Over the past weekend, we moved out of our old 1858 house. And of course, I needed to clean it for its next residents. I used my magical remedy on our rust covered tub and thought I would share my discovery again with you.
I really hate cleaning something when it doesn’t end up looking any better than when I started. I really need the validation of appearance that it is indeed clean. Call me superficial, but that’s the way it is. We live in a house built in 1858 and not being validated for my efforts happens a lot. The hard water leaves a nasty terracotta hue on everything, and the other day, I decided I couldn’t bear looking at our tub anymore. It did not matter that it was clean and it was only a stain covering most of the tub. I wanted to take a shower in a WHITE tub. Of course, I tried my old buddies, baking soda and white vinegar, but nothing. I scrubbed it with comet and left it on over night. Perhaps the stain was not as orange, but it was still there. I started to Google rust stains. I came across an interesting remedy that the blogger swore by ~ Dawn dish detergent (it had to be Dawn) scrubbed into the tub then sprayed with white vinegar, and left on over night. I decided to give it a whirl ~ it did not make an ounce of difference. Needless to say, I was getting a bit despondent. I know I should be grateful that I have a clean tub, but living in grunginess tends to get a girl down after awhile.
I remembered years ago, hearing that Cream of Tartar was good for removing rust stains. I decided to Google it. There were quite a few blogs about using Cream of Tartar for cleaning and some other interesting tidbits about it. Cream of Tartar is a by-product of the winemaking process. It comes from tartaric acid, a naturally occurring substance in winemaking. It’s found in the sediment left behind in wine barrels and bottles after fermentation, before it gets purified into the powdery white substance that we use in baking. Another helpful tip for bakers who have run out of baking powder ~ all you have to do is combine cream of tartar with baking soda to create your very own baking powder. Cream of Tartar is also known as potassium bitartrate. It is an acid salt, and something very interesting about acid salts it that when they are dissolved into a liquid, they lower the pH of the liquid.
But I digress, Cream of Tartar is also known for removing stains, even rust stains on bathtubs. I found several recipes; all of them combined the cream of tartar with an acidic liquid ~ white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide or lemon juice. I suspect the acidity of the liquid helps the Cream of Tartar do its job. I was curious to see which liquid would better facilitate the bleaching action of the cream of tartar.
I decided to compare Cream of Tartar with white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. I didn’t think it was necessary to use lemon juice as well. The recipe is very simple and the results blew me away.
- Combine equal parts of Cream of Tartar with the acidic liquid to make a thick paste.
- Gently cover the tub in the paste ~ no scrubbing needed.
- Wait 30 mins. and rinse off paste.
I was blinded by the white tub in front of me! Both pastes worked well, but I think the one with the hydrogen peroxide might have been a little brighter. I am so amazed how easy and fabulous the results were. I know it may be silly but I cannot tell you how fantastic it feels to shower in our bright white tub.
How do you clean rust stains? Please share and I will continue to share.