Friday, December 14, 2012

How To Make A Heavy Duty Bathtub Cleaner

Okay, I'm going to expose some dirty laundry today. I absolutely hate cleaning the bathtub, but I like clean bathtubs. So, there is always an internal conflict or some kind of Zen Ying Yang balance between the two extremes.

Recently, I have also been exploring natural homemade cleaners. Not so much for the "green" or environmentally friendly stuff, but more the effective frugal type of household cleaners. I ran across this recipe and gave it a shot.


8 oz ( 1 cup ) Dawn dish soap
8 oz ( 1 cup) white vinegar

  • I actually used 9 oz of the Dawn because that is the size that I had on hand, and it's a one-to-one ratio, so it's easy to figure out.
  • Heat the vinegar in the microwave until hot ( about 123 seconds ).
  • Pour into an empty spray bottle, then slowly add the Dawn into the spray bottle too.
  • TIP: Let the mixture get to room temperature before tightening it down. 
Pretty hard, huh? It does have a strong vinegar smell, but it doesn't burn like Tilex.

The above picture is the actual bathtub being tested. It is the original bathtub from the 1950's and solid. I'm hoping that the grime is visible ( don't think less of me ). You can click to enlarge if you like.

This second photo is taken after the mixture was applied onto the dry surface and allowed to sit for 10 minutes. A light scrubbing was applied with a bar towel or terry cloth. I really hate cleaning the bathtub, so the less elbow grease the better. You'll also notice the recipe on the spray bottle, and it is clearly marked.

I reapplied another coat of the bathtub cleaner, and let it sit for another 5 minutes. Another light scrubbing was applied, and hopefully you can see the difference. I am very impressed with the cleaning ability of this cleaner.

Final Thoughts:
I was hoping that the cleaner recipe was a little cheaper, but I'm going to use a 100% vinegar spray as maintenance, and for mold/mildew control on the bathtub. In the past, I have used all sorts of bathtub cleaners: Comet, Scrubbing Bubbles, Tilex, Limeaway, etc. I've also tried them in various combinations, one after another. This cleaner has outperformed all of them in less than 20 minutes.

Keep Right On Prepping ( and saving money ) - K

Before and After pictures to compare.


  1. I recently discovered Mr Clean Magic Eraser bath scrubber. It is wonderful. I put me on some music in the bathroom, strip down and while I take my hot shower I scrub the tub and tile. Good time to put some conditioner in my hair and get a deep conditioning while I scrub.

    It is also good to know your recipe. There may come a time I cannot buy a Magic Earaser

    1. Too much scrubbing for me with the eraser, try this recipe and you might not buy another one again. Try a 2 ounce per part as a sampler and let me know what you think.

  2. I use this recipe to get hard water stains off glass, but I add a little squirt of lemon juice to the mix.

  3. We have an old tub that has not been cared for. I will give this a try.
    Does the vinegar need to be hot to work?

    1. No, the recipe said to make sure that the vinegar is hot when it is mixed to make the solution mix better. I have used it room temp and it does great. Let me know how it works out for you.

    2. Glad to hear that.
      I will probably try that today or tomorrow. Thank you!

  4. ive used this recipe for a few months now, i too love a clean tub yet cant stand the actual cleaning. ive found no real scrubbing involved and it makes the faucets shine! ive found the vinegar smell fades quickly after rinsing.

    1. I wished I had discovered this recipe earlier, and thanks for the comment.