How To Clean an Acrylic Tub or Shower

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Most traditional bathing areas get clean through lots of scrubbing with rubber gloves and abrasive detergents. If you’ve just switched to a new acrylic tub or shower, you’ll need a much gentler touch to keep it sparkling like new. Follow these easy steps to keep your acrylic bathroom clean and beautiful.

1. Invest An Ounce Of Prevention

If you take loving care of your acrylic tub or shower every day, you won’t have to do a major cleaning quite as often. After bathing:

  • Remove and hang up your bath mat so that the area underneath it can dry.
  • Use a squeegee to whisk water off the acrylic wall enclosure and as much of the tub sides and floor as possible. Take care not to scrape at any caulk.
  • Using a soft towel, gently wipe away any remaining water, again taking care not to rub at caulked areas. (Use the towel to polish faucets and hardware at this time too!)

2. Prepare Tub or Shower Area

Even with great daily care, you’ll probably want to give your acrylic tub or shower area a good cleaning about once a week. To prepare your bathing area:

  • Clear the space: Take away all toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, washcloths and body wash. If you haven’t already done so, take out the bath mat.
  • Clean the toiletries: Wipe away any soap scum, hair or dirt that has accumulated on your bathing essentials.
  • Gather your cleaning supplies: You’ll need a soft sponge or cloth, and some gentle dish detergent or shampoo.

3. Clean Acrylic Surfaces

Now Your ready to start cleaning in earnest:

  • Fill the tub with about an inch of warm water and a few squirts of dish washing liquid or shampoo.
  • Let the area soak for about half an hour.
  • Drain the water and wipe away residue.
  • Gently wash acrylic tub surround walls and exterior with dish detergent or shampoo and a soft cloth or sponge, and rinse.
  • If any stains remain, sprinkle some baking soda on your cleaning cloth and rub stained areas gently, using a circular motion. An old toothbrush is great for getting into tight corners.

4. Clean The Caulk

Caulk needs to be cleaned carefully so it won’t begin to peel:

  • Prepare a mixture of vinegar and water and apply gently to sanitize and discourage mildew buildup.
  • For stubborn caulk stains you may want to try a bleach solution and leave it on overnight before rinsing.
  • If you’re considering using bleach, test an inconspicuous area to make insure it won’t affect your acrylic color and make sure your bathroom is properly ventilated.

5. Clean Metal Hardware

If you’ve been wiping down your taps and faucet every day this should be very easy! Use a sponge with dishwashing liquid or shampoo to wash metal hardware and then polish with a clean, soft cloth.

6. Don’t Lose That Shine

Old habits can easily destroy the dazzling shine of your new acrylic tub or shower. To keep it looking like new:

  • Don’t leave any metal objects in your tub or shower.
  • Don’t ever use abrasive cleaners or strong, harsh soaps.
  • Never use any cleaning products containing acetone.
  • Don’t use sharp brushes or scouring pads.

Cleaning an acrylic shower or tub is probably different than what you’re used to, but once you’ve become accustomed to the routine, chances are you’ll find it much easier. Elbow grease will become a distant memory while you enjoy many years of bathing in a shiny, immaculate space.



Last Updated: February 15, 2013
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About Roberta Pescow Roberta Pescow holds a bachelor's degree in communications from City University of New York, Queens College and is a freelance writer and editor in the NJ area. The author of "A Life In The Service" and "A Monster's Tears," she enjoys writing informative articles, personal essays, fiction and music.  Roberta is a proud mother of two. Her other interests include fitness, photography, sculpture and meditation. She is a voracious reader and holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do. Roberta enjoys decorating her hectic, but happy home and garden in original and affordable ways.  

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