Tips for Cleaning Cast Iron Bathtubs

Updated February 21, 2017

Cast iron tubs are like an ornamental fixture in your bathroom. Most have claw footings and the exterior can be painted any shade you desire. Cleaning a cast iron tub requires the use of non-abrasive cleaners. Abrasive cleaners can etch into the porcelain surface of a cast iron tub, and over time dulls its appearance as dirt and grime become trapped in the tiny scratches. Using the proper cleaners and cleaning tools will help keep your cast iron tub looking new for many years.

Cleaning Cast Iron Tubs

Clean cast iron bathtubs with a solution of liquid detergent such as Ivory or Palmolive dish detergent and a gallon of warm water. Avoid using abrasive cleaners on the cast iron or scouring pads or brushes. Cleaners with grit or scrub brushes can scratch or etch the surface of the cast iron. Scrub tough stains with a nylon brush and soapy water. A nylon brush provides the rubbing action needed to remove tough stains without the abrasiveness of a scouring pad.

Removing Tough Stains From Cast Iron Tubs

Mix baking soda and water to form a paste and apply it to any heavy stains that cannot be removed with regular cleaning. Mold and mildew develop in warm moist environments and thrive in tubs, especially if they are not wiped dry after using. Allow the paste to sit on the stain for two to three hours, then rinse away with warm water and wipe with a clean rag. Dry your tub after each use to prevent mould and mildew.

Removing Soap Scum From Cast Iron Tubs

Soap scum builds up in tubs and forms a ring near the top of the tub. The scum is harder to clean away and needs a tougher cleaner than the dish detergent. Mix a solution of two parts white vinegar and one part water in a spray bottle and spray it onto the soap scum. Allow the vinegar solution to sit on the tub surface for 15 minutes. The vinegar loosens the soap scum making it easier to remove. After wiping away the soap scum, rinse the tub thoroughly and wipe it dry.

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About the Author

Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.