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How To Remove Stubborn Bathtub Stains?

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how to remove stubborn bathtub stains

Stubborn bathtub stains are usually the result of the porcelain or the baked on enamel wearing out, leaving the surface etched.  This etching process is caused from years of cleaning, use and the build-up of mineral scale and soap scum.  Some stains refuse to lift and others can be removed, yet only to return after a few weeks of use.

If this is the case, it is easy to refinish the tub yourself.  Read more about the best do-it-yourself bathtub refinishing kit we have tested.

Some bathtubs, after scouring, are in fact very clean but the nature of the porous surface leaves them open to future staining.  Bathtub and tile cleaners typically base their cleaning power on bleach.  Bleach works great on bathtubs that aren’t etched or coated with mineral deposits.

The problem with bleach products is that they have a high PH.  This is compounded by the fact that minerals and soap scum also have a high PH.  This means that to combat these stains a lower PH or acidic, cleaner must be used.


Many homeowners report that they have had success, albeit temporary in the case of etched tubs, with acids such as vinegar or lemon juice.

This makes sense, due to the acids are battling the higher PH soap scum and minerals.  Two products that can help in the fight against stubborn bathtub stains are Lime-Away and BarKeepers Friend.

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