scrubby sponge and a lot of muscle...I scrub and scrub until clean.

I didn't really think about making a post about this until *after* the unfortunately, I don't have any before photos. But this is basically, as nice as this tub gets (a good cleaning on a newer tub could end up perfectly, sparkling white!)...

If you have a cast iron claw foot tub, as I do, you may also find it helpful (for those stains that just won't go away no matter how hard you scrub) to make a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Sprinkle the baking soda on the stain(s). Then add just enough hydrogen peroxide to make a paste. Let it sit a while...when you come back to it...scrub and rinse! It should help that tub to sparkle! :)

I would love to hear any *bathtub* cleaning tips *you* may have to share!!! :)


  1. Wow...Katy, that really turned out very nice! That is the kind of tub that I grew up with in the family farmhouse. My mom couldn't wait to exchange it for a more modern one and now people pay a lot of money to have a new one. I love it that you have one of the older ones. Makes me smile.

    We just have a regular old tub, but it is an older one...just not the claw foot one like yours. I use a mixture of the original (blue) Dawn dish washing liquid and white vinegar. I found the recipe on Pinterest because I didn't like using all of the chemicals because I am chemical sensitive due to the fibro. The recipe calls for equal parts, but I found that using the same amount of Dawn as vinegar made too many suds to have to rinse and wipe down. I just heat 12 ounces of white vinegar in the microwave and then add about 10 ounces of Blue Dawn to the bowl. I let it cool some and then pour into a 98 cent spray bottle that I picked up at Walmart. I normally just spray it on after we finish with the tub from our morning showers/baths and let it set while I do the cleaning of the toilet and sink. I just wet down a cloth and the soap scum wipes right off.

  2. Love your tub! We had an old pink tub in the house I grew up in, not sure if it was claw foot or not.

    I recently had to really scrub out our tub. It had plumbing issues and after two months of trying to fix it, it finally drains again. Needless to say it got very scummy during that time! I sprinkled lots of baking soda after wetting down the whole tub/shower area. Lots of elbow grease later, it looks so much better and is shiny again. In our 2nd bath shower, I keep baking soda in a plastic cup along with an old denture tooth brush and scrub one wall of tile at a time (not daily) after I shower to keep it clean.


    1. We have the worst water here in southern California. Baking soda is the only thing I've tried that cuts through the crud that accumulates from the hard water. I use vinegar for things that have sat in water too long (like the tracks of the shower.) It too cuts through the hard water deposits, but is best when it can sit and soak.

  3. Hi Katy,
    I just have to say, I'd take a claw foot tub over a modern tub anyday! It's beautiful!

    I use a mixture of baking soda and dish soap usually, but occasionally in between cleanings I will spray and wipe down with a mixture of vinegar, water and dish soap. We have 5 in our family as well with one bathroom :)

    The Basil all purpose cleaner sounds so nice!
    Blessings, Jamie

  4. Hi Katy

    AAAAWWWW AMAZING!! I usually clean my bathroom with vinegar, baking soda and essential oils, but adding the borax to it today my bath, hand basin & toilet bowel are shining more than I have ever seen them (we rent an old queenslander cottage with original bathroom so like your claw foot bath there is alot of build up over the years). We also have hard water here with alot of calcium in it which continually leaves stains on everything, so to see it all shining and looking pretty i am literally jumping up and down with joy and couldnt stop looking at it....hahahahah.

    Thankyou mega much for shinning my day :) :) xx