How to remove yellow stains in a bathtub

Updated February 21, 2017

There is nothing quite as luxurious as soaking in a hot bathtub. However, a bathtub with yellow stains is the last place you would want to soak your stresses away. Often, tubs can become stained from soap scum and mould and mildew build-up. This is quite common in a moist area. In addition, metal from razor blades and other products can leave rust stains on your tub surface. While cleaning these yellow stains does require a bit of elbow grease, with the right products and some hard work you can have your bathtub looking as good as new.

Fill a cleaning pail with 1/3 cup mild cleaning detergent or all purpose household cleaner and one gallon water.

Rub cleaning solution into the yellow stain using a soft cloth. Rinse area well. If the stain is still apparent, create a slightly abrasive cleaning product.

Create a cleaning paste by mixing together baking soda and a small amount of water. Use a soft cloth to apply the paste to the stained area. Scrub with a stiff bristled brush. In addition, consider using an old toothbrush to reach difficult cracks and crevices.

Use warm water to thoroughly rinse baking soda mixture from the surface of the tub. If the area is still stained, you will have to use a stronger compound of trisodium phosphate (TSP) and water.

Create another paste mixture with a small amount of TSP and water. Apply in the same manner as the baking soda paste. Rinse area thoroughly to remove all TSP residue.


Use a standard car wax to create a durable finish and shine on the tub surface.


Always wear rubber gloves when using cleaning products. Never use a harsh abrasive such as a scouring pad. This will create permanent scratches on the tub surface.

Things You'll Need

  • Cleaning pail
  • Water
  • Soft cloth
  • Stiff bristled brush
  • Mild detergent / all purpose household cleaner
  • Baking soda
  • Tri-sodium phosphate
  • Rubber gloves
  • Toothbrush
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About the Author

Shelly Schumacher has a diverse writing background that includes work in print as well as electronic publications. She has been writing for over 18 years and enjoys working with a variety of different clients on both writing projects and as a marketing and public relations consultant. Schumacher holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Wisconsin.