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Cleaning a Bathtub

How to Clean a Tub with a Porcelain Interior

Whether your tub is new or antique, we recommend using a mild, non-abrasive cleanser for the routine cleaning of any tub with a porcelain interior. We also recommend you dry the porcelain interior after each use. For tougher stains, you may use a cleanser such as Bon Ami® or ZUD®. Zud is a non-abrasive cleanser that dissolves rust, mineral stains, hard water deposits, and soap scum.

How to Remove Rust Stains from a Tub with a Porcelain Interior

These instructions are for PORCELAIN TUBS ONLY – DO NOT use this cleaning method on a REFINISHED TUB!

Surface rust should come off with a mild cleanser. You can use a more abrasive cleaner Bon Ami® or ZUD® for tougher surface stains. If the rust comes through the porcelain, we recommend rubbing the problem area with a damp terry cloth using a solution of one-part muriatic acid to one-part water. Muriatic acid is available at most hardware stores.

SAFETY NOTE: ALWAYS add acid to water, NEVER add water to acid. Wear clothing that covers exposed skin areas. Use gauntlet-style acid-resistant gloves and eye protection. Click here for more information about the safe handling and disposal of muriatic acid.

The acid/water solution will start to dissolve the rust as well as a bit of the porcelain. When the rust is gone, apply baking soda to the area to stop the reaction. Wash the area with soap and water. Dry the area and then prime the exposed cast iron with a metal primer. Paint the tub with waterproof epoxy paint.

How to Clean an Acrylic Tub

The surface of an acrylic tub is very easy to keep clean; there are no pores for dirt to penetrate, so dirt will just rinse off. For sanitary purposes, you should clean your bathtub with a non-abrasive soap. Dishwashing detergent such as Joy®, Palmolive®, Ivory®, etc. and a soft sponge or cloth is all that you need. If you spill something on the bathtub and need something stronger, the following are SAFE to use: Fantastic®, Tackle®, Top Job®, Formula 409®, ScrubFree®, Calgon Bath®, Windex®, Clorox Bleach®, Spiffits® Bath, Glass Plus®, and Spic & Span Powder®.

DO NOT clean your acrylic bathtub with paint thinner, Goof OFF®, Scrubbing Bubbles®, acetone, lacquer thinner, M.E.K.® or other chemicals that attack the structural integrity of plastics. Use of these chemicals will destroy the acrylic surface of your bathtub and there is no way to reverse the damage caused by this type of chemical reaction. Use of these chemicals will void your warranty.

If you should happen to dull, scratch or chip your bathtub, the appearance can be restored back to its new look. Scratches and dulling can be removed with a liquid polisher such as Gel-Gloss®. Deep scratches or burns can be removed with very fine sandpaper (600 grit or higher) and then finished with a liquid polish.

How to Clean a Refinished Tub

While we no longer refinish bathtubs, Vintage Tub and Bath offers these general guidelines for caring for a refinished tub. This general reference should not replace the care and cleaning instructions provided by the company that refinished your tub; always check with your refinisher if you have any specific questions or concerns. Use the same care you would use to wash the hood of a new car. Never use abrasive cleaners! The refinished surface is non-porous; a mild, non-abrasive soap combined with a soft cloth and water will clean your tub. The best way to keep your tub clean is to wipe it down with a towel after each use.

    Do not place soap, bottles, or any other object on the finish at any time.

    Repair leaky faucets.

    Do not use abrasive cleansers – this includes, but is not limited to, SOS® pads, Comet®, and Soft Scrub®.

    If your refinished tub does not have anti-skid etchings and/or you are using an anti-skid or safety mat, use one that does not have suction cups.

    If you are mounting your tub against a finished wall, caulk around the tub before using it.

    You can wax your tub every four months with a urethane polish to maintain its luster.

How to Clean Faucets and Fixtures

Many of the manufacturers featured on our website include specific cleaning instructions with their products’ installation instructions. Most of the manufacturers offer this simple cleaning tip. Dry the faucet with a soft cloth after each use. For cleaning, use a soft cloth with a non-abrasive cleanser.