How to Get Rid of Bathtub Stains

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Bathtubs make luxurious attachments to any bathroom. Who wouldn't dream of relaxing in a nice, warm bath after a long day? Before you fill up that tub, take a look at its condition. A proper bathtub should be clean, shiny, and in pristine condition.

However, seeing unsightly white, yellow, or black discoloration around your bathtub can put a damper on your plans. These stains can be a nuisance, and can possibly be a health hazard if you continue to use your bathtub without clearing out the muck first.

Confused on how to get rid of bathtub dirt and stains? In this article, we’ll guide you to identifying what kind of stains have settled in your bathtub, as well as how to remove them. Remember to wear gloves if you’re particularly sensitive to cleaning materials!

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What Causes Bathtub Stains?


The white streak discolouration in and around your bathtub are mainly hard water stains and soap scum formed by mineral deposits left behind after water has evaporated. Thankfully, the stains are relatively easy to get rid of with a few household cleaning implements like vinegar and baking soda.

Yellow or black bathtub stains, on the other hand, are formed by mold that grows in constantly moist locations. The high humidity and warm environment in bathrooms make the perfect habitat for all types of mold to flourish. 

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How to Remove White Stains from the Bathtub

Finding white, gritty stains on your bathtub?  Water and soap stains are the most probable culprits. Hard water contains minerals that can build up over time, causing your bathtub surface to look dingy. 

White stains can also be due to residue left over from popular bathtub soaks like bath salts, bath bombs, and bubble bath solutions. To prevent these products from giving your bathtub a streaky makeover, best to rinse out your tub after every use.

To remove hard water stains, simply fill a spray bottle with some distilled white vinegar.* Spray down your bathtub with vinegar and allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes. Use a sponge or cloth to wipe off the excess.

For grout and fillers, you can make a paste out of baking soda and vinegar and apply directly to badly affected areas. Due to its gritty texture, you can rub the paste in a circular motion to loosen the discoloration and allow the paste to go deep into set stains. 


*Helpful Tip: Make sure to use white vinegar, not apple cider vinegar, as the latter may stain white enamel bathtubs. Use vinegar with caution on exposed enamel and porcelain as these may corrode under acidity.
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How to Remove Yellow Stains from the Bathtub


Yellow stains and discoloration can make your bathtub look shabby. But, what causes yellow stains in bathtubs? These stains can be caused by tannins in water, and rotting organic matter like bodily liquid and oils. Yellow stains can also cause musty, decaying odors, due to the bacteria in the grime. 

A mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda does wonders in removing yellow stains, and disinfecting the area as well. Make a paste out of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, and apply to your bathtub in an even layer, focusing on stained areas. 

Let the paste sit for 20 minutes, and use a gentle sponge, or an eraser/melamine sponge, to firmly scrub away at the stains. Rinse out your bathtub, and repeat steps if necessary until all the stains are completely gone.

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How to Remove Black Stains from the Bathtub


Black stains, or mold stains, are notoriously difficult to get rid of. However, treating black mold stains is not an impossible feat. It may take some time and effort, but you’ll soon restore your bathtub to its crystal clear, shining glory.

Before you do any sort of work to remove black stains, make sure first that the black mold you’re battling isn’t the deadly type of black mold. Stachybotrys chartarum, or toxic black mold, appears on cellulose-rich surfaces, like wood and cotton. If the black mold suddenly appeared after prolonged exposure to moisture, best to test for Stachybotrys chartarum.

To remove black mold, reach for bleach and baking soda for a powerful, mold-killing, stain-clearing solution. Make a paste or liquid spray with the two ingredients, and generously apply to your bathtub, grout, and surrounding tile. Remember to apply a liberal amount to the faucet, drain, and shower head. 

Let the solution sit for 10 minutes for light stains, or up to 30 minutes for tougher stains. Rinse out your bathtub and dry with a clean cloth.


Helpful Tip: Wear gloves and a mask when handling bleach as it can irritate eyes, skin, and lungs. Keep clear of the bathroom while the solution is sitting to prevent inhalation of bleach vapors.
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How to Remove Colored Dye Stains from Bathtub


Seeing brightly-colored rings in your bathtub? These rings are most probably caused by commercial dyes in body scrubs, soap, and soaks like bath gels or bath bombs. While each chemical dye has a different composition, there are a few home remedies to lift or lighten these stains.

First, identify what product stained your bathtub. You can use a mixture of bleach and baking soda if the product does not contain ammonia (like in hair dyes), or detergent. Otherwise, you can try your luck with mild castile soap, vinegar, or hot water. 

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How to Remove Tough Stains from the Bathtub

If the stains are too tough for DIY home remedies, it’s time to reach for the professionals. Readily available solutions can be your saving glory in restoring your bathtub to its pristine condition. 

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Clorox Antifungal Mold & Mildew Remover

  • Kills 99.9% of mold and mildew
  • Quick-acting - works after just 5 minutes!
  • Penetrates deep into tile grout
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Stonetech Mold & Mildew Stain Remover

  • Works on natural stone
  • Dissolves mineral deposits and polishes surface
  • Does not etch or scratch surface
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Skylarlife Home Mold Remover Gel

  • Best for surrounding tile and grout
  • Easy-to-use, overnight thick gel formula
  • Concentrated gel that targets mold stains
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Microban 24 Bathroom Cleaner and Sanitizing Spray

  • Sanitizes and disinfects with 99.9% effectivity
  • Forms a bacteria-fighting layer once dried
  • Leaves a clean, citrus scent
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Lysol with Hydrogen Peroxide Multi-Purpose Cleaner

  • Gentle, but powerful, disinfectant
  • Works on all surfaces
  • Great for weekly maintenance
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Keeping It Clean: Bathtub Tips and Maintenance

Bathtubs are generally low maintenance. With a little cleaning and proper sanitation, you’ll have a bathtub that will look timelessly elegant. Here are a few tips for bathtub cleaning and maintenance so you can make the most out of your relaxing soaks:

  1. Rinse out your bathtub after every bath - Stains happen when residue is allowed to sit and discolor surfaces. Rinsing after each bath, particularly after using colored bath soaks, can help prevent stains. 
  2. Install a water softener - Having constant problems with hard water stains? Install a water softener to filter out hard minerals before they come out of your tap.
  3. Dry your bathtub after every use - Wipe dry your bathtub after each use to prevent mold and mildew from breeding, especially in porous surfaces like grout and wooden fixtures. 
  4. Maintain a consistent cleaning schedule - Schedule your weekly cleaning to prevent dirt, dust, and mold from settling in the nooks and crannies of your bathtub. If you are busy, you can have part time maids from Luce Home to get the cleaning done for you.
  5. Use only solutions appropriate for the material of your bathtub - Cleaning your acrylic bathtub? Use non-abrasive solutions and scrubs. Got an enamel bathtub? Use non-corrosive cleaners.
  6. Do not use insoluble body scrubs - Body scrubs that use particles insoluble in water, like coffee grounds and plastic pellets, can clog your pipes and cost you expensive professional fees in repairs. They can also be the start of mold colonies in your drain. Instead, go for natural scrubs that use sugar or salt, as these easily break down in water.
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