When it comes to bathtubs, commercial cleaners aren't a one-size-fits-all type of product. If your tub gets dirty, you may be tempted to use any cleaner within reach, but you want to be careful with what you're using to get your bathtub white again. Sometimes, chemical products and forcibly scrubbing your tub could be doing more harm than good.
Cleaning Acrylic Bathtubs
Acrylic bathtubs are a popular option, and you'll find them in a lot of bathrooms. Although acrylic tubs are common, they're known to crack and discolor. That's why you don't want to use harsh chemicals or scrubbing brushes when you clean acrylic tubs. If you don't know if you have an acrylic tub or not, acrylic looks like plastic.
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Before you introduce a new cleaning product to your tub, always test it in an inconspicuous area. For basic cleaning, use dish soap and a soft sponge. Never use scrub brushes or scouring pads. If you have a tough stain on your tub, let the dish soap sit for 15 to 30 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing your tub.
Cleaning Enamel Bathtubs
If you have an old claw-foot bathtub or one that sounds metallic, it's most likely enamel. These tubs are made of cast iron or steel and have enamel covering. You want to be careful when cleaning enamel tubs because they're sensitive to acidic chemicals and are known to easily scratch and chip. When cleaning an enamel tub, only use soft sponges or cloths and dishwashing liquid.
Cleaning Porcelain Bathtubs
If you own a porcelain bathtub, you need to take extra care because they're both heavy and expensive to repair. Although porcelain tubs look like enamel tubs, the difference is that porcelain isn't magnetic like enamel tubs, which have cast iron or steel under the enamel.
Porcelain tubs have a higher tolerance for cleaning products, but you still don't want to use harsh chemicals. You can use dishwashing liquid, but if you have tougher stains, use white vinegar and dish soap instead.
Alternative Cleaning Products
Bleach is a popular product when it comes to cleaning bathrooms, but you want to be careful because it's toxic and you could damage your tub. It would be best if you only used bleach on fiberglass, white porcelain, ceramic and stone resin bathtubs. Never use bleach on acrylic, cast iron, copper, wood or cultured marble tubs.
Two popular products that you can use on almost any bathtub are vinegar and baking soda. You can use vinegar on fiberglass, porcelain, acrylic, ceramic, cast iron, cultured marble, copper and wood tubs. Never use vinegar on stone resin tubs, though. When you use vinegar to clean a bathtub, always dilute it with warm water.
If you have tougher stains, mix vinegar and baking soda to create a paste and let it sit on the stains for a few minutes. Although baking soda may seem like a harsh ingredient, you can use this product to clean fiberglass, porcelain, acrylic, ceramic, cast iron, cultured marble, copper and wood tubs, but never use it on stone resin.