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Best Overall: Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Bath Scrubber Sponge
We can’t say enough good things about the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers for ease of use and effectiveness. Designed specifically for baths, they’re larger than typical Magic Erasers, so you can clean large areas more quickly, and they’re infused with foaming cleansers to help remove soap scum and other grime left behind in your tub.
To activate, you just add water. No need for buckets, sprays, or extra sponges—all you need is this scrubber to get your tub (and the rest of your bathroom, for that matter) in tip-top shape.
Best for Hard Water: Bio-Clean Hard Water Stain Remover
Hard water, which is water that contains a high amount of dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium, can leave behind build-up and stains. So, you need a tough cleaner like Bio-Clean to take care of it. It’s formulated specifically for hard water problems, including rust, mildew, and mold, and promises to even take out stains that have been there for long periods of time.
You can use it beyond your bath too, everywhere from you car to your pool and kitchen countertops. If it doesn’t leave your surfaces looking like new, there’s a 100 percent money-back guarantee for the first 60 days after you purchase it.
Best for Soft Water: The Bucko Soap Scum and Grime Remover
Soft water, which contains little magnesium or calcium, may be a bit easier on tubs, but you still want a cleaner that can stand up to stains and grime. This one from The Bucko is up to the job. You likely won’t even need to do any scrubbing as most jobs just require that you spray it on, let it sit a few minutes, then wipe the gunk away.
You can also use it beyond your bathroom to clean your kitchen, cars, outdoor furniture, and more, so it’s a great all-around cleaner. Just don’t use it on wood, painted surfaces, natural marble, stone, brass, or colored grout.
Best for Mold: RMR RMR-86 Instant Mold and Mildew Stain Remover Spray
When it comes to mold, you want a cleaner that doesn’t mess around, like this RMR-86 Instant Mold Stain & Mildew Stain Remover. It claims to remove stains in 15 seconds flat with no need for scrubbing. The bleach-based formula works on most surfaces, including fiberglass, tile, grout, and wood, but it shouldn’t be used on metal.
Besides using a cleaner, it's important to keep the bathroom as dry as possible to prevent mold and mildew, says Christine McNerney, Senior Director of Merchandising, Non-Food at Thrive Market.
"Turn on the fan and wipe down where you can with an absorbent reusable cleaning cloth," says McNerney.
Best for Soap Scum: Method Antibac, Antibacterial Bathroom Cleaner, Spearmint
Nobody wants to step foot in a tub that's coated in soap scum. If you want a cleaner to help you blast through it fast, we recommend this one from Method. Not only does it take out tough dirt and scum, but its spearmint scent leaves your bathroom smelling fresh and clean. The formula is triclosan-free and paraben-free, plus biodegradable and vegan.
"We believe that biodegradable cleaners are very important in order to help minimize the impact that chemicals can have on aquatic life," says McNerney. "A lot of cleaning products wind up going down the drain, which is why we believe it’s an important consideration to keep in mind while selecting products."
Best Spray: CLR Bath & Kitchen Cleaner Enhanced Formula
Spray cleaners are easy to use, which is why they're in heavy rotation in most cleaning cabinets. Just spray this cleaner on the surface of your tub and wipe away soap scum, dirt, rust hard water deposits, and almost anything else that's accumulated on your tub. You can even use it in your kitchen, too! The biodegradable formula doesn’t contain any bleach or ammonia, and it meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Product standards.
Best Natural: Puracy Organic Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner
While some cleaners may pack a powerful punch to eliminate soap scum and grime, they’re also packed with chemicals you don’t want around your family. This cleaner from Puracy, however, is made from naturally-derived ingredients yet still cleans like a dream. While it’s especially effective at keeping your tub in tip-top shape, it’s a great overall cleaner that can be used on most surfaces, from your hardwood floors to your kitchen countertops and beyond.
Why Trust The Spruce?
For additional background on bathtub cleaners, we spoke to Christine McNerney, Senior Director of Merchandising, Non-Food at Thrive Market who spoke about ingredients to look for and how to prevent mold and mildew.