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What to Use to Clean the Bathtub
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Cleaning the bathtub is tedious work. It is awkward to get to, you quite often have to scrub it down good to take remove all traces of dirt and soap scum, and some older tubs may be quite resistant to cleaning. However it is important to keep our tubs clean and spotless. There are various types of tubs and proper methods for cleaning each of them.
It is important to know what your tub is made of since certain cleaning methods may damage certain types of surfaces. Porcelain is one of the more common materials. It is stone-like and very durable for bathtubs and sinks. Enamel tubs are common in older structures and they may be very sensitive to drain cleaner and bleach. Brownish, rust looking stains may appear if the wrong cleaning agent is used. Acrylic is another material commonly used, and most closely resembles plastic. Acrylic tubs should be spared from abrasives such as pumice stones.
Porcelain tubs may be cleaned using abrasive powders mixed with a little bit of water. A scouring pad can be used to work in the powder and go to work on the stains. Pumice stones may be utilized on some of the more stubborn spots. Again, be sure your tub is porcelain before applying a pumice stone, as it will leave serious scratches and damage to enamel or acrylic surfaces.
Enamel tubs may be cleaned effectively using commercially available cleaners, just as long as they do not contain bleach. Shampoo may also be used, rubbing it into the stained area and allowing it to sit for a few minutes before rinsing off with warm water. Most stains are caused by human oils, which shampoos are designed to cut right through, making them effective cleaning agents.
Avoid bleach and drain cleaners when working with enamel tubs since these agents react instantly and leave rust colored stains. If you do make this mistake, use hydrogen peroxide mixed with baking soda to remove the stain. Allow to sit for 30-60 minutes before removing with a magic eraser-styled sponge.
Acrylic tubs require more frequent cleaning than others, usually once a week. Vinegar is best used for hard water build up; spray it onto the area and allow it to sit for an hour or so. Scrub down the affected areas and then rinse with warm water.
You should also avoid harsh abrasives or any product with fine grit; use soft sponges instead. Remember that acrylic is easily scratched, so products like Soft Scrub are best for removing stains from the tub or shower.
Acrylic tubs do not need to be waxed. They are naturally shiny and designed to stay that way and waxing may only serve to make them unnecessarily slippery.