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Old Bathtubs Aren't Impossible to Clean, You're Just Not Doing it Right

Anyone who has ever rented an apartment (or a minumum of one that wasn't entirely brand new having a sparkly-clean bathroom) has recently felt the struggle of dealing with a vintage, not-quite-clean bathtub. If it looks like no matter how much elbow grease you put to it, then your lease's bathtub still has stains--like you are aware that it is clean, but it doesn't ever look clean--it could just be that you have not tried the ideal answer yet. You're likely to need more than your bathroom cleaner spray to find the business done.

First thing is first--until you do anything, make sure you know what sort of bathtub you are working with. Is it ceramic, enamel, or acrylic? Some solutions work like a charm on one kind of tub but might do permanent damage so it's important to figure this out . You can get on to the cleaning procedure as soon as you're sure of what you've got.

(Notice: These are the 3 most well-known forms of bathtubs and what we're covering in this manual, but it's possible you may have you made out of the other material).

Acrylic Tubs

​​​​​Most modern homes have acrylic tubs, according to Merry Maids. It's fairly simple to tell if you have one (if you don't already know for certain)--essentially, if it appears like it's made out of plastic, you've got an acrylic tub.

Acrylic baths are prone to discoloration and cracking, so it is quite important that you avoid using anything eco friendly (which includes scrub brushes and scouring pads, Merry Maids explained) if you are cleaning one. Cleaning pro Jolie Kerr (via Jezebel) suggests using a lotion cleaner like Gentle Scrub for regular cleaning, noting that prolonged exposure to your cleanser might assist with stubborn stain removal--try leaving it on for a minimum of 30 minutes to determine if it takes care of any discoloration. Kerr proposes having a Magic Eraser, if this doesn't work.

Enamel Tubs

Enamel tubs, that are in fact made out of cast iron or steel and coated in enamel, can also be quite popular, according to Merry Maids. You have an outdated tub or in case your tub sounds metallic, it is probably enamel.

When it comes to enamel tubs, then you have to be on the lookout for chips, cracks and dulled surfaces, so you'll need to avoid scouring pads and acidic cleaners that could degrade the surface of the bathtub. Rather, both Merry Maids and Kerr suggest reaching a powder cleaning alternative (though they need to be used sparingly, since they're still abrasive) and also utilizing gentle cleaning tools. Bon Amis is probably the alternative, Kerr mentioned, however, you may also use Comet or Ajax. For stains, consider making a paste and allowing it to sit for 30 minutes before wiping it clean and rinsing. Reader's Digest also implies observing the same formulation and making a paste of 2 parts baking soda.

Porcelain Tubs

​​​​​​​Porcelain baths are older, expensive and heavier, and therefore less typical, so if you don't live in a historical house, you probably don't need one. They look like tooth tubs, but based on Kerr, it is possible to tell the gap by putting a magnetif it sticks, it is enamel; if not, it porcelain.

According to Merry Maids, porcelain tubs possess a higher tolerance to cleaning agents, and that means it is possible to fight scum with a mixture of vinegar, dish soap, and cornstarch. You can also use cleaning screens (like lightweight sandpaper to your tub). Kerr proposes having a pumice scouring stick to clean away stains, noting that they function on porcelain toilets that are stained. Reader's Digest also mentioned that you are able to use oven cleaner (but just on white ceramic tubs, as it can cause different colours to disappear).

Tips & Tricks

  • ​​​​​​​Be sure to place test any cleansers which you haven't used before prior to using them on your whole bathtub if harm is caused by it.
  • Always begin with the gentlest approach and work your way up to ones.
  • You may safely use dishwashing liquid for routine cleanings on acrylic, enamel and ceramic tubs.

Got your bathtub stain-free but now you're stuck having some gross-looking grout? This tutorial (which entails baking soda, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide) should enable you to take care of it.

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