That soothing hot shower or relaxing bubble bath loses its appeal if your tub is full of stains and gunk. Bleach might be your first thought for cleaning the tub since it's known for getting rid of stains quickly. But bleach is also a dangerous chemical, and it's not suitable for all tubs. Here's how to clean a tub with bleach to keep yourself and your tub safe.
Bleach Cleaning Safety
Before you bring bleach into your bathroom, it's important to know how to use it safely. Bleach on its own is potentially dangerous. It can irritate or burn your skin and eyes, and it can affect your lungs if you inhale the fumes. Wearing eye protection and gloves while you clean with bleach can help minimize those risks. You also need to adequately ventilate the bathroom, which you can do by opening windows and running the exhaust fan.
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It's extremely dangerous to use bleach with any other cleaning or household products. Bleach creates toxic gases when mixed with many other items, including ammonia and vinegar. If you use bleach, don't use any other cleaners, even general cleaners, as they could contain ammonia or other ingredients that react with bleach. It can be dangerous to mix chemicals when cleaning no matter what you use, so always clean carefully.
When to Use Bleach
Many people grab bleach to use in the bathroom, but it's not safe for all tub surfaces. If you're not sure what your tub is made of, try alternative cleaning solutions instead. Bleach is safe for tubs made of fiberglass, white porcelain, ceramic, and stone resin. You can also use it on cultured marble tubs if it's diluted; you'll damage the marble with full-strength bleach.
The coating of an acrylic tub can become damaged if you use bleach on it, and using bleach on acrylic could void the warranty. If you have a porcelain tub that's any color other than white, it could become discolored with bleach use. Bleach used on cast iron can cause red streaks, and copper tubs can also become stained from bleach.
How to Clean a Tub With Bleach
If you're sure it's safe to clean your tub with bleach and you've taken the necessary precautions, these steps will help you clean it successfully:
- Take everything that's removable out of the tub, including mats, toys, and organizers.
- Rinse the tub and use a soft sponge to wipe away any easily removable gunk.
- Mix 1/2 cup of chlorine bleach with 1 gallon of cool water in a bucket.
- With a sponge, apply the diluted bleach to all surfaces you want to clean.
- Wait about five minutes for the bleach to work.
- Go over the surfaces with the sponge to remove stains or other things on the tub.
- Rinse all surfaces with clean, cool water when you're finished scrubbing.
Use caution with the bleach to avoid dumping it or splashing the bleach. If you still have some dirty or stained areas, you can reapply the bleach and let it sit again before scrubbing it.