Can You Use Nail Polish Remover To Remove Stains From Your Tub?

You can scrub your bathtub for hours until it's sparkling clean, but persistent stains will still make it appear dirty. Bathtub stains not only put a damper on your whole bathroom, but they can leave you feeling frustrated. As a last resort, you might try some nail polish remover, however, using it can be a double-edged sword. While it can help remove stains, it can also damage certain bathtub finishes.

Believe it or not, your water can be the cause of the stains in a bathtub. One of the horrors of having hard water is that it can leave behind limescale on tub surfaces. This can result in orange and brown stains due to the high iron content in the water, and it may appear like rust. Also, when hard water is mixed with soap, it can form scum which often looks gray. Other causes of stains include mold and mildew. These can build up quickly in and around the tub, along shower walls, and in corners.

How nail polish can remove stains

When regular soap and water, or your favorite bathroom cleaner, doesn't do the job of removing tub stains, you'll want to switch to something that can. A solution as strong as nail polish, which can dissolve almost any substance, might seem like a good idea, but before you grab nail polish remover, there are some things to know.

Most nail polish removers contain acetone — the active ingredient that removes the polish. It can remove many types of stains, but it also damages certain types of bathtub finishes. If your tub is acrylic, you'll want to avoid using acetone. And, it can also damage a porcelain tub, especially if there are cracks for it to seep into. 

Still, there are certain times when an acetone mixture can be quite helpful. Most notable, is when you have a bathtub ring in a porcelain or ceramic tub. To remove a bathtub ring, you can dilute the nail polish remover with water and then scrub around the ring. Promptly rinse off all residue and nail polish remover, then finish it off with your normal bathtub cleaner.

What else can I use to remove bathtub stains?

Instead of using nail polish remover, a gentle and natural solution to remove bathtub stains is white vinegar, which easily removes difficult stains from limescale. Simply mix equal parts of white vinegar and warm water. You can also use lemon juice in place of vinegar, but use a two-part lemon and one-part water mixture. A spray bottle works best since it can get into all the hard-to-reach areas that a cloth can't. Spray it and leave it on for 20 minutes. Then, scrub it clean with a soft brush.

Another method you can try is to mix baking soda and water. Combine small amounts of the two ingredients until you get a paste, and then set the paste on top of the stain. For an added boost, add some dish soap. Allow the mixture to set for 15 minutes, and then scrub it with a soft brush to remove the stain. Similarly, you can swap out the baking soda for hydrogen peroxide. Pour equal amounts of water and hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle and let it stay on the tub surface for 20 minutes. When the time is up, clean it with a sponge.