Cleaning Porcelain Bathtubs

Category Bathroom
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 page to cleaning porcelain bathtubs.


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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 hawaiihibou from Honolulu, HI

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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.

August 21, 2004

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!!!



By Robin Dudik (Guest Post)
August 21, 20040 found this helpful

Just read your problem. Have you ever tried Mr. Clean Magic Eraser? It sounds like just the thing for you. You can buy it in the laundry detergent isle of the supermarket. good luck!
robin from NJ

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By (Guest Post)
August 23, 20041 found this helpful

I had the same problem & talked to Home Depot & they recommended a "tub & tile" or swimming pool paint. You can't use water for 3 days--it's worth it-my tub looks new & it even shines!~

Reply Was this helpful? 1
By Pam (Guest Post)
August 23, 20040 found this helpful

There is something new out by Clorox called Bathroom Cleaner withTeflon in a spray bottle. It repels dirt with invisible Teflon to keep dirt from sticking. It also cleans soap scum and leaves surface shiny and has a clean scent.


You just spray surface to coat evenly and allow to set awhile to penetrate the dirt. Then wipe with a wet sponge and rinse with water. Use regularly to maintain the Teflon surface protection. There also is a toilet bowl cleaner with the Teflon too.

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By Chris (Guest Post)
January 2, 20050 found this helpful

I can absolutely confirm the Mr. Clean Eraser. We bought our 1942 home a year ago and have dreaded refinishing the bathtub, it had 63 years of gunk and grime built up on it. We tried commercial cleaners, bleach, Oxi-clean, and many others, we even tried Oven Cleaner. All of them required heavy duty gloves and stank up the whole house and did little or no good. I tried a Mr. Clean eraser and couldn't believe my eyes. With two swipes of that magical wedge of foam all 63 years of gunk vanished. I was half done in ten minutes. The next day we bought a few more and have a brand new tub to thank for it.

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By Maggie (Guest Post)
August 15, 20050 found this helpful

I'm so glad to find your website. We live in a 1960 year old house. I don't think the lady who lived here before could get to cleaning the tub. So GREAT to find something that just may fix the problem.



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By Terry (Guest Post)
July 2, 20070 found this helpful

Thanks for your postings! I have the same problem, and will try your recommendations. I'me sure you've helped dozens who didn't post a reply too.

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By James Devlin (Guest Post)
September 29, 20070 found this helpful

I've been suffering the same problem since I moved into my 1948 bungalow and just tried the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I think I'll buy stock in that company because my tub never looked so great!


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By Jean (Guest Post) (02-12-08) (Guest Post)
February 12, 20080 found this helpful

A miracle was preformed at my daughters home with Mr Clean Magic Eraser. It was truly MAGIC. She rents and the tub in the house she is in now was just the worst and no amount of scrubbing with comet and a stiff brush would even begin to move the gunk.


I read on here about Mr Clean Eraser and got one and even my 6 year old granddaughter was amazed. I hated putting her in that nasty looking tub when I was there and thank you Mr Clean Eraser. I don't have to now.

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By jessaka (Guest Post)
October 1, 20080 found this helpful

I tired that mr. clean eraser. doesn't work on my tub. What seems to work is to put Epsom salt in the tub and wash my hair in the tub and sit in the bath water for a while. For some reason it comes cleaner than anything else. Hopefully, we will have a new tub this year.

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By Amanda (Guest Post)
February 6, 20090 found this helpful

I have had the same issue and I tried the Mr. Clean pads but they just seemed to crumble any thing else?

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February 4, 20150 found this helpful

I clean mine with liquid Barkeepers Friend then wax it with Holloway House Quick Shine it looks amazing. I do this every 3 months and always looks great!

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January 14, 20160 found this helpful

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

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April 24, 20180 found this helpful

they need to be used wet

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Answer this Question...

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.


July 2, 20150 found this helpful

Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle one half with salt. Use it as a scrubber on the stains. The lemon bleaches the stains safely while the salt scrubs the stains off.


Good Luck!

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July 2, 20150 found this helpful

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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October 21, 20160 found this helpful

solution to green stain in bath tub

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Answer this Question...

October 6, 2010

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 Bollman from Albany, NY


October 7, 20100 found this helpful

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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September 2, 20160 found this helpful

However bleach is terrible for septic systems - don't do this if you have a well. If on city water, I'd ask the city if it's OK to put bleach into the wastewater system.

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October 25, 20160 found this helpful

Dont ever pour bleach first and then add water. Changes are you will get an unpleasant explosion. Sorry, I knew the answer as to why this happens but over the years I have forgotten it. Add water first, at least 1 to 1. (BTW, I speak from experience).

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Answer this Question...

April 7, 2016

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?


August 10, 20170 found this helpful

Use a Mr Clean magic eraser for the grout. Clean the tub with lemon and cream of tartar

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Answer this Question...

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

By trudyjones from CA

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

August 5, 2010

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 Joan

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October 6, 2010

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 Rachel's Mom

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May 6, 2010

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 Clevenger 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 Marjorie

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December 24, 2009

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

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