Cleaning a Stained Bathtub

Before you start scrubbing on your bathtub it is important to know what it is made of. Much like when cleaning scuffed linoleum, different materials will have different cleaning needs. Knowing what caused the stain on your tub will also determine the best way to remove it without doing any damage to the surface of your bathtub.

There are many cleaning products available intended to get stains out of bathtubs or bathroom tile. These mainly focus on lime scale or soap scum, so if you are dealing with something less ordinary you may need to get creative with your cleaning products. Having an arsenal of options at your disposal will help insure that you have the right tool for the job.

Addressing the Stain

If you are dealing with an acrylic tub, vinegar will often remove a stain caused from hard water buildup. You will need to use a soft sponge or brush because an acrylic tub can be scratched very easily. Common household cleansers such as dishwashing liquid can break down stains without causing any damage. If a stain is stubborn, allow the vinegar or dish detergent to sit for half an hour and scrub it away with hot water to break down the stain.

You will also need to be gentle when scrubbing on enamel tubs. These cannot take a great deal of abrasive wear without starting to show scratches on the surface. In order to get around this problem, stick to commercial bathroom cleaners or shampoo to get off stains that come from oil or dirt. Allow the mixture to sit on the stain to help break it down without having to put a lot of physical effort into it. However, do not use any commercial cleaners that contain bleach because this can seriously damage the coating on your enamel.

Porcelain tubs, on the other hand, can be scrubbed as hard as necessary to remove stains that build up. Scouring pads, scrub brushes and pumice stones will help you get very tough stains out of your tub without the fear that you will leave scuff marks and scratches in their place. Abrasive powders such as Comet can also be used to break down stains without harming the structure of your tub. For stubborn stains, form a paste with these cleaning powders and allow it to sit for a few minutes, then thoroughly scrub the area.

If you are unsure about what your bathtub is made of it is best to use caution to avoid causing a problem. Test all cleaning materials in a spot that you are unlikely to see very often to see if they do any damage before applying them all over your bathtub. Always make sure to rinse any chemicals you have used completely before using your tub for bathing to avoid any unpleasant reactions your skin may have to the products. If you are very sensitive to certain chemicals you may wish to wear eye protection or gloves when cleaning to avoid having a reaction.

The best way to avoid having to remove stains constantly is to prevent them from setting. Whether you are cleaning a stained bathtub or one that has simply started to show evidence of use you should make the effort to address this mess at least once a week. This way you do not have to worry about materials building up on the surface of the tile and becoming hard. The longer a stain sits on a surface the harder it will be to get it off no matter what cleaning materials you use.

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