How to Make Your Bathtub White Again

For consumers who have already purchased or are considering buying a white bathtub, the biggest concern is often how to keep the bathtub from turning yellow over time, which can be unsightly. Why does this happen, and how can you whiten your bathtub again? In this article, Giving Tree Home will address these questions and provide the best solutions.

Causes and Prevention of Yellowing in White Bathtub

Lack of Timely Cleaning

  • Problem:

    During use, bathtubs come into contact with soap, shampoo, and other bathing products. These products themselves do not harm the bathtub, but if not cleaned promptly, they can form difficult-to-remove soap scum on the surface, leading to yellowing. Additionally, hard water contains high concentrations of minerals like calcium and magnesium, which can also cause the same problem if left on the bathtub surface for extended periods.

  • Solution:

    The best way to address this issue is through regular cleaning. Giving Tree Home recommends routine cleaning every two weeks and a deep clean every six months. If you notice hard water stains frequently around the drain area, check your water supply system and mineral content to ensure they are within acceptable limits.

Improper Cleaning

  • Problem:

    Some users are aware of the need to clean their bathtubs but use incorrect methods that damage the surface, leading to yellowing. For example, using highly acidic or alkaline cleaners or hard brushes can corrode the bathtub’s finish, making it more prone to oxidation and yellowing.

  • Solution:

    Always select cleaning agents based on your bathtub’s material, preferably using those recommended by retailers. Avoid strong acids and alkalis, opting for milder solutions. Use soft brushes or cloths for cleaning. For specific cleaning procedures, refer to "The Best Way to Clean a Bathtub".

Normal Oxidation

  • Problem:

    Normal oxidation is a natural occurrence and not caused by human action, typically appearing after long-term use. For instance, when the porcelain enamel on a cast iron bathtub cracks, the underlying iron is exposed and oxidizes. Similarly, the protective coating on a bathtub can naturally wear off, leading to oxidation.

  • Solution:

    If you are concerned about oxidation, consider choosing acrylic or fiberglass bathtubs. These materials do not react with air or water, so there’s no need to worry about oxidation. After using the bathtub, always open the drain to prevent water from standing for long periods, this helps prevent oxidation and keeps the bathtub clean.

Three Methods to Restore Your Bathtub White Again

Woman cleaning the bathtub

1. Regular Operation

For minor discoloration, using regular cleaning agents can easily restore your bathtub. It is recommended to use a combination of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. The specific steps are as follows:

  1. Mix hydrogen peroxide and baking soda into a thick paste.
  2. Apply the mixture evenly on the bathtub surface, focusing on heavily stained areas.
  3. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the cleaner to work.
  4. Gently scrub the bathtub surface with a soft brush, then rinse thoroughly with clean water.
Sanding a solid surface bathtub back to white

2. Solid Surface Bathtub

If you have a solid surface bathtub, you are fortunate. This is a higher-end material with a matte finish and a sanded texture. For scratches, oxidation yellowing, or children's drawings, you can restore the original white color by sanding. The specific steps are as follows:

  1. Wet the bathtub surface.
  2. Use 800-grit sandpaper to gently sand the scratched or stained areas.
  3. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry the surface.
Renovate and paint the bathtub white

3. Complete Refinishing

For more severe stains or discoloration, complete refinishing is the best option. This process requires purchasing the appropriate color paint, primer, and etching cleaner. The specific steps are as follows:

Use an etching cleaner to lightly etch the bathtub surface, removing the old finish.

Apply a coat of primer to the clean bathtub surface and let it dry.

Once the primer is dry, apply one or more coats of paint until the desired effect is achieved.

By thoroughly refinishing, you can restore your bathtub’s whiteness and even change its color to suit your preferences. For detailed procedures, refer to "How to Change the Color of Your Bathtub".


Everyone desires a spotless white bathtub. With Giving Tree Home's analysis of the causes of bathtub yellowing, you can better prevent your white bathtub from discoloring. If your bathtub has already turned yellow, following this guide will help you restore its white shine. Of course, if you feel that refinishing won't meet your needs and you need to purchase a new one, Giving Tree Home has you covered. We offer the most comprehensive selection of bathtubs in various styles and colors online. Whether you prefer black, white, or gray, you will find the perfect product. Click the link below to start shopping!