How To Naturally Clean a Bathtub with Grapefruit and Salt

updated Jun 5, 2019
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(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Lemons and vinegar are the great dynamic duo of green cleaning, but there’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh grapefruit. It’s fresh and sweet, and can give your bathroom that extra boost of freshness that is usually only obtained with heavily scented candles and other cleaning products that aren’t so earth-friendly.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

I recently moved into a home that had sat empty for a year and while it was in great condition, the old cast iron tub looked pretty rough. While I knew I’d be up against some pretty stubborn rust, I was excited to try out the grapefruit/salt combo on the grime!

What You Need

1 Grapefruit
1/4 cup coarse kosher salt


1. Halve Grapefruit: 1 medium to large grapefruit will clean your entire bath or shower from top to bottom, including all the fixtures. Simply cut it in half with a knife and you’ll be all set.

2. Sprinkle With Salt: Using 1 grapefruit half at a time, sprinkle the top liberally with salt. Wet your bathtub and sprinkle the remaining salt around the bottom.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

3. Get to scrubbing! Scrub your grapefruit around your shower or tub, making sure to slightly “juice” the citrus over each fixture and lifting it every few seconds to pick up fresh salt from around the tub instead of just pushing it around. You can also use the rind on stubborn areas.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

4. Rinse: When all is said and done, simply rinse away the pulpy bits and the salt and your shower is as good as new.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Additional Notes:
For my slightly-neglected tub I ended up using 2 grapefruits and about a half cup of salt. While the dirt and grime came off in a breeze, I’m afraid the rust might be etched in to the porcelain. You can also use this method to clean your sinks, toilets, tile and more — it just depends on how many grapefruits you decide to bring home from the market!

Original post by Sarah Rae Trover on 5.21.10 , updated by Ashley Poskin 9.14

More great tips and tutorials: Cleaning Basics