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How to Clean Your Walk-in Tub

A walk-in tub is a solid investment in your health, safety, and independence. Those who are recovering from injury, dealing with mobility issues, or planning for “aging in place” will enjoy the freedom and therapeutic value of a walk-in tub. But with that investment also comes the responsibility of keeping it clean and safe. Modernize created this guide to cleaning walk-in tubs to make your life – or your caretaker’s life – much easier.

Table of Contents

A Note About Safety

Cleaning your walk-in tub is very simple and requires less than an hour, even for a deep clean. However, always keep in mind that the tub can be slippery while you are cleaning it, and the water will be very hot. Take your time and use caution when reaching or leaning over the edge of the tub. Ask for assistance whenever you need it.

Daily Cleaning

To prevent the need to deep clean your walk-in tub frequently, you can lightly clean it after each use.

When you get out of the tub, rinse it out with warm water. This will help to remove body oils, soap residue, and anything else that might cling to the surface. A shower wand – which can be attached to your tub faucet – is very helpful for this step. If you see anything stuck on after exiting the tub, such as a bit of soap residue at the waterline, use a damp cloth to wipe it away.

hydro-massage-walk-in-tub

 

Weekly Cleaning

Even with the best daily care, eventually the oils and residue will begin to build up in your walk-in tub. Once a week, take the time to do a bit of a deeper clean:

  1. Fill the tub with water. Start by filling the tub with water to about the height of the seat. Use only hot water – do not use any cold water for this cleaning.
  2. Use detergent. Add in no more than three tablespoons of detergent that does not foam excessively. Dishwasher granules are perfect for this.
  3. Run the jets (if your tub has them). Turn on the jets and let them run for about 10 minutes. This will activate the detergent and allow it to “scrub” the tub.
  4. Drain the water. Turn off the jets and completely drain the tub.
  5. Re-fill the tub with water. Fill the tub with hot water again, up to the level of the seat.
  6. Run the jets again. Do not add detergent this time. Run the jets for about 15 minutes.
  7. Drain the tub completely. Wipe it down with a soft cloth to ensure the last bits of residue are truly gone. Now it will be sparkling clean!
Pro tip: This weekly method for cleaning your walk-in tub can also be used for traditional massage tubs with jets! Hydromassage jets are a great tool for deep cleaning your tub after several uses.

Monthly Cleaning

Though the weekly cleaning does a great job of keeping your walk-in tub fresh, a monthly cleaning will bring an extra level of sparkle. The power of bleach will also help prevent the growth of mildew, mold, or bacteria.

By the way: To handle this job, you will need a pair of rubber gloves and safety glasses. The gloves are to prevent the bleach from burning your skin, while the safety glasses are to protect you from splashes of the caustic liquids.
  1. Fill the tub with hot water until it reaches the height of the seat.
  2. Add two tablespoons of dishwasher granules and ½ cup of household bleach.
  3. Fill the tub with more hot water. You want it to reach to just above the jets.
  4. Turn on the jets and run them for about 15 minutes.
  5. Turn the jets off and let the water sit for five minutes.
  6. Run the jets again for another 15 minutes.
  7. Drain the tub completely.
  8. Fill the tub again with clean, hot water.
  9. Run the jets for another 15 minutes to rinse the tub.
  10. Drain the water. Wipe down the surface with a soft cloth.

Note that you do not need to use bleach for your walk-in tub more than once monthly.

How to Keep Your Walk-in Tub in Great Shape

Daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning of your walk-in tub is a must to keep it looking great and working its best. There are also some more helpful tips to remember:

  • Avoid using anything that could damage the finish or the tub. Always avoid wire brushes, scrapers, steel wool, and other abrasive tools.
  • Avoid abrasive cleaners as well. Some household cleaners can be tough enough to etch or dull the surface of your tub. Mild household detergents, including dishwasher granules and bleach, are the best options.
  • Never let the jets run when the tub is dry. This can quickly lead to serious damage.
  • Occasionally wipe down other areas of the tub with a damp cloth, such as the door seal and faucet.
  • Speaking of faucets, when they need a good cleaning, turn to a gentle cleaner like Windex.
  • When using aromatherapy, keep it in a dedicated aromatherapy compartment. Do not drop it directly into the water, as it could eventually build up and lead to damage.
  • Do not open up the tub to work on the plumbing or wiring. Always call a professional to handle this work for you.

Cleaning your walk-in tub is an easy chore that will keep your investment looking great for years to come. Remember to take your time when doing this, not only for safety, but to ensure you do a thorough job on this vital part of your bathroom self-care.

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