How to Fix Stained Acrylic Tubs and Shower Pans

Dear Home Ec 101

How do I get rid of the dirt and grime stains on the bottom of acrylic bathtubs? Same for the acrylic floors of most stand-up showers? I have tried cleaners and bleach to no avail.

Thanks!

Signed,
Scratched in Screven
Heather says:

Surfaces such as acrylic while fairly inexpensive when compared with other building materials are relatively easy to scratch which is why you now have the dirt and grime stains.

What you’re seeing is the result of tiny, tiny scratches trapping particles of dirt. These tiny scratches are generally caused through normal wear and tear -remember nothing ever stays new-in-box quality, once it’s actually being used- and improper cleaning techniques or chemicals.

Since you already have these fine scratches and bad staining, trying to clean this is like shutting the barn door after the horses are gone. The damage has been done and even if you manage to clean the shower, it will be dirty the moment someone steps in with dirty feet.

It’s time to refinish your shower pan and acrylic tub. Thankfully refinishing is an option as it is much cheaper than replacing a shower pan, especially if there is a tile surround in good condition.

Here’s a video that thoroughly explains the acrylic refinishing process (I am not affiliated with this product / company I just found it to be a good overview of exactly is involved with an acrylic refinishing project:

Now that you know what needs to be done to make your acrylic tub and shower pan look new, you have a few choices:

  • you can live with the stains for a while longer
  • you can slave over the frustrating process of trying to keep it looking nice (obnoxious at best, exhausting, too)
  • you can do the refinishing yourself with equipment from your local hardware store
  • you can hire someone else to refinish your shower and tub

If you do decide to go the refinishing route, be sure to only use the proper cleaners in the future. This means NEVER USING ABRASIVE CLEANSERS like Comet on acrylic.

Got that?

Never.

It’s nearly time for me to undertake this project in my upstairs shower, but I am currently living with option number one. I know the shower pan doesn’t look great, but there are other more pressing household repairs at the moment (water damage from a clogged gutter -this is why you need to clean them out every once in a while)

I’m sorry I don’t have a quick and easy solution for you, but the damage to your shower pan has already been done.

Good luck!

Submit your questions to helpme@home-ec101.com.

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