How To Remove Rust Stains From Fiberglass Tub – Q: When we picked up the rubber mat in our son’s fiberglass bathtub, we noticed a black stain. Cleaning efforts using mold and mildew removers and soft scrubs with bleach were ineffective. The tub was installed in 2005 but we only recently saw the stains. No dyes are used in it. How can we remove stains?
A: Fiberglass tub and shower tub combinations are lightweight, easy to install, and often inexpensive. But the finish is prone to scratches, cracking and staining. And, as you’ve discovered, stains aren’t easy to remove.
How To Remove Rust Stains From Fiberglass Tub
Before you give up on trying to scrub away the stain, try Home Depot’s recommended cleaning method for stubborn stains on fiberglass: Apply a paste of baking soda and water, then cover with a towel soaked in vinegar. Wait an hour and then wipe with a cloth or sponge. rinse. Wipe again with a clean microfiber cloth.
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If the stain persists (and it likely will), one option is to refinish the tub. National Refinishing (703-327-4799; nationaltubandtile.com) in Chantilly, which specializes in refinishing bathroom and kitchen surfaces, has several “before” photos on its website that show the fiberglass tub stains are worse than those on your tub. The stains are even worse. The “after” photos show the sparkling results of the new finish, but, of course, these photos were taken while the finish was new. National Refinishing and other tub refinishing companies make stained fiberglass tubs look new by spraying them with acrylic epoxy resin. National Refinishing charges $425 for a separate tub and $995 for a tub and shower. If you have tile around the tub, the company can also refinish it and the grout lines using the same materials.
If you price a new tub based on a budget model, having a professional refinish the tub will cost about the same as buying a new tub, or even more. For example, a standard 60-inch-long built-in bathtub at Home Depot starts at about $155 if you get a steel enamel tub or about $254 if you choose an acrylic tub. But when you replace your tub, the cost is only part of the equation. Unless you are comfortable enough to do the job yourself, you will need to hire someone to do the conversion, including a plumber to make the connections. And it may take some work to get the new tub to fit properly with the tiles or whatever is on the walls around your current tub. Given these costs, it may make more sense to install a new tub as part of a bathroom remodel than as a stand-alone method of treating stains.
If refinishing makes sense but is too costly, consider a do-it-yourself tub refinishing kit. Rust-Oleum’s tub and tile refinishing kit is $23.70 at Home Depot. One kit should be enough to apply the two recommended coats to a standard tub.
But do DIY finishes work? Home Depot’s online listing contains reviews from about 1,300 customers, who gave the finish an average rating of four stars, with about half of reviewers giving it five stars. But at least 170 people were assigned just one star. Their main complaints are that the surface bubbles or doesn’t stick well. A Rust-Oleum product support representative who identifies himself as Arthur says that when problems occur, it’s usually because the surface wasn’t cleaned or worn thoroughly as instructed, or because someone failed to remove it. Remove any residue before applying a new topcoat. Sometimes people brush back and forth too much, or apply too thick a coat, which can also prevent the topcoat from curing properly, he said. Temperature and relative humidity are also important.
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A professional refinisher sprays the new topcoat, which should result in a smooth, even coat if done correctly. Rust-Oleum recommends using a brush or 1/4-inch nap roller for surface preparation, so good painting technique is required to achieve a smooth, even coat. Product support experts recommend starting at the back corner and working your way forward in small sections (perhaps two feet by two feet). Bubbles may appear immediately after the topcoat goes on, but the topcoat is self-leveling, so the bubbles should disappear as the topcoat cures. But if the topcoat separates immediately after application, something went wrong with the preparation. Stop and figure this out before coating the entire tub.
Rust-Oleum representatives say a DIY finish should last at least a few years. At that point, he says, you can redo all the prep steps and apply a new coat or two.
If this seems like too much work for the expected lifespan of the finish, or if you don’t want to tackle the job in the first place, there’s something else you can try: Buy a new pad for the tub floor and cover it with stain. Out of sight, out of mind – until it’s time to redecorate. Rust may appear on fiberglass items at some point because fiberglass is often used to cover bathtubs and other surfaces that come into frequent contact with water. This requires the use of everyday household items as well as a refined touch. Using too much force or using an abrasive applicator may scratch the surface and highlight stains and rust. Avoid using scouring pads and powder, steel wool or scraping tools to clean fiberglass. Instead, use soft, non-abrasive materials such as polyethylene, polyester or nylon. Here’s how to easily fix this problem: Make a Baking Soda Paste Use water and baking soda to remove rust. Using a damp, soft nylon brush, rub the baking soda into the rust stain. If the water in the brush doesn’t combine with the baking soda to form a paste, wet the brush again and add more water to the mixture. Leave for one hour Let the baking soda paste sit on the rust stain for one hour. While you wait, you can do other things. After an hour, use a clean, damp sponge to remove the paste from the fiberglass. Make sure there is no baking soda left on the surface. Take Precautions If the stain is still visible, dampen a white cotton cloth with acetone. Open the windows for ventilation and gently wipe the stain with acetone to remove any remaining rust. When the stain is gone, rinse the fiberglass with a damp sponge. Dry surfaces immediately after each use to prevent future stains. It is always better to avoid stains than to let them ruin your fiberglass tub. But don’t worry if your tub has rust stains; you can remove them by following the steps above. In addition to a baking soda paste, you can also use salt and lemon or vinegar and borax to remove stubborn stains and maintain the condition of your fiberglass tub. For more information on fiberglass tubs, like how to refinish a fiberglass tub and remove yellow stains, head over to Senior Strong! Was this article helpful? whether
Irene Lefever is a Senior Counselor whose role is to ensure that the physical, mental, psychological and emotional needs of older adults are met. Lefever earned a degree in multimedia arts from the University of California, Riverside.
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Water can cause rust on many surfaces, including bathtubs. Since your tub is always wet, it can quickly become rusty. Here are the ten best ways to remove rust from your bathtub without using harsh chemicals.
Mold and rust growing in tile joints in damp, poorly ventilated bathrooms, high humidity, weight, moisture and moisture issues in bathroom area concepts.
Due to differences in bathtubs, not every cleaning technique will be suitable for your bathtub. You should always spot test the cleaning solution before applying it to the entire tub.
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Not all cleaning solutions are suitable for removing rust. You’ll need a cleaner that contains acids, salts, or abrasives.
Abrasive tools, such as pumice stones or cleaning sifters, use physical scrubbing to remove stain rather than dissolve it.
The acid in the vinegar will dissolve the rust. In fact, vinegar is a great rust remover for tools, tubs, and many other items.
There are many different types of vinegar. Here’s how to determine which vinegar is best for cleaning.
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In fact, combining this fruit and spice can clean not only rust stains on your bathtub, but also other surfaces throughout the house. Lemon is acidic and salt is abrasive, both of which can remove rust.
Lemons, limes, and other citrus fruits make great cleansing powders due to the naturally occurring citric acid. You can also buy citric acid powder as a cleaner, which is great for removing rust, lime, and calcium deposits.