Charlotte Plumbing Company Advice Column: Tub Cleaning Strategies

Not sure how to clean your tub? Puzzled by stubborn stains in the tub that won’t go away? You may be using the wrong cleaner for your type of tub, or the wrong cleaning tools to remove stains. In fact, bleach and some drain cleaners can even cause stains in certain kinds of tubs. Read this guide to cleaning your tub to remove soap scum, get rid of tub stains and make this tiresome chore much easier.

Identify What Kind of Tub You Have

Believe it or not, the type of tub you have matters when it comes to choosing cleaning products and tools.

Your tub is either enamel (older tubs, very sensitive to cleaners and bleach), porcelain (very durable) or acrylic (plastic-like). Check your tub to determine what type of tub it is, and then follow the proper instructions listed below for cleaning that type of tub.

How to Clean an Enamel Tub

You will have to choose carefully when cleaning an enamel tub. Bleach or harsh drain cleaners leave a brown stain in the tub, so choose a commercial cleaner that does not contain bleach or scrub with shampoo to remove soap scum rings. (The shampoo breaks up the oils causing the rings in the tub.)

If you’ve already got brown or rust-colored stains in your tub, use 2 tablespoons of baking soda mixed with one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide (3%) to make a paste. Leave the paste on the stain for a half hour and then scrub gently using a toothbrush or scrub brush.

If you’ve got stubborn stains in your enamel tub, try one tablespoon of trisodium phosphates mixed into a gallon of water. However, be very careful not to mix trisodium phosphates with other cleansers – they can create dangerous fumes if mixed with other cleansers. Rinse thoroughly after scrubbing.

How to Clean a Porcelain Tub

Porcelain tubs can handle abrasive cleansers like Ajax or Comet, applied with the green (or scratchy) side of a scouring pad like the ones sold for washing dishes. For tough stains, use a pumice stone (but make sure your tub is porcelain before doing this – enamel and acrylic tubs will be permanently damaged by a pumice stone) to remove the stains.

How to Clean an Acrylic Tub

Acrylic tubs need to be washed the most frequently of all tubs. Use liquid dishwasher detergent or shampoo and hot water to weekly wash your tub. Use only soft clothes or soft sponges to scrub the tub as it can be scratched or damaged easily.

If you’ve got hard water build up or stains, use vinegar, sprayed onto the tub and left for a half hour before scrubbing with a soft sponge or toothbrush. Rinse with hot water and you’re good to go!

Need a Matthews NC Plumber?

If you’ve got bigger problems than stains in the tub, give us a call at 704-269-1066 or use our online contact form for a Charlotte plumber. We’re open 24/7, 365 days a year. Our headquarters is located in Matthews NC, but we serve a thirty-mile radius of Charlotte.

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