How to Clean Acrylic Bathtubs

Bathroom Remodel
Written by: Emily Simmons
September 18, 2023

Kiss those unsightly stains and soapy residues goodbye! Your acrylic bathtub may be a relaxation haven, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need some TLC. With the right techniques, you can maintain that fresh, sparkling look without causing any damage. Dive in to discover how to make your acrylic bathtub shine like it’s brand new.

Introduction to Acrylic Bathtubs

Acrylic bathtubs have become the top pick for many homeowners, and it’s easy to see why. Crafted from sheets of acrylic that are reinforced with fiberglass, they offer a lightweight advantage, making installation a breeze. 

Despite their feather-light character, they boast incredible durability, standing strong against the test of time. Their glossy, glass-like finish not only imparts a touch of luxury but is also a testament to their quality. The smooth, non-porous surface of these tubs makes them a formidable opponent to most stains, ensuring that the water remains as pure as when it first filled the tub.

However, as is the case with all good things, acrylic bathtubs, too, come with their set of care instructions. Like all bathtubs, they need regular cleaning to ward off grime and maintain their pristine appearance. When cleaning, it’s essential to remember that while they might seem tough, they have feelings too! Excessive force or the wrong cleaning agents can scratch or dull their glossy surface. Hence, a gentle touch is key to ensuring your tub remains as radiant as the day you first laid eyes on it.

Necessary Cleaning Supplies

To keep your acrylic bathtub in tip-top shape, it’s crucial to have the right cleaning arsenal. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Soft, non-abrasive cloth or sponge: This ensures that you clean without scratching. Microfiber cloths are a great choice as they pick up dirt efficiently while being gentle on the surface.

  • White vinegar: A versatile, natural cleaning agent, white vinegar can break down mineral deposits and soap scum without damaging the acrylic.

  • Warm water: Lukewarm water, combined with white vinegar or dish soap, creates an effective cleaning solution. The warmth helps in dissolving grime faster.

  • Liquid dish soap (optional): A mild detergent can be effective in cutting through grease and oil. Ensure it’s gentle and devoid of any harsh chemicals.

  • Non-abrasive cleaners for stubborn stains: Sometimes, you might come across a stubborn stain or mark. For such cases, specially formulated non-abrasive cleaners designed for acrylic surfaces can be a lifesaver. Always read the label to ensure it’s safe for acrylic bathtubs.

Cleaning an Acrylic Bathtub with Warm Water and a Soft Cloth

Keeping your acrylic bathtub shining like new doesn’t require expensive cleaners or tedious processes. A simple routine using readily available household items can do wonders. Let’s dive into the steps:

Step 1: Fill the Tub with Warm Water

Begin your cleaning routine by filling the bathtub with warm water, just enough to cover its base. Warm water helps loosen grime and makes the cleaning process smoother.

Step 2: Add White Vinegar to the Tub

Pour in two cups of white vinegar into the warm water. A staple in many kitchens, white vinegar acts as a gentle yet powerful cleaning agent. Its acidic nature breaks down the mineral deposits, soap residues, and even mild stains without being harsh on the acrylic surface.

Step 3: Gently Scrub the Tub with a Soft Cloth

With your soft cloth or sponge in hand, gently scrub the tub’s surface in circular motions. This motion ensures you’re reaching all the nooks and corners without putting too much pressure on one spot. Remember, the key is to be gentle and patient; vigorous scrubbing might give faster results but at the cost of tiny scratches on your tub.

Step 4: Rinse the Tub Thoroughly

After ensuring that all areas of the tub are clean, drain out the vinegar-water mixture. Give the tub a generous rinse with clean water to ensure that all residues, especially of vinegar, are washed away. This step is crucial for maintaining the glossy finish of your tub.

Removing Soap Scum from an Acrylic Bathtub

We all have been there – that cloudy, filmy layer of soap scum forming on the sides and base of the tub. While it might seem stubborn, with the right approach, it’s no match for your cleaning prowess!

Step 1: Create a Solution of Hot Water and White Vinegar

In a bowl or spray bottle, combine equal parts of hot water and white vinegar. The heat from the water intensifies the cleaning action of the vinegar, making it a formidable adversary to the persistent soap scum.

Step 2: Apply the Solution to the Soap Scum Areas of the Tub

Target the problem areas by generously spraying or sponging the vinegar solution onto the soap scum. Make sure you cover all the affected areas for maximum impact.

Step 3: Let Sit for 10-15 Minutes

Patience pays off here. Let the vinegar solution work its magic by allowing it to sit on the soap scum for about 10 to 15 minutes. This resting period helps in breaking down the scum, making it easier to wipe away.

Step 4: Use Abrasive Cleaners or Steel Wool as Needed

A word of caution: Using abrasive cleaners or steel wool is a strict no-no for acrylic bathtubs. These can easily leave scratches, robbing your tub of its beautiful finish. Instead, use your soft cloth or sponge and scrub gently. You’ll find that the soap scum comes off quite easily with the vinegar solution’s assistance.

Step 5: Rinse off Residue and Dry With a Soft Cloth

After the tub is free from soap scum, rinse it thoroughly. Follow up by drying the tub with a soft cloth. This prevents water spots and gives your bathtub that final touch of sparkle.


What should I do if I accidentally scratch my acrylic bathtub?

If you notice a minor scratch on your acrylic tub, you can gently buff it out using a soft cloth and a non-abrasive polishing compound designed for acrylic surfaces. Always test a small area first to ensure compatibility.

Can I use bleach on an acrylic bathtub?

While bleach is effective in cleaning, it’s harsh and can damage the acrylic surface. It’s best to stick with gentler cleaning agents like white vinegar.

Can I use essential oils in my acrylic bathtub for a relaxing bath?

Yes, you can use essential oils in your acrylic tub. However, it’s crucial to rinse the tub thoroughly after your bath to ensure no oily residue remains, which can lead to slippery surfaces and potential staining.

Is it safe to use a bath mat in an acrylic bathtub?

You can use a bath mat in an acrylic tub, but ensure the underside of the mat doesn’t have any abrasive textures that might scratch the tub. After each use, remove the mat to let both the mat and the tub dry thoroughly, preventing mold or mildew.

How can I remove hard water stains from my acrylic tub?

Hard water stains can be treated using a mixture of white vinegar and water. Apply the solution to the stains, let it sit for 10-15 minutes, and then gently scrub with a soft cloth. Rinse thoroughly afterward.


Acrylic bathtubs are a gem, offering both aesthetics and functionality. With regular care using gentle cleaning methods, the tubs can serve as a luxurious spot for relaxation for years to come. Happy soaking and cleaning!

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