This Tip Takes The Pain Out Of Cleaning Your Bathtub

bathtub cleaning trick

As much as I enjoy unwinding in the bath after a long day, I find cleaning my bathtub a lot less relaxing. Fortunately, I’ve discovered a bathtub cleaning trick that this particular chore a lot easier!

You only need a broom and some dish soap to do it (although if your tub is seriously grimy, I’d recommend upgrading to my two-ingredient tub and shower cleaner). Ready to see how this trick works?

How To Clean Your Bathtub With A Broom

bathtub cleaning trick

You’ll need:

*I recommend using a new broom for this purpose, because a dirty broom won’t get you very far! Pick up the cheapest one you can find and reserve it for cleaning your tub.


bathtub cleaning trick

Step 1 – Add Soap

Grab a bottle of dish soap and squirt some onto the bottom and sides of your bathtub.

bathtub cleaning trick

Step 2 – Scrub With The Broom

Get the broom slightly wet, then use it to scrub the soap around the tub. The scrubbing action of the bristles and the grease-cutting action of the dish soap will break up any soap scum, mildew, and other residues that may have built up in your bathtub.

bathtub cleaning trick

Step 3 – Rinse The Tub Clean

Finally, grab a cup, bucket, or your shower wand (if you have one), and use it to rinse all of the soap and loosened grime down the drain. Then stand back and admire your clean, shiny bathtub!

Put dish soap in the tub and use a broom to scrub it clean.
Cleaning your bathtub with a broom and dish soap is easy on your back and knees!

Less Bending & Reaching = Less Pain!

While anyone can use this cleaning trick to get their tub clean in a flash, it can be especially beneficial for people with limited mobility. Using a long-handled broom to scrub your bathtub eliminates the need to bend, stretch, or kneel to get at those hard-to-reach spots, making it a lot less painful!

bathtub cleaning trick

So if you or someone you love has limited mobility due to arthritis, injuries, age, or any other mobility-restricting condition, make sure they know about this tip! After all, you shouldn’t have to endure discomfort or soreness just to keep your tub clean.

bathtub cleaning trick

BONUS: 2 More Bathtub Cleaning Tips

Tip #1 – Use Baking Soda To Erase Stubborn Stains

Can’t seem to get rid of a particularly stubborn stain? Take a handful of baking soda and add enough water to create a paste, then apply the baking soda paste to the stain.

Let it sit for a few hours to dry, then wipe up the paste and try scrubbing the stain again. You’ll be able to erase it much more easily!

Tip #2 – Wipe Out Your Tub Frequently

About once a week, take a few seconds after getting out of the bath to wipe down your tub with a microfiber cloth. The cloth will pick up lingering water and soap residue and keep your bathtub cleaner over time.

What’s your best cleaning trick for bathtubs and showers?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

  • Here’s my trick/hack to keep the tub clean. I have a shower squeegee that I bought at Home Depot. After I shower, I use it on the sides of the tub (as well as the tile walls and sliding shower doors). This really helps to stay on top of the soap scum/grime that accumulates. My tub has lost the smooth glazing, so this daily hack makes it a lot easier when I do the “big” tub cleaning. Also, I’ve use toilet bowl cleaner (in place of Dawn) on the tub as well.

  • I love the broom for cleaning the tub! I use a scrubber with an extension handle. I am going to use Dawn next time though.

    As far as the broom, my mother had linoleum floors 50-60 years ago, and I remember her using a broom to scrub the floor then mopping. I recently used this method to clean my kitchen floor. It worked great.

  • Hi, I love this idea, but my comment has more to do with the “dawn” soap you referred to using. I love dawn and if dawn won’t clean it then throw it away . However I just learned that Dawn tests on animals. All those commercials about using dawn to help animals then to find out they test on them, I was shocked & immediately sent an email, although I haven’t received a reply. I just wanted to mention this because I don’t know how many are aware of this. Thanks so much

  • I would love to know how to get a yellowish tub,white..I think I read one time if you use any kind of chemicals in your tub, they can go into the pores of the tub and make it look yellow.Maybe it’s th e bleach I have used on it,not sure.Any ideas from anyone on how to get it to look white again?

    • It depends on what material your tub is made from. Acrylic, fiberglass, enamel, etc. may use different products. Find out what yours is and check labels or ask janitorial store personnel for help.

  • Ok, this is totally unrelated to the post, but Jillee, I love those pants!! I love chino ankle pants, but have such a hard time finding ones that are not to snug fitting. I’ve often bought them a size too big and then taken up the waist, just to keep them from being clingy on my butt and legs.

  • I have been using this trick for a few years now. It is so great! I have Fibromyalgia and arthritis so having this trick to use makes it much less painful to clean my tub. Plus it makes it quicker and easier than any other method I’ve tried! I wouldn’t advise using a dollar store broom though. I tried that and those brooms tend to bend easily as the handles are made of aluminum (I believe).

  • Thanks, Jillee! Great idea. I started using one of those dish scrubbers that you can fill with soap. It has a scrubby on the face if it and works really well. If it was longer, it would be even better.Love your post, keep up the good work!

  • The last time I read this post I incorporated the broom trick. It’s great! Now I am going to try the baking soda trick to remove a stubborn stain. Thanks, Jillee!

  • Another tip for clearing slow drains is to drop a couple of denture tablets down the drain followed by a couple of cups of heated vinegar. Let sit for an hour or so and rinse with boiling water. Pick up the tablets at the dollar store, usually 16 in a box for $1.

  • Thanks for re-posting this. I’ve tried to explain this trick to my mom and she had a hard time picturing it. I’ve been trying to tell her this would be much easier on her knees and arthritis pain.

  • Girl this is absolutely genius. I have back problems and cleaning my tub has been a chore to say the least. I can do this with hardly any problems. Thank you so much for sharing this insanely way of cleaning my tub.

  • A friend of ours uses a Swiffer wet pad to clean the tub surround. It’s not much for the tub itself, as it is not flexible, but works a treat on the walls.

  • My first husband was a hairy fellow and his shower could get rather furry. The first step to clean it was VACUUM IT. With the hair gone, any cleaning method was so much easier!

  • We have about 6 hard blue plastic 5 gallon bucket lids. I dislike just putting them into the garbage. Do you have any idea how we could use them. They have a nice rim and they are tough, not really flexible. Thanks to anyone with an idea.

  • That’s so funny! I don’t use a broom; instead I have a toilet brush that’s used specifically for cleaning the tub and shower. It has been so much easier on my back since I started doing it this way.

  • For the tub cleaner, do you start with water and then add the dawn and vinegar? If so, how much water? Or, just combine the dawn and vinegar, no water added to the mix?

    Will this also remove the mildew that gathers along the edge of the tub and tends to be under the caulk? Or do you have some other DYI cleaner for this?

    • I do not add any water. :-) Yes, it is great for mildew. However, if you have mildew inside of/underneath your caulking, then I would recommend replacing the caulking – not many cleaners can fix this issue once it starts.

      • Where was the vinegar in this post? I just saw Dawn and a broom. I’ve started using a room, so much easier and the tub gets ral clean, even my old tub!

  • I have been using dawn for years, I have several tricks I’ve discovered over that time by using it as a last resort in cleaning something, it ends up cleaning many things really really well. I’ll list some I use off the top of my head.

    1. Stubborn grease stain or food stain on fabric. Apply undiluted to the spot and agitate gently with your fingers. Toss in laundry wash. Sometimes I just add a squirt to laundry wash when I’m washing my clothes from the restaurant job.

    2. Shower, bath and floors, stripes the dirt right off the floor in usually one pass. Leaves most floors without streaks.

    3. To wash paint brushes especially oil paint. This tip works if you wash immediately after painting. If you can’t wash right away, fill a small container with water and mix in a squirt of dawn, let the brushes soak until you can get to them. When ready to wash apply undiluted dawn to the brushes. Works well with latex paint brushes too. Extra tip, I found wd-40 works to remove enamel paint if you don’t have paint thinner.

    • Bleach is pretty heavy-duty for regular cleanings! That method is great every once in a while, but I would clean with something a little more gentle for most regular cleanings :-)

  • I will use dawn on my husbands shower, with a broom. I did use a broom one time on my basement tub once when we had a flood and it really helped get to the back of the tub where the sliding doors are in the way.

  • My grandkids made crystals using borax. Well after a few weeks on the counter it was time to clean up those mason jars. I soaked them, scrubbed them and the layers of borax crystals would not budge. So, I decided well I will try the dish washer and see if they come clean. If not I would throw them away. WELL! not only did they come clean but everything in the dishwasher including the inside of the dishwasher SPARKLED. Now I always add borax to my dish washer and the dishes and glasses are amazingly shinny and clean.

  • Having been in the rental business for 30+ years, I have found that the easiest way to clean the scum and yuck out of tubs and off shower walls is with Liquid Dial Soap.
    Wet an old wash cloth, add some dial to the cloth and scrub the tub. You don’t have to rub hard, just in circles. The scum comes off pretty easy. Then put on a coat of Gel Gloss to protect the finish. I put Gel Gloss on the stoves and refrigerators also.
    Another time saving tip: Put wax paper on the top of your upper cupboards. When it’s time to clean the grease and grime up there – throw away and put down new. I have literally had to use Comet and a scrub brush to get all the built up grease off in some rentals.

  • Blue Dawn, how do I love thee, let me count the ways. I’m in the process of replacing household cleaning products with less expensive DIY substitutes but Blue Dawn stays. There is no substitute for that.

  • my weird trick also involves a broom. i use diaper pins to pin a microfiber small towel over the broom. i now can dust/sweep behind the toilet and around the pipes and base of the toilet without out getting bent out of shape or on my knees (which i can no longer do). i can also wet it if i need to.

    • I bought a swiffer sweeper years ago and got tired of buying the cloths that go with it so I use small microfiber cloths instead! I bought cloths that aren’t very thick so they are easy to insert in the sweeper. I clean my ceramic tile and laminate flooring with it all the time! With a shedding dog in the house I find it so easy and helpful and I save money too!

  • This is a great tip, however, the one that I particularly love is one that I got from this site – baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. I use it for everything, including the tub, and it works when nothing else did; but I will try this, too.

  • The broom cleaning is best tip I have ever heard of. I can’t wait to try it.
    Do you have any tips on preparing my home for my sister who is a n a wheelchair. She is 62 and since June of last year “can’t walk”. I don’t have a clue how to make my home comfortable for her.

  • You have such great tips!i have limited mobility and am going to try your broom trick for cleaning the tub!The only problem is my husband is scent sensitive and I can not use scented cleaning products in my home,therefore Dawn is out.Is there anything else naturally scented that I could substitute for the Dawn that does not have an artificial scent.He can handle things like vinegar and rubbing alcohol and baking soda.if there anyone out there who might have a suggestion please email me.I would really appreciate it.Thank you.


    • I live in the country and have lots of minerals in my water. My handicap friend does also. Her Shower floor had rust staines for years I told her I could clean it
      She bet me I couldn’t. I used Lime Away I squirted lavishly and scubbed wita a nylon broom. It looks a new one..

  • I tried this with the dollar store broom and the bristles just are too flimsy so scrub it totally clean. My broom left soap scum and shaved hair in the tub. Not effective. I think you need a tougher bristled broom to do the trick if you want to try this way. It’s going to cost you more than that dollar you thought you would spend. Do admit it saved my back, but just didn’t get clean for a dollar plus the Dawn.

    • I use a dollar store string mop- I leave it on a suction cup hook in the shower. After each showering I mop down the tub with Dawn. Once in a while I have to use a Mr. Clean eraser but otherwise it works great

  • My favorite weird but it works is using yogurt to clean copper pans. Smear some yogurt on the copper bottom and let it sit until it gets a bit drier and rubbery. Scrub it off gently and you will have shiny pans again! Another is to use the spent dryer sheets to clean the detergent residue from the top of my washer and dryer, they are the perfect scrubby texture and I was going to throw them away anyway!

  • Will try this idea. I do not have a disability or mobility issues…..just vertically challenged. Never liked cleaning tub b/c of my shortness. I am 4’9″.

  • My weird shower cleaning tip is to clean the shower floor with an old dish towel with a design on it. I toss in the towel and use my foot to scrub the shower floor. If the floor is still wet, it cleans better than a dry floor

  • This method has worked for me for a couple years now. I’ve gotten to old to get down on my hands and knees to scrub the tub. Learned this from an elder Aunt of mine. Her tub stays sparkling clean.

  • Blue Dawn is THE best cleaner for everything. After many back surgeries and hardware in my back I cannot get down on my knees to clean the tub or shower. So, thank you for the great idea of a broom and Dawn. Keep the ideas coming.

  • This idea has been a huge help and I keep wondering where it’s been hiding all these years. As you say, it’s a real gift to people with back /shoulder/problems. The one thing I had a bit of trouble with was rinsing out the soap suds, but I sprinkled some white vinegar around the tub and it rinsed easily after that. Thanks, Jillee!

    • To rinse the tub of suds I use the cup that came with my bathroom decor items and use the water from the tap. I keep a clear plastic cup in the shower and use that after cleaning to rinse.

  • Wow I just printed your bathroom tub cleaner trick with Dawn . I’ll be going to the dollar store for a new broom today. I don’t remember my tub being such a chore but I dread it. I’ll try this is maybe I’ll clean it more often.Thanks for all the god tips

  • I have an antique bathtub. does it work for that? I don’t want to buy a new broom if it doesn’t. My tub is old and somewhat pitted on the bottom.

  • Jillee, I use a broom for many cleaning chores. I’ll even put a rug in the tub and use a variation of your method. I like all of your tips and none of them seem weird to me (unlike all the ads for cures for removing belly fat, toenail fungus, and every gross ailment on the planet with “try this one weird trick”). Look forward to each and every email. Thanks Jillee.

  • Will be trying this tip! Does the Dawn/vinegar shower cleaner need to be made fresh each time so the vinegar will be hot when used? Can the mixture be reheated in the microwave?

  • Appreciate the idea of a broom/mop because of mobility issues but the soft/flexible water guard on the bottom of my over bath shower screen has marked visible (though not ‘feelable’) lines on the surface of my good quality acrylic bath so I use a soft cloth to clean mine, with what we in GB call washing up liquid – usually Fairy! Can American Jillee followers please help a Scot with explanation as to difference between Dawn dish soap and any other dish washing liquid?

    • Dawn is a grease cutter. If you soak anything in Dawn for 10 minutes, all the grease just disappears. It’s so good that environmental groups use Dawn to wash birds caught in oil spills. I couldn’t live without it…hope that helps.

    • Beth..there are other good dish liquids out there but Dawn is noted for cutting through grease and grime so much better.My sisters use it religiously on laundry stains,they love itI believe it’s one of the best for many different things.

      • Thanks for that Pam because the cost of Dawn in UK is prohibitive! I’ve used Fairy washing up liquid for years to clean all sorts of things, (as did my mum) so I can now continue without feeling deprived!

  • Can you use a rubber broom or does it have to be a “normal” broom? I have dogs, so I purchased a rubber broom a few years ago, and never went back to the “normal” brooms, but would love to give this a try in my tub.

  • Very good, For real I will now be showering with my BROOM!
    (I wish I could vote on my own comments.)
    I love ideas outside the box in life, keep them coming.

    • I have one of those, just haven’t tried it yet! It still involves getting down on the floor or edge of the tub and my body parts just can’t take it anymore. I like this broom idea!

    • I do,too, Jill! I’m “differently- abled” and have limited mobility. It helps to sit in my shower chair while cleaning my tub/shower with my trusty drill with a 12″ bit extension and brushes. I also use it to clean my cabinet doors with Murphy’s Oil Soap.

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