Mom Confused After Realizing Other Parents Clean Their Bathtubs Each Time Before Giving Kids A Bath

Some people believe that cleaning the tub before each bath is sanitary, but are chemicals found in cleaning products harmful to children?

bathtime, bathtub, clean, parents, children PH888 / Shutterstock 

The latest parenting debate circulating on social media involves none other than bathtubs.

According to some parents, you must thoroughly clean out your bathtub with cleaning solutions before placing them inside to bathe them. However, others claim that they have never heard of such a pre-bathtime ritual and simply throw their children in the tub without even questioning it. 

So, which one is the “right” way to bathe your children? Parents, and cleaning experts, weigh in. 


Parents debated whether or not you should deep-clean the bathtub each time before your children go in for a bath. 

The idea was brought up in a parenting Facebook group and later shared by TikTok user @mama_tiktok_here. In the short video clip, the mother revealed that one parent in the group raised the question of whether or not parents should wash out their bathtub before placing their children inside for a bath. 



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The mother admits that this is something she has never done before putting her children in the tub for a bath. “I mean, I’ll do a deep clean a couple of times a month, but not every night,” she says. “Am I the crazy one?” 

Many parents were just as bewildered as the mother in the video, sharing that they usually do not deep-clean their bathtubs each evening before bathtime. 

“Absoltely not. My tubs are clean but they definitely aren’t cleaned every night,” one TikTok user shared. “I feel like the chemicals on the surface before the bath will taint the water and will make it a 409 bath,” another user pointed out. “If by clean, she means to throw a few splashes of hot water before they go in the tub, then sure I clean it,” another user admitted. 

Although, others could not fathom not thoroughly deep-cleaning their bathtubs before bathing their children. 

“I was a mother of five. I washed the tub out after each child EVERY NIGHT,” one mother commented. “I can’t imagine all the bacteria that is just growing and then bathing in it,” another user wrote. “Everyone who showers before the kids have their feet in the tub and washing grime off their bodies. Why wouldn’t you wash it?” another user wondered. 




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Every family has their own routine and rules when it comes to bathtime, but many are wondering how safe and sanitary it is to place children in a tub without cleaning it with solutions first.

The first thing we should be aware of is the fact that, over time, fungi and mold can develop in our bathtubs, considering that they are moist environments.

“About 10 percent of bacteria you find in bathtubs comes from fecal matter, and it can get dried into the bathtub ring,” Jason Tetro, a scientific consultant in microbiology and immunology based in Edmonton, Alberta, told the Washington Post.


While it is important to wash out your tub should your children produce fecal matter (which they most likely will from time to time), you will not get sick from E.coli or another infectious form of bacteria unless “you drink a lot of the bathwater,” according to Tetro. 

Even if bacteria is present in the tub at the time of a bath, it will become highly diluted once the tub is filled with water, and will not pose a threat to your children’s health. In fact, you are more likely to become ill from the chemicals you use to clean the bathtub, since the vapors from chemical-based cleaning products can irritate the skin and lungs. 

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Instead, it is recommended that you clean your bathtub at least once a week (not once a bath) using products such as baking soda, bleach, or the combination of water and vinegar, with an additional teaspoon of lemon juice for scent. 


These products do not contain any chemicals that could compromise your children’s skin, lungs, and overall health, and are effective at combatting grime that forms in the bathtub over time. 

mom finds out other parents clean bath tub before each bathtime for kidsPhoto: PH888 / Shutterstock 

While it is always important to stay on top of cleaning spaces that your children will be spending their time getting washed off in, it is not a matter of life and death if you happen to miss a week or two scrubbing out the bathtub. 


Most parents simply do their best to juggle raising their children, their careers, and staying on top of all household duties. They should not be shamed or labeled as disgusting or unsanitary if they happen to miss deep cleaning their bathtubs every once in a while. 

It is more important that the children are clean and healthy, rather than the walls of an inanimate object. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.