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Cleaning a Fiberglass Tub

Woman Cleaning Bathtub

When cleaning your fiberglass tub, it is important to not scratch the surface. Finding the right cleaning methods will help you keep your tub looking nice. This is a guide about cleaning a fiberglass tub.

     

Solutions

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Tip: Cleaning Fiberglass Tubs

My fiberglass bathtub has a nonskid bottom that is terribly difficult to get clean. I have found that the best thing is to scrub it with baking soda. It also seems to stay clean for a long time after I do this. For a little added cleaning power, after it is all scrubbed, I add and scrub a little dash of vinegar all around, scrubbing quickly as the fizzing action only lasts a few seconds. The tub is just gleaming when I get done. It is an amazing cleaner for fiberglass.

Patti from Oklahoma City, OK

Tip: Cleaning Fiberglass Shower Pan

I have tried everything I could think of to clean a fiberglass shower pan. My 87 year old mother was not able to clean it. Since I moved up to NY and into her house, I have tried to remove the gray residue. You can't use just anything or it will destroy the finish, so always read your cleaning product to make certain you can use it.

I decided to try those cleaning sponges, but didn't want to spend extra if they didn't work. So, I bought the generic brand in a 2 pack. It took a lot of elbow grease, but it worked. Get a large pack though, you will need it.

I have tried it on tile, but am not sure yet whether it worked or not. There was a cleaning product that I used where soap from the soap dish accumulated on the tile below the dish. It worked very well, but until I try it on the rest of the tile for the hard water I won't mention the brand. I'm hoping it works because it was very economical compared to many cleaners. Just tried this a few minutes ago, so more will be coming.

By Patt from Grand Island, NY

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Questions

Here are questions related to Cleaning a Fiberglass Tub.

Question: Cleaning Fiberglass Tubs and Showers

Is there a sure fire cleaning tip for cleaning a fiberglass tub and shower surround?
I have tried Magic Eraser, Kaboom, Scrubbing Bubbles, etc.

By Lorraine from CT


Most Recent Answer

By Patti04/12/2011

I just moved into an apartment with a retro green tub and shower surround. I'm not sure when the last time it was actually clean but it was gross. I mean soap scum and dark grey gunk. Yuck. It was the only big negative of the apt. So today I was reading the suggestions for cleaning and decided to give the oven cleaner and majic eraser a try. OMG!!! It worked great and I didn't even have to scrub it til my arm fell off. Amazing. I'm super happy. I don't mind the "retro" green as long as it is clean....

Question: Cleaning a Fiberglass Tub

Mom always put her plants in her fiberglass tub to water them. Then she had an unexpected illness and left the plant in the tub, which created a stain that won't come out. Help please.

By Laura from Lathrop, MO


Most Recent Answer

By Julie04/22/2010

Barkeeper's Friend cleanser will get out a lot of stains. It is not bleach, but a different chemical that does the work. The can says it is safe for fiberglass. You shouldn't have to scrub hard; just spread it around and let it sit a few minutes, then rinse.

Question: Cleaning a Fiberglass Tub

What is best way to clean a fiberglass tub? I purchased a house and the tub is very dirty. It is a one piece tub and shower

By Gail


Most Recent Answer

By Lynda Tracy09/12/2011

I once found that CLR (calcium, lime, and rust remover) did a great job of getting rid of really encrusted dirt in a bathtub. In my current bathroom, I use a home made spray of about a quarter cup of vinegar in a spray bottle of water, then a couple of drops of dish detergent. (Don't put the detergent in first or you won't be able to fill the bottle for the suds!) I spray this around the tub and enclosure after every use, and it stays sparkling!

Question: Cleaning a Fiberglass Shower

How do I clean a fiberglass shower?

By Peggy from MN


Most Recent Answer

By Deanj03/06/2012

First, I wipe down my shower after every use with a towel. That keeps the fiber glass shower clean so I only have lightly clean the shower a couple of times a year. I use Bar Keepers Friend that I bought at Home Depot with a non scratch pad available at grocery stores. My preferred brand is made by 3M Co. My fiber glass shower looks as good as the day it was installed and by wiping down the shower after every use it is very easy to keep clean in the minimum of time.

Question: Removing Tiny Hard Black Specks in a Fiberglass Tub

I have a friend that has hard black specks in her tub, almost like ink spots. At first I thought it was mold that was building up inside the jets of her jacuzzi tub, so I used a cup of bleach and a cup of dishwasher detergent powder, filled up the tub and ran it through the jets for about 20 minutes. That did nothing to the spots. We cannot seem to get them out unless we scrub and scrub, but we also don't want to ruin the surface because it is fiberglass.

Every time she bathes there are more, now they just keep building up. She said she can get them out if she uses her nail then her finger to scrub each individual speck, but then there is a smudge left and we need to scrub and scrub to get that out. We cannot figure out what it is or how to stop it. They aren't grease or mildew spots because they are very hard. We are getting exhausted with this problem and now there must be a couple hundred little spots. I have noticed there is also some in the toilet in the same bathroom that are very difficult to remove too. There are 3 other bathrooms in the house, but hey tdon't have that problem. (The specks are in the master bathroom.)

By Carol N.

Question: Removing Tiny Hard Black Specks in a Fiberglass Tub

I have a friend that has hard black specks in her tub, almost like ink spots. At first I thought it was mold that was building up inside the jets of her jacuzzi tub, so I used a cup of bleach and a cup of dishwasher detergent powder, filled up the tub and ran it through the jets for about 20 minutes. That did nothing to the spots. We cannot seem to get them out unless we scrub and scrub, but we also don't want to ruin the surface because it is fiberglass.

Every time she bathes there are more, now they just keep building up. She said she can get them out if she uses her nail then her finger to scrub each individual speck, but then there is a smudge left and we need to scrub and scrub to get that out. We cannot figure out what it is or how to stop it. They aren't grease or mildew spots because they are very hard. We are getting exhausted with this problem and now there must be a couple hundred little spots. I have noticed there is also some in the toilet in the same bathroom that are very difficult to remove too. There are 3 other bathrooms in the house, but they don't have that problem. (The specks are in the master bathroom.)

By Carol N.

Question: Cleaning a Fiberglass Tub

This is a great place to come for help. I've read numerous tips on how to clean a shower, but have never seen a tip on how to clean a fiberglass tub. I need help. Can I use the same tips given for tile on fiberglass tubs?

By Andria

Question: Fiberglass Shower Pan Dull After Cleaning

How can you get the shiny finish back after cleaning a fiberglass shower pan? I was able to get all the stains out after reading some responses on the best way, but now I'm left with a dull finish and it'll just get dirty immediately without some sort of finish to protect it. Plus it just looks dull and not new looking.

By Andrew M.

Archives

Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Cleaning Fiberglass Tubs and Showers

What's the best way to clean fiberglass tubs and showers?

Thank you!
Michelle Jenkins from Swan Lake, MT


RE: Cleaning Fiberglass Tubs and Showers

I like CLR for my bathtub but it is metal. I have a fiberglass surround and just recently found a cleaner that is working well for me. It is called KABOOM I purchased this at Walmart for about $3. (03/06/2006)

By dpcw

RE: Cleaning Fiberglass Tubs and Showers

I have tried many of these products and they all are good, but they cost money. I have found that for my shower and tub both which are fiberglass, I use cheap hair shampoo. I get a lot of it from my son who travels a lot in his job and he brings me the hotel bottles once or twice a year. I use the plain hair shampoo and a "net" scrubber I made out of onion and potato bags. This cleans very well. Sometimes I fill my tub up w/water and then after I have cleaned the sides of the tub or shower I take my string mop and swish it around in the water and mop the tile floors w/the solution that I just cleaned the tub with. This saves me time and money! I use plain old vinegar and water sprayed on the chrome faucets to clean them and they shine right up. I also use the hair shampoo in my toilet and then use an old fashion toilet brush to finish the job. This is a lot cheaper than anything else I have found and just as good if not better. Hope this helps someone save money and time! (03/06/2006)

By COOKIEPOM

RE: Cleaning Fiberglass Tubs and Showers

Well water here is heavily with minerals along w/much iron and silt. It cakes on quickly and discolors everything it touches from orange to black. I'd despaired of ever returning the appliances to all-white. As a last resort, when The Works for cleaning tubs wasn't strong enough for my need, The Works disinfectant toilet bowl cleaner was tried. Rather than ruin the tub, as I'd feared, it actually took away some layers of muck! It took several re-applications to get rid of most stains. You can leave it on for hours w/o marring the finish. Of course, it does wonders for the commode. (03/06/2006)

By gator10tx

RE: Cleaning Fiberglass Tubs and Showers

The best way to prevent the build up of soap film and other build ups is to simply wipe down the shower from the top to the bottom with a towel after each use. This will take off all the soap film and water.Then you will never have to scrub the shower or tub again to remove the soap film.However,if there is a coating of soap film I suggest you buy a non scratch scrubbing pad from 3M and other companies available at your local super market and scrub with any soap product. (03/07/2006)

By Dean

RE: Cleaning Fiberglass Tubs and Showers

Amen to the "WORKS" toilet bowl cleaner. We also have well water and this stuff works like a charm. I was also afraid it would ruin the finish but the tub was starting to look so bad that it couldn't make it look any worse, so I tried it and it did a beautiful job with no damage to the finish. The iron stains just disappear right in front of your eyes. It was unbelievable. I use it all the time. It does have an awful odor to it but I can live with that. And the best thing is I got it at the dollar store for $1.00. (03/10/2006)

By nana6x

The Works toilet bowl cleaner will ruin Chrome ...

I changed the subject title on my post so you would notice. After exhausting ALL means of cleaning a friends tub, I too tried Snow Bowl toilet bowl cleaner. It RUINED the chrome on the tub drain!

It made the chrome bubble and peel. So unless you want to replace that I would not recommend using it on the tub. It does help on enamel. DON'T use it on refinished tubs, ones that have the enamel replaced or recovered (sorry I forget the proper term).

This post brought back a bad memory, so I had to post my experience. (03/10/2006)

By Ariela

RE: Cleaning Fiberglass Tubs and Showers

If you use body soap instead of bar soap cleaning the tub is a breeze. it is the wax in the bar soap that leaves soap scum. So it only makes sense to do away with the wax and use the liquid or body soap. (04/26/2006)

By WJMILES

RE: Cleaning Fiberglass Tubs and Showers

Thanks everybody for giving me ideas for excellent fiberglass cleaners (these should work well on my hot tub, too).

Just a quick note after reading all these entries: soap scum is a mix of body oils, dirt, and the fatty salts that are formed when the calcium, magnesium, and iron in your water react with your soap. Some bar "soaps" are really bar "detergents" (slightly chemically different from soaps) and don't cause as much buildup as real soaps. And soaps need not contain talc to cause soap scum. (07/27/2006)

By ziply

RE: Cleaning Fiberglass Tubs and Showers

My husband and I used to manage apartment complexes and had to clean several filthy bathrooms after tenants would move. After speaking with a fiberglass shower distributor we found out that they always recommend fume-free oven cleaner to clean fiberglass showers. (Be careful if you don't use the fume free) Simply spray it on, let it sit for about 20-30 minutes and then wipe it off, and rinse. On really bad areas you may have to do a little more scrubbing. I also found that for the bottom of the tubs where the fiberglass is textured, the Mr. Clean eraser pads with the scrubby side work perfectly. The showers in the apartments have been there for 15 years and after my husband and I would clean them our managing agents would evaluate the apartments. They told us they have never seen a cleaner shower/tub than they had after we finished cleaning!

Seriously... Mr. Clean Eraser Pads and Fume Free Oven cleaner are the best. Heavily recommended by experienced users and professionals! (10/25/2006)

By Lindsay

Archive: Cleaning a Fiberglass Tub

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?

Thanks,
Melissa from New York


RE: Cleaning a Fiberglass Tub

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)

By NCOZADD

RE: Cleaning a Fiberglass Tub

Here's an older question similar to this one:

http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf000735.tip.html

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 surface.

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.

http://www.refinishingonline.com/fiberglass_repairs.htm (06/10/2003)

By Susan

RE: Cleaning a Fiberglass 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 CLEANER

  • 1/2 C. vinegar
  • 1/4 C. baking soda
  • 1 C. clear ammonia
  • 1 gal. warm water
Mix well. Wear rubber gloves, and work in a well-ventilated area.

FIBERGLASS SCOURING CLEANSER

  • 1/2 C. soap flakes
  • 1 1/2 C. hot water
  • 2 tsp. borax
  • 2 to 5 tsp. whiting
In a large plastic bowl, mix soap flakes and borax into water until dissolved. Add whiting gradually, checking the consistency and degree of abrasiveness after each teaspoon. Pour mixture into a squeeze-top container. Squeeze some of the cleanser onto a sponge and then wipe down the fixture. Rinse and dry.

FIBERGLASS TUB FLOOR CLEANER This is to be used only on the irregular bottom surface of the tub - not on the smooth surfaces.

  • 3 C. baking soda
  • 1 C. borax
  • Fine drywall sandpaper
Mix baking soda and borax together. Work the cleanser in with the drywall sandpaper and then rinse well.

GOOD LUCK! (06/16/2003)

By FlaKathy

RE: Cleaning a Fiberglass Tub

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)

By Kimmd

RE: Cleaning a Fiberglass Tub

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)

By Tawnda

RE: Cleaning a Fiberglass Tub

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)

By Kathilee

RE: Cleaning a Fiberglass Tub

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)

By Robin

RE: Cleaning a Fiberglass Tub

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)

By Beth

RE: Cleaning a Fiberglass Tub

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)

By Streatch

RE: Cleaning a Fiberglass Tub

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)

By Thissie

RE: Cleaning a Fiberglass Tub

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)

By cr8zecrafher

RE: Cleaning a Fiberglass Tub

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)

By Jennifer,CA

Hey Sitti

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)

By Niki

RE: Cleaning a Fiberglass Tub

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)

By DBE

Archive: Cleaning a Fiberglass Tub

We have a fiberglass shower and bathtub installed in our home. The bathtub's still in very good condition.

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Archive: Cleaning a Fiberglass Tub

How do you clean a fiberglass bathtub and sink?

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Archive: Cleaning a Fiberglass Tub

I have a fiberglass bathtub with the walls and shelves attached. I can't seem to get black mold spots out of the grout attaching the tub to the walls no matter how hard I scrub. Do I have to re-do the grout?

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Archive: Cleaning Fiberglass Tubs and Showers

What is good for cleaning fiber glass tubs and walls? I have never had fiber glass before and not sure what to use.

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Archive: Cleaning Fiberglass Tubs and Showers

What is the best way to clean fiber glass tubs?

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Archive: Cleaning a Fiberglass Tub

I am trying to get my house together and my bathtub is a mess with so many stains. What can I use on a fiberglass tub?

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Archive: Cleaning Fiberglass Tubs and Showers

I would like suggestions for cleaning fiberglass tub walls.

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Archive: Cleaning Fiberglass Tubs and Showers

My fiberglass shower is gross, probably beyond repair. Any suggestions for attempting to clean it? Thank you.

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