Asked on Apr 27, 2016

How to put shine back into bathtub

My bathtub is old and has lost some of the shine (probably due to soap scum build-up and lack of cleaning.) Is there any to get it back to the original shine without refinishing the entire tub?
  36 answers
  • Bink Bink on Apr 27, 2016
    There is a recipe using oven cleaner. It is so easy it is silly. Google it. Good luck
  • 512181 512181 on Apr 27, 2016
    I have had good luck using Gel Gloss. It is in a pink container and can be found at Home Depot or Lowes. I don't think the aerosol can works as well. Amazon also carries the product. Sometimes you can try car wax too. Of course it might make bottom too slippery, so you may need a mat.
  • Tina Tina on Apr 27, 2016
    I use a magic eraser and my tub looks like new
  • Mikkigirl Mikkigirl on Apr 27, 2016
    Bar Keepers Friend - they have many different cleaning products now, but I use the good ole powder cleaner.
  • Jennie Lee Jennie Lee on Apr 27, 2016
    I assume it's enameled steel? Tina is right about the Magic Eraser. If you've got hard water stains, or what's on there still won't come off, use cleaning vinegar.
  • Melly Melly on Apr 27, 2016
    If the tub has been cleaned with abrasive cleaners in the past, before non-abrasive cleaners became popular, then the finish may be permanently etched and/or damaged. I lived with a tub that had been scoured within an inch of its life. Nothing I used on it could restore the shine. And it was always a pain to clean.
  • Jhmarie Jhmarie on Apr 27, 2016
    I also use the Barkeepers Friend Powder on my 40 year old tub. It does not make it shiny new, but it does remove the soap scum if it has built up too much and it removes scratches and makes it nice and white. Good old Comet powder works too when the build up is not too bad.
  • Barbara Barbara on Apr 27, 2016
    If the finish has been damaged your best bet and your least expensive bet is probably to paint it
  • CharLee Williams CharLee Williams on Apr 27, 2016
    zopp tub and tile restorer
  • Pam Walker Pam Walker on Apr 27, 2016
    LOWE's .. tub enamel. Instructions are on it. Hope this helps. :)
  • Johnchip Johnchip on Apr 27, 2016
    If it is the enamel (baked on ceramic finish) is worn off, and maybe a nice shape or fancy tub, the only real way to renew it is have it professionally refinished. If it is a builtin, replace it. There are some new DIY refinishing products out there now I have not used, but may be worth your while looking at, but most jobs I have seen done DIY on ceramic looks it. Most of all the job lies in the prep and the curing times being done by manufacturers 'exact' product directions. (Most people cut corners on that, substitute products, and the result show it)
  • Drgoodie Drgoodie on Apr 27, 2016
    These reviews are very helpful - on the Zap product mentioned. A lot of one-stars, but some other products mentioned and said available at Walgreen for $10 instead of online $20. Ish.
    • 9530106 9530106 on Apr 28, 2016
      @Drgoodie Funny, I saw a tv ad last night for ZAP, and I Googled it, thinking, wow, this is what I need! You are right, not good reviews at all!
  • Rvs Rvs on Apr 27, 2016
    On the bath tub for just the shine, you would not want it on the bottom unless you have an anti slip mat but if you use Avon original skin so soft and rub it in, it will leave a nice shine. I use it on my kitchen sink about once a month for a fresh renewal.
  • Pat Ruge Pat Ruge on Apr 27, 2016
    It is unclear to me as to what surface you are dealing with. If you are dealing with a fiberglass then best you use "barkeep" cleaner to clean and reduce any scum and dulling surface. If, however, you are dealing with porcelain, you might begin with BarKeep cleaner and if that does not work, then consider some epoxy product which after cleaning, will product a shiny and "permanent" solution. DIY solutions are available. Of course, nothing is "permanent", but it may delay the lifetime of your stay. Replacement is always an option, so you must weigh your option. 1.) Clean to your satisfaction 2.) Fix, by DIY epoxy solution or 3.) Replace with all new. $$ is always a consideration. Choose wisely.
  • Teresa Teresa on Apr 27, 2016
    I love a product barkeepers friend. I have use it on so many thing and my tub worked well. I have a mechanic for a husband and the grease he can get into a tub is bad it makes the soap scum show up. It worked so well on my old tub we are not changing the tub out.
  • Kew5153057 Kew5153057 on Apr 27, 2016
    Heat 1 cup of Heinz cleaning vinegar, add1 cup of blue (has to be blue) dawn and spray on surface. Let sit for one hour...scrub and rinse. Works like magic.
  • Meemoo Meemoo on Apr 27, 2016
    The white Vinegar and Dawn cleaned up my 45 yr old bath tubs beautifully. Took some scrubbing with a scrubby but it was worth the effort. Read somewhere on web to use liquid shower soap rather than bar soap to avoid the soap scum build up.
  • Carole Carole on Apr 27, 2016
    Dawn and vinegar is the only thing I use. If I do get soap scum build-up, I use Mr. Clean eraser for bathrooms with the Dawn / vinegar. Use 1 to 1 ratio.
  • Nancy Nancy on Apr 27, 2016
    There is a product that goes on like a thin white paste. When it dries you buff with clean cloth and it really shines. Protects surface also. Sort of like a car wax.
  • Damaris Canela Damaris Canela on Apr 27, 2016
    I used from Dollar tree a carpet cleaner and your bath tub looks like new. I clean the hold bathroom with it. Tried it's only cost a dollar.
  • Joan Weissgerber Joan Weissgerber on Apr 27, 2016
    I dilute Grease Lightning w/50% water in a spray bottle and it cleans up soap scum quickly. If really thick, Mr. clean magic eraser and some elbow grease with the Grease Lightning should do the trick for you. Rinse with white vinegar & water solution.
  • Barbara Barbara on Apr 27, 2016
    I used the white vinegar and regular dish soap (we had Ivory liquid dish detergent), it works like a charm. I did purchase the green 'scrubbies' from the Dollar Tree, used all three in the package, (my teen daughter NEVER cleans her bathtub!). Careful of the liquid soaps, many have formaldehyde as a preservative and it is considered a poison.
  • Linda Linda on Apr 27, 2016
    I scrubbed mine and then used baby oil to shine it. Works on shower doors too!
  • Cathy Cathy on Apr 28, 2016
    Kaboom spray cleaner and magic eraser. It will take a lot of elbow grease the first time......but after that it's a breeze...
  • Todeen2 Todeen2 on Apr 28, 2016
    I used silver polish to make it shine, after cleaning it with vinegar.
  • Ducky Ducky on Apr 28, 2016
    After you scrub And rinse, Spray on window cleaner. Just a spray like windex . Wipe with towel. shines like crazy. and is not slippery.
  • Ranger Ranger on Apr 28, 2016
    I have a very old bath too and every month, I pour 5 or 10 litres (depending on deals at the time) of bleach into cold water in the bath - filling the bath to the brim. I let it soak for as long as possible (all day, over night, a weekend away, whatever). Once emptied, I swill the bath again with some detergent on my cloth with the cold tap running. Then I DRY IT. One of our modern living actions is that we wash the bath but never dry it, something my great-grandmother swore by. Works well for me. ps While soaking the bath, I often throw in dish cloths and tea towels to remove the greasy element they get.
  • Donna1121 Donna1121 on Apr 28, 2016
    I used CLR straight from the bottle. Left it on for about 30 minutes, then used scrub brush. It took all the old soap scum etc. off, and now it looks like new!
  • Mar3393727 Mar3393727 on Apr 28, 2016
    Avon Skin So Soft on a damp cloth. Gets the are clean & smells wonderful.
  • Marilyn Marilyn on Apr 28, 2016
    Clean it well with a paste made of borax and lemon juice, make sure to rise well. Dry with a towel and then use car wax. I would do a couple coats of wax first time out.
  • Ann Ann on Apr 28, 2016
    Just be careful because shine can also mean slippery when wet!
  • Bwarner50 Bwarner50 on Apr 28, 2016
    Buy a product called "Wet and Forget for the Shower." It's available at Lowe's and Amazon. All you do is spray it on when the tub/shower is dry and let it set. You do it once a week and you will not have to scrub it once the product starts working. You can get enough to last about 12 weeks for $15.00.
  • Pamela Montgomery Pamela Montgomery on Apr 29, 2016
    The tub is clean but there are places where the shine has worn off the porcelain. I am looking for a more permanent solution to get the shine back on. I clean the tub after every use and right now I use bath oil to rub on he areas that need the shine but I would like a more permanent repair.
  • Susan Cryor Susan Cryor on Apr 29, 2016
    I have the same issue. Tub. Is dull like finish was acid washed off, I believe it is because the previous owner tiled over and around the tub and did not protect the tub. It's just on the inside, not around the top or the outside of the tub. I cleaned it really well with the baking soda and hydrogen peroxide method scrubbed really hard and let the peroxide foam, then scrubbed and foamed again. Washed it out throughly with hot water and scrubbing away to make sure all the baking soda and peroxide was gone. Dried it and let it dry over night. Then I put on NuFinish car wax, just on the inside sides of the tub. Not on the top and outside (did not need it there) and certainly NOT on the bottom of the tub. I did two coats of the polish. One, let it dry buff it then a second and buff again. It is a car wax that is supposed to last a year. I use tea tree oil, water, dawn mixed in sprayer as a "spray and go" cleaner. This has been my answer for my old tub now for 4 going on 5 years. There are just two of us here so if your family is larger might need to do it more than once a year. But as an OCD person I am happy with the results.
  • Lynn Couch Lynn Couch on May 01, 2016
    Maybe the sealant they use on cars to make them shine after they have be painted.
  • Dawnn Dawnn on Aug 22, 2018

    I bought this product from a discount store and it really worked wonders, on the scum build up. 1st 1 tried kitchen cleanser, CLR and WD40 on the build up, no results. Then I tried this, worked 1st application !