Cleaning porcelain tub - Featured

Step-By-Step Guide To Cleaning a Porcelain Tub

Is your porcelain tub losing its shine and elegance? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the art of cleaning a porcelain tub, ensuring it gleams like new. We’ll cover every aspect, from materials and techniques to common pitfalls and FAQs. Let’s dive in and restore your tub’s former glory.


Your porcelain tub is more than just a functional fixture in your bathroom; it’s a statement of elegance and luxury. Over time, porcelain can lose its luster and become stained with soap scum, hard water deposits, and grime. To preserve its beauty, you need to know how to clean it properly.

In this guide, we’ll explore the nuances of cleaning a porcelain tub, sharing expert tips, DIY solutions, and professional recommendations. By the end, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and tools to keep your porcelain tub looking pristine. So, let’s get started!

Materials for Cleaning Porcelain Tub

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of cleaning your porcelain tub, you’ll need to gather the right materials. Here’s a checklist of what you’ll require:

Essential Cleaning Materials

  1. Baking Soda: A versatile cleaning agent that’s gentle on porcelain.
  2. White Vinegar: Effective for dissolving mineral deposits and soap scum.
  3. Soft-bristle Brush: To avoid scratching the porcelain surface.
  4. Microfiber Cloth or Sponge: Ideal for scrubbing and polishing.
  5. Rubber Gloves: To protect your hands from cleaning chemicals.
  6. Water: The universal solvent for diluting and rinsing.
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Optional Materials for Stubborn Stains

  1. Hydrogen Peroxide: Effective against tough stains and discolorations.
  2. Cream of Tartar: A gentle abrasive for stain removal.
  3. Commercial Porcelain Cleaner: A specialized solution for porcelain.

Protective Materials

  1. Goggles: Recommended if using strong cleaning agents.
  2. Ventilation: Ensure your bathroom is well-ventilated.

Now that you have your materials ready, it’s time to dive into the cleaning process.

Cleaning Porcelain Tub: Step by Step

Step 1: Prepare Your Tub

  1. Question: How should I prepare the tub for cleaning?
    • Start by removing any bath mats, toys, or items in the tub.
    • Wipe down the tub’s surface to remove loose dirt and debris.
    • Plug the drain to prevent cleaning agents from going down.
  2. Answer: Preparing the tub is crucial to ensure that your cleaning efforts are focused on the porcelain surface and not obstructed by objects. It also prevents the cleaning solution from draining away before it can work its magic.

Step 2: Create a Baking Soda Paste

  1. Question: How can I use baking soda to clean my porcelain tub?
    • In a small bowl, mix baking soda with water to create a thick paste.
    • Aim for a paste with a toothpaste-like consistency.
  2. Answer: Baking soda is an excellent and gentle abrasive that can effectively remove stains and soap scum without scratching the porcelain surface. Creating a paste ensures that it adheres to the tub’s contours.

Step 3: Apply the Baking Soda Paste

  1. Question: How do I apply the baking soda paste?
    • Using a soft-bristle brush or a sponge, apply the baking soda paste to the entire surface of the tub.
    • Ensure even coverage, paying extra attention to stained areas.
  2. Answer: Applying the paste evenly and focusing on stained spots ensures that all areas receive the cleaning treatment. The soft-bristle brush or sponge prevents scratches.

Step 4: Let It Sit

  1. Question: How long should I let the baking soda paste sit on the tub?
    • Allow the paste to sit for at least 15-20 minutes.
    • This gives the baking soda time to break down stains and scum.
  2. Answer: Patience is key in the cleaning process. Allowing the paste to sit ensures that it can effectively work on the stains, making your job easier.
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Step 5: Scrub Gently

  1. Question: How should I scrub the tub after letting the paste sit?
    • Use the soft-bristle brush or sponge to gently scrub the porcelain surface.
    • Apply even pressure, focusing on stained areas.
  2. Answer: Gentle scrubbing ensures that you don’t damage the porcelain while effectively removing stains. Even pressure helps in thorough cleaning.

Step 6: Rinse Thoroughly

  1. Question: How should I rinse the tub after scrubbing?
    • Use warm water to rinse off the baking soda paste.
    • Make sure no residue remains on the tub’s surface.
  2. Answer: Rinsing is essential to remove all remnants of the cleaning agent. Any residue left behind can dull the tub’s shine.

Step 7: Address Stubborn Stains

  1. Question: What if some stains persist after the initial cleaning?
    • For tough stains, create a paste with cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide.
    • Apply the paste to the stains and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
    • Gently scrub and rinse.
  2. Answer: Stubborn stains may require a more potent cleaning solution. The cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide combination can effectively tackle these blemishes.

Step 8: Final Rinse and Polish

  1. Question: How do I ensure my tub is sparkling clean?
    • Rinse the tub thoroughly with warm water to remove any cleaning agents.
    • Use a microfiber cloth or sponge to dry and polish the porcelain surface.
  2. Answer: The final rinse removes any remaining cleaning agents, and polishing with a microfiber cloth or sponge brings out the shine in your porcelain tub.

Step 9: Regular Maintenance

  1. Question: How can I maintain the cleanliness of my porcelain tub?
    • Clean your tub regularly to prevent the build-up of stains and scum.
    • Consider using a commercial porcelain cleaner for periodic deep cleaning.
    • Dry the tub after use to prevent water spots.
  2. Answer: Regular maintenance is key to keeping your porcelain tub in pristine condition. Preventing build-up is easier than tackling stubborn stains.

Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Cleaning a porcelain tub can be tricky, and there are common pitfalls to watch out for. Here’s how to avoid them:

Pitfall 1: Using Abrasive Cleaners

Question: What should I avoid when selecting cleaning agents?

  • Avoid abrasive cleaners or scouring pads that can scratch the porcelain surface.
  • Stick to gentle yet effective options like baking soda and white vinegar.
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Answer: Abrasive cleaners can cause irreversible damage to your tub. Opt for safer alternatives to protect the porcelain’s finish.

Pitfall 2: Neglecting Regular Cleaning

Question: What’s the consequence of neglecting regular cleaning?

  • Neglecting regular cleaning can lead to the build-up of tough stains and scum.
  • It’s easier to maintain a clean tub than to deal with stubborn stains.

Answer: Regular cleaning is a preventive measure. Skipping it will make the cleaning process more labor-intensive.

Pitfall 3: Using Harsh Chemicals

Question: Are there cleaning agents I should avoid?

  • Avoid harsh chemicals like bleach, as they can damage the porcelain and harm your health.
  • Stick to natural and safe cleaning solutions.

Answer: Harsh chemicals pose risks to both your tub and your well-being. Opt for safer alternatives.

Pitfall 4: Ignoring Ventilation

Question: Why is ventilation important during cleaning?

  • Inadequate ventilation can lead to inhaling fumes from cleaning agents.
  • Ensure proper ventilation by opening windows and using exhaust fans.

Answer: Ventilation is crucial to your safety. Fumes from cleaning agents can be harmful if inhaled in a confined space.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can I use bleach to clean my porcelain tub?

Answer: It’s best to avoid bleach, as it can damage the porcelain surface and pose health risks. Opt for safer alternatives like baking soda and white vinegar.

How often should I clean my porcelain tub?

Answer: Regular cleaning is essential. Aim for at least once a week to prevent the build-up of tough stains and scum.

What if my porcelain tub has rust stains?

Answer: For rust stains, try a paste of baking soda and lemon juice. Apply, let it sit, and scrub gently. Rinse thoroughly.

Can I use a commercial porcelain cleaner?

Answer: Yes, commercial cleaners are suitable for periodic deep cleaning. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

How can I prevent water spots on my tub?

Answer: To prevent water spots, dry the tub after use with a microfiber cloth or sponge.

What if my porcelain tub is very old and stained?

Answer: If your tub is severely stained, consider professional refinishing to restore its original shine.


Your porcelain tub can regain its former glory with the right cleaning techniques and materials. Armed with this comprehensive guide, you now have the knowledge to tackle stains, scum, and keep your tub looking pristine. Remember to clean it regularly and avoid common pitfalls to maintain its beauty for years to come.

So, roll up your sleeves, gather your cleaning materials, and let your porcelain tub shine once more. Happy cleaning!


In this guide, we’ve covered the art of cleaning a porcelain tub in detail. We’ve discussed the essential materials, provided a step-by-step cleaning process, highlighted common pitfalls, and answered frequently asked questions. Following these expert tips and recommendations will help you maintain the beauty of your porcelain tub. Don’t forget to clean it regularly and choose gentle, safe cleaning solutions. Keep your tub sparkling and enjoy the luxury it adds to your bathroom.