How To Clean Your Bathtub

I just returned home to Paris and a freshly cleaned bathroom after spending the holidays in the States. While my husband considers my practice of frantically cleaning our apartment minutes before we’re about to leave for the airport right up there with the insanity that is cleaning right before the cleaning lady comes (of which I am definitely guilty), I think there is no better “welcome home!” than a clean house — and especially a clean bathroom.

Now I have to admit that I loathe cleaning — and cleaning the bathtub in particular is a chore that has made me seriously consider why we don’t just buy some rubber flip-flops and call it a day. But, eventually I’ll want to take a bath and when faced with the prospect of stewing in all that goo — well, then I remember why it’s such a good idea to just keep up with it in the first place!

So, I have developed an easy tub-cleaning system I hope will help you, too. I realize, of course, that there are many ways to skin scrub a cat, but this is what works for me:

1. Purchase a tub-cleaning-dedicated surface cleaner — or mop with a stiff bristle brush on one side and a soft sponge on the other. I use one designed by Michael Graves for Target called the “2-in-1 Surface cleaner” (in store only), which is triangle-shaped for getting into corners. The handle telescopes, which is also key. Gone are the days of kneeling on hard tile floors while bent double inside of your tub with a scrub brush! With this tool (or a small mop) you can stand comfortably and reach all of the nooks and crannies in your tub and shower. I love this tool so much I actually brought one with me to Paris, which either proves how great it is, or how lazy I am…

2. Use a scrub, not a spray. I am uniquely blessed to have a giant bathtub in my tiny Paris apartment, but so far I have been unable to find any kind of cleaning paste or scrub, which is beyond frustrating. Sprays just don’t cut it—you have to use quite a few trigger pulls to cover your entire tub (and shower if you have one) and liquid cleaning agents just don’t break up the grime the same way a scrub does. I’m a big fan of Method’s Eucalyptus Mint “le Scrub” although any thick paste will do. This one works beautifully and you won’t have to open the window’s to keep from passing out while you’re cleaning (a big plus in the winter!).

3. Rinse If you have a hand shower, rinsing is a breeze, but if you don’t simply close the shower curtain and turn on the spray and gently move the shower head from side to side. If you use a natural cleaner you won’t have to worry too much if a little scrub is left over on the tub — they won’t irritate sensitive skin like most traditional cleaners will.

That’s it! Pretty easy, huh? Once you take the backbreaking work out of the equation (the telescoping scrubber is key!) cleaning the tub becomes a much less daunting prospect. I’m not going to lie and say you’ll enjoy it — but you may not dread it as much!

Do you have any tips for keeping the tub clean?

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