No matter how much you clean your bathroom, hard water stains and soap scum can make your tub look unsightly. You may be tempted to whip out harsh chemicals or use your elbow grease, but when it comes to removing soap scum on an acrylic tub, nonabrasive methods are key. It's tempting to use commercial cleaners, but the winning ingredients are natural alkaline products.
Dish Soap and Vinegar
If you have soap scum on your acrylic tub, mix 1 part Dawn liquid dish soap with 3 parts white vinegar. Soak paper towels in this solution and apply the paper towels right over the soap scum. Let the paper towels sit for no more than 20 minutes, and if the towels dry out, rewet them with the solution.
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If you're in a rush or don't want to waste paper towels, you can spray the solution onto the surface. Let the solution dry and then rinse the area clean.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
Other ingredients you can use to remove soap scum from an acrylic tub are baking soda and white vinegar. Mix equal parts baking soda and vinegar until they form a paste and apply the paste to the areas with soap scum. Let the mixture sit for no longer than 20 minutes.
If the soap scum isn't coming off, though, you can let it sit overnight. When you're ready, wipe up the mixture with a soft sponge and rinse everything off.
Preventing Future Soap Scum
Prevention is important when it comes to soap scum. To prevent soap scum, stay away from bar soaps and liquid shower gels with paraffin because paraffin produces soap scum. If you love to take baths, add 4 to 5 cups of white vinegar to your tub from time to time. Fill your tub with warm water and let the vinegar and water sit in the tub for 20 minutes or longer.
Empty the bathtub and make sure to give it a good rinse afterward. If you don't have time to conjure up a cleaning mix, you can lightly scrub your tub with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
Extra-Cleaning Acrylic Tub Tips
When cleaning acrylic tubs, it's always best to use nonabrasive cleaning ingredients and microfiber cleaning cloths. Stay away from abrasive scrubbing pads and steel or wool sponges because they can damage the acrylic material on your tub. If you ever use clog removers in your bathtub, make sure that you thoroughly rinse the product down the drain.
When introducing new products to your tub, always test them out in an inconspicuous area. If you use harsh cleaners on your tub, they could cause cracks and long-term damage. Always check the labels on cleaning products and stay away from those that say they're not suitable to use on acrylic, ABS, polystyrene or plastic.
Never use solvents, such as turpentine, lacquer thinner, paint thinner and acetone, on your acrylic tub. Other products you should stay away from are Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner, Scrubbing Bubbles, Tilex Bathroom Cleaner and any other products that can damage plastics.
Nonabrasive cleaners you can use are any type of dishwashing detergents; CLR Bath & Kitchen Cleaner; Formula 409 All-Purpose Cleaner; Fantastik Multi-Purpose; Scrub Free Bathroom Cleaner; Windex Blue; Clorox Bleach; Glass Plus Glass Cleaner and Spic and Span Powder.