Restore 4 is advertised as a professional restorer that can removes stains and restore fixtures. Does it work? Read my preliminary Restore 4 review.
About Restore 4
Note: As of this 2022 update, Restore 4 is no longer sold. The review below was written in 2016 and updated in 2017.
Restore 4 has returned for a new As Seen on TV campaign, promoting its virtues as a product than can remove stains and restore the luster of old fixtures around the home. The official website is restore4.com, which was first registered back in January 1998, although the website has been mostly dormant for the past decade. The screen shot below was taken of the product website in December 2016.
Claims & Features
- Good for porcelain, fiberglass, tile, and grout
- Restores metals
- Removes rust, hard water stains, lime scale, and calcium deposits
- Removes stains, scum, and tarnish
- Penetrates below the surface
- No ammonia or bleach
- Wintergreen scent
You can get a Restore 4 set for $19.99 + $7.99 P&H. You have the option of adding a second set for another $7.99 P&H. I found a 16 ounce bottle of Restore 4 at a local Walmart for $10 in the As Seen on TV section.
Restore 4 Review
You may recall the name Restore 4 from advertisements that ran over a decade ago, extolling its virtues as a powerful restorer. Along the way, it earned a small legion of fans, and you can still occasionally run across one of its former users in online forums, or even see old bottles for sale on eBay.
Although it isn’t clear why Restore 4 disappeared, it has been out of the limelight for a number of years and – as far as I can tell – has been completely unavailable for purchase. Some users have claimed that Restore 4 was re-branded as “Zap! Professional Restorer” which has advertised heavily in the past year. While I have no evidence that is the case, it is clear that Zap! Holdings does own trademarks for both Zap! and Restore 4, so there is at least some sort of relationship between the two products. Zap also emerged from the shadows for a renewed advertising campaign in 2016, but many users – including myself – felt that the new version wasn’t as good as the original.
Restore 4 was known as an effective cleaner for bathtubs, shower doors, tile, grout, grills, and more. The brand expanded to include a number of other specialty cleaners, but the original Restore 4 remained the most popular of the bunch.
It may disappoint longtime fans of the product to learn that the current Restore 4 does not contain the same ingredients as the original, which used urea monohydrochloride as its primary ingredient (according to this material safety data sheet from 2005). Urea monohydrochloride is an organic salt which performs much like an acid. Reviewers of that original product found it to be a superior cleaner. The current incarnation of Restore 4 consists of 7.1% phosphoric acid.
I tested out Restore 4 around the house in a variety of locations, and found that it performed very well, although results weren’t always as dramatic as some of the ads that ran for the product over the years. For tile grout, it did a good job, both diluted and undiluted. On my shower door, build-up was easily wiped away. Shower grout, however, was barely affected by Restore 4. Perhaps the most dramatic result I had was on a shower floor, where dark residue was easily removed. I found that undiluted Restore 4 removed buildup more easily than a diluted batch, which required more scrubbing.
Although original ads showed it for use on a grill, I didn’t have luck with diluted or undiluted on a grill, and I tried both wiping and soaking. I don’t think cleaning a grill is a good application for this product.
For showers and bathroom buildup, I think Restore 4 does a pretty good job. I’d give it about a 7.5 star out of 10. It’s not perfect, but for some cleaning jobs it was excellent.
My biggest complaint about Restore 4 is the lack of instructions, and even some contradicting instructions. The back of the box and the back of the bottle list different suggested dilutions ratios (3:1 vs 2:1). Another paragraph states to always dilute it, while elsewhere we are told that we can use it undiluted. It took me trial and error to find the best amount for each job. Undiluted definitely seemed to work best in most cases, but that would deplete the bottle quickly.
Perhaps the best results I’ve achieved with similar products would be Flitz Metal, Plastic & Fiberglass Polish. It comes in a variety of sizes, and consumer reviews will back me up when I say it does a phenomenal job of polishing and restoring.
Below is my full video review of Restore 4.
Your Restore 4 Reviews
If you’ve used Restore 4, give me your thoughts by leaving a comment below and a star rating above.
Updated September 2022
I used the original restore 4 but I have not tried the NEW restore 4. I sure hope it works as well. I just used the last of my old supply.
I’m looking at it in walmart. 9.99 ingredients are phosphoric acid 7.1% by weight. 4.9 grams phosphorus per use level. So is it the same? Does it work?