Asked on Dec 23, 2015

The drain thing in my bathtub is horrible looking as you can see

by Louise
I've done a lot of painting recently and I used the tub to clean out my brushes and rollers and over a period of time, this is the result. The bathroom -especially the tub- is seldom used, but I want to do something to make this look better. I also have to scrub the tub itself super well because it's taken on some of the colors. Can I buy a replacement for this formerly silver drain? I'm nearly sure the part with holes can be pried out and replaced, but what about the part that's ruined? Will some kind of cleaning product - I haven't tried anything yet - remove whatever this is? It looks like rust, but I don't know if it is or not.
  33 answers
  • Allie Knapp Allie Knapp on Dec 23, 2015
    Yes at lowes
  • Anne Sweeney Anne Sweeney on Dec 23, 2015
    You might try Tarnex
  • Mudduck001 Mudduck001 on Dec 23, 2015
    it is threaded to the pipe under your tub. You have to unscrew it and replace it with a new one. They sell replacements at Walmart or any Hardware store. You will also need plumber's putty to put under the lip of the new drain before you install. Roll the putty into about a 1/4 to 3/8 diameter log and put under the new drain, screw it tight and remove access putty. You have to make sure that, that fitting is tight or it will leak under your tub and rot the floor under your tub.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Dec 23, 2015
    Take the piece out of the tub and bring to Home Depot for the plumbing rep to match up the right size for you.
  • Louise Louise on Dec 23, 2015
    Hmmmmm, I think I'll have a handyman do it. I'd have no idea how to get to the pipe under my tub and might not screw it tightly enuf. Maybe I'll try first to get the dirty-looking stuff off. :-( Thanks for the info., tho.
    • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Dec 23, 2015
      @Louise try CLR if you feel it is rust. Or the news is coke works well on rust. I have never tried it but home talkers have responded with positive results.
  • JoAnn Robinson JoAnn Robinson on Dec 23, 2015
    You don't need to unscrew it from under the tub. They make an inexpensive tool, available at any hardware store, that unscrews it from the top. Then follow "Mudduck's" advice, take the ring to the store and get a replacement. It's a simple and easy job!
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Dec 24, 2015
    I'd try an SOS first. The stain may only be superficial.
  • Nancy Nancy on Dec 24, 2015
    If this is an old tub, be cautious when you try to pry the ring out. Give this old trick a try first. Use a wadded up piece of aluminum foil and gently try to scrub some of the rust off. Aluminum foil does a great job of removing rust on old chrome furniture legs. It's worth a try and you have nothing to lose. Before you try to pry it out, take a photo of it to a plumber. Not everyone stocks the right rings for old tubs.
    • Louise Louise on Dec 24, 2015
      @Nancy Thanks. It is an old tub, installed when the house was built in 1979. I'd heard about the alum foil trick but had forgotten about it. Thanks for reminding me. I'll try it for sure. :-)
  • Amber R Titus Amber R Titus on Dec 24, 2015
    Try My bartenders friend.
  • Barbara Barbara on Dec 24, 2015
    I agree with Nancy, I'd try the aluminum foil scrub and I'd add some Bar Keepers Friend to the drain itself. Bar Keepers friend is available at grocery stores, is less abrasive than other products (Comet, etc). You might try a soak first (very very hot water with vinegar and baking soda, Close the drain, sprinkle baking soda on the stained drain and pour boiling water with 1/2 cup of white vinegar directly on the 'rusty' part. Best of luck!
    • LuckieDuckie LuckieDuckie on Dec 24, 2015
      Yep, Barkeeper's Friend should do the trick ! Make sure to not leave it sitting for too long. It should also work for the other parts of the tub where the paint discolored it, if it's not too deeply set..
  • Mary Robinson Mary Robinson on Dec 24, 2015
    They make a cover that can fit over it. Try Amazon...
  • Lompoc Lompoc on Dec 24, 2015
    No question, KL2R just worked for me. It makes chrome sparkle!
  • Jerry Jerry on Dec 24, 2015
    the tub thingy will unscrew. take a pair on needle nose pliers stick in outer most holes and turn counter clockwise(left)
  • Madeleine Benny Madeleine Benny on Dec 24, 2015
    Je crois que vous pouvez acheter ce morceau dans une quicaillerie
  • Patricia Meredith Patricia Meredith on Dec 24, 2015
    I had this problem at my mom's house. I used Comet or Ajax and scrubbed it with steel wool until the brass showed.
  • Judy Judy on Dec 24, 2015
    You have gotten a lot of good suggestions for cleaning it, one more product you can try is Bar Keepers Friend - this will work on the drain and tub/shower (use gloves & mask) -- BUT I wouldn't use elbow grease, I would just replace the the drain screen and support. Bring this same picture to hardware store and they will explain how to - not that difficult or expensive.
  • Rae Rae on Dec 24, 2015
    If the finish is ruined on this forget trying to restore it and just replace the drain. some things can not be fixed no matter how much you try
  • Mar3200928 Mar3200928 on Dec 24, 2015
    ty fat 0ff. then steelw0l. then all purbers cleaniner. elmbow crease , arms w0rk can work, hard work
  • Mar3200928 Mar3200928 on Dec 24, 2015
    sorry english spelling bad
  • Mar3200928 Mar3200928 on Dec 24, 2015
    0r vinerger and steelwol
  • Luu Luu on Dec 24, 2015
    There is a bath tub drainer stopper from Watco sold at home depot for 29.99 that you could glue it over. The resurfacing bath tub company also recommends that
  • Susan Susan on Dec 24, 2015
    Good suggestions but since this tub is seldom used, just get a little tube of silver Rub-n-Buff at any craft store. For about five bucks it will look brand new and last a really long time if you don't use abrasives on the tub. Easy peasy!
  • Nth2552025 Nth2552025 on Dec 24, 2015
    Use CLR
  • Angela Herremans Angela Herremans on Dec 25, 2015
    If the bath enamel has been affected you could use something like CLR it's a brand of cleaner that you soak items in or even driveways here in Australia it's for cleaning calcumui and rust build up :-) I have no idea what the L stands for :-) but I do know that it works a treat :-) as for the metal fittings you can use a chrome polish from an automotive dealer which they sell for keeping those lovely chrome parts all nice and shine :-) and a small tube will last for years and you can use it on all of your door handles to give them a nice new lease on life too :-) You will find the thing with holes will screw out just not sure in what direction you have to turn it but get two long screwdrivers and push down in the holes directly across from each other and give it a push, if it's hard to move use some WD-40 this will help to free up the grate for you :-) Alright looked it up :-) found out the L stands for lime :-) Here is a link so you can see what the packaging looks like :-) I hope that helps :-)
  • Thalia Kottke Thalia Kottke on Dec 26, 2015
    Before you spend a bunch of money, try pouring some Pepsi on it, the bubbles and the citric acid help take it off. The put a little on the stain and let it sit until the fizzing stops, then clean it with whatever you usually use. The carbonation and acid will soften up the paint stains making them easy to wipe away.
  • Teri Holliday Bloom Teri Holliday Bloom on Dec 26, 2015
    Bar Keepers Friend or Cameo scrubs are soft enough to not scratch but tough enough to clean it right off and shine it in the process.
  • Lynn Palmatier Lynn Palmatier on Dec 26, 2015
    BonAmi or Barkeepers are polishers and not abrasive, if it isn't rust. They should help the tbu as well. Bon Ami is a product suggested by Corningware for cleaning their pots/pans for more than 30 years. Works great on glass, porcelain and stainless steel. If it is rust the ring will feel pitted and rough. Better to replace it. Available at Lowe's, Home Depot or Ace Hardware. they should come in a set (ring and strainer) ... These items are usually chromed and when scratched can rust.
  • Pete Sakes Pete Sakes on Dec 26, 2015
    Whinks Rust Remover should take it off but might leave pits. If that were mine I'd clean it really good With Whinks, sand a bit (being careful not to sand the tub area, maybe use a fingernail file), wash and dry well, tape off the tub and paint it whatever color I wanted.
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Dec 29, 2015
    Replace it. It is never going to look right again. Even if you get the rust off it will continue eto rust. Sometimes no amount of cleaning will fix something. If it does it is a temporary solution. This is one that will be temporary at best. But to remove the rust use a weak soultion of muratic acid, even the kind in toilet bowl cleaner will remove it. Pour and scrub it should come off. Then I would find a sealer to seal it with until you can replace it.
  • Kathy Kathy on Dec 29, 2015
    Easier to replace it. I purchased a tub stopper and drain from Amazon for about $30 and put it in myself. It looks wonderful and don't know why I waited so long.
  • Sandra S Sandra S on Jan 10, 2016
    Does anyone know where to buy Whink? I can't find it at Wal-Mart anymore, & Crest, & Lowe's don't have it either. I'm in Oklahoma City.