Bad Stain on Bath

Hi All, hope someone can help. A good friend of mine has a really bad stain on her enamel bath. She tried soaking some metal shelves from the oven in her bath after scouring the shelves with GIF and metal pan scrubber. After leaving them to soak, she drained the bath only to find bright yellow staining on the bottom of the bath. She has tried scrubbing the bath but she said it looks pretty ingrained. Can anyone suggest anything that may get the staining out of the enamel? I initially thought about her using caustic soda or such like but I thought I'd ask the forum first in case it causes further damage. So, any idea's? other than replacing the bath !!!! Cheers in advance. Dave
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In order:
Barkeeper's Friend (try a big Sainsbury's), which is oxalic acid powder and barely a mechanical abrasive at all. Oxalic acid is good for any iron-related staining.
Then a melamine foam sponge "magic stain remover" that looks like a boring white foam block and costs a few quid for half-a-dozen. These have been in America since the '60s under the name "Mr Clean", but have only hit our shores (and Wilko) in the last couple of years. They're not particularly powerful, but they're good at not damaging things. Great for stains in the posh teacups, or for cleaning kitchen whitegoods without hurting the white paint.
Bite the bullet and buy a "plumber's bath stain removing rubber" (5-10 quid from Screwfix et al). These will probably shift most shiftable stains, but they can start to damge gloss if used aggressively.
Avoid caustic soda or acids. They're not likely to achieve much, but some of the acids can start to show up previously invisible crazing in enamel glazes and make it look worse than ever.
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wrote:

In order:
Barkeeper's Friend (try a big Sainsbury's), which is oxalic acid powder and barely a mechanical abrasive at all. Oxalic acid is good for any iron-related staining.
Then a melamine foam sponge "magic stain remover" that looks like a boring white foam block and costs a few quid for half-a-dozen. These have been in America since the '60s under the name "Mr Clean", but have only hit our shores (and Wilko) in the last couple of years. They're not particularly powerful, but they're good at not damaging things. Great for stains in the posh teacups, or for cleaning kitchen whitegoods without hurting the white paint.
Bite the bullet and buy a "plumber's bath stain removing rubber" (5-10 quid from Screwfix et al). These will probably shift most shiftable stains, but they can start to damge gloss if used aggressively.
Avoid caustic soda or acids. They're not likely to achieve much, but some of the acids can start to show up previously invisible crazing in enamel glazes and make it look worse than ever.
Hi, thanks for that. I'll put the caustic soda on the ' NOT to do' list. I'll work through the list and see what works. Cheers Dave
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Dave wrote:

Its probably iron oxide. You need to turn that into something colorless and if possible soluble, wthout damaging te bath.
I suspect common aor garden bleach may be as good as anything. I have to say I get this a butlers sink all the time and use bleach mainly to clean out stained microcracks. We have used caustic in it as well. It survived. If the bath is actually a vitreous enamelled steel then it will be fine: plastic and acrylic..well be more careful with those.
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wrote:

Hi, just tried Domestos on the stain with a pan scrubber but no effect !! Stain looks really engrained and deep. Think I'll try vinegar next. I'll keep you all updated as this problem may be interesting to solve. Cheers for now. Dave
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Even vinegar might help, you need a mild acid.
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On Sat, 24 Jan 2009 23:50:53 -0000, Dave wrote:

"bright yellow" doesn't sound like an iron based stain to me, they are normal brown/red/orange not yellow, perhaps a chromium salt of some sort?
Bar Keepers Friend is good, Asda also stock it but not Tesco. Can you still get scouring powders like Ajax or Vim? They are probably a bit more agressive that BKF though.
Bleach might remove the colour but the base may well still be there to trap muck.
--
Cheers
Dave.




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I got good results with Ecover laundry bleach (Sodium Percarbonate) on a bath that had had a kitchen sink draining into it and been left for weeks. I damped the bath, sprinkled the bleach on it, waited for a few minutes for it to dissolve a bit, scrubbed it around so that the coating was even, left it for about half an hour and then cleaned it out in the normal manner. After that it looked cleaner than it ever had since the flat was bought! This was an old enamelled bath. The gunk was various, but probably didn't have as much iron in it as yours.
In case anyone wonders, for presumably historical reasons the kitchen sink drain went through the wall into the bathroom, joined with the bath drain, did a bit of circumnavigation and joined with a cast iron pipe that went back under the kitchen floor. This got blocked, and since the level of the bath was lower than the kitchen sink, the sink emptied OK but came up in the bath. I wasn't there at the time and the plumber SO called couldn't shift it before she had to leave (his next step would have involved taking the bath out), so it stayed there until we went back. Well, the water seeped out slowly and all the washing-up gunk (several goes) dried onto the bath.
--
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UPDATE: Neither bleach or vinegar has had any effect on the bath stains. I've now found out more of what happened. She scrubbed the oven shelf in a mix of washing powder/water in the bath and using a Brillo pad. What would be interesting to know is what kind of cleaning agent is used inside the Brillo pad? and could it react along with the washing powder against the enamel of the bath to produce a bright yellow stain?? Got to admit now that we are getting quite worried as she is only the tenant of the property !!!! :-(( HELP !!!!!!!!! Dave
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merlin_in snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.co.uk says...

Sounds like a rust stain. You want an acid, such as Oxalic, or rust stain remover, provided you test it first on a hidden part of the bath... Was the Vinager clear or brown? The latter stains as it cleans :-) The alternaive is re-enamelling...
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John Weston wrote:

It certainly does sound like rust - after all, Brillo pads are made of steel wool - which itself rusts. It is quite common to see rust marks on things which have been cleaned with Brillo. (Mind, I haven't even seen a Brillo pad in years.)
--
Rod

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Er, brown !!

Oh, dear, although the vinegar didn't seem to do anything at all. The stain seems very deep (as though it is actually under the enamel). The bath was okay before cleaning the shelf, so it was that which has caused the stain.

Oh bugger !!!! I hope not !!
Cheers Dave
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Dave wrote:

Use lemon juice according to http://www.unilever.com.au/ourbrands/aroundthehouse/MoreArticles/Stain_R emoval_home.asp
It probably won't work either, but at least it'll smell nice.
--
Preston

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Dave wrote:

They contain caustic soda IIRC.
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UPDATE:
I've had chance to see the bath for myself. The stain is bright ORANGE not yellow as I was told. Things tried so far; Vim, Bleach, Pan scrubber, Vinegar, and finally, Barkeepers Friend. None has worked so far. The stain actually appears to be on the surface rather than underneath as I first thought, and I can feel it as it is quite 'gritty'. Only thing I can think that might shift it now is caustic soda. Anyone have any more ideas that I can try before using caustic soda??? Please help, it looks a right mess. Cheers, Dave
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Dave wrote:

as in 'chrome yellow'
Suspect its a chromium salt..

If its truly surface, try T-cut.
I.e abrasive, not chemical.
You can start with 620 wet and dry..

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On Mon, 02 Feb 2009 12:30:04 +0000, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

I said that ages ago... B-)

Stained limescale I suspect. Try a limescale remover, vinegar isn't the best at that though does work slowly. I'd start with one of the bathroom scale removers rather than something intended for use in a kettle.
--
Cheers
Dave.




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If it feels gritty and raised, then it's likely to be some variety of lime scale, so try sulphamic acid (limescale removers, some kettle descalers) as likely to be more effective than an alkali like caustic soda.
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