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Cleaning Fiberglass Tubs & Showers

Submitted by Lorene Bartos, UNL Extension Educator

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Many bathrooms today are furnished with fiberglass bathtubs, tub shower combinations or shower stalls with either a shiny mirror like finish or a textured surface for added safety. These molded bath fixtures are installed without caulking and grouting. Maintain the sparkling new look of fiberglass furnishings by following these cleaning suggestions.

Use non-abrasive cleaners, such as:

  • hand dishwashing liquids or liquid laundry detergents
  • household all-purpose cleaners or bathroom cleaners
  • baking soda moistened with water to a paste; wet surface of tub or stall; gently rub with the paste on a sponge or soft nylon brush
  • a soft scrub product

Apply all cleaners with a sponge or non-abrasive applicator made of nylon, polyester or polyethylene. Rub gently. Be sure to read and follow all directions on the products you choose to use.

Never use any abrasive cleaner like common scouring powders, nor any abrasive scouring pad, steel wool or scrapers.

Stubborn stains may require a little extra attention. Sponge a stained area with any of the products mentioned above. Let the cleaner remain on the stain for about an hour; then rinse.

Tough stains such as adhesives, tar, iodine, and oil-based paints can be removed with acetone (nail polish remover) or a paint thinner such as turpentine. Saturate a clean, white cotton cloth with the solution and lightly rub the affected areas until the stain disappears. Care should be taken when using these products. These solvents will not harm the fiberglass finish, but should be used sparingly. Solvents are highly flammable and should not be used near heat or any open flame. Do not smoke while using these products, and work in a well-ventilated area. They should not be allowed to go down the drain or come in contact with a plastic drain grate. Use a dampened clean cloth or sponge to wipe off the treated surface.

To maintain a lustrous finish, one manufacturer recommends conditioning the surfaces. With a clean cloth apply an automotive white polishing compound to any scratched or dulled areas and then buff the surfaces with a light application of automotive white cream wax using a clean cotton cloth. It is also suggested this treatment be done twice a year to maintain an attractive finish.

Drying the shower/tub area after each use will help keep the shiny new look. Keep a squeegee or cloth in the area to use after each use.

The time you take to dry and clean your tubs and showers as you go will save you much time, energy and expense later.



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(This resource was added February 2009 and appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper Sunday edition. For information on reproducing this article or using any photographs or graphics, read the Terms of Use statement)

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