Stepping into a dull, grimy shower will leave you feeling not as fresh as you intended. Fiberglass tops the list of most affordable materials to have on your tub. This makes it a preference in most households. When well-maintained, they are appealing and durable.
Clean fiberglass surfaces weekly with a mixture of 1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of dish soap. Spray the mixture to the surface then wait for 15 minutes before scrubbing gently. You can also refinish or repaint the fiberglass shower surface if cleaning doesn’t restore it.
Scratches on the tub while cleaning with the wrong tools will ruin its shiny appeal. However, constant cleaning and care can eliminate other common stains such as soap scum and grime. Learn how to restore the shine on your fiberglass shower tub by applying the tips below.
Is my bathtub made of fiberglass?
First, you need to be absolutely sure that you are dealing with fiberglass. Here is how to tell your shower tub is made of fiberglass:
Fiberglass, unlike other common materials used for the shower, is lightweight. You can easily touch and tell from the thin edges.
2. Scratches Effortlessly
Fiberglass will scratch easily, forming crevices that the grime and other dirt stick on to give it a discoloration.
3. Pales Fast
Fiberglass tends to fade fast from a whitish shiny appeal to a yellow shade.
4. Few Design options
Most fiberglass shower tubs are basic in style, details, and design. This is attributed to the complexity of the manufacturing process.
5. Few Colors
Fiberglass is commonly white. If your tub is white, you are highly likely to be dealing with fiberglass. In addition, fiberglass is commonly mistaken for acrylic, which has many colors.
After some time, fiberglass tends to warp, given its porous nature. In addition, the constant exposure to dampness makes the water infiltrate, affecting the shape and texture of the tub.
7. Smooth Finish
You may fall into the trap of confusing fiberglass with acrylic. The most striking difference is that acrylic has a stronger solid feel while fiberglass has a smooth finish.
How to Restore Shine to Fiberglass Shower
Here is how to restore a fiberglass tub or other fiberglass surfaces:
1. Clean Routinely
The best way to clean a fiberglass shower is to do it routinely to prevent the accumulation of dirt which takes away its shine.
For your routine cleaning, ensure you have soap, baking soda, and water.
Follow these steps for your cleaning process:
- Apply baking soda to the entire shower tub, especially on any stained sections.
- Allow the baking soda to sit for a few hours.
- Rub the glass with a wet piece of cloth or sponge.
- Wash with soap.
- Rinse with clean water.
This should renew the look of your fiberglass shower, leaving it sparkling clean. If you installed a frameless shower door, it’s also advisable to clean it when cleaning your tub.
2. Use Vinegar
White vinegar comes in handy in cleaning most households and is one of the best cleaners for fiberglass showers.
To properly clean with vinegar, arm yourself with white vinegar, water, a spray bottle, and a sponge then follow these steps:
- In its acidic form, pour the white vinegar into a spray bottle.
- Spray the entire tub, including the cracks and crevices visible.
- Allow the vinegar to sit for half an hour.
- With a sponge, clean the tub.
- Rinse thoroughly.
If the fiberglass doesn’t regain its shiny status, you can go further and rub the tub with baking soda after the vinegar. Then rinse. This should do it.
Homemade Fiberglass Tub Cleaners
You don’t have to break the bank to buy expensive tub cleaners. Instead, improvise them at home, and they’ll work out just as fine.
Here is how:
1. Vinegar and Liquid Soap
Get the liquid soap of your choice and mix it with vinegar at a 50:50 ratio then spray the solution on your shower tub. Ensure you get to every corner and crack on your tub.
Scrub it off gently after you have allowed it to sit for 30 minutes. Rinse with clean water until the tub sparkles. Repeat the process until you are satisfied with the results.
2. Ammonia, Vinegar, and Baking soda
This combination is meant to eliminate the most stubborn stains on your shower tub.
You need to have ⅓ cup of ammonia, ½ cup of baking powder, and a ½ cup of white vinegar then follow these steps:
- Get a spray to combine the solution with around 5 cups of water.
- Ensure you spray on every corner of the tub, including all the crevices.
- Let the solution sit on your tub for half an hour.
- With clean water, rinse the tub.
If the glass doesn’t shine with these steps, repeat the exercise until you get the desired results. This should restore the sparkle in your bathroom. Often, homeowners install a stand up shower with a tub in the same space. In such a case, aim at cleaning them all each time you clen your tub.
How to Refinish a Fiberglass Tub
Instead of going for an extreme makeover like buying new fiberglass to replace the old one, refinish it and it will look as good as new.
Follow these steps to refinish a fiberglass tub:
- Use soft-grade sandpaper for sanding the entire fiberglass tub.
- Thoroughly clean the area you sand with a wet cloth with baking soda.
- Protect the areas close to the tub, such as the walls and floors.
- Spray the tub with the first coat of your gel.
- Apply the epoxy coating or a second coat of gel till it’s thick and hardened.
- Allow the tub to sit for some time as directed on the gel you use.
- Wipe the tub with a damp cloth aced with baking soda.
Following these steps should give you an entirely new refinished shower tub.
How to Paint a Fiberglass Tub
Painting your fiberglass tub will give it a new fresh look that augurs well with the other fixtures in your bathroom.
Follow these steps to paint a fiberglass tub:
- First, remove all the accessories in the tub, including all the fixtures attached to the tub.
- Remove old caulk.
- Clean the tub with warm water aced with baking powder. Rinse thoroughly.
- Sand the tub with an abrasive. Be gentle to avoid leaving rough patches.
- Using the ordinary paintbrush, apply the primer after saturating the tub with a thinner.
- Get a paint sprayer and do three layers of your chosen paint. Leave each layer to sit for a few minutes and sand it between the layers.
- Leave the tub dry for 3 to 4 days.
Once done, your tub will have a smooth finish looking as good as new.
Tips on How to Clean Fiberglass Tubs
Fiberglass tubs demand proper care and maintenance so they can last long.
Follow these tips to always have a shiny tub:
- Avoid high acidic cleaners. Only use the ones meant for home use, such as vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide.
- Avoid harsh abrasives. Use mild ones that won’t affect the texture of your tub unless you are refinishing it.
- Avoid bleaches on the fiberglass tub as they will ruin the smooth feel of your tub.
- Ventilate your bathroom often to avoid having the tub stinking.
- Use distilled or purified water in your tub to minimize the occurrence of scum.
- Routinely clean your tub. Improvise homemade cleaners as opposed to mixing the commercial options.
- Mix vinegar with dishwashing soap when cleaning the tub for optimal results.
- Ammonia is a good cleaner for fiberglass tubs although it has a strong and dangerous smell which needs the use of a ventilation mask.
- The best time to clean the shower is right after a steamy bath when the fatty acids in the soaps and shampoos are soft. You can also let the hot shower run for a few minutes before cleaning the shower.
Apply these tips and have refreshing baths in your tub. With shower and tub combos, you may need to clean the whole bathroom each time you clean one of the fixtures. Most of these tips don’t require a tool since you can easily remove a shower head without a wrench.
Restoring the shine on your fiberglass shower may not be as easy, but with dedication, the right tools, and cleaners, you should be good. A shiny, effectively functioning shower has a psychological impact. It will make you enjoy your singing in the shower.
Handle any stains on your tub immediately to avoid using abrasives when removing them. Wash with warm water and rinse with cold water routinely to maintain the luster on your tub.