How To Clean A Tub With A Bad Back

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Wondering how to clean a tub with a bad back? A long, warm soak can do wonders for sore muscles. If the tub is a mess, though, you may find yourself avoiding a beneficial bath.

Or worse, you might try to clean it and make your injury worse.

Fortunately, there are ways to clean your tub when your back hurts that will leave it ready for use without reinjuring you.

How To Clean A Tub With A Bad Back

Clean bathtub with towel and rubber duck

Don’t Think About Bathing in a Dirty Tub

The first thing you need to know is that even with a bad back, you need to take a moment to clean your tub. Dirty bathtubs harbor bacteria, including e. Coli, streptococcus, and staph, which can lead to skin and respiratory infections.

If you have a tub and shower combo with a vinyl or plastic shower curtain, you could also be bathing in a mix of “lush microbial films” composed of sphingomonas and methylobacterium, which can lead to infection

Imagine dealing with those in addition to your bad back? The good news: you can get the tub clean without a lot of effort.

How to Clean a Bathtub When You Have a Bad Back

  1. Clear the surface: Remove everything on the tub surround like shampoo and conditioner bottles, or razors. Don’t stretch to do this — use a pair of kitchen tongs to extend your reach.
  2. Pull out the shower curtain: You don’t have to remove it from the rod, just don’t let it dangle in the bathtub.
  3. Prep the tub surface: Fill the tub with an inch or so of cold water and add a squirt of liquid dish soap. Then, using a clean floor mop or a towel wrapped over a clean broom, lightly go over the walls and floor of the tub. Drain the soapy water and splash some fresh water around to remove all of the soap suds.
  4. Disinfect: Spray the inside of the tub, including the surround, with a disinfecting cleaner, wait five minutes, and repeat the method above using the mop or broom. Rinse and let the tub drain.

Now it’s ready for your bath!

Tips to Keep Your Bathtub Clean

Once you’ve gone through the effort of cleaning your tub with a bad back, it’s a good idea to take a few easy steps to keep it clean and ready for use.

Hang the Shower Curtain Outside of the Tub

Shower curtains collect soap scum and breed mildew, two things you don’t want floating around in your bath. So, hang the curtain outside of the tub after showering. If you’re concerned about drips, give it a good shake first and keep a bathroom rug or towel on the floor beneath the curtain.

Switch Bath Products

Bar soap is fat-based, as are body washes containing shea or cocoa butter. These leave soap scum behind on your tub surfaces. The danger of a dirty tub arises when soap scum traps dead skin, dirt, skin oils, and other biologic matter.

So, at least while you’re dealing with a sore back, switch to cleansers that don’t contribute to the problem.

Swish and Spray

After draining your bath, swish clean water around to rinse the tub walls and floor, especially around the shower/tub drain.

Then, use this homemade daily shower spray to saturate the walls and floor of your tub. The vinegar acts as a mild disinfectant and, in combination with the essential oils, helps prevent mold and mildew.

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  1. Thank you, I’ll give this a try. Have been trying to clean it with a scrubbing toilet brush that makes cleanup more trouble than it’s worth.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Oh dear, no. A toilet brush doesn’t get it nearly as clean.