How to remove tough stains from fiberglass tub


For some, they have a hard time figuring out how to thoroughly clean a fiberglass tub or shower. Wear and tear can result in stains on your bathroom surfaces  and most are easy to handle. As for fiberglass surfaces, they can be a challenge to thoroughly clean due to its sensitivity. Read further to learn ways on how to remove tough stains from fiberglass tub.

Techniques on how to remove tough stains from fiberglass tub

Once you find stains on your fiberglass tub, it is important to remove them properly to keep the surface clean as well as prevent any damage. Let’s take a look at the methods on how to remove tough stains from fiberglass tub effectively.

  • Baking soda and water. When dealing with the build-up of soap scum, it can be hard to remove with regular bathroom cleaners. Prepare a mixture by combining baking soda and water to create a paste. Dab the paste on the areas with soap scum. Let it sit for a few hours and rinse off with warm water. 
  • Vinegar. For stubborn soap scum, you need to use an acid such as vinegar to dissolve it. Soak a cloth or towel with vinegar and saturate the site for up to an hour. After removing the cloth or towel, clean the area with warm foamy water and a soft sponge. 
  • Hydrogen peroxide. When dealing with dark stains, you can use hydrogen peroxide. Position several layers of clean white towels over the stain and pour hydrogen peroxide on top. Let it soak 
  • Acetone or paint thinners. Persistent stains can be removed with acetone or paint thinners. Soak a clean white towel or cloth with the solution and carefully rub the stain until it completely fades. Just make sure that these solutions are used sparingly. 

Regular cleaning for fiberglass 

If you want to keep your fiberglass tub or showers in top shape and appearance, you must set some time aside for routine cleaning.

  • For general maintenance, fill a bucket or basin with warm water and add liquid soap. You can pour more soap if you are dealing with a stubborn stain. Other alternatives include household all-purpose cleaners, bathroom cleansers, or even baking soda. Do not use abrasive cleaning products such as scouring powders 
  • Dip a soft sponge in the bucket and gently scrub the fiberglass surface. 
  • Let the cleaning solution sit on the fiberglass surface for up to an hour. 
  • Rinse the surface thoroughly with warm, clean water and dry with a towel.

How do you get stains out of fiberglass?

Fiberglass is a synthetic fiber comprised of a plastic resin created along with glass fibers. Various items in your house and workplace are made from fiberglass including showers, sinks, bathtubs, boats, and lighting fixtures. There are specific methods to keep fiberglass in your house clean and free from stains. 

  • For grease and oil stains, use dishwashing liquid. Mix vinegar with your regular dish detergent. This works best in showers made out of fiberglass.
  • For accumulated dirt, combine baking soda with water to create a paste, especially dirt on surfaces in the shower door or sink. Apply on the area and let it sit in place for up to 12 hours. Follow-up by cleaning the site with foamy water. 
  • For paint stains, use paint thinner or acetone. Just be careful since these can damage the fiberglass. Only use them for stubborn stains and spot clean the site. Do not forget to use protective gear such as gloves and goggles. 
  • For hard water stains, use phosphoric acid. Mix it with water to lessen its strength. Wear rubber gloves when applying and let it sit on the surface. 

Will bleach damage fiberglass tub?

Bleach is considered an irritant to the skin and lungs, especially in large amounts. It can also damage the resin in fiberglass so avoid using it when cleaning your bathtubs or shower walls. 

A better alternative that is safe on fiberglass is ammonia, especially when dealing with watermarks. Just be careful since inhaling the fumes of ammonia can be detrimental just like breathing in bleach. Do not forget to dilute ammonia with water and ensure that the room is properly ventilated. 

Will vinegar remove oxidation from fiberglass?

Fiberglass products that are used outdoors can fade and discolor over time due to exposure to the elements. This process is called oxidation which is the same with rust on metal. It removes the shine off the gel coat top layer on fiberglass products, resulting in a gritty residue. 

One way to restore the appearance of fiberglass is preparing a solution by mixing 3-4 tablespoons of vinegar with a gallon of water. Apply this solution on the fiberglass surface.

When restoring the appearance of fiberglass boats, apply the solution. Take note that the oxidation might return if you do not immediately wax your boat. There are also specially formulated oxidation remover products available that you can find in outdoor supply stores and boat centers. 

Final thoughts

If you have a fiberglass tub or shower at home, it requires regular cleaning to keep it clean as well as prevent the formation of unappealing stains in the long run. With the methods described on how to remove tough stains from fiberglass tub or shower, you can effectively get rid of stains and keep the fiberglass surfaces sparkling clean.

teammichael

Michael René, consultant, is the leading stain removal expert in Denmark. Read about him and the rest of the team here

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