How to Clean a Porcelain Tub

Amber Kelsey

Bathtubs typically feature porcelain lining on top of steel or cast iron. Porcelain tends to be a durable material, but it is still susceptible to dulling of the finish. Older porcelain tubs might not be as alkaline- and acid-resistant as the newer bathtubs, making them even more likely to become stained.

Porcelain bathtubs need regular cleaning.

Whether your porcelain tub is old or brand new, it must be cleaned on a regular basis to simplify ongoing maintenance.

  1. Scour your porcelain tub. "Everyday Cheapskate's Greatest Tips" suggests mixing 1 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of salt. Keep this mixture in a sealed plastic or glass container. Scour your tub once a week using this mixture and a soft cloth. Rinse your bathtub thoroughly with warm water. Dry with a soft cloth to prevent water stains.

  2. Remove minor stains. Fill a small bowl with cream of tarter. Slowly, add just enough hydrogen peroxide to make a thick paste. Apply this mixture to stains and let the paste dry thoroughly. Rinse the mixture with warm water and dry your tub with a clean cloth.

  3. Treat stubborn stains with oven cleaner. The Reader's Digest Version website suggests spraying the stained sections of your porcelain tub with a commercial oven cleaner. Let the cleaner sit for two to three hours to give it time to draw out the stains. Rinse your bathtub thoroughly and dry with a soft cloth.

  4. Remove rust from your porcelain tub. Surface rust usually comes off during weekly scouring, but stubborn rust stains often need a commercial rust remover. Follow the directions on the product's label.

  5. Add shine to your clean porcelain tub. Squeeze lemon oil onto a soft cloth and rub the sides of your bathtub. The lemon oil also forms a protective coating that helps stop water spots, soap scum and minor stains. Avoid rubbing the oil on the bottom of the tub because it can be quite slippery.

  6. Tip

    Wipe your porcelain tub dry after every use to prevent water stains and soap scum from forming.


    Pretest any cleaning solution on an inconspicuous spot of your tub before using it on the entire surface.

    Using abrasive cleansers gradually degrades porcelain and makes it less stain-resistant.

    Make sure your bathroom is well-ventilated before using oven cleaners or rust removers.