Getting Rid of Bathtub Rings

by Bonnie Roberts
(last updated April 22, 2013)

It's been a long day. What could be more soothing than a soak in a hot bath? You put on your robe and slippers and go into the bathroom to draw the bath...and then you notice the unsightly ring around your tub. Suddenly the idea of a bath has lost its appeal. Let's change the story so that it has a happy ending. Let's get rid of that stubborn bathtub ring.

If your tub is porcelain or enamel, try this method:

  1. Mix baking soda and vinegar (or lemon juice) together into a paste.
  2. Smear this paste onto the bathtub ring, all the way around, and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Scrub the paste away with a brush or sponge. Rinse. The ring should be gone.
  4. If you have a tough stain, scrub it with a pumice stone.
  5. Optional: Turn up the shine on your tub by wiping it with alcohol.

If your tub is made of fiberglass or acrylic, you'll need a gentler cleaning method. Stay away from pumice stones and scouring pads. Even powdered cleansers might be too abrasive. Try one of these suggestions:

  • Use a soft cleanser like Soft Scrub to remove the ring and any stains. Follow the directions on the container.
  • Rub a mild liquid cleanser like dish soap on the ring using a sponge or soft cloth, then rinse off.
  • For less severe stains, spray on glass cleaner and wipe with a soft cloth or sponge.
  • Mix hydrogen peroxide and cream of tartar together into a paste, put it on the ring, and wait for the paste to dry. Then wipe it off and rinse.

Preventing bathtub rings can be much easier than erasing them, so make sure to rinse your tub out well after each bath, and educate your family members so that they will do the same. Also, clean your tub every week (or more or less often, depending on tub usage). Installing a water softener can also help cut down on mineral deposits.

Now you can enjoy that hot bath in your clean tub. You deserve it!

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