How to Clean a Really Dirty Plastic Bathtub

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Pesky, caked-on stains in your plastic bathtub got you down? It's downright impossible to enjoy a nice bath when you can see dirt, soap scum, and other types of stains in your tub, and if left unchecked, bacteria in your plastic bathtub can lead to health concerns. If you're dealing with a dirty tub, you've come to the right place. Here's how to clean a plastic bathtub using a few tried-and-true methods and ingredients.

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Know What Not to Do

Along with choosing the right type of bathtub for your home, it's crucial to know how to properly clean the type of tub you have or else you risk potentially making things worse. Cleaning a plastic bathtub is a different process than cleaning a porcelain or fiberglass tub. Most important, you should never use chemicals or abrasive materials on acrylic plastic. This will almost certainly cause scratches and other damage to your tub.

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Use the Proper Cleaning Products

So what products can and should be used on acrylic plastic? Technically, you can safely use lemon water, hand sanitizer, and dish soap (among other products) to remove hard dirt from your tub. That said, you'll want to try using baby shampoo and warm water first, as this is usually the most effective cleaning method:

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  1. Begin by wetting the bathtub and pouring a few drops of shampoo on a damp rag.
  2. Rub the surface of the tub as thoroughly as possible. Be sure to rinse the rag often to get rid of soap residue.
  3. Finish by rinsing the bathtub completely. You can repeat this process as often as needed until your tub is shiny and sparkling clean.

Remove Stains the Right Way

If you're tackling tough stains, it's important to have baking soda in your cleaning arsenal. Baking soda works wonders when it comes to lifting hard dirt and other stains from acrylic plastic. Scatter a small amount of baking soda all over the tub and let it sit for at least five minutes or more depending on the severity of the stains. Then use a damp rag to scrub away the baking soda and rinse the tub.

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Alternatively, for extra-stubborn stains, you can use a combination of warm water and vinegar to clean your tub. Simply fill the tub with equal parts water and vinegar and allow this solution to sit for at least 15 minutes. Drain the water and use a rag to get rid of any residue.

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