Protect your beautiful cast iron bath by using the right cleaning products to prevent damage and make sure it stays looking its best for years to come.
The lining of cast iron baths is coated using vitreous enamel, which is relatively tough and should be easy to clean. It won’t withstand constant scrubbing with really abrasive materials, however. The wrong cleaning products will degrade your bath’s surface and can cause permanent damage.
What to avoid
When cleaning a cast iron bath, avoid abrasive cleaners, including steel wool, scouring powders and acidic products. The latter can leave the bath lining feeling unpleasant and looking discoloured.
Instead, you should try to clean and dry your bath after every use. If you tackle soap buildup when your bath is still warm, you’ll never have to face the problem of soap rings.
Use a damp cloth to wipe it down and then dry it off to prevent mould and mildew from forming. You should also make sure that the taps don’t drip and the plug isn’t left in.
Gently does it
If stains do form on your bath, treat them gently. One of the best ways to tackle them is to fill the bath with warm water containing washing up liquid. Leave it to soak for half an hour and drain away.
Washing up liquid should help baths sourced from companies such as http://www.wilsonsyard.com/products/bathrooms/baths-new-cast-iron.html to stay looking their best by not staining or corroding their inner surface.
You could also try using biological laundry liquid or powder in the same way to clean more difficult stains. The enzymes will attack the build-up if they are left to do their work for a few hours.
If you do have a bathtub ring, use a paste made of water and baking powder, which can be applied and then left to work for 30 minutes before being wiped away.
If you need more information about suitable cleaners for your cast iron bath, consult the Vitreous Enamel Association, which has a list of approved cleaners on its website at http://www.vea.org.uk/enamel-care-list/.
The association also recommends using a clean cork from a wine bottle to apply approved cleaners and then rubbing them in a circular motion. This should clean localised stains and prevent you from having to use your fingers.