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Question DetailsAsked on 9/16/2017

How to get rid of gray stains in a tub?

I'm not quite sure what it is, but I got an apartment and the tub is stained gray in most of it. Does anyone know what this is and how to clean it up? Thank you in advance.

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1 Answer


Likely to be (if soft- easily peeled with back of fingernail) just dirty soap scum - like that you find on the inside of the door or curtain but buyilt up over time. In that case, a tub scrubbing agent like Scrubbing Bubbles should take it off - vinegar for tougher deposits.

If it is lime deposits - not easily scraped off or only flakes off with significant scraping with your nails - then Lime Away or similar lime dissolving cleaner (check the type you get is safe for the tub material you have - enameled or porcelain metal tub, fiberglass, or acrylic). Again, white vinegar will work too but do not leave exposed on fiberglass or acrylic for any time - wash and rinse area by area as you go.

For tougher staining, wetting the surface, then sprinkling baking soda on it, then spritzing with vinegar to make a paste and scrubbing with that will work - do not use an abrasive cleaner on any tub or shower.

If using vinegar or a Lime Away tyupe product, be sure outlet is blocked with a drain plug or keep a decent flow of water running through the drain so it does not eat away any metal fittings (vinegar is a mild acid, as are most lime and iron removal products).

Another alternative for any but the hardest iron or lime stains is non-abrasive chlorine bleach cleanser listed as safe for tubs - Comet or Ajax or 401 or such - most brands make a safe for tubs and showers bathroom scrubbing powder, but on soap scum or hard water deposits takes more effort than the vinegar or Lime Away solution.

Personally, I would have required the landlord have it cleaned before occupancy (out of the previous tenant's security deposit), because that is not acceptable move-in condition for a rental.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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