I have a fiberglass tub (or as I call it, a plastic tub) and I can not get it white. I have cleaned it with all the cleaners they have to offer and it still will not come clean. Does anyone have any advice?
Melissa from New York
I have had great success using equal parts vinegar and baking soda. Start with 1/2 cup. The baking soda acts as a gentle cleanser, while the vinegar is a good overall all cleaner. Best of all, it is easy, environmentally friendly and very inexpensive to use! (06/02/2003)
Here's an older question similar to this one:
There are lots of good answers here so check it out.
It sounds as if the surface of your tub may be damaged. There
may be no way to get it clean no matter how much you scrub and
I'm sure you do scrub. You could try a product like "Zap" that
claims to restore fiberglass. I haven't used it myself so I don't
know how well it works.
You could try using very fine 000 steel wool (this is super fine,
don't use regular steel wool as it will scratch) or baking soda
(rub it in good) and see if that will remove the stains. The
cleaning products may have damaged it more rather than helping.
You may need to have your fiberglass tub refinished or restored.
No matter how much you clean, once the surface is rough, it will
not look shiny and will absorb dirt. Fiberglass tubs need to be
cleaned with care so that you don't rough up or scratch the
It is possible to do it yourself but you will need to study up on
fiberglass resins, preparing the surface, how to apply them, etc.
If it is your only bathing area it could be inconvenient and
you'll need good ventilation. All in all it might be easier
either to live with it, hire a professional or get a new tub.
Hope these recipes are helpful in cleaning your fiberglass tub. We have a 75-year-old cast iron tub so I can't attest to the effectiveness of these fiberglass cleaners.
FIBERGLASS SCOURING CLEANSER
FIBERGLASS TUB FLOOR CLEANER
This is to be used only on the irregular bottom surface of the tub - not on the smooth surfaces.
GOOD LUCK! (06/16/2003)
Clean with a soft scrub or what I use is called "Best Bet". It can be bought through a professional janitorial company called "All Vac Janitorial". You need to rub, the product in and let it set, dwell about 5 - 10 minutes and rinse it off. after the tub is cleaned you can do routine cleaning with "fiberglass magic". You can buy that at Menards. This product will shine and keep the water marks away. another "polish" you can use only on a shower surround, where you will not be standing to slip on is after it's cleaned or a small routine cleaning again is to use pledge furniture polish. It'll look like brand new again! (07/28/2003)
We used to own a fourplex that had very old bathubs from when it was originally built in 1963!
We had one that was Pepto Bismol pink, one that was baby blue, etc. ha ha They were all stained horrendously from years of use. We bought a bathtub paint that we repainted the tubs with. You can get it at Home Depot for like $12 a box.
Those tubs looked BRAND NEW! Nobody could believe it! The downside it that it is a toxic smelling paint. You must have ventilation and air out the room for several days. It was well worth it for us, but we had empty apartments as we did it. If you have a second bathroom to use, it may be worth it for you as well. (05/07/2004)
My 11 yr old fiberglass tub needed HELP! I bought CLR in the yellow trigger-spray bottle from TARGET. Sprayed on, waited 5 minutes, and gently scrubbed with a mesh covered sponge..WOW! I need sunglasses! Try it! (08/13/2004)
I had the same exact problem! We have very hard water and the bottom of my tub was a nasty, dingy gray! I bought some Bar Keeper's Friend and I used that. Follow the instructions on the can. It's a powder. You wet the tub down and then I sprinkle it on and use a scrub brush. It took every bit of the gray out and it's sparkling white again! I use that and then rinse it good. After that I spray my entire tub and shower down with Clorox Clean Up and wipe it down with that to make sure the germs have all been killed. (12/29/2005)
I have fiberglass tubs also and they are really tough to clean! Also, at age 75 I have problems getting down on my knees to reach the corners. The best way I've found thus far is to have a little water in the tub and make a paste with dishwasher detergent (powder form). Then I scrub with an old straw broom. Still calls for some "elbow grease", but I can work from a standing position and the results are satisfactory. Beth (12/30/2005)
I thought we had the same problem with our newly installed tub too. Scrub away to no avail. Complained to the company who inspected the tub & they told me that "sometimes" the fiberglass that is sprayed on during manufacturing does not go on evenly and may leave areas when dried showing grey areas & may leave the tub looking dirty. Since they didn't want to cover the costs of labor to reinstall a new built in...We got the tub for FREE! How's that for being thrifty? This maybe your problem too, that is if the tub isn't too old... (12/30/2005)
I have a newer tub, about 10 or 11 years old now, and it still looks like new. I can tell you what I have used to keep it that way, but am not sure if it will restore it. The things I have used are what I have used on our fiberglass boats to make them look shiny and new, while protecting them from salt water, scum, etc. Try "GEL-GLOSS." It is a one step cleaner and polish for fiberglass, marble, or acrylic that cleans, seals, and shines. It comes in a 16 oz. can. It is made by TR Industries, 11022 Vulcan St., South Gate, CA 90280.
I have also learned how to keep from having to use the above product. I use liquid Spic and Span and a sponge that has a soft scrubbing cloth on one side. I say soft because it shouldn't be one that's used for scrubbing burnt food from pans as it might scratch the surface. Monthly I use liquid Spic and Span full strength, rub the tub/shower down to remove scum, and only use the scrubber side if the minerals, rings, or soap scum, etc. seem to be hard to remove. When done, I turn on the hot water and spray the tub and shower walls down, wipe down with a soft rag or squeegee and it shines like a new penny! Good luck! (12/31/2005)
Try using Greased Lightning - Multi-purpose cleaner (sold at Walmart among other places) and a scrubber that will not scratch your fiberglass. Our water is terrible here and discolors our tub and shower. I spray on, wait a little bit and usually spray again and use scrubbing pad to clean tub and/or shower, but it works. If I did not get it the first time, I try again. Please allow plenty of ventilation. Good Luck--Crystal of South Carolina (01/02/2006)
BAR KEEPER'S FRIEND! This is the best cleaner. It cleans fiberglass, glass, stainless steel, copper, brass, tile,porcelain, even plastic! Removes rust! A must in every household! It comes in a gold can with blue/white writing. This product has been around since 1882!!! It comes in a liquid and powder form. I prefer the powder. Mix like a paste. For stubborn spots apply with a toothbrush(always) and go do another task come back in 20 to 30 mins and you will be amazed at the effort you put into cleaning. I especially like the results in my fiberglass tubs, porcelain sinks/stainless steel faucets, stovetops and scuffs from shoes on my lino from guests shoes. Try it you'll love it! Check out their website: www.barkeepersfriend.com or call 800-433-5818. I get it from my Savemart grocery store for $2.09. But I've seen it at Bedbath&Beyond for a little more. Happy cleaning!
Jennifer CA (01/03/2006)
Try salt and lemons. My husband thought I was nuts when I asked him to pick them up at the supermarket, but it works. Cut the lemon in half, use a TON of salt (you need enough to make a thick paste) and scrub away. The lemon is optional, it will work with just salt and a cloth, but the lemon juice does seem to help and the fibrous innards do some scrubbing and hold some of the salt paste in place.
Our shower/tub had the same problem yours did, but a one-time application of the salt and lemon (it does take a little elbow grease) can get it clean enough that you can use the no-effort cleaners for a long period after that. (01/18/2006)
I feel your pain. We have well water with high iron content and we use "The Works". It's the best solution we have found. Our toilets have never been so white! We found it at Dollar General for a dollar and bought about 10 so we wouldn't run out for a while. They make several different types for differing surfaces.
Good luck! (07/05/2007)
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