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The Best Bathtub Cleaners

Serhii Krot/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated October 2021

The bathtub is a spot in the home that sees a lot of use. Since it's where we clean our bodies, it's imperative that we clean the tub regularly so that it can do its job effectively.

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  Best for Jetted Tubs Best Plant-Based Best Heavy-Duty Spray Best Foam Cleaner Also Great
 
  Oh Yuk
Jetted Tub Cleaner
Better Life
Natural Tub and Tile Cleaner
RMR-86
Instant Mold and Mildew Stain Remover Spray
The Pink Stuff
Miracle Cleaning Paste and Bathroom Foam Cleaner
Kaboom
FoamTastic Bathroom Cleaner with OxiClean
 
Our SummaryThis jetted tub cleaner cleans the places you can't reach. Run your water, pour it in, run the jets, and watch the gunk come up.This bathtub cleaner is plant-based and powerful! It blasts grime yet is safe around people and pets.This stuff seriously bullies bathtub mold and mildew without work on your part.This amazing bathtub cleaner might be pink, but it's fierce against the gross stuff growing in your tub.This cleaner sprays on blue then turns white when it's ready to wipe. It contains stain-fighting bubbles, too.
ProsReaches the plumbing lines, scientifically engineered and field-tested to remove soap buildup, body oils, and other unwanted debris, easy to use.Free of harmful chemicals, uses plant-based ingredients, no testing on animals, obliterates stains and soap scum, fresh scent.It's five times stronger than other leading brands, effective on the most bathroom surfaces, requires no scrubbing, ingredients clearly listed. Solid reputation as an effective and nontoxic bathtub cleaner, clings to the surfaces you spray, attacks germs, dirt, grime, and soap, paste can be all over the house.Works instantly on its own, fortified with OxiClean Stain Fighter, comprehensive list of the ingredients.

ConsUsers can be grossed out by the biofilm, black flakes, and ooze that comes out of the jets, ingredients not listed.Essential oils may be problematic for some.Bleach-based solution, can damage the skin and possibly affect breathing if you don't air out the room. Paste includes abrasives like baking soda and quartz and may damage walls and polished surfaces if not careful.Not a disinfectant, you may need to treat the tub a few times and even scrub.
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The Best Bathtub Cleaners

A young woman cleans a bathtub with a sponge and a rag and yellow rubber gloves on her hands.
Serhii Krot/Shutterstock.com

It’s often a pain to clean the bathroom. Crouching down to rub the bottom and sides of the tub and twisting at odd angles to be thorough isn’t fun, but it’s vital to clean the tub to attack the hotbed of germs that can grow inside it. Keep your tub sparkling clean with these impressive bathtub cleaners.

Buying Guide for Bathtub Cleaners

A young woman sprays a cleaner into a bathtub to clean it.
Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock.com

Why buy a bathtub cleaner?

You should buy a bathtub cleaner if you have a bathtub; it’s as simple as that. It sees frequent use—one person after the next, day after day. And as the days add up, so do layers of soap scum, dead skin cells, oils and grease, and hard water deposits like limescale from tap water. You’ll want a product that can handle that. Official bathtub cleaners work quickly, require less elbow grease, and have a more powerful cleansing zap to them than most homemade methods.

What should you look for in a bathtub cleaner?

  • The Finish: Just as a clean, nicely decorated room calms the mind, a clean and shiny bathtub appeals to the person with sore muscles. The first days after you clean your bathtub, your entire bathroom looks nicer, brighter, cleaner, and more welcoming. Then, if the aesthetic contrast between the glossy bathtub and the rest of the bathroom irks you, well, that bathtub cleaner you purchased can usually be used to clean the other fixtures in your bathroom. Most bathtub cleaners can be used to scrub the sink, toilet, shower walls, and door. Soon you’ll have a glittery, clean bathroom that your guests can use and enjoy.
  • The Scent: The scent of the bathtub cleaner you use is of great importance. Scent can make or ruin a bath. It can be difficult to please everyone in a household. Not everyone likes the strong scent of powerful, chemical-based cleaners. Those with sensitive sniffers may prefer gentle herbal scents like lavender or tea tree oil, eucalyptus, or lemongrass.  One thing most of us can agree on is that the smell of “clean” is preferable to that of a dirty bathtub.
  • The Formula: Bathtubs are the optimal breeding ground for bacteria, which isn’t just disgusting but also potentially harmful to the body. Potential ailments from exposure to a dirty bathtub include athlete’s foot, gastrointestinal viruses, staph infection, and exacerbations of asthma and allergies. But some bathtub cleaners will kill up to 99.9% of viruses and bacteria. Check for formulas that will kill bacteria as well as offer the nice finish and smell you want.

What do you need to know about active ingredients in bathtub cleaners?

Here are a few common substances used in bathtub cleaners: triethanolamine; ethoxylated alcohols; isobutane; sodium hydroxide and chloride; lauramine oxide; sodium and calcium carbonate; sodium hypochlorite, and sodium silicate. Many of these are abrasives that work to rub away soap scum; others are antimicrobial surfactants used to remove bacteria. Are they safe? Usually, but if you have sensitive skin or known allergies, check the ingredients on a bathtub cleaning product before purchasing. Plus, wearing rubber gloves while cleaning is a great idea.

Our Picks for the Best Bathtub Cleaners

Best for Jetted Tubs

Oh Yuk Jetted Tub Cleaner

This jetted tub cleaner cleans the places you can't reach. Run your water, pour it in, run the jets, and watch the gunk come up.

Pros: Jetted bathtubs require cleaning products that can reach the plumbing lines that run under the tub. These plumbing lines are full of warm, stagnant water where bacteria, biofilm, and mold have a heyday. Yuck! This is where Oh Yuk enters the scene (the tub). This jetted tub cleaner is scientifically engineered and field-tested to remove soap buildup, body oils, and other unwanted debris. Just fill the tub with hot water, making sure you cover the jets. Then add in 4 ounces of Oh Yuk, run the jets for 15 minutes, drain the water, and wipe the tub clean. One 16-ounce bottle of Oh Yuk lasts four cleanings. It’s also available in a two-pack and in a 1-gallon container.

Cons: The biofilm, black flake, and ooze that comes out of the jets are not for the weak-stomached. You’ll want to stay on top of cleaning your jetted tub to alleviate the grossness that comes out.

Bottom Line: Oh Yuk gets a thumbs up from us! It cleans bathtub jets thoroughly and requires little from you. Depending on how often you activate the jets, you’ll want to clean them about once a month, and this product will get the job done well!

 

Best Plant-Based

Better Life Natural Tub and Tile Cleaner

This bathtub cleaner is plant-based and powerful! It blasts grime yet is safe around people and pets.

Pros: Better Life’s selling point is its natural, harmful-chemical-free, and plant-based ingredients and its powerful cleaning capacity. It isn’t tested on animals, and it uses eucalyptus and tea tree essential oils for a nice scent. Concerning its performance as a tub and tile cleaner, Better Life touts that it’s not as soft-working as it is in other aspects. The cleaner is designed to remove grime from the bathtub and the grout around the bathtub and tiled walls. It obliterates stains and soap scum, leaving a fresh scent and a shiny tub.

Cons: If you don’t like essential oils or have an allergic reaction to them, you may want to skip this product.

Bottom Line: This cleaner is highly effective on hard water buildup, soap scum, and grime. Some were even surprised by how well it performed, given its natural, plant-based ingredients.

 

Best Heavy-Duty Spray

RMR-86 Instant Mold and Mildew Stain Remover Spray

RMR-86 seriously bullies bathtub black mold and mildew. It kills that stuff instantaneously without work on your part.

Pros: Does RMR-86 Instant Mold Stain and Mildew Stain Remover work? Yes! It’s recommended for use on the bathroom floor, toilet, bathtub, and shower, yet its usefulness extends beyond the bathtub and bathroom tile to include wood, siding, drywall, concrete, PVC—the list goes on. It’s five times stronger than other leading brands, completes its job within seconds, and requires no scrubbing. You just spray the solution on watch the grime disappear!

Cons: As a bleach-based solution, RMR can damage the skin and possibly affect breathing, too, if the bathroom isn’t aired out after use. So, wear gloves and wash your hands immediately after using RMR, wipe the surface you cleaned with a fresh towel, turn on a fan, and leave the room.

Bottom Line: If you need to tackle serious bathtub grime, like really nasty soap scum buildup, mildew, mold, and the like, turn to RMR-86 Instant Mold Stain and Mildew Stain Remover. It will kill whatever unsavory substance you need to treat. But since it’s so strong, remember to use caution during use.

 

Best Foam Cleaner

The Pink Stuff Miracle Cleaning Paste and Bathroom Foam Cleaner

This amazing bathtub cleaner might be pink, but it's fierce against the gross stuff growing in your tub.

Pros: The Pink Stuff bathroom foam cleaner has quite a solid reputation as an effective and nontoxic bathtub cleaner. The Pink Stuff has been around since 1938; that certainly says something. Their bathroom foam cleaner clings to the surfaces you spray and attacks germs, dirt, grime, and soap. It also works preventatively against limescale. The foam cleaner does wonders for bathroom surfaces beyond the bathtub and shower, too. It lives up to its name as a magical substance that rids the entire bathroom from grime. The paste can work wonders in the kitchen, where grease buildup and stains wreak havoc. What’s more, you can take the paste outside to scour barbecues, garden furniture, the garage, and more.

Cons: The paste includes abrasives like baking soda and quartz, so be careful on areas like walls and polished surfaces. You don’t want to rub the good stuff away.

Bottom Line: These nontoxic and vegan cleaning products are truly impressive in terms of performance and reputation. The bathroom foam cleaner will rid your tub of mildew, mold, soap slime, bacteria, and fungi that live in the bathroom and prevent limescale buildup.

 

Also Great

Kaboom Foam Tastic Bathroom Cleaner with OxiClean

It sprays on blue then turns white when it's ready to wipe. It contains stain-fighting bubbles, too.

Pros: Kaboom sprays on blue then turns white when it’s time to wipe! That’s the fun part. And there are practical reasons to consider buying this product for your bathtub. For one, Kaboom works instantly on its own. All you do is spray, gaze at the color transformation, then rinse and wipe clean. Kaboom teamed up with OxiClean to create this bathroom cleaner, so as you watch your bathtub soap scum disappear, know that it’s working doubly hard to lift stains. Additionally, there’s no guesswork about the bathtub cleaner’s scent. It’s a pleasant clean citrus smell.

Cons: Kaboom is not a disinfectant. This cleaner removes soap scum, limescale, calcium, and grime but doesn’t work as an antibacterial. So while Kaboom whitens and brightens, it doesn’t kill germs like you may assume it does. Also, one application might not do the trick. If you’re dealing with heavy soap scum, for example, you may need to treat it a few times and even scrub.

Bottom Line: This product works great at ridding your tub of soap scum and calcium buildup to restore its shine, but remember that it’s not a disinfectant. If the product meets your standards, get ready for a bubbly color show!

Final Thoughts

We hope you’ve gleaned the importance of cleaning the bathtub and what to look for and avoid in bathtub cleaning products. Mostly, we hope you’ve found a bathtub cleaning product you want to give a try! Remember that regular upkeep saves you time, energy, and money in the long haul and maintains the quality and longevity of your bathtub.

Britta Kallevang Britta Kallevang
Britta is a professional writing tutor and freelance writer that is trained in journalistic, technical, and creative copywriting. At LifeSavvy, she researches products, writes about the items, and shares what she's uncovered with readers. Her writing is comprehensive and sometimes a bit silly. Read Full Bio »

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