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How to Clean your House: All about Bathtubs

Let’s face it. When you’re expecting day guests, you probably do a cursory job of housecleaning—dusting, wiping down counters, sweeping and clearing clutter. But when it comes to hosting visitors overnight, the rubber gloves go on and the deep cleaning begins. In an effort to help you maximize cleaning time, the professionals at My Cleaning Lady have prepared a few suggestions for cleaning two of the toughest areas in your home—the bathtub and shower.

The first step to deep cleaning your bathtub is to figure out which type of tub you have. This is critical because some cleaning methods could potentially damage or stain certain surfaces.

Types of Tubs:

  • Porcelain. This is the most durable material used to build bathtubs and sinks. It is heavy and long-lasting, featuring a material that is stone like.
  • Enamel. This is common in old tubs and is very sensitive to modern drain cleaners and bleach. In fact, if it is exposed to bleach or strong acid, it can instantly develop brown, rust-like stains.
  • Acrylic. This material most closely resembles plastic. Acrylic shower walls may bend in some places. If you have an acrylic tub, stay away from abrasives like pumice stones.

How to Clean Porcelain:

  1. Cleaning Agents. If your tub is made of porcelain, you will be able to safely use an abrasive powder such as Comet or Ajax. Pour some powder on the stain and add a little bit of hot water.
  2. Scouring Pad. Since porcelain is durable, you can safely use the scruffy scrubbing side of a clean dish sponge.
  3. Pumice. You can remove stubborn stains with a pumice stone. But be very sure your tub is porcelain before using acrylic and enamel bathtubs scratch if they encounter hard stones.
  4. Make a paste. Mix powder cleanser and hot water. Apply the mixture to the bottom of a porcelain tub or sink for 15-30 minutes to soak. Then, follow through with a vigorous scrub.

How to Clean Enamel:

  1. Commercial Cleaners. Any supermarket bleach-free bathroom cleanser should safely work on enamel tubs. Bleach instantly reacts with enamel, leaving brown rust-like stains in its wake.
  2. Shampoo. In a pinch, you can rub store-bought shampoo on rings that collect on the tub surface. Let it sit for a few minutes and rinse with warm water. Since shampoo is made to cut through scalp oil, it can also conquer bathtub rings.
  3. Trisodium Phosphate. For extreme deposits of dirt, grease and soap scum, mix a tablespoon of this chemical with a gallon of hot water. Use sparingly.
  4. Erasers. With a little elbow grease, special commercially-made sponges “ magically” weaken bathtub stains.
  5. Spray-on Soap Scum Remover. This step dissolves the soap scum on your tub that may be trapping dirt and grime. Removing the soap scum first can allow the hydrogen peroxide/baking soda paste easier access to the real grime.

How to Clean Acrylic:

  1. Frequently Clean. Acrylic tubs require more frequent washings than those made from other materials.  If you have an acrylic tub, thoroughly clean it at least once a week.
  2. Dish Soap. An inexpensive fix for dirty acrylic tubs is dish washing liquid mixed with plenty of hot water.
  3. Vinegar. Perfect for hard water build-up, vinegar is the naturally safe way to clean your acrylic tub. Apply hot water and vinegar and let it soak for 30-45 minutes. Scrub and then rinse with warm water.
  4. Soft Sponges. Avoid abrasive cleaning pads or any products that contain fine grit. Using soft tools is critical because acrylic is easily scratched.
  5. Don’t Use Pumice Stones or scouring pads, which can permanently damage surfaces.
  6. Don’t Use Wax. The natural shine on your acrylic tub will dull if you use wax.

If your commitment to keeping a clean home extends beyond clearing clutter, you could benefit from professional housecleaning services. My Cleaning Lady is a domestic referral agency.  The house cleaners we refer offer complete home cleaning services including thorough dusting at reasonable prices. My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency proudly serves Arcadia, Chino, Chino Hills, Duarte, Ontario, Pomona, LaVerne, Covina, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Montclair, Claremont, Phillips Ranch, Upland, West Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, and Sierra Madre. Visit http://www.mycleaninglady.com/or call (909) 593-6690 for information or to arrange a free estimate.