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How to Clean a Porcelain Tub? (Ultimate Guide)

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You got that luxurious porcelain tub to make your bathroom stand out, but those stains aren’t just ruining the tub’s aesthetics but affecting the entire bathroom’s look. If you have a porcelain tub, you know how quickly it can become stained or discolored.

While harsh chemicals can make the tub shiny in one go, they do more harm than good! 

Wondering how to clean a porcelain tub?

Rinse the entire tub with hot water and apply a mixture of dishwashing soap and lukewarm water. Scrub the surface using a soft sponge and rinse the tub again. Finally, take a clean cloth and dab lemon oil on the bathtub to restore shine to the porcelain tub. 

How to Clean a Porcelain Tub

Are the stubborn spots still there? Read on as I’ve explained the entire method I use for cleaning my porcelain tub.

Prerequisites of Cleaning a Porcelain Tub 

Porcelain is a fancy material, but it requires some care as well. In addition, the pores on the tub’s surface absorb what’s applied over it, and you need to be very careful with the materials you use to clean it.

Here are a few prerequisites that you should keep in mind before cleaning the tub.

Prepare the Tub

Before you start cleaning a dirty porcelain tub, it’s essential to prepare it properly. Remove loose debris or dirt from the tub with a dry cloth or soft-bristled brush. This will help prevent scratching the surface during the cleaning process.

Understand the Type of Stains 

The cleaning method depends on the type and stubbornness of the stains. If your tub has rustic spots, a regular cleaning method won’t work well. Whenever I’m unsure about stains, I do a blot test.

Prepare a small amount of cleaning solution, and clean one section of the tub. If the solution works, use it to clean the entire porcelain bathtub. 

Avoid Harsh Chemicals 

When cleaning a porcelain tub, avoid using harsh chemicals, as they can damage the surface of your tub and cause it to absorb the chemicals. This can be harmful to your health, as well as the appearance and longevity of your tub. Instead, opt for natural and gentle cleaning solutions, such as cleaning a porcelain tub with vinegar.

Things Required for Cleaning a Porcelain Bathtub 

Gather the following cleaning supplies to eliminate all types of stains from your beautiful bathtub. 

How to Clean a Porcelain Tub: Step-by-step Method

Whether you have a freestanding porcelain tub or some other type, it’ll have accessories, such as the fixtures. I’ve divided this cleaning guide into two parts, one for cleaning fixtures and the other for the main tub.

Part 1: Clean the Bathtub Accessories

  • Prepare a Cleaning Solution 

Take a spray and fill it with lukewarm water. Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda and an equal amount of ammonia. (Baking soda cleans stains effectively, and ammonia offers grease to prevent stains)

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  • Apply the Solution Carefully 

Spray the mixture over the fixtures like tub fillers, and let it sit for some time. Take a soft sponge and dip it in the same solution. Now, scrub the fixtures gently to remove soap scum and other stains. 

A Pro Tip: Using the sponge in a circular motion cleans the metal accessories better and doesn’t leave streaks as well. 

  • Rinse Well 

Use lukewarm water to clean the fixtures and rub it with your fingers to remove stains. You can also dip the sponge in normal water to clean the fixtures.

  • Wipe Off and Polish 

If not cleaned properly, baking soda can leave a white residue on the metal accessories. Use a clean rag and thoroughly wipe the accessories. Lastly, polish it to shine.


Part 2: Clean the Bathtub

  • Prepare Solution 

Add ¼ cup ammonia and baking soda to a bucket full of warm water. Next, add a few tablespoons of dishwashing soap, depending on the tub’s size. Mix the solution well and pour it inside the tub.

Tip: Use a drain stopper to prevent the solution from flowing down the drain.

  • Scrub to Remove Stains 

If required, get into the tub and use a soft sponge to clean the stains. You can pour more dishwashing liquid and a pinch of baking soda directly on stains to remove them effectively. 

  • Rinse the Tub 

Remove the drain plug to empty the tub and fill the tub with clean water. Use your hands to remove accumulated soap, and then rinse the tub again. 

  • Apply Baking Soda and Vinegar Paste (optional)

If the stains are still there, you can use a paste of baking soda and vinegar or lemon juice. Create a thick paste and apply it over the stained areas. Since baking soda is slightly abrasive, you should be careful when scrubbing the tub. 

Dip a sponge in regular water and scrub the stains. Keep adding lemon juice or vinegar to keep the area well-lubricated. Once done, rinse the tub with clean water.

  • Apply Lemon Oil to Shine the Tub’s Surface

Those stains and cleaning with baking soda might make your tub look dull. However, you can restore the shine by using lemon oil. 

Take a clean cloth and dab it into lemon oil. Apply the oil on the tub’s surface, and you’ll see a glimmering finish. Let the tub sit for some time to absorb the lemon oil before you use it for a relaxing bath.

How to Remove Rust Stains from Porcelain Tubs?

Regular cleaning isn’t enough to remove tough rust stains. I use the table salt method to clean off the rust spots, which works like magic.

Rinse the Tub and Cover the Stains Using Table Salt 

Fill the tub with water to clean the loose dirt and debris. Next, cover the stains with table salt. Take half of a lemon and squeeze it over the salt. Ensure no dry salt is left, as the granules can scratch the tub.

Scrub Using a Nylon Sponge 

Take a nylon sponge or a soft rag and scrub the table salt. Once done, leave the paste for a few hours. Squeeze another lemon, and scrub again.

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Rinse the Tub Again  

After removing the stains, you must rinse the tub well. I prefer cleaning my tub with a handheld shower. If you also have one, clean every nook and cranny. Else, pour a bucket full of water to clean the bathtub.

Tips to Keep Your Porcelain Tub Clean at All Times 

Cleaning a porcelain bathtub, especially a big one, is no joke. And you’ll agree with this after cleaning the entire tub. Isn’t it better to maintain cleanliness in the first place without having to deal with the mess repeatedly?

Here are some helpful tips to keep your bathtub spick and span after every bath. 

1. Wipe Down the Tub after Every Use

After each use, wipe down the porcelain tub with a soft cloth to remove any soap scum, dirt, or other residue.

2. Avoid Using Bath Oils or Bath Bombs

Bath oils and bath bombs can leave a residue that is difficult to clean. Avoid using products that contain glitter and other stain-causing ingredients. If your bathtub manufacturer has mentioned not to use bath bombs or oils, you should avoid using them.

3. Don’t Let Water Sit in the Tub

Letting water sit in the tub for an extended period of time can cause stains and may damage the porcelain material. Make sure to clean the tub after every bath.

4. Clean the Tub Once Every Week

No matter how frequently you use the bathtub, you should clean it once every week. Additionally, deep clean your tub fortnightly to ensure it remains free from stains.


Q: How do I clean Porcelain Tub Soap Scum?

Rinse the tub with regular water to loosen the soap scum. Now use a nylon sponge to get the scum off the surface. Rinse the tub again, and you are good to go.

Q: Can you use a Magic Eraser on a Painted Porcelain Tub?

Yes, a magic eraser can be used to clean a painted porcelain tub. You can use it instead of a sponge to clean the tub gently. Go for an extra thick eraser, as it lasts longer and provides you with a decent holding grip when cleaning. 

Q: Is my tub Porcelain or Enamel?

You can use a magnet to determine the tub’s material. If the magnet sticks to the tub, its enamel, else you have a porcelain tub.

Q: Can you use Scrubbing Bubbles on a Porcelain Tub?

Scrubbing Bubbles is a great alternative to chemical-based cleaners for a porcelain tub. However, your first choice should be a non-chemical solution, such as cleaning a porcelain tub with hydrogen peroxide. 

Scrubbing Bubbles, Foaming Bleach Bathroom Cleaner, 32 oz
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Final Thoughts 

Maintaining your porcelain tub will be easy, provided you follow the cleaning method and tips I’ve explained. Make sure to share it with your friends and colleagues when they ask you how you clean your porcelain tub.

Lastly, avoid abrasive materials, such as steel wool, to protect the tub’s surface from scratches while maintaining its sheen for longer.  


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