How to Restore Shine to Plastic Bathtubs and Shower Enclosures

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You can restore your plastic bathtub.
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Plastic is a popular material for bathtubs and shower enclosures as it's known for being durable, making it ideal for daily use. But over time, plastic bathtubs and shower enclosures can start to look dull and dirty. This makes them feel rather uninviting and can give your entire bathroom an old, worn-out vibe. Luckily, there are several methods to restore shine to plastic bathroom units at home.


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Deep Cleaning Tubs and Showers

The first step in restoring plastic bathtubs and shower enclosures has to be a deep clean. Using a good bathroom cleaner and a soft cloth with warm water is the best way to remove the bulk of your bathtub's dirt and grime. Although it can be tempting to use an abrasive scrubber, Delta Faucet explains that they can cause lasting damage to the plastic. These scuff marks are difficult to repair and could end up making your bathroom look even dirtier.

This sort of deep clean may not go far enough in terms of restoring shine to an older plastic tub or shower, but it should be the first step anyway as it's important to thoroughly remove dirt before going in with other solutions.


After you've used your usual bathroom cleaner on your plastic tub, you may wish to do a second cleanse using white vinegar. Overstock recommends mixing a solution of equal parts vinegar and water and using a spray bottle to apply it all over your plastic bathroom fitting. Vinegar may take time to cut through grease, so it can be left for several minutes before being wiped away.

Removing Limescale From Plastic

Once you're satisfied your tub is as clean as possible, you can work on removing mineral buildup, which masks shine. Limescale and other mineral deposits can grip onto your plastic tub or shower and cause it to look dingy and dull. Luckily, this too is a problem that can be tackled with simple white vinegar.


Victorian Plumbing recommends mixing 100 ml of vinegar with 30 ml of lemon juice and half a cup of baking soda to form a paste. Apply this paste to the affected areas of your tub or shower enclosure and then leave it for around an hour to really work at the limescale. After it has dried, use an old toothbrush and some warm water to gently scrub this mixture (and the limescale) away.

Plastic Bathtub and Shower Maintenance

After you've removed any grime and mineral deposits from your tub, you should have it looking shiny and new. The key to keeping it that way is through daily shower maintenance. ​Good Housekeeping​ recommends using something like Tilex Shower Spray daily to help keep your tub looking shiny and prevent any buildup of soap scum or mineral deposits. Removing any suds and dirt before they have a chance to set on the plastic will make them far easier to get rid of.


By staying on top of your cleaning regimen, you can prolong the time in between deep cleans too. You can also use a more intense cleaner like a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on any areas where you begin to see buildup. Keeping your bathtub or shower looking clean and shiny should mean you don't need to worry about restoring it nearly as often.