Cleaning a plastic bathtub can be easy with the right supplies. Taking a bath in a dirty, scratched bathtub won’t be the relaxing experience it should be. Take a look at the following ways to clean your bathtub for a shiny, spotless surface:

  1. Use a general bathroom cleaner
  2. Consider using vinegar and baking soda
  3. Brush your bathtub with some dish soap
  4. Spray the bathtub with hydrogen peroxide
  5. Sprinkle chlorine on bathtub stains
  6. Spray a salt and vinegar solution on the bathtub
  7. Brush the bathtub with hand sanitizer and hot water
  8. Spray the bathtub with rubbing alcohol
  9. Use lemon juice
  10. Use dishwasher powder

Keep reading as I discuss further how these methods can help you keep your plastic bathtub sparkling clean. Some of these methods might amaze you!

1. Use a General Bathroom Cleaner

Before applying any bathtub cleaner, you should rinse your tub with warm water to remove any hair and other specks leftover from bathtub use. It’s wise to use rubber gloves to protect your skin. And, remember, never mix any chemicals or cleaners as this can produce dangerous gasses.

You can use a general bathroom cleaner such as the Zep Shower and Tile Cleaner (available on Amazon). This spray is also great for tiles and showers. Use it on different surface types, such as acrylic, fiberglass, ceramic tiles, porcelain, and more.

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Zep Shower Tub and Tile Cleaner, clear, 32 Fl Oz (ZEP - ZUSTT32PF - 1/PACK)
  • Zep Shower Tub and Tile Cleaner, 32 oz
  • Penetrates stains from rust and hard water
  • For use on acrylic, fiberglass, ceramic tiles and...
  • Not for use on: marble, granite, terrazzo, natural...

If you prefer an organic bathtub cleaner, consider getting the Better Life Tub and Tile Cleaner. It offers a wonderful tea tree and eucalyptus scent that’ll leave your bathtub smelling fresh.

Once you’ve rinsed the bathtub, mix the cleaner (if necessary) and spray it over the bathtub surface. To remove the dirt, soap scum, and grime left from bathing, use a soft scrub brush to clean the tub interior.

Don’t use a stiff brush on the bathtub since it can scratch the surface and leave tiny spaces where dirt and soap scum can fill in, making removing it difficult. Plus, doing this reduces the attractive appearance of your plastic bathtub.

2. Consider Using Vinegar and Baking Soda

A plastic bathtub is made of a heated polymer composition and then dried into plastic sheets. Glass sheets reinforce the plastic that compresses together for increased strength. A giant suction machine molds the plastic into the shape of a bathtub. You should be careful when cleaning the surface to avoid abrasive cleaners that scratch the plastic tub surface.

Fortunately, you can clean your plastic bathtub with natural cleaning solutions like vinegar and baking soda!

Consider using the Arm & Hammer Baking Soda and the Bluewater Chemgroup Vinegar (available on Amazon). This baking soda is the most trusted baking soda in America, whereas the vinegar is a natural, safe, and multi-purpose white vinegar. These products make a quite effective cleaning solution for plastic bathtubs when combined. A general rule for using these two compounds is one part vinegar to two parts baking soda.

Using baking soda to clean your plastic bathtub is effective because this powder dissolves organic compounds like dirt, grease, and other residue left behind in your bathtub. The baking soda is mildly abrasive but won’t scratch the tub surface.

As for the vinegar, it breaks down minerals from water left on the tub surface. These minerals will dull the appearance and reduce the shiny look of the tub.

When you mix vinegar and baking soda, the acid in the vinegar breaks down the baking soda to produce carbon dioxide bubbles. The carbon dioxide gas will lift the dirt from the surface, making it easier to clean. Rinse away the mixture for a sparkling, clean tub.

3. Brush Your Bathtub With Some Dish Soap

Most dish soaps are formulated to clean grease and dirt from dishes. Dish soap works equally well on a plastic bathtub.

Use a soft brush and squirt the dish soap onto the brush surface. The foam and scrub brush work together to clean away soap residue and oils from the tub. When you’re done scrubbing, rinse the soap away to reveal a clean bathtub surface.

This YouTube video shows you how to clean the bathtub using dish soap:

4. Spray the Bathtub With Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is typically used for cleaning debris out of wounds. But did you know that it also works well for cleaning plastic bathtubs? Hydrogen peroxide is antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal.

Pour some hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle. Spray the bathtub with the hydrogen peroxide and let it sit for ten minutes. Scrub the bathtub with a soft brush or sponge.

Mix one-part hydrogen peroxide with two-part baking soda to form a paste if you notice some staining. Rub the paste onto the stains and scrub with a sponge or brush. Then, rinse the entire bathtub for a sparking, fresh bathtub surface.

5. Sprinkle Chlorine on Bathtub Stains

Anyone who owns a swimming pool knows that chlorine is essential to maintaining clean pool water by killing the algae and bacteria and oxidizing the dirt. It turns out that you can also use chlorine to clean a plastic bathtub too.

The SpaChoice Chlorine, for example, controls algae. It also kills bacteria and rids of organic contaminants.

SpaChoice 472-3-3031-02 Sanitizing Granules Hot Tub Chlorine, 2-Pack
  • Dissolves Quickly and Completely
  • Stabilized Spa Chlorine
  • 56% Available Chlorine
  • Controls Algae

Chlorine works by dissolving the stains in the tub into tiny particles that are easier to remove. This chemical reaction removes the grime and stains left behind after bathing.

You can purchase chlorine crystals from a pool supply store. Sprinkle the chlorine on the stains and wait ten to fifteen minutes. Then, scrub the stains and rinse the tub clean.

6. Spray a Salt and Vinegar Solution on the Bathtub

You most likely already have salt in your kitchen. So why not use it to clean your bathtub?

Using salt to clean a plastic bathtub is similar to using baking soda. Put one part salt and three parts vinegar in a spray bottle. Then, spray the mixture on your plastic bathtub and wait for ten minutes.

After that, use a soft brush or sponge to clean the soap scum and dirt from the tub’s surface.

7. Brush the Bathtub With Hand Sanitizer and Hot Water

Hand sanitizer is everywhere these days, and this sanitizing gel can clean your plastic bathtub. Because hand sanitizer is about seventy percent alcohol, it’ll clean your tub and get rid of bacteria, too.

In addition, sometimes the bathtub doesn’t dry thoroughly, especially if you have a family and only one bathtub. Standing water is a breeding ground for bacteria and germs, so hand sanitizer is an excellent choice for tub cleaning.

Fill the plastic bathtub with hot water up to 3 inches. Add 1 cup of hand sanitizer. Take a soft scrub brush and completely clean the bathtub. Rinse well and let dry. Your plastic bathtub will be clean, deodorized, and bacteria-free.

8. Spray the Bathtub With Rubbing Alcohol

You can use rubbing alcohol for many things. It’s great for a refreshing back rub and to disinfect wounds. Rubbing alcohol is also ideal for inexpensive home cleaning and disinfecting.

Rubbing alcohol removes dust and dirt to leave a countertop, light switch, and any other non-porous surface clean and germ-free. You can use alcohol to clean the bathroom as well. Be sure to keep the bathroom door open so that the fumes from the alcohol don’t overwhelm you.

Rubbing alcohol is a safe and effective way to clean your plastic bathtub without harming the surface.

Simply add the alcohol to a spray bottle and spray over the surface of the bathtub. Let it sit for three to five minutes and wipe with a sponge or clean with a soft brush for stubborn stains. Your tub will be clean and disinfected. 

Here’s a YouTube video demonstrating how to clean the bathtub with rubbing alcohol:

9. Use Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is full of acid, an excellent way to cut grease and dirt on household surfaces. Use lemons or lemon juice on your bathtub and leave a delightful citrus smell behind.

Lemon juice is perfect for removing the minerals left behind in the water from the bathtub spigot. Apply the lemon juice to a sponge or soft scrub brush and scrub the surface of your bathtub. You can use half a cut lemon on the corners and upper tile to get rid of soap scum and dirt buildup there.

When you finish, rinse the tub, and all that’s left behind is a clean, lemony-smelling surface.

10. Use Dishwasher Powder

When you go to fill your dishwasher with dishwasher powder, remember that this same powder can clean your plastic bathtub, too. Fill your bathtub one-third full with warm water. Add ½ cup of dishwasher powder.

Swirl the water to dissolve the powder and use a soft scrub brush to clean the tub. Rinse, and your plastic bathtub will be clean and fresh-smelling.

How to Whiten Your Plastic Bathtub

Sometimes, your plastic bathtub is clean but no longer white. Follow the steps below to remove the yellow and make your bathtub sparkling, white color again:

  1. Mix one quart of warm water (32 oz) with 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid that removes grease.
  2. Spray over the surface of the bathtub.
  3. Scrub with a soft brush or sponge and rinse clean.
  4. Mix a paste of baking soda and water to a consistency of toothpaste.
  5. Rub the paste over the tub surface.
  6. Rinse clean.
  7. Apply an automotive whitening polish such as the No. 7 White Polishing Compound that removes scratches and stains on the tub surface. Yes, you can use it for your car and your bathtub!
  8. Wipe off the excess polish.
  9. Coat the bathtub’s surface with an automotive whitening cream to mask minor scratches. This product is particularly great for white vehicles — it works great with white bathtubs, too! Wipe off the excess.
  10. Enjoy your shiny bathtub!

Conclusion

No one wants to bathe in a dingy plastic bathtub. You can step into a sparkling clean bathtub space when using one of these methods to clean your tub. If your bathtub has lost its white surface, be sure to follow the steps to whiten a dull, yellow bathtub to a white color again.

Related: Can You Paint a Plastic Bathtub?

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