What happened to my tub?
August 3, 2008 11:16 PM   Subscribe

What did the mildew remover leave in my tub?

I recently sprayed Lysol Mildew Remover on the bottom perimeter of my shower curtain and left it over night. When I woke up in the morning, the remover appeared to have ran off the curtain to the middle of the tub where it left this giant rust-colored stain. Bleach spray isn't cleaning it, nor is more of the Mildew Remover. What in the world is it and (more importantly) how do I do to clean this up? I'm a renter and would like to retain my damage deposit when I move in a month.
posted by messylissa to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Is it Lysol Mildew Remover with Bleach? If so, the bleach may have started to eat through the fiberglass tub. That may be why you can't clean it off. What color is the tub? Is it off-white or cream-colored? If so, that pigment may have mixed with the bleach to create the rust-colored "stain" while the bleach ate away at the tub.

Is the stain textured (bumpy/unsmooth)? If so, the above is a explaination. If not, then I'm way off target and full of crap.
posted by cmchap at 11:34 PM on August 3, 2008

Yes it is the Mildew Remover with Bleach, but I believe the tub is cast iron, not fiberglass (it is white though). The stain is completely smooth and uniform with the surface of the tub.
posted by messylissa at 11:46 PM on August 3, 2008

Oh, and I should add: we just tried steel wool on top of the bleach cleaner to no avail.
posted by messylissa at 11:47 PM on August 3, 2008

From Tilex's Mold and Mildew remover product site (similar product - most mildew removers have this info because they all have a similar action):
To remove this stain, soak paper towels in hydrogen peroxide, let stand on rust stain for 30 minutes and then wipe clean. (NOTE: Do not mix hydrogen peroxide and Tilex® Mold & Mildew Remover.)
So, rinse really, really well, and go buy a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and some paper towels. (I've done this before, years ago, when it happened to a friend's tub). YMMV, of course, but if the product site recommends it, it probably works for most people or else they'd get a lot of angry calls.
posted by bedhead at 12:20 AM on August 4, 2008

Try CLR on the stain.
posted by gjc at 5:42 AM on August 4, 2008

For future reference: you can remove mildew from a shower curtain by washing it a washing machine with bleach and a few old towels. Then hang it back up in the shower to drip dry.

Those heavy duty mildew cleaners are bad news for your lungs (and a waste of money); bleach works just fine and is cheaper. Whatever you use, make sure your place is well-ventilated when cleaning, i.e. probably not a good idea to let it soak overnight when, I presume, your windows are closed.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 5:45 AM on August 4, 2008 [3 favorites]

CLR should work, though its much nastier stuff than peroxide.
posted by desuetude at 6:30 AM on August 4, 2008

did the same thing, got rusty stains. finally rtfm'd, and the destructions on the bottle warn of this.

i think i used draino to clean it up. i have a rust prone enamel kitchen sink, when it gets nasty and dingy i use draino on it.

wear gloves, open windows, avoid eye contact.
posted by KenManiac at 7:47 AM on August 4, 2008

the destructions on the bottle

How apt.
posted by mrbill at 8:33 AM on August 4, 2008

Don't use steel wool on your tub; you risk scratching it permanently.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:09 AM on August 4, 2008

Thanks bedhead, the hydrogen peroxide worked great.

And to everyone else, thanks for the tips. When I move from this mold-ridden old apartment (in the PacNW), I will definitely avoid those heavy duty cleaners. Unfortunately, I am stuck with the Lysol for another month.
posted by messylissa at 12:44 PM on August 4, 2008

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