I have received several viewer tips on how to bring back a shine to that old enamel bathtub, particularly after harsh cleaning agents have cut into the porcelain finish, so I thought I would try out a few.
Auto polish didn't really do much. In fact in one area where the enamel actually was slightly pockmarked (the protective coat was really gone) it even stained because the brown coloured paste just went in and sat in the what appeared to be pores in the ceramic coating.
Marble refinisher products did the best job, but with a lot of elbow grease. Even then, this was not a totally renewed finish.
Talcum power is touted as a good polishing abrasive. It did in fact work almost as well as the marble refinisher, except that the dust was barely supportable rising off of the polishing pad.
In past shows we have looked at professional alternatives for this kind of work.
A professional paint job with "Epoxy Paints" is not as good as a factory finish, but will last a long time.
You can cut out the bowl of the bathtub, leave the structure, insert a vinyl tub called a "RetroSoaker" for a quick conversion without tearing out all the bathroom.