Cast Iron Tub Repair
Cast Iron Tub Repair TIPS
- Use Stain Solver Certified organic oxygen bleach to clean tub
- Clear rapid-set epoxy and matching paint works well
- Off-the-shelf products may work
- Do a small test first
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Repairing a chipped or scratched cast-iron tub is easy. The trick is to use the right products.
Most chips are small, ranging in size from the head of a pin to the size of a dime. If you have multiple chips, repair the smallest one first.
I've had fantastic success using inexpensive clear rapid-set epoxy that I just paint the next day.
Clean the Tub
If you want the repair to last for years, you need to apply the epoxy to a clean, dry surface. I've found that Stain Solver is the best cleaner. It's non-toxic and does a great job of removing soap scum, body oils, mildew, and other grime.
If the chips are on the bottom of the tub, just fill the tub with enough water to cover the chips and sprinkle in one cup of Stain Solver per two gallons of water that are in the tub.
Allow it to soak for three hours. At the end of the three hours, scrub the tub with a stiff brush, rinse and let dry.
Cast Iron Cleaning Tips
Cast iron fixtures are probably the easiest fixtures to care for, as they have the hardest finish of all plumbing fixtures. The porcelain glaze that is bonded to the iron achieves a hardness very near that of actual glass. We all know that glass, because of its hardness and smoothness is really quite easy to clean. Porcelain, when cleaned on a regular basis, will shine like new glass forever. However, many people simply wait too long to clean things as mentioned above.
For example, The Kohler Company publishes the following instructions for caring and cleaning of their cast iron products:
- Do use only non-abrasive cleaners and a soft nylon brush to clean the slip resistant surface of tubs.
- Do use cleaners with a Ph of between 3 and 8. (Ph is a measurement of how acidic or alkaline a cleaner is.) The following cleaners are recommended: Earth Rite All Purpose, Earth Rite Tub & Tile, Glass Plus, Green Windex, Pinesol Broad Spectrum, Sparkle, Top Job, and Enviro Care Neutral Disinfectant.
- Do NOT use steel wool, wire brushes, metal scrapers, or abrasive sponge pads!!
- Do NOT use buffing machines on the slip resistant surfaces on tubs.
- Do NOT use high alkaline or strong acidic cleaners!
- Do NOT use abrasive cleaners.
Here are a few products you can use to repair your cast-iron tub. If you go the route of the clear epoxy and paint, you'll need high-gloss paint mixed to match the color of your cast-iron tub. That's somewhat easy to do.
The trick when using the clear epoxy is to mix it up well and only put in enough so the epoxy is flush with the surrounding porcelain. The epoxy does NOT shrink as it dries. Work with great light and don't overfill the chip. Paint it the next day.