Home /
T.O.C.
FAQs
 
Good
Books
Ref.
Libr.
Advertise
Here
Help
Wanted
Current
Q&A's
Search 🔍
the Site

World's #1 finishing resource since 1989
No login needed: Chime right in

topic 46670

Porcelain tub stained all over by gases from drain cleaner

Current question and answers:

April 20, 2021

Q. Used drain cleaner for what I think is an acrylic tub (sounds like plastic when you knock on it). Anyways, used drain cleaner and it ended up backing out of the tub and ruined the finish. I can't tell if it ate away at the finish or if it just left a hard residue on top of the finish. Need help will attach photos:

acrylic bathtub ruined by drain cleaner

Laura Kegz
- Redding California
^- Reply to this post -^




46670-2
April 2021

A. Hi Laura. Sadly, I think it very unlikely to be a residue.

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^- Reply to this post -^



Closely related Q&A's, oldest first:

2007

Q. Dear finishing.com, My company is called "The Works." I do just about everything for home and apartment care. I am also the sole employee. (Can't afford the workmen's comp) I have used some strong drain cleaner in a porcelain bath tub and it seems that the gases have caused all kinds of blackish/brown stains all over the tub; even on the outside skirt of the tub where the drain cleaner had no contact with the surface. That's why I say that the staining was caused by the gases released out of the drain. I used a funnel to pour the drain cleaner in the overflow vent after removing the face plate and had a plug that tightens with a wing nut in the bottom of the tub. The stains appeared overnight. I have used a product with some success called Barkeepers Friend [affil. link to info/product on Amazon], however, it requires a lot of scrubbing. Do you know of anything that would require less work. By the way, the drain cleaner is called, "Roebic, Drain Flow Blended Sulfuric Acid." It didn't work for me this time and neither has the Professional drain cleaner called "Hot Power." Guess I will be crawling under the house tomorrow and get the job done by opening up those nasty pipes and the clean outs.

affil. link
Toilet Bowl Cleaner

I just hope you can help with some info on how to speed up the process of getting those stains off the porcelain tub inside and out. Thank you so much for your time and efforts.

Sincerely,

Gina Lanier
Contractor - New Orleans, Louisiana


2007

A. I tried a toilet bowl cleaner [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] and it worked for me. I think it is called The Works Thick blue toilet bowl cleaner =>
Test it first to make sure it won't hurt your tub's surface. Good luck!

Colleen McGraw
- Grand Rapids, Michigan


January 11, 2010

A. The Works product mentioned in the answer posted is essentially the same as CLR or Lime-A-Way Toilet Bowl Cleaner [affil. link to info/product on Amazon], in case you have trouble finding the works. In my area The Works is carried at Dollar TREE Stores.

VL Jones
- Plainfield, Illinois



Has sulfuric acid permanently contaminated my dishes and sink?

August 5, 2016

Q. Hi! I am desperate here for answers. My dishes were in a sink that had a product (Black Swan) which contains sulfuric acid which got all over them when the sink they were next to backed up into it. So the sulfuric acid got into the water they were soaking in. They were put into another sink which was filled up with hot soapy water and were literally soaking in them for several days. I wasn't sure if they were safe to use anymore or if they should be pitched.

Also, the sink is now stained with this sulfuric acid crud stuck to it since it took a while for the plunging to be fixed and the water couldn't be run during that time. Could you please tell me if I should replace the sink? I just want to make sure that we aren't going to be poisoned by using the dishes and pots and pans in the future. They gave off a horrible smell while they were soaking, almost a strange metallic smell. So I didn't know if they absorbed that chemical or what. Any help in this matter would he extremely appreciated. Thank you so much.

Christine Bierbrodt
- Clinton, Illinois, USA


August 5, 2016

A. Why do you think you have a sulphuric acid problem?
A search on Black Swan cleaner says that it is a blend of potassium and sodium hydroxides -- about as far as you can get chemically from sulphuric acid --
http://www.blackswanmfg.com//product-information/46-drain-and-waste-system-cleaners/166-liquid-drain-pipe-opener

geoff smith
Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England


August 2016

thumbs up signHi Geoff. Black Swan offers both caustic and sulfuric acid based drain cleaners. Here's the corresponding page for the sulfuric acid one --
http://www.blackswanmfg.com//product-information/46-drain-and-waste-system-cleaners/164-zap-drain-pipe-opener
Considering the black color of the deposits, sulfuric acid doesn't sound unlikely.

A. Christine, we have a number of threads about cleaning damage to stainless steel sinks. As for the pots & pans and dishes, can you remove all visible discoloration that would turn you off? Because, if there is any invisible stuff that won't come off in hot water and detergent with scrubbing, it's not likely to come off from contact with food, is it? You can put the dishes in your dishwasher after hand scrubbing, but don't put aluminum pots & pans into a dishwasher.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey


August 6, 2016

! Hi Ted
Mea culpa. We don't have Black Swan this side of the pond so I did not look further than my first finding.
Has it not occurred to anyone that supplying both strong acid and strong alkali under the same brand name has a potential for considerable trouble.

geoff smith
Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England


August 2016

Indeed Geoff. It isn't hard to picture a homeowner deciding to consolidate two partial bottles of drain cleaner to clear-up their under-counter space. Although I haven't done it with drain cleaner, I've done it with everything else from dish detergent to Maker's Mark.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey


August 7, 2016

Q. Hello gentlemen. I do not know enough about contaminating dishes like you apparently do. That is why I am on here. I just wanted to know if my dishes were safe to eat off them. I am only here to know if they are not going to be poisonous to my family or harm them in any way. Sulfuric acid was in the Black Swan drain cleaner. It stated it on the bottle. My dishes were in hot soapy water and the Black Swan solution got into the water, too. Just need a yes or a no on whether my stainless steel pots and pans are okay to use or not and the ceramic dishes as well. Thanks!

Christine Bierbrodt [returning]
- Clinton, Illinois USA


August 2016

thumbs up signHi again Christine. I already gave you my answer, but I repeat it here again:

"As for the pots & pans and dishes, can you remove all visible discoloration that would turn you off? Because, if there is any invisible stuff that won't come off in hot water and detergent with scrubbing, it's not likely to come off from contact with food, is it? You can put the dishes in your dishwasher after hand scrubbing, but don't put aluminum pots & pans into a dishwasher."

Were you able to get all visible contamination off? If not, what are you seeing that you feel may be dangerous? If you see something specific we can at least guess what it is, what it means, what to do about it, and whether it's a safety issue.

If you see nothing, but you don't accept my logic that this invisible something or nothing is not going to come off accidentally in your food if you can't get it off either by scrubbing or in the dishwasher, then I can't help, sorry. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey


August 12, 2016

A. Since we're talking about metals, a lot of the discoloration that people take to be a "stain" (as in, a residue of foreign material stuck on the surface) is very frequently an etch mark (as in, somebody used a wood rasp on your wooden table that had a smooth sanded finish).

Acids are generally water soluble stuff, so they will leave a residue if the acid solution just sits and evaporates, but will not leave a residue if the acid solution is rinsed off. (And if you do have acid residue, it will usually redissolve if you reintroduce water to it.)

However also, we are talking about cookware, which frequently has some type of coating over the metal surface. It is this coating that your food comes into contact with, not the metal itself. If the acid attack has removed the coating and exposed the metal underneath, then it may become a legitimate question, is the surface as it is now safe for food contact? That being said, no, it's not terribly likely that you're going to see any appreciable metal contamination leeching off a pan over the temperature and time span used for most recipes.

ray kremer
Ray Kremer
Stellar Solutions, Inc.
supporting advertiser
McHenry, Illinois
stellar solutions banner

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread SEARCH for Threads about ... My Topic Not Found: Start NEW Thread

Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

If you are seeking a product or service related to metal finishing, please check these Directories:

 
Jobshops
Capital
Equipment
Chemicals &
Consumables
Consult'g, Train'g
& Software


About/Contact    -    Privacy Policy    -    ©1995-2021 finishing.com, Pine Beach, New Jersey, USA