There’s no better motivation to clean your bathtub than having a hurricane bearing down on your area, as one hurricane safety precaution is filling your tub with backup water.
Or at least that’s what got me scrubbing my tub as Hurricane Douglas recently approached Hawaii. This also seemed like a good time to try out a simple bristle brush and liquid dish soap method recommended by The Kitchn.
The site actually suggests using a broom, but I didn’t have a clean one and I didn’t want to run out to buy a new one (see the aforementioned hurricane).
However, The Kitchn also says that any plastic bristle brush will do. So, I grabbed my bristle brush and headed to the tub with a bottle of magical blue Dawn dish soap.
As suggested, I squeezed a generous zig-zag of Dawn all over the inside surface and along the edges, faucets and ledges, wet my brush and got scrubbing.
There’s no need to let the soap sit on the grime for a long time, as the soap will break up oils and buildup just as it does on your dishes.
I already knew Dawn was a great grease-cutter and stain remover, but I’d never thought to try it in the bathroom. Once I did, I liked that it sudsed up nicely and was vapor-free, unlike bleach-based bathroom cleaners.
Blue Dawn got rid of the soap scum on my faucet handles and some mildew gunk on our soap dishes (see below for the before and after).
It didn’t get rid of the stubborn hard water stain that’s been on our tub since before we moved into this house. But I hadn’t expected it to accomplish that, as not even the reliable Bar Keeper’s Friend had managed to make that go away.
The smaller bristle brush did take some bending and kneeling, whereas if I’d had a broom, my back might have been happier. But the handheld scrubber worked just fine.
After I’d done a thorough scouring, I sprayed away all the suds and grime with my shower head.
In the end, the bristle brush and dish soap technique left my tub with a clean, grime-free interior, which would have been perfect for filling up with extra water for cleaning and toilet flushing if the need arose. (Thankfully, I didn’t have to resort to that, as Hurricane Douglas ended up being a fairly mild storm.)
Of course, you don’t need a hurricane to try out this dish detergent method. If you’re just looking for a fast, fume-free way to clean your tub, you should try it out.