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.
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.
Using comet or bleach based cleansers will wear the shine of the porcelain down. Found out the hard way.
Barkeeper's Friend is AMAZING, have used it on several things that nothing else could help. I also hear great things about the pumice stones, but I used one once and it left scratches on porcelain. Looked better than before, and it was the only thing that worked, but even though it was very wet, still scratched some. When there's nothing else that makes a dent in a stain, you do what you have to! Looks to me like you did a great job. :^)
Do not use a pumice stone on any kind of bathtub as the finish will be gone. I use one on my toilets twice a year as our water is so hard. I know the finish is gone but, cant stand a dirty looking toilet. My brother has a cleaning and restore company....
Just wondering how old the poster is. That is certainly not an "old historic bathtub".
Great article! I believe the poster said the house itself was historical, btw - not the bathtub.
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.
What can I use to get rid of those horrible dark (I guess mildew and soap scum) stains in my tub?
By Ronnie S.
Wet down the tub well and use scouring powder such as Comet, a plastic mesh scouring pad and some elbow grease.
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.
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:
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.
I feel the need to add something else here. Frugalsunnie has a very, very good point and I NEVER use anything that contains chlorine bleach anymore because I am one of those who have lung damage because of having used it. In saying that, it was my mistake to not mention to you that you should not use comet with bleach. The company does sell it without the bleach. Also, Frugalsunnie is referring to chlorinated bleach. Non chlorine bleach is safe and is usually on the same store shelf right next to chlorine bleach :-)
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
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.
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.
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
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.
What is the best way to remove bath tub stains?
By Melissa from Lake Charles, LA
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.
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
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)
How do I remove stains from a ceramic bathtub?
By SharonaH. from Rockville, MD
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)
CLR works great. (09/06/2009)