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Cleaning Well Water Stains from a Bathtub

Category Bathroom
Minerals from well water can leave stains that are tough to remove. Removing them as they occur will help keep them from building up. This is a guide about cleaning well water stains from a bathtub.
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By 4 found this helpful
November 11, 2011

We have a well and our toilet, bathtub, sink, and washer all get stains. I tried everything and finally I went to a Mercantile Store, they have items that others don't. I asked the owner about the stains and she said she uses The Works, it's in a white bottle. It works great.

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Be sure to rinse the bathtub out really good. I have used the green bottle, but it doesn't work for what I need it for.

By Terri from Hawk Point, MO

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By 3 found this helpful
November 14, 2011

I tried everything to clean well water rust stains, also. Then I decided to try the dollar store version of the Mr. Clean erasers and the Kaboom Foam-tastic. The erasers will do the job by themselves, but it takes a lot of work. Just spray on the Kaboom and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Then clean with the erasers. Your tub should be rid of the stains. If it's really bad like mine was it may take a few tries. Good luck!

By Diana from Jennings, FL

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By 4 found this helpful
November 10, 2011

This may be more classified as a warning to those of us with fiberglass tubs, but here goes. Be very careful with the toilet bowl cleaners, CLR, and anything that reads that it could etch your toilet bowl, as you will remove the finish a little at a time. The vinegar and baking soda will take a little time if it is bad when you start, but it won't harm the finish. After you get most of it off, you may use Zud and when all is gone, then use marine polish.

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This recommendation came from the repair person who factory fixed my tub after it was put into our new house 16 years ago. My tub is still shiny. All fiberglass tubs and older tubs aren't made the same. You may also want to go to a tub and tile shop and ask what to use to clean your type of tub and then maybe you'd get something different to share with all of us. Happy cleaning.

By gbk from south GA

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Questions

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By 0 found this helpful
October 14, 2010

Where can you buy The Works or Barkeepers Friend? I am looking for something to clean my tub; I have well water.

Darlene

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Answers

October 15, 20100 found this helpful

At any grocery store Walmart or maybe a hardware store.

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October 16, 20100 found this helpful

Hi Sweets,

Make a paste of baking soda and white vinegar and spread it on the marks and let sit for a few hours. The marks should come of easily. I use this for the water stains in my toilet from the well. I've also used tablets for cleaning dentures, this works great because it softens everything up as does the baking soda and vinegar. Let us know how it worked for you.

Bar keepers friend is available at Canadian Tire in the automotive department or ceramic tiles stores sell it also.

Best Wishes
Marie

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October 16, 20100 found this helpful

Try Borax as well, it's a natural substance, you can buy it the laundry detergent section of some stores. Let it sit wet on the stains for a few minutes if the stains are really bad. It not harmful to the septic system.

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October 16, 20100 found this helpful

I also have well water and fight stains all the time! For my toilets, I use the works toilet bowl cleaner and it is wonderful! You can find it at Wal-mart or even a dollar tree store. It is a common item (here anyway). But use caution because it is pretty potent! Now I also purchased the tub and shower cleaner made by them and it was lousy! Nothing like the toilet bowl cleaner. So, I found that comet works well with one of those little green scrubbers (they look kind of like a filter). I wet my tub or shower sprinkle the comet, spread it around with the scrubber and let it sit for about 15 minutes then rinse, works fabulous! Good luck!

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October 16, 20100 found this helpful

Here on Long Island, I sometimes see Barkeeper's Friend in the supermarkets. Also try Target, Home Depot, Lowes, Ace or regular hardware stores. If you must send for it (more costly), it's available directly from BarkeepersFriend.com. It's also available from Amazon.com, and VermontCountryStore.com.

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October 16, 20100 found this helpful

The works are pretty much all over as well as the Barkeeper product. Check Farm and Home supply stores. I know both are at ours here.

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October 17, 20100 found this helpful

Try Lysol toilet bowl cleaner, in the blue/white bottle with the duck like neck. It removes tough stains, like rust and minerals.

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November 10, 20110 found this helpful

I bought The Works at WalMart for a little over a dollar. Also bought some at Dollar Tree. I've tried all kinds of "stuff" and nothing works for me like The Works. Great stuff.

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Anonymous
April 23, 20160 found this helpful

I bought the works at Menards and it didn't work and I have used it several times.

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June 8, 20160 found this helpful

You can get the Barkeepers Friend at Walmart in the cleaning section

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By 0 found this helpful
April 16, 2008

We have hard water where I live. My bathtub is white, but for some reason, it is getting grey stains on it. I have tried every product that I can think of, none of them has helped remove the stain. I filled the bathtub and put a full bottle of bleach (4 litres) in the water hoping this would help, and left it overnight. It did nothing. Is there anyone who could please help me. Thanking you in advance.

Answers

By guest (Guest Post)
April 16, 20080 found this helpful

Try swimming pool chlorine. Make a paste, put it on and leave till dry. Hope it will do the job. gbilly AT ananzi.co.za

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April 16, 20080 found this helpful

I get the same thing and I've used a product called Grease Lightning, works pretty good.

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April 16, 20080 found this helpful

After searching a few websites, I learned you can use a mixture of peroxide and cream of tartar to make a paste and scrub over the area with a toothbrush.

Also, you can mix fresh lemon and vinegar together and wipe over the area or place a cloth dipped in the solution over the stain.

If you see any improvements, but not enough; then I would suggest reapplying.

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April 17, 20080 found this helpful

This could be a combination of soap film and hard water residue. If vinegar doesn't work, try CLR, as that will remove most kinds of hard water buildup.

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 17, 20081 found this helpful

I used a pumice stone and scrubbed it and it worked pretty well.

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 18, 20080 found this helpful

Thank you so much for all the great information.
You all are the best.....

Ann

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 18, 20080 found this helpful

I buy a thick toilet bowl cleaner with bleach and let it sit on the enamel for about an hour. When I rinse it off, it is sparkling white again. I have an antique clawfoot tub, so it might be a different finish. Be sure to do a spot test.

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November 9, 20110 found this helpful

Lysol Toilet Bowl cleaner works great in tubs and showers as long as its not a stone one. Squirt it on and use a flat scrub brush to spread and cover entire surface. If you do not cover entire surface you will have clean streaks. Let sit for 30 minutes and rinse off with warm water. No scrubbing involved at all. I have been cleaning homes for 25 plus years and this secret ingredient works wonders. Owners are amazed and say they haven't seen it that shiny clean in years.

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Anonymous
February 5, 20160 found this helpful

the only thing you can do is what I'm going right this minute is. sitting on my sons kiddie stool and using a pie slicer or paint scraper or a box cutter to literally scrape it off. tilex kaboom none of those products will penetrate. I found this out when I used my fingernail to see. I took my shower doors off I have a mask on because its a chalk white powder that comes off and it working very good just make sure to turn the pie slicer backwards I have a square one works very well.
good luck

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By 0 found this helpful
September 11, 2015

I am building a house. My plumber left well water in the bathtub. It has been 6 months now because I am building slowly,due to funds. Will the water stain the bathtub, and will it be difficult to clean?

Answers

September 23, 20150 found this helpful

CLR is what will remove, calcium, lime and RUST from the tub. Depending on how long the rust has been there, it may take a few soakings to remove, but it definitely works.

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October 14, 20100 found this helpful

Please help, I am looking for something to clean my bathtub from our well water stains. I have tried everything I can get my hands on, nothing seems to work. Please help. Tell me I don't have to replace my tub. I have tried CLR and all those products they claim to clean it, "it doesn't". Thank you.
Sweets

Answers:

Cleaning Well Water Stains From Tub

Have you ever heard of Watkins products? The company has been around for over 130 years, and many people used to purchase Watkins products from door-to-door salesmen years ago. I am an independent Watkins associate now, and I have been using their products and learning about what they can do. Yesterday I used their toilet bowl cleaner for a basement toilet that has terrible hard-water stains and hard-to-clean areas. Anyway, squirt it on, wait 10 minutes, and like magic it just slid off. Their also carry a Tub and Tile cleaner and another items, Bathroom Cleaner Plus, and they both sound like they could work for your problem. Go to www.watkinsonline.com. (06/30/2004)

By Trudy

Cleaning Well Water Stains From Tub

I too have the same problem. I called the manufacturer of the tub, American Standard, and they recommended a product called ZUD, and KRC-7. I found ZUD at Ace hardware, and it helped a great deal, but not completely. I had painted the tub with Klinks and it looked beautiful for about three months, and then the stain returned. I contacted Klinks, and they said to be sure and use distilled water with their product, which I did not know at the time of application. Hope we can get some more feedback on this problem. (07/01/2004)

By Karen

Cleaning Well Water Stains From Tub

When living in South Dakota a lot of people living out of town had this problem. The recommended way to clean well stains out of a tub or sink is as follows:

Clean the tub or sink well with your usual cleaner, rinse with water and let it dry completely. Pour straight white vinegar into a spray bottle and liberally spray on to affected areas. Let set for at least ten minutes. Rinse off and spray the area with a product called C.L.R. You can buy it in your grocery store with the cleaning products. Be sure to have the area well ventilated. (CLR stands for calcium, lime, and rust remover.) Let stand ten or twenty minutes, rinse and respray until all stains are gone. Use cold water to rinse and never touch the product with your bare hands. After removing the build-up, use at least once a week. Many of the people I talked to said this worked every time. (07/01/2004)

By Julie

Cleaning Well Water Stains From Tub

I don't know if this will work. Fill your tub a little above where the stains end. Fill the tub with denture cleaning tablets, 50 or so. You can buy them cheaply if you get the store brand. Let sit overnight. After it sits all night, try scrubbing with a rough-sided sponge. Good luck. (07/01/2004)

By Ann

Cleaning Well Water Stains From Tub

If the bath is fibreglass the stain may be in the fabric of the bath itself and I don't know what to suggest. If it is a ceramic bath the cheapest, easiest, chemical free way to get rid of surface mineral deposits is to "sand" them off with very fine sandpaper. In Australia it is black, called "wet and dry" sandpaper. As the name suggests it can be used wet or you can use it with cleaning products if you wish. This does not damage the surface of a ceramic bath and you can, in fact may need to, rub quite hard. You can also use this method in toilet bowls for the "ring". I have a feeling that bleach only removes the colour from the mineral deposit so it reappears very quickly. Wet and dry sandpaper actually removes the deposit. I don't use any chemicals in the toilet because it disrupts the natural breakdown in our septic systems. This method is more effective, healthier, (as you don't have to inhale fumes), and more environmentally friendly.

Regards.

(07/01/2004)

By Jo

Cleaning Well Water Stains From Tub

We have well water here too! I bought "The Works" toilet cleaner and when you spray it on, the stain just melts right off! No elbow grease involved. The best part is, Wal-mart sells it for .98! I have also been told that SOS pads work, but they require a lot of elbow grease. Hope this helps!
(07/02/2004)

By Jill

Cleaning Well Water Stains From Tub

Try this. I have a well, and the yellowing in my tub drove me crazy. I use Snobol toilet bowl cleaner. It's the only thing I have found which works well. I use it full strength. Put some on a sponge, and wipe it on the entire yellowed area, then rinse the area completely. Do not leave it on the surface very long.

Important: It WILL ETCH the fixtures, so you must be careful NOT to get it on the faucet, handles, etc. My tub was new 8 years ago, and so far the Snobol has not etched the tub at all, but I am extremely careful not to leave it on too long.

I also have found another product which helps with the lime scale, and hard water stains on the fixtures. It is Comet Bathroom Cleaner. It is a spray cleaner. Do not use Lime Away. That will ruin the finish on your tub. I had that experience. Good luck! (07/05/2004)

By Gale

Cleaning Well Water Stains From Tub

I have had all types of well water stains. I use a product called Rust Stain Remover made by Whink. It's great, all you do is pour on to the area that's stained and it's gone. When using it in the toilet take some water out below the stain line and pour on. You can get it at Wal-Mart, Target, Ace Hardware, and K-mart. (11/09/2004)

By Sharon (Guest Post)

Cleaning Well Water Stains From Tub

I live in TX and the local water stains. I bought a product they advertise on TV (one of those Oh God Nothing Works moments) and had wonderful luck. I tried the Restore4 product designed for tubs and sinks. It worked wonders. (11/09/2004)

By leila78238

Cleaning Well Water Stains From Tub

Lime Away works well. (03/19/2005)

By Steve

Cleaning Well Water Stains From Tub

I am new to well water and took my mother-in-law's advice that's worked well for over 30 years- Bar Keepers Friend. www.barkeepersfriend.com
I get it at Walk-mart for under 2.00 and it's a big container. Looks like Comet containers, but taller. I use it on sink, tub, floor, even toilet! Gets rust stains right off with hardly any scrubbing. (08/29/2006)

By Jessica

Cleaning Well Water Stains From Tub

Also, after getting the stains off, I use Lemon Oil as a final wipe. It helps keep the stains from sticking in the first place, while it keeps the entire room smelling lemon fresh. (02/20/2007)

By JDischer

Cleaning Well Water Stains From Tub

Try a pumice stone. I tried it on my toilet stains from hard well water and it works. I purchased mine in the cosmetic dept. it is used on rough feet, but mine took all the hard water stains off. (06/04/2007)

By Sandra

Cleaning Well Water Stains From Tub

Try Lysol thick blue toilet bowl cleaner. I had terrible sulfuric acid stains in my tub from a drain opener product and it took those out. Test on your tub first to make sure it wont hurt the finish. Good luck! (11/17/2007)

By colleen

Cleaning Well Water Stains From Tub

I found this forum while trying to find help for my own well water rust stains. Thanks to Jessica, I now have a very white bath tub. The Bar Keepers Friend did the trick very easily. I had tried The Works, Comet, Iron Out, and the list goes on and on.
Thanks! (03/07/2008)

By Julie

Cleaning Well Water Stains From Tub

I use Zep acidic toilet bowl cleaner it removes the yellow on tubs and toilets with little scrubbing involved. Pour some in tub and spread around using rubber gloves, remember it is acidic and wait 5 minutes, then rinse off. (04/06/2008)

By edslilbigsis

Cleaning Well Water Stains From Tub

I have well water and let me tell you I have tried "everything" possible. I have found that a pumice stone works, but it is a lot of work and the stains come back later. The only thing I have found to work is a cleaner called Resolution Natural Tub and Tile bath cleaner. It is earth friendly approved and all natural, too.

Normally it costs $2.50 for a 32oz bottle, when on sale it is only $1.44 and sometimes Menards has a mail in rebate and it works out to be free. I don't know if it is for sale anywhere else, but it is always at Menards. I am serious, this stuff is magical. I use it as an after shower spray and our tub is as clean as can be. Way better than automatic shower cleaner and way cheaper. Try it!
(11/18/2008)

By Jennifer

Cleaning Well Water Stains From Tub

Charlie Soap all purpose cleaner works for me. Just spray on the stain and wait about two minutes and wipe off with a wet sponge. It really works better than all the other cleaners on the market. (06/21/2010)

By ldg9535

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