Marked by their claw-like feet, standalone antique tubs were common features in homes built before the 1920s. If you come across one of these vintage bathtubs, its porcelain has lost its original sheen and glory. All it takes is a little bit of cleaning and restoration to remove unsightly stains from the surface. Continue reading to learn some essential guidelines to clean up the tub and keep it sparkling.

How to Clean an Antique Tub

1. Learn About the Material

While porcelain was the material of choice for these vintage installations, their later versions also employed enamel. Pure porcelain holds up to scrapes from stringent cleaning methods better than their enamel counterparts. To tell the difference, run a magnet on the tub. Since enamel tubs comprise an underlayer of cast iron, the magnet will stick to the surface.

2. Study the Stains

Antique TubTake a closer look at the stains to determine which products you’ll need to clear them up. Brownish spots typically indicate rust while greenish-blue stains signal the presence of lime. Hardened soap scum may have also formed a dirty, thin film. Employ a non-abrasive cleaning product to clear away light stains from the tub’s surface. Deep-set marks may require industrial-grade CLR® (Calcium, Lime, & Rust Remover) cleaners to ensure proper cleaning.

3. Pay Attention to the Feet

Claw-like feet are a signature feature of vintage bathtubs. As you tidy up its main body, make sure the feet are taken care of as well. Use a mixture of vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and flour to address dust and stains accumulated on them. Leave the mixture on for a few hours before scrubbing it clean; this should remove most of the debris and give the feet a renewed appearance.

4. Invest in Refinishing & Re-glazing

Years of discoloration may not easily come off with regular cleaning and require more advanced techniques. What you need are professional refinishing and re-glazing services to revert your bathtub to its original spic and span condition. In addition to the porcelain surface, these solutions will also address the finish and appearance of tub’s feet.


Anytime you need professional refinishing solutions for antique tubs, turn to the experienced professionals at Porcelain Glaze. They have offered top-tier tile and tub glaze services to clients throughout Clinton, CT, and the surrounding areas for more than 30 years. For further information about their services, call (860) 669-2576 or visit the website.