From Stains to Shine: Is Baking Soda the Solution for Your Dirty Bathtub?

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Home » Blog » Natural & Non-Toxic » From Stains to Shine: Is Baking Soda the Solution for Your Dirty Bathtub?

Soaking in a bathtub is one way to destress from a long day. Whether you enjoy the bathtub every day or occasionally, keeping it clean can keep your bath fresh. So, what should you use to clean your bathtub? Does baking soda clean bathtubs?

Yes, you can clean your bathtub with baking soda. Baking soda is known as a “scratchless” abrasive cleaner suitable for most surfaces. It removes dirt, stains, and foul odors and brightens surfaces. 

Ready to make your bathtub sparkling clean? Let’s begin.

Can Baking Soda Clean Bathtubs?

Absolutely! Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. Beyond making your baked goods light and fluffy, it is also an alkaline cleaner. Once put in a dirty bathtub, it will react with stains to create glycerol, a natural cleansing agent found in soaps

Also, when baking soda mixes with vinegar, the mixture will release carbon dioxide to form acid or a weak alkali. The result will make the bathtub even brighter and eliminate foul odor.

Why Do Bathtubs Have Dark Stains?

Knowing how stains form in your tub will help ease your dirty bathtub problem. The bathtub or shower, in general, is vulnerable to dark stains.

These stains come from dissolved minerals or iron in your water that react with oxygen. When they settle on your tub, stains will form.

Fortunately, these stains are not hard to remove. Keeping a cleaning schedule will help eliminate them. And using baking soda will also help because it’s a natural alkaline cleaner.

How Often Should a Bathtub Be Cleaned?

Clean your bathtub every week, and deep clean it monthly. When you clean weekly or monthly, household staples like baking soda, vinegar, and lemon will do the trick.

However, if you wait longer than that you may need a stronger cleaning product like Miracle II Soap or Sal Suds.

How to Make a Bathtub Clean with Baking Soda

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Sometimes, harsh chemicals can be found in commercial cleaners that may damage your bathtub. Bathtubs are expensive, so you want to keep them safe. The good thing is that baking soda is a safe, non-toxic cleaner that can tackle bathtub rings and even the toughest stains.

Things you’ll need:

  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • Warm water
  • Scrub brush or sponge
  • Bucket
  • Dry terry cloth (optional)


  1. Fill a bucket with hot water. Hot water will make the cleaning process more manageable. Remove any leftover debris from the bathtub.
  2. Sprinkle the baking soda all over the tub. It will clean away dirt, mold, mildew, or stains.
  3. Now, fill the bucket with more hot water and dish soap. Slowly pour the water with dish soap and start scrubbing the tub. Continue using the remaining water to rinse away stains already washed, or do another round of cleaning if you need to.
  4. Rinse the bathtub with a showerhead or fill the empty bucket with water to clean the tub thoroughly.
  5. Dry the tub with a clean terry cloth, or leave it for a few minutes to dry. You can also utilize this method to clean your bathroom tiles, faucet, or toilet

Can Vinegar and Baking Soda Clean Bathtubs?

Cleaning the bathtub with baking soda may not be enough. You might need a more powerful cleaning mixture if the bathtub has stubborn stains, mold, or mildew.

Baking soda and vinegar can loosen mineral deposits and eliminate soap scum. Follow these steps to make your bathtub even cleaner.

Things you’ll need:

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Sponge 
  • Clean cloth


  1. Dilute the vinegar. To do it, mix vinegar and water. Please make sure they are equal parts.
  2. Put the mixture into a spray bottle and use it to clean the area of the tub that has hard mineral build-up. Let it sit for about 30 minutes. This is when the magic happens. The acetic acid will break down dirt or oil compounds.
  3. Sprinkle the baking soda all over the tub. You can also put the baking soda first on the sponge or clean cloth to dampen the stained area. Leave the baking soda and vinegar for a few minutes to sit.
  4. Scrub the tub gently to remove the dirt, mineral deposits, or soap scum altogether.
  5. Rinse the tub with water and leave it to dry. You can also wipe the tub with a clean terry cloth to speed up the drying process.

Can Lemon and Baking Soda Clean Bathtubs?

Lemon is another common household ingredient that cleans bathtubs. It helps eliminate hard water deposits and soap scum. It’s also great for removing stains because of its natural bleaching qualities.

Here’s how you can use lemon with baking soda to make your bathtub sparkling clean:

Things you’ll need:

  • Baking soda
  • Lemon
  • Water
  • Bucket (optional)
  • Scrubbing brush or microfiber cloth
  • Dry clean cloth (optional)


  1. Pour water into the tub using the showerhead, or fill it in manually with a bucket of water. Remove any leftover debris from the bathtub.
  2. Make a cleaning paste by combining lemon juice with baking soda. Apply the mixture to the tub and leave it for about 5 to 10 minutes. 
  3. Fill the tub with a depth of 2 to 3 inches of hot water. 
  4. Scrub the bathtub with a scrubbing brush or microfiber cloth to clean away stains and baking soda residue. 
  5. Drain the tub or remove the water from it. 
  6. Rinse the bathtub with hot and clean water. Leave the tub or use a dry, clean terry cloth to dry.

What Type of Bathtub Can I Use Baking Soda On?

Bathtubs contain different materials. Hence, when it comes to cleaning a tub, they are not all alike. For instance, stone resin tubs react differently when using baking soda on them. An abrasive cleaner like baking soda may damage this kind of tub.

The bathtub table below shows which cleaning and household products to use for cleaning them and which ones to avoid.

Bathtub Material Cleaners to Use Cleaners to Avoid
Fiberglass Baking soda White vinegar Anything non-abrasive Ammonia Bleach Abrasive scrubber
Porcelain Baking soda Ammonia Anything non-acidic or non-abrasive Bleach Abrasive scrubber White vinegar
Acrylic Baking soda White vinegar Anything non-abrasive or non-acidic Ammonia Bleach Abrasive scrubber
Ceramic Baking soda White vinegar Anything non-abrasive Ammonia Bleach Abrasive cleaner
Stoner Resin Bleach Ammonia Medium-strength surface cleaner Baking Soda White vinegar
Marble Baking soda Ammonia Medium-strength surface cleaner Bleach White vinegar
Copper Baking Soda Ammonia Bleach Abrasive scrubber White vinegar Any corrosive cleaner

Bathtub Cleaning Tips

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Cleaning a bathtub takes time, but once it becomes routine, the job may only take 10 minutes. To ease the hassle of deep cleaning the tub, these tips and tricks may be of great help.

  • If you’re cleaning the entire bathroom, save the bathtub for last.
  • You may squat or kneel on the floor while cleaning the tub. However, the job should not be that painful. Place a pad or folded towel to protect your knees, or wear knee pads.
  • Stubborn stain? Make a baking soda paste (soda and water) and apply it to the affected bathtub area. Leave the paste for about an hour to set, and wipe it once it is dry.
  • Use a mesh drain catcher to keep the bathtub drain clear and clean.
  • Drain problems? Sprinkle some baking soda down the drain, then pour some vinegar. After the bubbling effect, flush the drain with hot water.

Read our article – How to Use Baking Soda and Vinegar to Clean a Drain to learn the exact steps to clean your drains.


Cleaning a bathtub is not everyone’s cup of tea. But someone has to do it. Baking soda, along with other household items like vinegar and lemon, can make cleaning the bathtub easier.

Once you make cleaning the tub a routine, the job won’t be that tough anymore. Plus, a clean bathtub will make soaking in it more relaxing and refreshing for you and the whole family.

Before cleaning your bathtub, look at our chart above to learn what cleaning products you can use to clean it.

If you are interested in learning what else baking soda can do for your home, check out our post – Uncovering the Truth: Can Baking Soda Clean Carpets?