How to ensure that your tub stays spotless.
Believe it or not, there is actually an International Bath Day, and it’s today! To properly commemorate the day, we’re giving you our top tips on cleaning your tub.
Naturally, if you’re getting into a bath, the goal is to come out clean. Unfortunately, a bathtub is one of the dirtiest places in the home. Studies have even found that an average bath or shower is 100 times dirtier than a garbage bin!
Don’t let that put you off too much though, as the experts can all agree that due to the high dilution of all the harmful microbiomes from the hot water, you’re very, very unlikely to see negative health effects from taking a bath. But with all that in mind, it’s still important to make sure that your bath is as clean as possible before a soak.
Luckily, sanitising and cleaning your bath doesn’t have to be a difficult chore. Here’s how to clean your bath the Merry Maids way.
Know the biggest culprits
If your bathtub isn’t very clean, it’s likely a result of one or more of these common nuisances: hair and soap scum. Hair is pretty self-explanatory, but what about soap scum? Often confused with limescale, soap scum is a chalky white substance that collects in tubs, sinks, shower curtains & heads. Soap scum is simply a build-up of both calcium and magnesium stearate and all the other residue from your body and products like dead skin cells, oils, chemicals, and soap remnants. According to The Spruce, soap scum is formed when soap is used in hard water and combines with calcium and magnesium particles in the water and soap to create soap scum. This formation then frequently spreads when minerals in tap water combine with soap and dirt to create a layer of scaly residue on your surfaces. Thankfully, although it isn’t particularly pleasant, soap scum isn’t a form of bacteria, so isn’t harmful to you in any way.
We’ll deal with the soap scum in a moment, but it’s also worth noting that you’re going to have an easier job cleaning your bathtub if you remove any hair from the surfaces and drains now by using a duster or getting in there by hand to remove any that has clumped together.
Make up your cleaning solution
As with a lot of our other at-home recipes for home cleaning solutions like urine or wine stains, the key ingredient here is some bicarbonate of soda. Mix some bicarb with equal parts washing-up liquid (roughly a ¼ of a cup of each works best here). Here is where you may opt to add in some essential oil to create a nicer smell in your bathroom for when you’re done. If you do choose to use a couple of drops, limit yourself to only about this much, and if you can, try and choose one that contains citrus like lemon or grapefruit as the acid will give you some extra help in breaking down that nasty soap scum.
Grab your cleaning utensils and mix the solution
Now that you’ve made up your solution, it’s time to mix it well. The easiest thing to do here is simply to use whatever cleaning utensil you’re going to use to stir it all together in a bowl or a cup. But be advised that what you use to clean your tub should depend on what it is made from, as different surface materials will need different cleaning utensils. For example, cast iron, acrylic or fibreglass bathtubs all have a more delicate finish to them so you want to avoid anything that might scratch and damage this. For a more standard enamel bathtub, a sponge will do the job nicely. Make sure you mix well and remember that this recipe doesn’t keep so you can be liberal with how much you apply. And, because it doesn’t use any harsh chemicals, you don’t even have to wear rubber gloves if you don’t want to – which will come in handy later.
Note: If you’re taking this opportunity to clean your bathroom tiles as well, do those beforehand, as you want to make sure that the tub stays dry until it’s time to rinse.
If not, or when you’re done, start applying your solution to the bathtub by wiping it down with your dampened sponge or cloth. Once your tub is suitably coated in the mixture, let it sit for about 10 minutes as it works its magic, breaking down all the soap scum and germs. Then, wet your sponge to get it nice and clean once more and start scrubbing the mixture away to clean the tub. It’s best to start at the back and work your way towards the drain and the taps for the easiest clean.
As you’re not wearing gloves, you can easily check if the scum has been removed by simply wiping your finger over the surface. If it’s nice and smooth, the scum has gone. If you can still feel it there, you may have to reapply some more mixture.
Clear the mixture away and clear out the drain
Using a container of hot water, or a removable shower head (if you have one), start to wash away the bicarb solution. You can then clean and polish off the taps. If your drain is full of grime, you can also use bicarbonate of soda to clear it out. Just sprinkle four tbsp of bicarb into the drain along with some vinegar and watch this solution bubble your drain grime away. Once it’s finished bubbling, pour some boiling hot water done the drain to flush the mixture out.
And if you want more than just your tub cleaned this International Bath Day, find your nearest Merry Maids now to book a one-off, or regular spring or deep clean today.
Written by Tom Page, Digital Content Writer