Cleaning Porcelain Bathtubs

Whether new or vintage, porcelain can look very dingy if not cleaned and cared for properly. Here are tips to help you keep your tub looking and feeling squeaky clean. This is a guide to cleaning porcelain bathtubs.

An antique porcelain tub
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What is the best way to clean an old bathtub? I tried many cleaners, but the tub is still dirty. Also what cleans unsealed grout? Should I paint or color?

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    I have an old, big, solid tub with blue and green stains where the water pours out. It is not rust and I do not know how or what to use to clean it. Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks.

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      The blue and green stains are likely copper from your pipes dissolved in lime from hard water. Vinegar may remove the stains, or any product advertised for cleaning up lime residue, such as CLR or the CLR Tub and Tile cleaner.

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      Use the Clean King, it's for scrubbing copper pans. It got my bathtub so white.

      By TrudyJones from CA

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      How do you remove accumulated calcium stains or lime stains from a porcelain tub?

      By Nora from Lake Ozark, MO

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      A bottle of Lime Away should do it. It is sold everywhere.

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      Do you dread cleaning your cast iron tub? An easier way is to spray the tub with your Oven Cleaner, follow instructions and let it sit. Wipe gently and your have a brand new looking, sparkling clean tub without breaking your back.

      By cipi2000

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      I too have had problems cleaning, here in Hawaii, my porcelain tub. I have been researching it for a month now. I have come across some very good cleaning agents for your porcelain, old or new. It is Boraxo or Limeaway

      I've tried Lime-A-Way and it works. Lately I've found different kinds of stains on my old porcelain sink and will try Boraxo next. The sites I've found say they work great. The taste of water in Hawaii has changed and there are green stains on my plumbing which suggests minerals in the water, thus the stains on the sink. Good luck and great cleaning! Thanks.

      Source: and

      By Krissttina I. from Honolulu, HI

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      I have a stain in a porcelain tub, which I can't remove. The stain appears to be in the tub itself. Please help.
      Thank you.

      By Janet from Albany, NY

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      I had one in my kitchen sink. When my sister-in-law saw it, she suggested that I put the sink stopper in, pour 3-4 cups of Chlorox in it (enough to cover the bottom), add a couple inches of water and let it sit over night.

      It worked. The sink was sparkling white when I drained it out the next morning. I've done the same thing every few months when I notice it getting stains in it. Chlorox definitely pulls the stains cleanser doesn't.

      If you don't want to pour a whole container of Chlorox in your tub, possibly soaking an old rag in it and put the rag dripping wet (do not wring it out) on your stain and leaving it overnight might work.

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      Coffee cups stained with coffee? Make a thick paste with simple table salt and warm water and use a soft rag and wipe the coffee cup inside and out with the salt paste. Sparking new!

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      I have a very old, pitted porcelain bath tub that I can't afford to refinish or replace. It collects a lot dirt in the pits and I cannot get it clean. it no longer shines at all! It isn't stained, just has hard to remove dirt. I have done the bleach thing, Comet, various cleaners, even some from the janitorial supply house, throughout the years but nothing seems to work (scrubbing bubbles is the best) I have tendonitis in my arm and cannot scrub for long periods of time. If I do get it clean is there an economical finish or wax that I can use on it so it stays cleaner longer? Thank You!!!


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      Mark, what type of Holloway House Quick Shine did you use?

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      How do I clean a porcelain bathtub?

      By Anastasia from Berkeley, CA

      Cleaning a Porcelain Tub

      I use Soft Scrub with bleach and a Scotch Brite pad. Works great for me. (08/11/2010)

      By Momof1

      CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      How do you clean an old, scummy porcelain tub?

      By idk2010 from Raleigh, NC

      Cleaning a Porcelain Tub

      Spray with engine cleaner. The kind you buy at AutoZone. You may have to do it more than once, but it will get it cleaned and shining. I remember when I was young an old man who cleaned tubs did this and it worked, made an old nasty tub shine like new. (05/06/2010)

      By kimsukie

      Cleaning a Porcelain Tub

      Use Dow scrubbing bubbles. Spray it on, let it sit for a few then wipe off. You may have to repeat a few times, but it works well. (05/07/2010)

      By cdoss

      Cleaning a Porcelain Tub

      Put in two or three cups of baking soda and a little liquid detergent, such as Dawn and fill with hot water. Let stand for a couple of hours then scrub with a long handled brush (saves bending). Hopefully this will take care of the problem. (05/07/2010)

      By Joankay

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      How would I remove hard water and rust stains from my old porcelain bath tub? It's from the 1920s, so I don't want to replace it. I've tried using advertised cleaners, but they start to strip away from the tub and leave behind the stains. Does anyone have an alternative?

      By Christopher from Wilmington, OH

      Cleaning a Porcelain Tub

      If you've tried most everything imaginable to remove the stains, you might want to consider hiring a professional to refinish your 1920's bathtub. We had a porcelain bathtub refinished in our second house. It should be refinished during the warmer weather so if you have a window in your bathroom it can be opened to let out the toxic fumes.

      Look in the yellow pages under bathroom fixtures/bathtub refinishing. Or go to:

      I found this information in less than one minute on the internet. (12/26/2009)

      By MCW

      CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      How do you clean lime and hard water stain build up on a porcelain tub>

      Suman from McLean, VA

      Cleaning a Porcelain Tub

      Pour straight vinegar on it, or line with vinegar soaked paper towels, and remove the towels and wipe up loosened deposits before the towels dry. Re-wet if needed. (09/07/2006)

      By Linda

      Cleaning a Porcelain Tub

      Zud Cleanser works well on porcelain tubs, but don't leave it on for any length of time. Scrub, then rinse thoroughly.

      Harlean from AR (09/09/2006)

      By Harlean from Arkansas

      CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
      Home and Garden Cleaning BathroomJuly 21, 2011
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