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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
Sorry, but baking soda does not really clean anything that is dirty. Sure, it may "clean" something that's already clean, but it will not clean a dirty shower or bath tub.
Baking soda is also abrasive and that starts to wear on the gel coat. I use Vinegar to remove soap and hard water stains. If you leave vinegar on the acid is mild enough not to alter the gel coat and will dissolve the water spots and for the last 4 years has been great on my brass fixtures. After I get it shining with vinegar I apply a high end poly car wax and the surface seems to last up to a year if I do not use abrasives or even rough surfaced rags. I have really hard water here and the shower fixture was leaking and built up a horrible hard water deposit on the brass up high where I could not see.
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I have tried many things to get the soap scum off my fiber glass tub, but to no avail, nothing has worked. Is there any sure way to clean it? Thanks.
use pam , spray on ,wait a few minutes and wipe off . be sure to clean with vinegar afterwards to get off the slippery oil
Thank you Cathy, this is AMAZING and I've tried it all. You are Fantastic...I can't imagine where you found this trick, but it works like a charm.
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
Easy off Fume free blue cans only.
I've had a cleaning business for over 30 years. This absolutely works. However...use on fiberglass ONLY. Do NOT use on enamel tub because it will remove the paint.
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
I used 600 grit, then 800 grit followed by 1000 grit wet sandpaper. I then used a polishing compound to finish off the job. The tub looks brand new now. The sand paper did not harm my tub. So, whom ever is saying not to use abrasives on fiberglass are 'not in the know'.
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
I have tried just about everything listed here and I will admit the oven cleaner really does work, but something that works astonishing well is a product called EdFred shower stall and tile cleaner. My husband found it at Orchard Supply Hardware store. I thought for sure we would have to replace our entire shower stall but this stuff made it brand new! Also their toilet bowl cleaner also works amazing too.
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.
On your site it says you can clean fiberglass bathtubs with alcohol. What kind are you talking about grain alcohol or rubbing alcohol?
I found the tip. It says plain alcohol or Japanese saki. www.thriftyfun.com/
My fiberglass tub has some yellow spots. How can I get rid of them?
Try Greased Lightening and a magic eraser. It works on a lot of things.
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.
As strange as it may sound, I discovered small black spots left in my shower was mascara residue. I now make sure I remove my mascara completely before getting into my shower or 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?
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
What product can I buy to remove the soap so it at least looks clean and somewhat new?
I will thank you for your suggestions.
Marge from NY
My parents also have a fiberglass tub and have found a product that just works wonderfully! It's called Barkeeper's Friend--it's awesome. Takes away a lot of the scrubbing, we use to do on it! If your tub is really bad, try using that and a Black and Decker Scumbuster.
"The Works"! I get it at Dollar Tree and it will melt anything off of fiberglass with minimal scrubbing. I used one of the Mr. Clean long-handled scrubbers and the pad for tubs. Works perfectly. I even used The Works to kill iron staining from my sister's shower. They thought I was a magician! It's really good stuff and cheap at Dollar Tree.
By Granny Marcia
I love Windex type cleaners for cleaning any type of sink or tub. Its the greatest for removing soap scum, as it has ammonia. (Its makes diamonds sparkle) It doesn't leave water spots on your faucets.
I hope you haven't worn off the finish on your tub by scrubbing it. Have you tried just plain baking soda? I had a stain in my cast iron tub that I couldn't remove. A friend suggested I try plain old baking soda. It worked better than cleanser!
Best of luck. (09/23/2007)
By Carol in PA
I too, have a fiberglass tub. One thing that helps immensely is a water softener if you have hard water. It makes it much much easier to clean all sinks, the toilet, and the tub. I also only have to use half the soap or detergent in the dishwasher and washing machine and my skin is much less itchy in the winter. (09/24/2007)
Mr. Clean Eraser is my favorite newest addition to a cleaning arsenal for hard surfaces, without damaging the surface I am cleaning. It uses plain water and elbow grease. Once the soap scum, stain, or ground in floor dirt is erased, seal the area. Linoleum floors I seal with Beacon Wax, Veneer counter top and Fiberglass tub/shower stall with "Gel Coat". Windows dry with window chamois. Mr. Clean Eraser removes Kool Aid stains from white counter tops. I was sold. Wouldn't want to live without one in the house ever again. 3/30/08 (03/30/2008)
You won't believe this but it works. My fiberglass tub sparkles like new:
Here is what I used (in this order)
Wear gloves. Follow the directions on the labels. It takes a lot of elbow grease to do the initial cleaning. Use Foaming Scrubbing Bubbles to clean the tub after you bathe. Spray it on and wipe it down. Every 6 months - 1 year re-apply a coat of Mirror Glaze to continue to protect the surface. (06/04/2008)
Top Job liquid cleanser works great on my new shower enclosure and fiberglass tub. I use a plastic scrubbie that is sold in the dish soap section used for washing dishes. It is so quick. You can start scrubbing as soon as you spray. It looks like new every time (06/23/2008)
I have used everything on the market. I recently used Zap Fiberglass Restorer, and it took my tub and surround back to brand new. You can only find it on line I haven't been able to find it in stores. (08/28/2008)
I found that 3M products work well. I went to their website and found Color/Gloss Restorer. It claims to revive dull gelcoat surfaces. And it does! I just used it on our fiberglass tub and it works great. I am now going to apply 3M Marine Finesse-It II Finishing Material to give it a wet look shine. It then recommends using the 3M Marine Ultra Performance Paste Wax. I do have some but am not sure I will use that. Will see how tired I am when I get to that step. (10/25/2008)
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)
By Sandra Stout
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)