How to Clean Non-Slip Treading in the Bathtub


Jenn asked: How can I clean the non-slip tread on my porcelain tub? The tub is less than 5 years old, in great shape, but the non-slip surface on the bottom of the tub will not come clean! I have tried everything I can think of. Bleach improves it but it won’t return it to white.

Though non-slip treading offers a wonderful safety feature in the bathtub, it can quickly collect dirt and grease. Cleaning these surfaces (without removing them) requires a tough clean that will cut through the dirt without damaging the tread. Following these steps to give a fresh, clean look to your bath.

You Will Need:

  • Dawn liquid dish detergent (plain Dawn WITHOUT ammonia)
  • Comet Powdered Cleaner
  • Tilex
  • Sponges or old soft cloths
  • Rubber gloves
  • Water

Steps to Clean the Non-Slip Tread:


  1. Start by ventilating the room by opening any available windows and protecting your hands with rubber gloves.
  2. It may even be helpful to clean the bathtub as normal first to remove day-to-day dirt and soap scum so you can get right to the source of the stains.
  3. Spray the entire floor of the tub with Tilex.
  4. Let the Tilex sit on the stains for several minutes up to a half an hour.
  5. Moisten the soft cloths or sponges with water and gently scrub the area.
  6. Rinse the entire base of the tub thoroughly and repeat as necessary.
  7. If the stains persist, try the following cleaning steps.
  8. Cover the stained area with plain, liquid Dawn dish detergent. Ensure that the type of Dawn you are using does not contain any ammonia (or the bleach from the Comet in the next step will react and cause toxic fumes).
  9. Next, apply a layer of Comet on top of the Dawn.
  10. Allow these two cleaners to set on the stain for at least 30 minutes. If the stains are severe, you may want to allow more time.
  11. After the area has soaked in the cleaners, scrub it with a sponge or soft cloth. Continue scrubbing as you rinse with clean water.
  12. Repeat as necessary until all of the stains are removed.
  13. When finished, clean the tub thoroughly to ensure that all cleaning products are removed prior to use.

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • TRR, Toilet Ring Remover, is available at most drugstores and can be applied and wiped away with a sponge. Repeat applications until all stains are gone. Rinse the area thoroughly when finished.
  • If your tub is cast-iron, another option is to use Bar Keepers Friend (available at Wal-Mart and other department stores). Just apply and clean the area with a sponge or soft cloth. Ensure all the cleaner is removed prior to use.
  • Be sure to keep small children and pets out of the bathroom and away from any of these cleaning products as they can quickly become dangerous in small hands.



  1. Amber says:

    How can I tell if my Dawn doesn’t contain ammonia? There are no ingredients listed, but the back of the bottle does say, “Do not add bleach.” Should I get another bottle of Dawn?

  2. Spencer says:

    I can not believe you are actually suggesting people mix cleaners in this manner. Chlorine gas can be FATAL in small amounts, and mixing Comet with other liquid cleaners OFTEN results in the production of chlorine gas. I hope you are aware of the liabilities involved in suggesting this to your readers. NO AMOUNT OF VENTILATION MAKES THIS SAFE!!!


  3. Carol says:

    Use Mr. Clean Magic Eraser for my bath tubs, and it was unbelievable! A little simple elbow grease does the job.

  4. Richard says:

    I have tried all the above recommendations for cleaning and not one has worked. Help!

  5. Mary says:

    Do not use a Magic Erase on a non-skid tub; it ruined my non-skid surface!

  6. Sherra says:

    I am having the same problem and I am curious what anyone has used to clean the surface. Just reading about Bar Keepers Friend. Is this any good? Going to find some today.

  7. Orv says:

    This non-skid junk turned black about one month after I installed this tub. We have tried numerous remedies and nothing has worked. We do not care about the non-skid floor; for my money it can just go away. How can I just get rid of it? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Waiting for an idea. Thanks!

  8. Melanie says:

    Here is the article you need; How to Remove Non-Slip Treading.
    You could also try soaking the treading with white vinegar and scraping it with a plastic spatula, as seen in the HowCast video on removing non-slip appliques from bathtubs.
    Another idea: if vinegar alone isn’t working, you could try sprinkling baking soda on the vinegar and scrubbing with a scrub brush or sponge. (Note: wear gloves and watch videos online of how baking soda and vinegar react first.)
    Alternatively, Retro Renovation has a blog article on using R.O.G.3 cleaner on non-slip threading with impressive pictures; Cleaning the bathtub slip resistant bottom: OMG, it’s like new!

  9. Caroline says:

    I just had cataract surgery and could not see the grunge on the non-skid surface. Tried a few things, but just this morning, I tried the Dawn soap and Comet and followed the instructions…sparking white tub floor!

  10. Vince says:

    In regards to using Comet and Dawn, so I understand that some people have great success with this, however, the Comet will scratch the surface of the tub and ruin it forever. The best solution for any manufactured product is to call the manufacturer and ask them what to use. Kohler and American Standard recommends the Rog3 cleaners.

  11. Sessa says:

    I don’t like scrubbing so took the advice of one of the comments on this post that said the Rog3 worked great. I lucked out as I found out Amazon had free shipping – saved me a bunch of money. Anyway, the ROG cleaners worked great; the ovals on our bathtub came bright white – unbelievable.
    Great stuff and with no acid.

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