A dirty tub is unappealing and potentially unhealthy, but grimy soap and hard-water scum are difficult to remove. Although you can use S.O.S. steel wool pads to clean your tub's glass doors and ceramic-tile surround, steel wool may scratch the tub itself. Unless your tub's manufacturer recommends otherwise, use a nonabrasive nylon pad, such as the S.O.S. Tuffy Dishwashing Pad, to safely clean your fiberglass, acrylic or porcelain-enamel tub.
Cleaning a Fiberglass or Acrylic Tub
Use a nylon pad to work an acrylic- or fiberglass-gelcoat-safe cleaning solution, such as vinegar and water or an all-purpose cleaner, into the soil. For tough stains, mix baking soda with water or hydrogen peroxide to form a paste, then rub the paste into the soiled area. Let the paste sit for up to an hour before rubbing again and washing it away.
Cleaning a Porcelain Enamel Tub
The Porcelain Enamel Institute recommends using white vinegar and water with a nylon pad for scouring away hard-water stains. A tablespoon of trisodium phosphate mixed into a gallon of water, or ammonia diluted with warm water, removes thick soap scum. Rinse the tub well after you clean it.