Unsightly bathtub rings are almost unavoidable if you frequently use the tub. The water pushes dirt to the sides of the tub, where it settles and leaves behind a prominent, dark-colored ring. Cleaning these stains can prove daunting, but with the right home remedies, you can eliminate even the most stubborn bathtub rings.
Dish Washing Detergent
Believer it or not, dish washing detergent can effectively remove rings and other dark stains from bath tubs. Just take about 1/4 cup of detergent and add enough water to mix the detergent into a firm paste. Do not mix using a metal utensil; use wood or plastic instead. Apply the paste to the bathtub surface and scrub the ring using a firm brush. Rinse your tub with water after 20 minutes.
Shampoo can also remove bathroom rings safely and effectively, according to "Good Housekeeping." Just squeeze some shampoo directly over the ring and scrub it with a firm-bristled brush until the stain residue lifts. When the stain disappears, just rinse the shampoo away. Any cheap shampoo brand should suffice.
White vinegar can also dissolve bathtub rings. The acetic acid inside the vinegar dissolves stains even when other solutions fails. Distribute the white (or distilled) vinegar into a spray bottle and spray the entire ring. Wait a few minutes for the vinegar to weaken the stain, and then scrub with a firm-bristled bathroom brush. Rinse the vinegar away. Do not use apple cider vinegar or any vinegar with higher than 3-percent acetic acid concentration, as these may damage some porcelain surfaces. Also, never use any vinegar on granite or marble tubs, because natural stone is extremely sensitive to acids.
Oven cleaner is another useful and effective solution for bathtub rings, as recommended by "Reader's Digest." Just spray the oven cleaner directly onto the ring and let it settle for several hours. Scrub the ring with a firm brush and rinse. Do not use oven cleaner on colored porcelain, as it may fade the color. Keep the oven cleaners away from your shower curtain as well.
Baking Soda and Peroxide
Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide both contain natural compounds and can effectively and safely remove stubborn bathtub stains such as rings. Use a mixture of 2 parts baking soda and 1 part peroxide. Spread the solution along the entire bathtub ring and scrub after half an hour. Rinse thoroughly after removing the stain.
Chris Anzalone has been writing professionally since 2001. He is a former staff writer and associate editor for Opposing Views, a popular news media website that tackles issues of the day from multiple perspectives. Anzalone holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California at Riverside.