How To Clean an Old Porcelain Enamel Bathtub or Sink

” Cleaning the bathroom isn’t a chore most people look forward to doing, but if you follow our instructions, this all-important room will sparkle…for a while, anyway.”


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Cast-iron bathtubs and sinks are a common fixture in older homes, and now we’re seeing them pop up in many newer remodels because of their unique vintage charm. Unfortunately, years of use or neglect can make for one discolored and dingy tub or sink! Here are a few tips to keep the porcelain on your antique fixture looking next-to-new.

Cast-iron is traditionally covered with a porcelain enamel that’s fused to the cast-iron in a furnace. While porcelain is a highly durable surface, it’s susceptible to chips, cracking, and a dulling of the finish. If you use the wrong products, you will accelerate the degradation of the surface, so let’s begin by talking about whatnot to use. Abrasive cleaners such as scouring powders, white vinegar (or other cleaners with a high acidic content), and steel wool should all be avoided, as they can damage the finish. For the best results, always start with the gentlest cleaner and work your way up to more powerful applications. Remember, proper care will simplify ongoing maintenance.

What You Need


  • Liquid dishwashing soap
  • Ammonia
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon oil
  • Table salt
  • Lemon


  • Bucket
  • Nylon or soft sponge
  • Rag


  • For gentle weekly cleaning, mix 1 gallon of hot water with 2 tablespoons of dish washing soap containing a grease cutting agent. Use a soft rag or…


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