Help cleaning acrylic bathtub

We have a deep soaking bathtub that is only used by me. I am frustrated by all my efforts to keep it "squeaky clean". Have used both creamy soft scrub cleaners as well as liquid and foamy cleaners. I've used a lot of different scrubbers: nylon sponges, Dobie pads, magic erasers, and gently with steel wool. Steel wool and straight ammonia gave the best results but after two baths I again see filmy residue along the sides. I don't usually use any specially oily or creamy bathing products or liquid soaps. Our water is very soft. I was used to a porcelain cast iron tub that the whole family used and only required cleaning a few times a week. Any suggestions for keeping the acrylic slick and shiny?
  13 answers
  • Kimberly Saxton Scruggs Kimberly Saxton Scruggs on May 12, 2015
    Check with a home improvement store. There are now products out there that clean vinyl patio furniture....maybe that will work or, call the manufacturer or company that sells your type of tub. I would NEVER use any kind of steel wool on acrylic, no matter what the grade. Have you ever considered white vinegar?
    • Mae Beech Mae Beech on May 12, 2015
      @Kimberly Saxton Scruggs I had a tub that was discolored. I filled the tub with hot water and a half box of oxiclean and let it soak several hours, it came out looking pretty good. this was in a rental of ours. maybe?
  • Joan Gondeck Joan Gondeck on May 12, 2015
    You may have already ruined the finish. I had my old tub refinished by Miracle Method. The only thing I clean my tub with now is 409 (no scrubbing needed. Good Luck!
  • K williams K williams on May 12, 2015
    If you have not ruined the finish go to a boating supply store and get some Maguires boat cleaner and polish. It is made for fiberglass and should do the trick. If it can clean river and lake scum it definitely should take care of soap scrum. I also clean my tub with shampoo each time I get out and it stays shiny white. Hope this works for you!
  • Maxine Waller Maxine Waller on May 13, 2015
    50/50 blue Dawn dish soap and vinegar in a spray bottle that will stand in the microwave. Heat for 30 seconds and after closing the tub drain, spray tub generously. Let sit for an hour and come back and wash down the tub. It should look shiny and the dirty rings should be gone.
  • K Jones K Jones on May 17, 2015
    Pool supply stores carry a cleaner for vinyl that works quite well on the tub. I normally get the tile cleaner as it's stronger. It's pretty much wipe on, wash off. There are also cleaners for spas. You may possibly have some algae build up in your lines adding to the problem. BioGuard products worked well for me. I'm sure other brands will work well too.
  • Debra C. Rollins Debra C. Rollins on Jun 02, 2015
    Thanks: The combo of heated Dawn and vinegar did the job. I've gone from a rime of film every other day to once a week cleaning. Waiting about an hour before rubbing it down with a washcloth mattered too. Very happy camper here!
  • Kim Kim on Jan 23, 2017

    The only product I use on my tub and sinks is barkeepers secret, it comes in both liquid and powder..I use'll be amazed at how clean and shiny it daughter's boyfriend worked with blacktop aka tar and used to get it in her tub..of course she called Mom on how to clean it...was amazed at how clean it came out, and with little only trick is make sure to use a white cleaning cloth any other color will bleed...wishing you happy bathtub cleaning...

  • Debra C. Rollins Debra C. Rollins on Jan 23, 2017

    Thanks. I'll try it. The heated and Dawn/Vinegar did work. But it would be nice to have something on hand!

  • Kim Kim on Jan 25, 2017

    Oops it's Barkeepers Friend not secret..sorry for the mix up

  • Trish Trish on Jul 27, 2017

    Hark! So glad to know about the 50/50 Dawn and white vinegar AND Barkeeper's Friend - thanks so much!!!

  • Steel wool will scratch the acrylic. Use a combination of vinegar and Blue Dawn in a spray bottle. It will cut through the soap scum build-up.

  • Betsy Betsy on Jan 14, 2024

    Hi Debra: Barkeepers Friend or Bon Ami are both good cleaners, as is the Blue Dawn spray and vinegar.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jan 15, 2024

    You have to Clean the bath around every time you use it with a drop of Shampoo on a cloth around the water line. Rinse with clean water and buff dry! That is the only way! I've done this with every bath in every home I have owned and got my family to do likewise. I never go into a bathroom and see a dirty bath and what's more my guests don't see one either!