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Cleaning a Stained Bathtub

Category Bathroom
If your bathtub is stained it stands out and can be embarrassing, especially if you are having guests over. Getting the tub clean will help make your whole bathroom look better. This is a guide about cleaning a stained bathtub.


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By 7 found this helpful
June 30, 2015

I'm in the process of moving into an old historic home and boy, does it need work! The porcelain bathtub was disgusting, years worth of stains. For three days, I tried every "soap scum, mildew remover, etc." you could think of. Nothing worked (cue freak out) until I came across two lifesaving products.

  1. Pumie Pumice Scouring Stick from Lowe's. $2.83 each. I used 4=$11.32. This is safe on porcelain, not enamel. Just wet the stick and scrub. It immediately started really removing stains. Once I ran out, I didn't feel like getting back in car so thought I would give the next product a try.

  2. Bar Keepers Friend Cleanser, $2.50, local grocery store, Wal-Mart, Lowe's, etc. This stuff is amazing! I let it sit for a few minutes and scrubbed and it took everything nasty right off. I will never use another cleaning product! It's cheap and can also be used on so much more than just the bathroom.

So, including some scrub brushes from Dollar Tree, I spent around $16 and it looks like I bought a new tub! (The pink bottle in corner is just a cleaner I already had to wipe down tile.) I was so thrilled with outcome, I wanted to share with everyone! Hope this helps!

P.S. I forgot to take a legit "before pic". This before pic is right after I had started using the pumice stick. You can tell where it's been used on the right of pic.

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July 13, 20150 found this helpful

Great article! I believe the poster said the house itself was historical, btw - not the bathtub.

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By 57 found this helpful
March 8, 2013

I don't like to use chemicals that have an odor. I found using a laundry soap powder works great! Fill the tub with hot water. Leave it in for about 10-15 minutes. Then drain. Put the laundry powder on the stains and ring around the tub. Push to kind of make a paste. Let sit overnight. Take a scrub brush the next day and rinse with hot water.

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October 25, 20111 found this helpful

Rust stains around tub faucet.

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Rust stains can get on your tub either from old plumbing or from metal objects left sitting around the edge. These stains can be removed from your tub by using the proper cleaning products. This is a guide about removing rust stains from a bathtub.


October 31, 20110 found this helpful

Rust stains around tub faucet.

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This is a guide about cleaning well water stains from a bathtub. Minerals from well water can leave stains that are tough to remove. Removing them as they occur will help keep them from building up.


October 23, 20110 found this helpful

Red Hair Dye

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This is a guide about removing hair dye stains from a bathtub. Newly dyed hair often has residual dye in it, which can stain your bathtub after washing your hair. Find ways to remove these stains by checking out these tips.



Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

July 31, 20110 found this helpful

What can I use to get rid of those horrible dark (I guess mildew and soap scum) stains in my tub?

By Ronnie S.

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August 1, 20110 found this helpful

A cleaner like Mr. Clean and an abrasive sponge like the ones made by Vileda should also work. Wet the tub, put in the stopper. Pour in about 1/2 cup of Mr Clean (you would need less if the tub wasn't so dirty), Sponge it around all over the tub, let sit for about 5-10 mins, then scrub with your abrasive sponge. If you have a heavy build up, there isn't any really easy way except a good cleaner and elbow grease.

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August 2, 20110 found this helpful

You want to avoid anything with bleach if your stains are from mold, even the purpose made products that claim to be specific for cleaning mold from tile. Bleach and mold react to form a gas that over time can cause serious health problems:

http://www.thri  2534905.tip.html

Vinegar is much safer, and works every bit as well removing mold. Works not only on bathroom tiles but everywhere you have mold-kitchen, garage, porch and patio.

But those stains could also be from hard/mineral-laden water. Try the vinegar (mix at one-to-one parts). If that doesn't remove the staining, you might have stains from the water. There are products to address that (CLR, etc) but if the staining is from the water in the first place, you will always have to use those products to keep the tub stain free.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 29, 2015

I live in a manufactured home. How do I clean it so it doesn't have yellow stains?

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June 18, 20110 found this helpful

How can I get stains out of an old bathroom tub? It may or may not be made out of porcelain.

By Alan from Ludlow, KY

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June 19, 20110 found this helpful

Chances are, if it's stained badly, then more than likely it's porcelain and the glass finish has been scoured off. Never use an abrasive scouring powder to clean porcelain not even Bon Ami. Porcelain has a glass finish, would you use a scouring powder to clean your mirrors or windows? Of course not. Do a web search for 'Cleaning damaged porcelain', there are lots of recommendations, if your tub is an antique, you may have to seek professional services if it's worth it.

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June 21, 20110 found this helpful

Our upstairs tub in a huge old porcelain tub. I had an ugly rust stain running down the front of it that was there when we purchased our home. One day I was cleaning the toilet with toilet cleaner liquid I purchased from the Dollar Tree store. I was amazed at how it cleaned up the rust stain in the bowl. I decided to try it on the tub, I figured it couldn't make it any worse. To my surprised it removed the stain instantly. You may want to try a tiny bit with a q-tip of something to make sure it won't damage it.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 16, 2015

I always have consoled myself that the ring was not from me, but from the soaking of basket weave reeds in the tub. Whether that is true or not I have no idea. Is that a possibility? I would not mind getting rid of it if anyone has a suggestion. It has been there for years and I have scrubbed it as though it were a regular ring, but to no avail.

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February 9, 20150 found this helpful

How do I remove stains left behind by drain cleaners such as Draino or Liquid Fire?

By Buck R. from Danville, IL

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By 0 found this helpful
November 8, 2014

I was dyeing my hair with Kool Aid and when I washed it out it staned my bathtub. How do I get it out; it's dark red.

By Geka

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

By 0 found this helpful
November 21, 2010

I have a beige colored tub. I used Kaboom cleaner on it and unfortunately there are now purplish stains in the corners of my tub. I had those plastic shower caddies in those corners. Even though I rinsed the tub I am wondering if the cleaner caused these stains. Is there any way to get rid of the stains without ruining the tub?

By Ronnie from Lowell, IN

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
November 27, 20100 found this helpful

I don't know whether or not the cleaner caused the purple stain, but I do know some people say Pantene Pro-V can cause purple bathtub stains, so I guess other things could cause it, too.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 19, 2010

What is the best way to remove bath tub stains?

By Melissa from Lake Charles, LA

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
June 19, 20100 found this helpful

http://www.grea  aspx?ProductId=1

Greased Lightening can be purchased from either Dollar General or Family Dollar. It's does a great job in removing mold, mildew, soap scum, stains, etc. A 40-oz. bottle cost $3.00. You can even print off a $1.00 coupon on the coupon websites.

Be sure to follow the instructions by wearing rubber gloves and having good ventilation.

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November 13, 20130 found this helpful

My boyfriend and I are renovating a really old house. The lady who lived there before us was there for 7 years. She was a chain smoker, had arthritis, and had several baths a day! As far as we can tell the tub had never been cleaned. This residue has formed into a thick, hard yellow/green surface. I have tried several methods including CLR, Comet, and other cleaning products and no luck. Is there anything I can do?

By Rikia

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June 6, 20120 found this helpful

How do I get white Jif cleaner stains out of my bath?

By Judi G

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

November 21, 20100 found this helpful

My sewer backed-up into the bath tub. How do I clean and sanitize the black and dark brown stain from the tub?

By Ron from Roswell, NM


Removing Stains from a Bathtub

Try filling the tub with hot water and dissolving dishwasher detergent in it. Let it sit over night. If that doesn't work, try scrubbing with denture cleaner. Dissolve the tablets in hot water and spread it on the stains. Let it soak a couple of hours and scrub it off. (12/21/2009)

By catastrofy

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December 19, 20090 found this helpful

How do I remove stains from a ceramic bathtub?

By SharonaH. from Rockville, MD


Removing Stains from a Bathtub

I use Cascade and hot water with a brush or scrubby sponge. You can let it soak a bit depending how bad it is. (09/05/2009)

By Tracy

Removing Stains from a Bathtub

CLR works great. (09/06/2009)

By emmamamie

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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