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Clorox stained my bathtub, can it be removed?


I have a blue tub and parts of it have turned white(when it is dry). I think it is from using AJAX which would have bleach in it. The color turns back to blue when it is wet (water on it), but the white comes back when it dries.


Can anyone explain what is happening here?

Jack May
- BOSTON Massachusetts
September 4, 2022

A. Hi Jack. I suspect, since the color returns when wet, that the Ajax roughened it more than bleached it. Sometimes when reflected light scatters, it causes this lack of color saturation ... but when the surface is wet, so the light doesn't scatter, the saturation returns.

One of our supporting advertisers (Everbrite [a finishing.com supporting advertiser]) offers a clearcoat product usually used to restore the color to chalky finishes on aluminum siding. A simple test they suggest is that if the color of the siding looks good when wet, the clearcoat can probably save it.

I would suggest getting a small amount and coating a small piece of your tub. If it restores the color, proves reasonably durable, and doesn't introduce a slipperiness hazard, maybe it will be an answer.

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

Closely related historical posts, oldest first ...

Q. A friend told me to use 1/2 clorox and 1/2 water to remove mold spores from the tub. I sprayed this mixture on last night and woke up to find that I now have a brown stains in the center of my tub due to the clorox I used last night to kill mold spores. I tried scrubbing it off with Comet, it helped some, but it's still there... anything I can do to remove this stain? My tub is an original porcelain tub, the tile on the walls are fine, but the tub got stained.

Summer Black
- Decatur, Georgia

Iron Out

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A. Household bleach is an alkaline material and consequently will precipitate iron out of water. It sounds like that's what happened since iron stains are rust colored. A mildly acidic household product made for removal of iron stains should take care of it.

Read the label for CLR, or LimeAway and see if it is recommended for this^[See Aug. 29, 2009 for a better answer!].

Hopefully we don't have to warn you of the personal dangers of mixing bleach with other cleaners. Good luck.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

Q. Re. the stain in bathtub - I recently had my landlord reglaze my tub and set down a sponge full of bleach. It left a yellow spot. Is there a paint? Or will hydrogen peroxide [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] with cream of tartar remove it?

Georgia Lolafredo
- Los Angeles, California, USA

Q. I have enamel bath tub, there brown stains and I have tried a number of stain removers but with avail. I also tried to scrub with sand scrubber and again no success. I need your help.


Sasyad Hussain
- Ewa Beach, Hawaii, USA

3% Hydrogen Peroxide

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A. Hi, folks. Yes, dozens of people have reported amazing success at removing bathtub stains with hydrogen peroxide. See thread 8229


Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

thumbs up signHydrogen peroxide did the trick for me!

Eric Campbell
- Richmond, Virginia
January 18, 2012

thumbs up sign Several years later I came to this forum to find the same answer: Hydrogen-Peroxide was the solution to my bathtub stain.
I made it with Clorox. It wasn't the brown stain I read in previous comments, mine was yellowish, but I thought it was damaged for good, since nothing else I tried removed the stain, there or four inches long.
It wasn't magic, I had to scrub several times but it did it.

Alex Rodriguez
- Arlington, Massachusetts, USA
May 1, 2017

thumbs up sign  I was worried ... I stained the tub with a bleach cleaner, which caused yellowish streaks. I tried the hydrogen peroxide and the streaks completely disappeared, no scrubbing required.

Sharon M O'Sullivan
- Schenectady, New York USA
April 17, 2019

Q. I left bleach soaking in my tub and the drain turned black and it stained my tub black what can I fo

Trisha kenney
- Chalmette. Louisiana
July 25, 2019

A. Hi Trisha. Did you or did you not try the hydrogen peroxide so many people suggested? Thanks.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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