Removing Stains from Bathtubs

by Amy Gordon
(last updated February 20, 2009)

As anyone who has cleaned a bathroom in his or her life will testify that if there is a bathtub in the bathroom, it will stain. Those people will further testify that removing stains from bathtubs is one heck of a job. But with some care, you can make sure your bathtub doesn't stain that badly at all. And if it does, here's what you can do.

Most bathtub stains are caused when mineral deposits from hard water accumulate over a long period of time, causing what we all know as rust stains. Then there are the blue stains, which are a result of mineral deposits and mildew. Both kinds of stains require a lot of hard work if you have left them to set into the surface of your tub. The golden rule is to clean your bathroom at least once a week so that stains don't have time to set and you don't spend hours removing them.

Hard Water Stains

A lot of households use borax to remove hard water stains from bathtubs. It is certainly the easiest way to remove stains, because all you have to do is sprinkle some borax on the affected area, wait for a few minutes, and wipe with a damp cloth or sponge.

Alternatively, for particularly stubborn stains, you could try one of many rust-removing agents available on the market. Most of these agents contain oxalic acid, which is highly toxic, and trisodium phosphate, so you need to follow instructions carefully before using. Gloves are essential, for instance. Once you apply the rust-removing agent, you need to scour the area with a coarse brush or pumice scouring pad.

There are even stronger varieties of rust removers on the market that are ideal for removing heavy stains from bathtubs. With these removers, you can pour the remover onto the stain, let it work on the stain for about thirty minutes, and simply wash it off. If washing the stain and remover off doesn't work, scrub the area with a coarse brush before washing the stain away.

An extremely effective method of removing stains from bathtubs is to dissolve oxalic acid crystals in hot water and make a paste using some whiting, but this is only worth the effort for really severe stains. Apply the paste to the stain and let it dry, after which you must scrape it off and rinse. However, never touch oxalic acid with your bare hands or allow it to get near your eyes or mouth. Always wear gloves when cleaning your bathroom.

Colored Stains

Blue, green, or other colored stains on bathtubs are usually the residue from previous cleansers that were not rinsed off well. This is especially the case with porcelain and enamel bathtubs that have developed rough surfaces from years of scrubbing with abrasive cleaners. When a cleaner is used on these rough surfaces, the cleaner's dyes can get into the rough areas and harden, causing colored stains. For stains that have remained on the bathtub for ages, no cleaning agent may be enough, though a strong chlorine bleach solution may take the stain off; however, chlorine bleach is likely to further discolor the surface.

Mildew Stains

For mildew stains, use a brush to scrub the affected area with a mixture of ˝ to 1 cup of chlorine bleach in a gallon of water.

Author Bio

Amy Gordon

Amy Gordon loves keeping things simple, natural, and safe so she can spend more time having fun. Every day she learns new things about making life at home easier and she loves to share it with you! ...

MORE FROM AMY

Choosing the Right Sized Flowerpot

Flowerpots are convenient because they are mobile, and they are also decorative. When choosing the right flowerpot, be ...

Discover More

Use Tea Bags to Give Azaleas the Acid They Love

While most plants like basic soil, azaleas grow better in acidic soil. Most plants are damaged by acid, so you'll need to be ...

Discover More

Growing Onions

Onions are delicious vegetables that you can grow in your own garden. Plant onions in October in a well drained area mixed ...

Discover More

Remove Stubborn Stains Quickly Get everything looking clean again: Walls, floors, baseboards, counters, blinds, appliances, and more. Micro-scrubbers easily reach into surface grooves, lifting dirt away. This low-cost 8-pack is great for stubborn stains and touble areas. Check out Mr. Clean Magic Eraser 8-Pack today!

More Cleaning Tips

Tub Cleaner

Is there a dirty, stubborn film building up on your tub? Get to work cleaning to rid your tub of the mess and leave it ...

Discover More

Cleaning Tubs

Cleaning the tub is known to be a tough, time-consuming job. Instead of saving the task for when it's really a mess, clean it ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Bathtub Rings

Bathtub rings can be difficult to remove. You need to select products and methods that won't harm your bathtub, so try these ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 4 + 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.