No matter how well you try to take care of it, a tub drain will be subjected to a lot of abuse during its lifetime. Tub drains are required to direct a lot of dirty water around. Additionally, they are subjected to a lot of moisture, and as a result are vulnerable to the problems that come with this, including mold, mildew and water spots. Tub drain plates can also develop calcium or lime deposits.
Cleaning a tub overflow drain is actually quite simple and only requires materials that you probably already have around the house.
Step 1 - Mixing Your Ingredients
The best way to clean a tub overflow drain involves a cleaning agent made out of simple household ingredients. To make this cleaning agent, get out 1 part lemon juice to 2 parts baking soda. Mix them together thoroughly until they form a substance that looks like toothpaste. You don't need very much at all to do a good job cleaning your tub drain. Pretend you are going to brush your teeth with the mixture and measure appropriately.
Step 2 - Applying the Mixture
Run a little bit of water over your toothbrush to moisten it. Use your toothbrush to apply the mixture to the drain plate. Cover the entire thing. If you need to get more cleaning mixture, do so. Once you are done and the entire plate is covered, let the mixture sit.
Step 3 - Scrubbing the Drain Plate
Use your toothbrush to scrub the drain plate. Make sure to hit every surface. You should go after not only the outside, but into the inside and under anything that is covered up.
Step 4 - Rinsing the Drain Plate
Once you have scrubbed the entire drain plate thoroughly, you can rinse it off and examine your work. Chances are good that you can effectively rinse the drain with either your bathtub faucet or with a shower extension. However, if neither of these is possible or convenient, you can either wipe it off with a wet sponge or pour water onto it to rinse it off and remove your cleaning mixture.
Examine your work. While your drain plate is probably relatively clean by now, if you have missed any spots with your scrubbing, you can reapply the mixture quickly and go over the spots you have missed.
Step 5 - Finishing up
You can get your drain plate extra clean using vinegar. Vinegar will help to remove any excess baking soda that has remained behind, as well as remove mold, mildew, and water spots. Applying vinegar will even prevent these problems from occurring before they start.
The best way to apply vinegar to your tub drain plate is with a rag or sponge. Get a little bit of vinegar on your rag or sponge and apply it firmly using small circular motions. Once you have gone over the entire thing, let the vinegar air dry, or use a towel to remove it if you must. Do not rinse it off.