Don’t scour your bathtub!

Or to be more accurate, don’t use scouring powder in your bathtub and/or shower.  I’m responding to a question on how to get out dirt or soap stains in a steel bathtub.  Evidently it has got worse over the years and she wanted to know how to remove them once and for all.  Well, as “for all” the only sure way is to remove the offending tub or shower!  Problem cured!

Now joking aside, most people would try to use scouring powders such as “Ajax”, “Comet” or a similar brand first thing.  Let me be the first to tell you, don’t!  Once you initially use a scouring powder in your fiberglass or enameled steel tub or shower, it will be clean and shiny . . . for a while.  But you are literally “scratching” or “etching” the sealed surface with these abrasive cleansers.  This now rougher surface allows future dirt, grime and soap film to more easily adhere to the bathtub or shower surface.  Whereas the tub/shower might be difficult to clean now, any future cleaning will be even more difficult than what it was before!  So stay away from scouring powders!

Well then, what can you use to clean them?  I like baking soda with water followed by a rubbing alcohol and water mix spray on the walls after each shower.  Some like cleaning with bleach diluted with water.  Others like ammonia with water, just remember not to mix the two!  Google fiberglass or enameled steel cleaners and you will get a number of methods that you can try.

As a last note, I understand that Comet and other companies have come out with a non-abrasive version of their products, claiming they won’t scratch fiberglass and the like.  Not having tried these products I can’t verify their statements.  I have used products to “seal” and thereby smooth the fiberglass surface after a thorough cleaning and they do work quite well though.  Most are like and apply the same way as your auto paste wax.  Wipe or rub it in, allow to dry to a haze, than buff it off.  For best protection I like the paste wax, but an aerosol spray version is also available.  The protection is noticeable because the water beads and runs off similar to your car.  It will last from six months to a year depending on the number of people using the shower and so on. 

Oh, and you people with tiled tubs surrounds, don’t forget to reseal your grout annually also.  Just be sure to clean the area first and keep the silicone sealer on the grout and not on the tile.  Hint: If you don’t clean the surround before sealing it, you will be sealing in the dirt! Making it impossible to remove the dirt afterward.



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