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Can You Clean a Bathtub With Oven Cleaner?

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Perhaps your bathtub is grimy, dirty, and darkened. A black, moldy residue seems to be ground into the bottom of the tub, from years of people standing on it with wet feet. You’ve tried to scrub and clean with conventional bathroom cleaners in the past, with minimal results. But something stronger might get the job done. Can you clean a bathtub with oven cleaner?

You can use oven cleaner to clean your bathtub. It is a very powerful cleaning agent, intending to remove the toughest burnt-on food and grease from the inside of ovens. It does this very well, and as such can be used to remove mold, mildew, and stains from your bathtub as well.

Oven cleaners are considered industrial-strength, volatile chemicals, and should always be handled and used with care. It’s not something you ever want anywhere near your kids or pets. There is a right way and a wrong way to use oven cleaner on your bathtub. Read on to learn best practices for cleaning your bathtub with oven cleaner.

Cleaning a DIRTY Bathtub with Oven Cleaner

Is It Safe to Use Oven Cleaner to Clean A Bathtub?

Yes, it is safe to use oven cleaner to remove mold, mildew, and dark stains from bathtubs made of fiberglass, porcelain, and other ceramics. 

One effective oven cleaner that we recommend is Fume-Free Easy Off, sold here on Amazon (paid link). Because it is fume-free, it is much safer to use in enclosed spaces such as bathrooms. 

It’s very important to remember that your bathroom is well-ventilated when using any cleaning products containing chemicals, oven cleaners especially because inhaling the fumes and being in direct contact with them could cause damage to your respiratory tract and eyes.

But how should I apply the oven cleaner to the bathtub, you ask? Let’s talk about it.

How Should I Apply Oven Cleaner to the Bathtub?

How to apply oven cleaner to the bathtub:

  • Step 1: First, make sure your bathtub is clear of all soaps, shampoo bottles and children’s bath toys. You don’t want chemicals that are strong anywhere near something a child or pet might touch.
  • Step 2: Once the area on and around the bathtub is clear, spray the entire surface of the tub with oven cleaner until it is coated evenly. Let it sit for one hour. 
  • Step 3: After you’ve given it an hour to set and seep in a bit, dampen a cleaning sponge and scrub the entire tub thoroughly. You should see the stains come out as you scrub. 
  • Step 4: Once you’ve finished scrubbing, turn on the shower and rinse the entire tub down with your showerhead or a bucket. 

As you rinse, you should see most of the mold, mildew, and black stains flow down the drain with the water. Hooray, your bathtub looks great!

What Types of Oven Cleaner Should I Use?

As I mentioned above, Easy Off works great. Zep is a great choice as well. Sprayway works well, too. Some people have attempted to use Mr. Clean Magic Erasers to clean their bathtubs, but we wouldn’t recommend it. It is a great product but we think it’s better suited for other types of applications.

Where Can I Buy Oven Cleaner?

Well, all the links we’ve provided above are from Amazon, but if you’d prefer to purchase them in person from a physical store, any home improvement store would carry these and similar products. Home Depot or Lowe’s would do just fine.

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What Else Can I Use Oven Cleaner On?

There are many other uses for such a strong cleaning agent like oven cleaner. Some of these may surprise you:

  • Tile grout lines
  • Cast iron pans
  • Glass fireplace doors
  • Glass cookware
  • Pots and pans in general
  • Stove tops
  • Stainless steel sinks
  • Plate of an iron

Any situation where food, mold, mildew, or liquids are caked, baked or aged into a surface, it’s going to take something a bit tougher to get them out. That’s where oven cleaner comes in. All the above applications are great instances in which typical household cleaners are not sufficient, and oven cleaner just gets it done. It’s a no brainer.

When it comes to using oven cleaner on cookware, make sure to wash with typical dish soap and rinse thoroughly afterward. You do not want those chemicals seeping into the food you cook. Oven cleaner will help you remove those tough, baked-on foods and grease, but you need to make sure there is no oven cleaner residue left on the cookware before you use it again. 

What Shouldn’t I Use Oven Cleaner On?

You should never use oven cleaner on the following:

  • Porous surfaces where liquid can be absorbed (such as untreated wood, cardboard, corkboard, drywall and natural stone)
  • Cast iron or enameled steel bathtubs because it can peel off the finish
  • To wash your hands or any other part of your body or your children or pets’ bodies. It is not soap, it is an industrial strength cleaner made with some very toxic and volatile chemicals. 

Always use it with care and caution and store it in a place inaccessible to pets and children.

How Often Should I Clean My Bathtub with Oven Cleaner?

Cleaning your bathtub about once every two weeks will work wonders to keep grimy, dark stains from appearing. You could get away with once a month as well, but that gives mold and mildew a bit more time to appear. 

Once a week would be great too, but you may be creating extra work for yourself.


Oven cleaner, such as Easy-Off Fume-Free, is a great cleaning to use on bathtubs, stovetops, and certain types of cookware. 

Remember, it is a toxic and potentially harmful set of chemicals and must always be used and stored with an abundance of care and caution. You will be amazed at the results, though. Spray it down, scrub and rinse and enjoy your brand-new-looking bathtub!

You can read about cleaning your dishwasher next, or find out if bathtub faucets are universal.

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