Asked in CleaningHousehold HintsAcids and Bases
What will clean a bath tub that is old and refuses to come clean?
February 20, 2016 1:54AM
The process takes minimal effort, on your part, and gives amazing results for the time and effort spent. Do not try this on non-porcelain tubs. Plastic tends to be difficult to remove the paper towels from, and the bleach will begin to eat through the plastic very quickly.
Simply layer the tub with a roll of paper towel. Laying it out along the bottom and the sides would be the best idea, with a little overlap to ensure complete coverage. Then slowly pour the bleach straight from the bottle, on to the bottom layer of the paper towel. When you notice the bleach climbing the walls of the paper towel covered tub, pause to see where it ends, and make sure there is a vent or window open. Step out for a brief moment while it continues to climb, this will minimize your exposure to the bleach's caustic effects. Once you determine if more is needed continue to pour the bleach on to the dry areas until every part of the tub is saturated with the towel and bleach combination.
Once you have covered the entire tub, close the bathroom door, and occupy your self in another part of the home. Wait at least an hour to let the bleach strip the porcelain of the stains; however, do not let it go longer than 3 hours, as at that time you will find the paint being stripped as well. Put on a pair of rubber gloves and pull the paper towel from the tub. As you do, the clean shiny tub will be revealed. Continue to pull the paper towel and dispose of it properly, until the tub is empty again. Get your cup and rinse the tub on all sides, thoroughly and wipe down with the cloth, to remove the remainder of the bleach.
When the process is complete, the dingy, ring around the tub, stains, and dirt will be lifted to reveal a beautiful tub.
Some users have suggested using Borax 12 or Bon Ami.
If the tub is very old, it may be made of cast iron and the cracked surface will be the cause of the stains. You cannot improve the look without re-enameling the tub.