All this dirt has been on the bathtub for like a year or so since the previous owner just remodelled my house before we bought it and he didn't live there. I read many articles and videos to learn how to do it but none of them worked at all. The following items are the ones we tried:

  1. Used bleach and scrubbed it. We filled the bathtub with extremely hot water and poured bleach in it and scrubbed it later.
  2. Used Mr. Clean Magic sponge.
  3. Used Green Works, Kaboom etc. None of them worked even slightly.
  4. Used many other chemicals and no luck.

What worked for us was using pumice stone and it really worked but it was too much work and pain. It scrubbed out all the dirts (with some residue left) but didn't really make it look like new and shiny.

I wonder if there is any one who can recommend a better way to clean up the bathtub. So far what we learned from internet didn't work at all :/

I believe our bathtub is made of ceramic and it is a hard material compared to what we used to have that was fiberglass.

  • 2
    try a product called "Barkeeper's Friend". It has a super fine abrasive that is safe for glossy surfaces and clear coats and Cyrillic acid which works well on dried on and old lime, calcium, and other solids. Worth a try and on the shelf at the grocery store. Also works wonders on dull headlight covers. May 6, 2013 at 21:49
  • Scrubbing Bubbles for 3 minutes + mop/brush work best so far, but I wanted to find a better way. Will try the methods below. What is Cyrillic acid? Cyrillic is a form of Eastern European alphabet.
    – Chloe
    Jun 25, 2014 at 5:14

3 Answers 3


I live on well water and have hard water stains (pink), and sometimes green from my pipes. We use a product called CLR. It stands for Calcium, lime, rust. It works great on hard water spots and other deposits left by water. You can buy it at Wal-Mart, Home Depot and probably your local grocery store.

The good thing about it is that you can just pour it on and let it sit for a bit.(read the bottle). Then take a scrub brush and finish off the deposits.

  • 1
    I have had great results with CLR, calcium, lime & rust remover, a + even for a question that is out of date.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 1, 2018 at 21:02

Your bathtub probably has porcelain coating with a couple (maybe not anymore) clear coats.

When you scrub a tub with something abrasive you are slowly removing the clear coat. No matter what cleaning product you use, you will not get the shine back.

If you want your shine back I would add a clear coat to the tub. However your tub would have to be very very clean before applying something like this.

Easiest way to clean a bathtub is a bleach, borax, vinegar combo. Sprinkle borax, spray on bleach - don't just dump it and don't dilute it, and spray on vinegar. Hit it with a sponge.

  • 1
    The guy above (DMore) suggests using vinegar, borax and bleach! NEVER MIX VINEGAR AND BLEACH! It will make DEADLY CHLORINE GAS!!! Please look it up if you do not believe me.
    – Benny
    Dec 1, 2018 at 18:22
  • 1
    @Benny, you're right that it's generally a bad idea to mix cleaning products. But you may be thinking of ammonia and bleach, which is a hazardous mix. Bleach works by releasing chlorine. When released slowly, it does its work on a stain. Some chemicals can speed up release, so instead of working on the stain, it's released quickly into the air, making it less effective for stain removal and more irritating to people. Pre-mixing the chemicals can produce a lot of gas. Applying one, letting it sit and work, then applying the other and removing it all, as DMoore suggested, is less of a problem.
    – fixer1234
    Dec 1, 2018 at 22:43
  • This site discourages mixing bleach with either acid or ammonia: doh.wa.gov/community-and-environment/contaminants/…. Dec 29, 2023 at 11:55

Mixing bleach and vinegar is not safe. Bleach reacts with the acetic acid in vinegar to produce toxic chlorine gas. Chlorine is a yellowish-green gas that attacks mucous membranes and the respiratory system and can be potentially fatal.

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