How to Clean an Acrylic Bathtub


bathtub and a pedestal

It's a lovely weekend. You've turned on the music, bought a new book, and you are just about to draw a bath, then you see the stains on the acrylic bathtub.'re turned off.

It's time to clean the acrylic bathtub, properly.

Yes, you could find commercial cleaners easily in the supermarket or grocery store, but most of them contain harmful chemicals.

That's why we recommend you the natural cleaning way.

The best part? It's cost-saving, and the tools are most likely available at your home.

1. Supplies You Need to Clean an Acrylic Bathtub

  • White Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Soft cloth or sponge
vinegar, baking soda, soft cloth
  • Soap
  • Lemon
  • Shampoo
  • Soft brush
  • Non-abrasive cleaners
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • (Used) Toothbrush
  • (Used) Newspapers
  • (Used) Stockings
lemon, toothbrush, cleaner, newspaper

  • Steel wool
  • Rough sponge or brush
  • Abrasive cleaners (aerosol cans)
  • Caustic and corrosive solvents (acetone, paint thinner)
Permanent damage could be caused if you use the things above.
do not use abrasive and acetone

If you are unsure, check the manufacturer's instructions for suggestions. Each company may have a list of cleaning solutions and tools they recommend and you should avoid.

2. General Cleaning Procedure

Step 1. Fill up the tub with hot (or warm) water and vinegar.

Pour hot water and around 17oz (500ml) of vinegar into the bathtub.

Then allow it to settle down and work for 20 to 30 minutes (1 hour if your bathtub is very dirty). This will make removing the stain and dirt easier.

* Tip: During the process, if any hairs or dirt floats on the water, you could spread old newspapers on the water to collect them.

Step 2. Drain the bathtub. Get scrubbin'.

Drain the mixture of vinegar and water out of the bathtub. Then take a soft sponge or terry cloth (or used stockings) to lightly scrub the tub.

Take a (used) toothbrush to clean corners and edges.

Step 3. Sprinkle baking soda on the tub

For still stained or dirty areas, sprinkle baking soda over them while the tub is still wet.

Take a wet soft sponge or old newspapers to scrub the baking soda in the tub. The natural reaction will remove the stains.

Step 4. Rinse the bathtub and clean stains with lemon.

Use a handheld shower to wash away the baking soda and dirt. Keep rinsing until the tub is clean.

If the stains are still visible, cut a lemon and put slices over the stains. Wait a minute or two until the stains are loosened, then take a soft cloth to scrub the stains and rinse the tub properly.

3. How to Remove Yellow Stains from Acrylic Bathtub
Yellow stains are commonly seen on the acrylic bathtub if you don't clean it regularly. But don't worry, vinegar, baking soda, and water are enough to clean most stains. Here's how:

Procedures to Remove Mild Stains:

  1. Make a mixture of vinegar (50%) and water (50%). 200ml to 500ml (7-17oz) in total, depending on how big the stained areas are.
  2. Spray or splash the mixture on the stained surface evenly.
  3. Sprinkle baking soda on the stained areas.
  4. Wait 10-20 minutes. Allow the vinegar and baking soda to have the natural reaction, foaming.
  5. Scrub the stains with a soft cloth or sponge.
If the mild stains are not removed regularly, they could accumulate and become hard to clean.

Procedures to Remove Tough Stains:

  1. Get an acrylic-friendly cleaner. (Read the labels on the bottle to make sure the cleaner is acrylic-safe. DO NOT choose cleaners that include acetone.)
  2. * Or you could try windshield washer fluid, which is cheaper than most commercial cleaners.
  3. Wet the tub before spraying the cleaner.
  4. Apply the cleaner to the stained areas on the tub. (Check the label on the cleaner for the amount used.)
  5. Wait for 10 to 20 minutes for the solution to settle down and do the magic.
  6. Rinse the cleaner off.
  7. Take a soft cloth or sponge to wipe off the left cleaners, and scrub stubborn stains.
4. How to Remove Black Stains from Acrylic Bathtub
  1. Make a mixture of water and baking soda.
  2. Apply the mixture to the stained areas evenly.
  3. Spray white vinegar on the stained areas. (Or soak a cloth or towel in vinegar, then use it to cover the stains.)
  4. Wait 30 minutes to 1 hour, scrub the stains with a soft cloth or sponge.
  5. Rinse the tub. Then wipe clean with a dry soft cloth.

For black stains on the tub drain: 
  1. Apply spirit (liquor, alcohol) on the stains.
  2. Wait for 5 to 10 minutes for the spirit to work.
  3. Use a soft cloth or sponge (or used stockings) to wipe off the stains.

If the black stains just won't come out, it is time to consider having the tub refinished.

If you are not a handyman, you could find local professionals to do the refinishing for you at certain costs. If you are a DIY guy, then you could buy a tub refinishing kit to renew the tub.

FYI, the cost of hiring people to refinish the tub could be steep, depending on the areas of the stain, the status of the stain, and your local market situation.

Getting a tub refinishing kit is cheap, but it may not be easy to fully refinish the tub, the outcome might not be ideal.

The choice is yours.

5. How to Remove Dried Paint from Acrylic Bathtub
  1. Pour boiling water into the dried paint area.
  2. Wait a minute or two. Allow the scalding water to loosen the paint.
  3. If the paint is thick, use a sharp razor to scrape the paint gently, until the paint is thin and you think you might scrape the acrylic surface.
  4. Apply mineral spirits to the paint. Wait for 3 to 5 minutes for spirits to work.
  5. Take a soft cloth or sponge to scrub the paint.
If the paint won't come out, you could hire professionals to do the tub refinishing, or buy a tub refinishing kit to renew the tub by yourself.

6. How to Remove Rust from Acrylic Bathtub
  1. First mix baking soda and water to make a paste.
  2. Apply the paste to the rusted area, and wait for 10 to 20 minutes.
  3. Clean off the paste with hot or warm water.
  4. Take a soft cloth to scrub the rusted area to get rid of the stains.
  5. Rinse the surface and wipe it clean.
The paste of baking soda and water could be replaced by lemon slices and salt.

7. How to Remove Scratches from Acrylic Bathtub
  • Step 1. Rinse the scratch area. Wipe dry.
  • Step 2. a> If the scratches are shallow, apply toothpaste to the scratch and scrub with a toothbrush or soft cloth to even out the scratches. (It works because toothpaste contains mild abrasive.) b> If the scratches are deeper, use wet fine-grit sandpaper to level out the scratch. Circular motions are recommended. (Don't panic if the surface looks more scratched. The scratches will smooth out along the way.)
  • Step 3. Clean the area with a wet soft cloth, and rinse completely.
  • Step 4. Apply drops of white polish and water to the area, then scrub with a soft cloth. Circular motions are recommended.
  • Step 5. Rinse the tub, and wipe clean.
8. How to Make A Dull Acrylic Bathtub Shine
  1. The organic way: use baking soda, white vinegar, or lemon slices to clean the stains and oils on the tub.
  2. Use commercial cleaners to clean the tub thoroughly. (Tip: Shampoo also could be used to make the tub shine, just how it makes your hair shine.)
  3. Use fine-grit sandpaper (usually 600 grit) to even out scratches, and apply acrylic white polish to restore the shine.
  4. Last resort: refinish or reglaze the tub. Hire a professional to do the refinishing, or buy a refinish kit to DIY.
Regular cleaning - once a week - is recommended to keep the tub hygienic and shiny. 

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