Asked on Sep 20, 2015

Yellow hard water stains on tub

Anna B
by Anna B
The water in my community is extremely hard. There are yellow stains in my 1950s porcelain bathtubs. I've been told they are from the hard water. A tub refinishing guy told me the yellow stains cannot be removed. He said I would need to refinish both tubs. Has anyone ever dealt with this problem?
  22 answers
  • Halverson11 Halverson11 on Sep 20, 2015
    Try mixing 1 cup of BLUE dawn soap with 1 cup Cleaning strength vinegar. You must use the blue dawn and cleaning strength vinegar. Wipe in on and leave it for about 1/2 hour, then try scrubbing it. Good Luck
  • Sharon F Sharon F on Sep 20, 2015
    I had terrible hard water stains on my shower floor, and tried MANY things to get rd of it, I bought a product called STAIN BULLY and plugged the drain (just put plastic wrap on it) and poured the stain bully on the hard water stains, left it for about 30 minutes and scrubbed it with a plastic scrubbie and a plastic spatula (could use a credit card etc. to scrap) took a little elbow grease, but it looks so much better
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Sep 21, 2015
    I would not give up on the stains. Have you ever used CLR. This is a calcium lime and rust remover. It is very effective on that problem.
  • Jenny Campbell Jenny Campbell on Sep 21, 2015
    I use kerosene, open window for ventilation or use fan, wipe on with rag and let sit for 1/2 hour and go back and use a nylon scrubber on tub repeat if necessary
  • Shari Shari on Sep 21, 2015
    I have removed stains from porcelain tubs with glass stovetop cleaner...It will remove almost any stains from tubs and sinks without scratching, even nail polish. It is worth a try Good luck...Shari..COLORITNEWTU
  • Linda Johnson Linda Johnson on Sep 21, 2015
    Pumice stone (use wet and keep the stains & tub wet while using) will remove the absolute toughest hard water deposits.
    • See 1 previous
    • Linda Johnson Linda Johnson on Sep 21, 2015
      @Judy H. I had a cleaning business (license, taxes and all) for 10 years. I bought one like the ones at the drug store for pedicures. I use it in my toilet bowl to remove hard water deposits, but it is always completely wet. To get rid of bad stains I have also used: 1/2 cup bleach & 1/2 cup white vinegar. I swoosh it together. Then leave it for 1 hour - closing the bathroom door. The stains (even cigar stains) wipe away easily.
  • Darla Darla on Sep 21, 2015
    Before you try the chemicals, run water in the tub and add 2-3 cups of lemon juice or vinegar. Let it sit for several hours and then scrub as usual. This will get off the worst soap scum, but I don't know if it will work for the rust stains.
  • Jani Wolfe Jani Wolfe on Sep 21, 2015
    I use easy off oven cleaner. Tub sparkles!
    • Anna B Anna B on Sep 21, 2015
      @Jani Wolfe Thanks! Do you use the spray on cleaner. How long do you let it sit on the stain?
  • Tracy Atkin Tracy Atkin on Sep 21, 2015
    Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide...
  • Rebecca Bender Rebecca Bender on Sep 21, 2015
    I alway had good results with lime and rust removers made for toilets.
  • Anna B Anna B on Sep 21, 2015
    Was your shower floor porcelain?
  • Anna B Anna B on Sep 21, 2015
    Was your tub porcelain? Thanks
  • Anna B Anna B on Sep 21, 2015
    No, I will try it. Do you know if it is a product with strong fumes? Thank you
  • Anna B Anna B on Sep 21, 2015
    Oh my...kerosene? Did this completely remove the stains?
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Sep 23, 2015
    I have had good luck with The Works Toilet Bowl Cleaner. It is because it has muratic acid in it. I run a little water in the bottom of the tub or it will arc the metal at the bottom. But it won't damage the metal on showers. We turn on the fan and open a window and I use a sprayer to spray down showers and tubs. Because this is your home do a test spot. Let it sit for awhile and then see if it comes off. I can get almost any stain out and have found this works best for me. If it works on your test spot spray down the area's and let the spray set. Use a greenie on it also be sure to wear gloves. I have a large cleaning business and clean several rentals a day. This has worked for us in the past.
  • Anna B Anna B on Sep 25, 2015
    Thank you so much!
  • Donna Donna on May 24, 2020

    Clorox 2

  • Anna B Anna B on May 30, 2020

    Hi Donna, Are you referring to a laundry product or a bathroom cleaning product? I'm not familiar with Clorox 2. How do you apply and how long do you let it remain on the stained areas? Thank you!

  • Anna B Anna B on Sep 15, 2020

    No, nothing worked at all.  Do NOT use bleach or any product containing bleach. I mentioned to my hairstylist I was looking for a way to remove the yellowed look of my old porcelain tub. She warned me off of bleach and told me she had completely ruined her old tub trying to use bleach to remove the yellow stains. The bleach removed the stain and also the porcelain finish on her tub. She said the tub looked and felt like dull white bare stone. Worse yet, with the porcelain finish gone, the tub was extra-susceptible to stains of any kind. She bathed her two kids after a day of play, as soon as she drained the water, a dark ring remained impregnated into the stone.

  • Anna B Anna B on Sep 15, 2020

    Hi, Hallie McCoy, I forgot to hit "reply" when I answered your question. Find it above.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jun 06, 2021


    Maybe use Toilet Cleaner for Hardwater stains. Give your bath a good wash and rinse after it has done it's work! Best wishes.

  • Hamza Sarfraz Hamza Sarfraz on Aug 24, 2021

    Are you still perplexed as to why your bathtub, sink, shower, and toilet bowl have yellow stains? Here I find the best solution they provide different methods to fix that.