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How can stains on fiberglass tubs be removed?

there are stains caused by a water well on the fiberglass tubs in a rental home that my son is renovating. Do any of you know how we can clean them?

18 comments
  • Woodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.com
    Woodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.com Colonia, NJ
    on Jul 13, 2012

    This has been a fairly frequent question here in HT. Fiberglass tubs and shower surrounds tend to scratch easy with abrasive cleaners. The result is the gel coating which provides the shiny and surface and makes it easy to clean gets damaged from the abrasives. When the gel coating fails it allows the soils and soap scum to get into the more porous surfaces that the gel coat is supposed to protect. Over time these micro scratches catch dirt, and water hardness resulting in a dingy color on the surface. The issue is the only way to remove this is to re-surface the tub/shower area. Using abrasive cleaners will do little to clean and will only make the issue worse. Chemicals such as bleach may lighten up the stains, but will not remove them completely. Some people have had luck using CLR water hardness cleaner, still others used Fume Free oven cleaner. The biggest thing is you need to let the chemicals sit for an hour or two to let hem do their job.

  • Becky
    Becky Madisonville, LA
    on Jul 14, 2012

    Thank u so much woodbridge for your suggestions. The act of sale is the middle of Aug so I'll try your tips then & let u know if either works.

  • Pam B
    Pam B Binghamton, NY
    on Jul 15, 2012

    I just tried this the other day and it works great! Put 1 c. of white vinegar in a bowl and heat it for 2 mins. in the microwave. Carefully pour into a spray bottle. Then add 1 c. Dawn dish soap. Spray on to area to be cleaned and let it sit for 2 hours. Rub with a cloth or gentle sponge and they'll look brand new. I have tried many things over the past 7 years to remove the stains and my shower was pretty badly stained by hard water, so it took a couple of times to clean it, but it looks brand new now!

  • Dee W
    Dee W Rock Creek, OH
    on Jul 16, 2012

    Pam, I'd like to try this but wondered if you can save and re-heat what you do not use?

  • Pam
    Pam Alexandria, LA
    on Jul 16, 2012

    Reheat in microwave.

  • Dee W
    Dee W Rock Creek, OH
    on Jul 16, 2012

    Thank-you for your quick response.

  • Shari
    Shari Tampa, FL
    on Sep 15, 2012

    Since this question is a couple months old, you may have already solved the problem but in the event you haven't, I would like to add that I found Mr. Clean Magic Sponges did a remarkable job of removing those brownish well water stains from a fiberglass tub. It does take some elbow grease (and maybe a couple sponges), but I eventually got the stains off. Also, Walmart has their own brand of the magic sponges and I think they work just as well as the more expensive Mr. Clean brand.

  • Sherrie
    Sherrie Nixa, MO
    on Sep 18, 2012

    Shari is right. And so is Woolridge. They are iron stains from the well water. I like the idea also of heating the vinegar and some dawn dish soap and use a magic easer to scrub it.

  • Dianna
    Dianna Fort Gay, WV
    on Jan 26, 2013

    These are a little old, but I have tried all these, none take the stains completely off mine. I have city water, but my mother had well water that had iron in it and she used snow bowl when it would get too bad, took every bit of the stains off. I tried that on mine, but didn't work. My stains are like from the outside in.The tub feels smooth, cleans good with the vinegar and dawn mixture but still has the stains in places.

  • Rachel Z
    Rachel Z Shippenville, PA
    on Jan 28, 2013

    Nothing has worked on mine except comet...it was a last resort. Worked perfectly.

  • Jessica Parker
    Jessica Parker Atchison, KS
    on Jan 3, 2015

    Cut a fresh lemon. Spinkly baking soda on the lemon and use the lemon lime a sponge and squeeze and use the juice and baking soda. I just sprinkling the baking soda on the lemon and keep scrubbing. Then use hot wet rag to rinse. Great for soapscum. I also take green tea baths and the tea leaves the tub brown and this works great even if the tea has been on the tub for a while.

  • Sherrie
    Sherrie Nixa, MO
    on Jan 4, 2015

    When we go into rentals with this problem we use two things. The Works, toilet bowl cleaner. We run a little water spray it on with a old spray nosel and turn in the fan and leave the room, don't get it on facets it will arc them or spot them. I carry a bottle for every rental I go in we also carry brushes to scrub. We leave it set for 30 minutes and then clean it, doesn't get it off reapply. No it is not natural and it is harsh cleaning. It isn't for everyday cleaning either. But it will work. I go into 2 to 3 rentals a day that are trashed beyond belief and regular cleaning doesn't touch it, the other thing we also use on tubs like this is oven cleaner. It is a non aerosol, we purchase it at Sam's in a three pack. It will remove heavy grease and other amazing things. We wear gloves that solvents can't penetrate And k chemical masks. Or your hands we peel the mask is because we are spraying the cleaners like crazy.

    • Judy Richards
      Judy Richards Middleburgh, NY
      on Feb 26, 2015

      @ @Sherrie I also use "The Works" around here only found at The Dollar General...I have hard well water and it leaves the brown stains EVERYwhere: shower, sink, washer!

  • Sherrie
    Sherrie Nixa, MO
    on Feb 26, 2015

    There is also a product called Supper Iron Out.

  • Gail
    Gail Irving, TX
    on Jun 11, 2015

    At Lows or Home Depot or any store like that get some Muriatic Acid comes in a gallon plastic jug wipe it on and rinse with soap and water do not use on metal but you can rinse it fast with soap and water like in the bathtub or sink but do not use in the washer unless you can rinse it fast, wipe on wash off it is not an all purpose cleaner.

  • Josephine Howland
    Josephine Howland Conway, NH
    on Jun 28, 2015

    I have tried so many things to get the orange iron stains out of my tub/shower, the only thing that at least lightened them was TSP from HD or Lowes.

    • Pat
      Pat Euless, TX
      on Jun 29, 2015

      @Shari Yes, they tell me it is fiberglass. I've never had a tub or shower that I couldn't clean to look like new. :( Just so frustrating!

  • Sherrie
    Sherrie Nixa, MO
    on Sep 26, 2015

    It is a great cleaner! Some bathrooms I go into haven't been cleaned in years!

  • Sherrie
    Sherrie Nixa, MO
    on Feb 23, 2016

    Judy I use to live in the country and we were on a well also. I didn't know about it then but sometimes you use what you have to for a clean house!

  • Rtc
    Rtc Piedmont, SC
    on Feb 26, 2016

    I use Weiman Tub and Tile Cleaner. This stuff is great@

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