Acrylic Bathtub Care and Cleaning

large bathtub image by Nikolay Okhitin from

Taking care of and cleaning an acrylic bathtub is very easy. There are no pores for dirt to seep into, so dirt particles wipe right off. For sanitary purposes, your acrylic tub should be cleaned occasionally, using a mild, nonabrasive soap. If you spill something on the bathtub, you can use a variety of safe products.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Acrylics

Acrylic plastic allows tub manufacturers to create an unlimited variety of styles and sizes of tubs. Acrylics eliminate the need for ceramic tiles on the bathroom walls around the tub or shower. Acrylic tubs make cleaning and maintenance a breeze compared with more vintage styles of bathtubs. There are a few weak points to acrylic bathtubs, though. The finish is not as hard as porcelain, so it does not stand up to deep scratches and dings. Some bathtub bottoms flex when a person gets in the tub, so it is important to either purchase a tub with a reinforced bottom or hire a contractor or plumber to build extra wood shims to place under the new bathtub to make the base more solid. This adds to the cost of installation.

How Often to Clean

Most people do not clean their tubs and showers often enough. People often wait until a heavy soap residue or mineral deposit is visible. At this point, cleaning is a real, if not impossible, chore. The best and easiest solution is to clean the tub once a week while you are already in it. It only takes a little dishwashing liquid, a washcloth, three minutes, and very little elbow grease.

Scratches and Dulling

If the surface of your acrylic bathtub gets dull, chipped or scratched, the appearance can be restored to look almost new. Scratches and dulling can be restored with a liquid polish. Deep scratches and cigarette burns can be repaired by using a very fine grit sandpaper of 600 grit or higher, followed by a liquid polish.

Recommended Cleaning Products

For regular cleaning and maintenance of an acrylic bathtub, all that is needed is a cleaning sponge or rag, some water and a nonabrasive soap or cleaning product. Recommended cleaning products are usually liquid dishwashing detergents. If there is a spill on the bathtub, a little stronger product is recommended. In these cases, it may be better to use a degreaser, window cleaner or bleach-based product. There are also eco-friendly cleaning products that are safe to use on acrylic tubs.

Cleaning Products to Avoid

Do not use abrasive products, paint thinner, acetone, nail polish remover or lacquer thinner. These products contain chemicals that eat through plastics, including acrylics, and will ruin the finish of your tub. There is no way to repair the damage caused by using the wrong kind of chemical cleaner on an acrylic tub. If you have a warranty that came with your bathtub, using these products on your tub will void the warranty.