Every step of cleaning a bathtub seems like it was engineered to be as annoying as possible. You have to get on your knees to give it a proper scrub, which is physically awkward at best, and painful at worst. Cleaning the walls is impossible unless you actually step in, a fact I only remember after I’ve already cleaned the tub. Rinsing should be the easy part, but it takes ages — even with a handheld shower head.
The best way to avoid all this is to clean your bathtub while taking a shower. It’s faster and easier for a bunch of reasons, including that steam and hot water soften soap scum and other residue so you don’t have to scrub so hard, and you can reach every last inch of the walls because you’re standing right there.
Cleaning around your bath products is easy: Set your shampoo and other items in one end of the tub, scrub the shelves, then give the bottles a quick rinse before replacing them. Speaking of rinsing, it’s so much easier when you don’t care about getting wet — especially if your shower head has a handheld attachment. (If it doesn’t, bring a large non-breakable cup in with you and use that to rinse down the walls.) The whole process takes maybe five minutes, so you’re more likely to do it often enough to keep your shower and tub clean.
A soap-filled dish wand makes shower cleaning even easier, but you don’t need one. Just bring some surface cleaner and a sponge or cloth in with you, then go to town. Avoid using cleaning products that could irritate your skin — I use the same diluted BioKleen I use for everything else, with a microfiber towel. Most cleaning products are no more slippery than shampoo or conditioner suds, but if leaning down in a wet shower sounds a little too dangerous, give the sides of your tub a quick scrub before stepping in. When you emerge, your tub will be as fresh and sparkling clean as you are.