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How to clean a really dirty plastic bath tub

Known for their nonporous surface, durable finish and longevity, plastic bathtubs are prevalent in home bathrooms. Plastic bathtubs actually consist of either moulded fibreglass or acrylic, which are similar in appearance. Although requiring low maintenance, plastic bathtubs accumulate dirt, soap scum and mineral deposits with each use. These surface contaminates dull a plastic bathtub's lustre and make bathing unsanitary. Regularly cleaning plastic bathtubs preserves their finish and extends their life. Clean a really dirty plastic bathtub using mild solutions to prevent damage.

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  1. Squirt 1 tbsp of mild liquid dish detergent into a pail containing 1/2 gallon of warm water. Mix the dish soap and water well.

  2. Dip a nonabrasive nylon sponge in the soapy water. Rub the soapy nylon sponge over the whole bathtub to detach dirt and body oils. Frequently rinse the dirty sponge with water to keep from reapplying filth to the tub.

  3. Examine the tub surface for stubborn dirt and grime. For grime too stubborn for the detergent solution, fill a bowl with 1/2 cup baking soda. Add just enough water to moisten the baking soda. Mix the paste well.

  4. Rub the homemade paste vigorously over the stubborn dirt using the sponge. Frequently rinse the grimy sponge to prevent reapplying filth to the tub. Remove the stubborn gunk entirely.

  5. Inspect the bathtub for remaining mineral deposits and soap scum. If white, chalky staining remains, spray it with full-strength white vinegar. Let the deposits and scum absorb the vinegar for 15 minutes.

  6. Scrub the white, chalky deposits and scum off the tub using the sponge.

  7. Refill the pail with pure water. Drench a cloth in the fresh water and wipe the cloth across the tub surface to rinse off soap, paste and vinegar. Rinse the plastic bathtub completely.

  8. Dry the clean bathtub with a towel.

  9. Tip

    Substitute an all-purpose bathroom cleaner for the homemade detergent solution. Buff the plastic bathtub with white automotive polish to restore shine.


    Commercial scouring powders and abrasive scouring sponges scratch plastic bathtubs.

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Things You'll Need

  • 1 tbsp liquid dish detergent
  • Pail
  • Spoon
  • Nonabrasive nylon sponge
  • Bowl
  • 1/2-cup baking soda
  • Spray bottle
  • Full-strength white vinegar
  • Cloth
  • Towel

About the Author

April Dowling first started writing in high school and has written many news articles for newspaper and yearbook publications. She is currently pursuing a career as an online writer and affiliate marketer. Dowling writes for several websites and keeps many blogs.

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