Bathtub Stains Stand No Chance Against This 100-Year-Old Cleaner

When it comes to cleaning, many people are trying to stay more aware of the products they use. Bathtub stains, for instance, can be stubborn, and they're not cute. Years ago, we'd scrub, then the cleaner and stains would swirl down the drain with the water, and that would be the end of it. But now we know that environmentally dangerous products end up polluting the earth and waterways, and therefore gentle cleaners are a welcome resource. We appreciate old-fashioned, non-toxic, yet totally effective Bon Ami powder for tackling the bathtub because it has no chlorine or phosphorous, both toxic to humans and environmentally damaging.

What's your bathtub made of? If you're in an older house or apartment, you might have a heavy porcelain tub — a more durable type of tub that won't scratch and can handle serious scrubbing (though it's prone to chipping). Some modern tub materials, particularly fiberglass as compared to acrylic, scratch much more easily. Bon Ami is made with feldspar and limestone, which are less abrasive than the silica (aka quartz) scratch-fest you'll find as an ingredient in most other chemical powder cleansers. It also contains the near-miraculous baking soda, a well-known stain lifter. There are literally dozens of baking soda cleaning hacks worth trying because, as a mild alkali, it actually dissolves dirt, oils, and grease when combined with water without scrubbing. It's this combination of a mild abrasive with the other ingredients that make this formula work well.

Getting rid of tub stains the non-toxic way

After you've tested a tiny corner of your tub with Bon Ami and feel confident about moving forward, you'll want to set up your miniature cleansing laboratory. We suggest getting a mug or cup from the kitchen or a handy bucket. Measure a half cup of water to start, put two tablespoons of powder into an empty cup, and slowly drizzle in enough water until you make a paste, mixing as you go. If the texture is more or less like toothpaste, that's fine. The point is to apply a concentrate to the stains — enough to cover them.

Let your family know this bathtub and shower are out of service for an hour. Run the shower for a few seconds to moisten the bathtub. For best results, apply the paste on stains, ring marks around the tub, and any spots that are set in and have become resistant despite previous cleanings. Allow the paste to sit for at least 30 minutes. Using a scrub brush with softer bristles or a simple sponge, rub the area in a circular motion. When you're done, rinse with clear water. You might want to rinse out the sponge too, removing all traces of the cleaner, and give the areas an extra swipe to get rid of any excess cleaner. As a preventive measure to keep soap scum from sticking to the tub in the first place, consider applying car wax to its surface.