How to Clean Sticky Residue From a Bathroom Tub

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Bathtubs are hardworking members of the household facilities. Not only do we wash our bodies in tubs but also hand-washable clothing, rugs, shoes and even pets. Occasionally an unknown sticky substance finds its way to the bathtub and can prove a cleaning challenge. Various methods will result in success, but sometimes you will have to try more than one cleaner to rid the tub of the sticky residue. Persistence is the key in cleaning sticky films and substances from your bathtub.

Things You'll Need

  • Warm water
  • Liquid dish soap, anti-grease formula (such as Dawn)
  • Scrub brush
  • Shower cleaner spray
  • Mr. Clean magic eraser
  • Sponge
  • Goo Gone or similar adhesive remover
  • Fill the tub with warm water, adding liquid dish soap with an anti-grease formula. Fill the tub above the sticky residue. Anti-grease formulas break down the oils that often form sticky spots in tubs and sinks.

  • Use the scrub brush and the suds to scrub, in a circular motion, the area of the sticky substance. If the stickiness persists, continue to the next step.

  • Let out the water in the tub until it is below the area of the sticky residue. Plug the tub with the remaining water. Spray the shower cleaner directly onto the sticky areas in the bathtub. Allow the spray to sit for the manufacturer's recommended time.

  • With the scrub brush, scrub the sticky area, using the warm water left in the tub. If the stickiness persists, continue to the next step.

  • Use a cleaner such as Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser to scrub the sticky area. Moisten the Magic Eraser and firmly scrub, in a back and forth motion, the stickiness. Rinse the Magic Eraser in the water as needed. If the stickiness persists, move to the next step.

  • Use an adhesive remover, such as Goo Gone, and apply it directly to the sticky bathtub residue. Allow it to soak into the sticky area, and then use the sponge to rub the stickiness. Rinse the sponge in the tub water if necessary. Goo Gone removes most adhesives. Rinse with clear water to remove the oily substance Goo Gone leaves behind.

Tips & Warnings

  • Many products for cleaning bathtubs and showers can be sprayed on tubs and shower stalls and left until the next shower or bath and rinsed out. These cleaners break down films and soap scum between bathtub and shower stall usage, thus cutting down on your cleaning time in the future.
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