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Old 04-14-2003, 10:13 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 4,238
Cleaning a plastic shower surround

We have one of these in our bathroom. I cannot get the damn thing clean! I've tried every bathroom cleaner under the sun, it seems, and I've also applied liberal amounts of elbow grease with the scrub brush. There are still dirty dingy spots, particularly on the floor. Is there anything short of sandblasting or installing a new one that will finally make the thing clean?
Old 04-14-2003, 11:24 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 772
Is it possible that you have scrubbed it so hard that the dirt is embedded in scratches? try flooding it with chlorine bleach.
Old 04-14-2003, 01:09 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 4,238
I'm not sure what's wrong - I have tried pouring bleach on the floor of it and leaving it, but it doesn't do a thing.
Old 04-14-2003, 09:43 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: on the right side
Posts: 562
I used something called "Bar Keepers Friend" and it worked great, but you do have to apply the old elbow grease. It claims to work on stainless steel, porcelain, fiberglass, glass cooktops, copper, tile, and brass. I've only used it on my fiberglass tub surround, though.
Old 04-15-2003, 08:27 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 6
You have most likely scoured hard enough to create a network of scratches that will not release the dirt that's been ground into them. Fiberglass cannot be scrubbed the same way porcelain coated steel or iron can be scrubbed, and still retain a smooth and clean surface. You may be in the market for a new surround. If you do buy a new surround, do not use abrasive cleansers on it. There are a few good maintenance type cleaners that you spray on the surfaces every day when stepping out of the shower. There is another cleaner called 'Gel Gloss' that is formulated specifically for fiberglass and vinyl that does a great job of cleaning/shining a non porcelain finish.
Old 04-15-2003, 11:16 AM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Santa Cruz, CA.
Posts: 874
The protective gloss layer of the plastic may have been scrubbed off at this point. You might try Tile-X. This is a grout whitener that is essentially bleach but stronger than the household laundry version. I always and only use Bon Ami as an abrasive. This stuff will not scratch fiberglass and is even safe to use on glass. Only use it with a brush, sponge or rag. Those green scouring pads will scratch most any surface and remove the protective layer.
Old 04-15-2003, 11:37 AM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Scranton PA
Posts: 6,478
This won't help you clean it, but it may help once you get it clean. Keep a squeegee in the shower, and squeegee the walls after your shower. It only takes a couple of seconds. This will keep the walls dry, and stop mildew and such from growing. My grandparents did this in their shower, and the 30+ year old shower stall still looks brand new.
Old 04-15-2003, 01:39 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: nearby
Posts: 1,480
Never underestimate the power of vinegar! Once you get it clean, you can keep a spray bottle of vinegar and water in there and just spritz a little around after every shower.

Additionally, you might try a boat store. Stuff that will clean white fiberglass boats will certainly do a shower stall, although you might suffer from the lack of ventilation while cleaning.
Old 10-20-2013, 11:41 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1

Just finished 2 hours cleaning of shower surround. The floor especially, was filthy and nothing would clean it.

I used straight white vinegar poured directly on the stains. Then I used new toothbrushes to scrub in the vinegar. Then I used that daily spray shower anti mildew/soap stain stuff to scrub in the combo vinegar/shower stuff.

I know you're not supposed to mix cleaners and I kept expecting to keel over or have a 2 headed monster climb through the drain. Luckily nothing happened!

Anyway, after 2 hours of hard scrubbing with toothbrushes and a sponge the shower surround looks like new!
Old 10-20-2013, 12:15 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,824
Oh, a little late, but a toilet brush or a similar (although smaller) brush for dishes is much easier then toothbrushes.
I'm not guaranteeing against scratches and of course keep them separate from brushes used for their original purpose because: yuck.
Old 10-20-2013, 12:19 PM
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: I'm right here!
Posts: 8,858
Originally Posted by Casey1505 View Post
This won't help you clean it, but it may help once you get it clean. Keep a squeegee in the shower, and squeegee the walls after your shower. It only takes a couple of seconds. This will keep the walls dry, and stop mildew and such from growing. My grandparents did this in their shower, and the 30+ year old shower stall still looks brand new.
Ten-year-old advice still looks brand new!

We do this, and it's surprising how much water comes off the walls. The shower dries out much faster.
Old 10-22-2013, 10:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 287
The floor in my shower has a pebbled surface and I have cleaned it with a Magic Eraser and some elbow grease. It looked great after cleaning but now a year or so later I have to do it again.
Old 10-22-2013, 02:49 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: San Francisco area
Posts: 16,182
I haven't run into much that ZEP Tub Tile and Shower (or is it Tile Tub and Shower?) cleaner can't knock out. It's sold at Home Depot, and does a good job of getting through soap scum. It's much stronger and a lot cheaper than what's sold at the grocery store - you'll want some good ventilation.

As suggested on the bottle, spray and let sit for a minute or so, scrub and rinse. If your shower is truly foul, it will take a couple cycles, but unless there's something like rust stains involved, this stuff should get you back down to white fiberglass.
Old 10-22-2013, 05:23 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,047
I'd like to add some tips to keep the shower from keeping moldy/mildewy
1. Make sure the exhaust fan is on before and after the shower (30 min is best, but do what you can)
2. Spray shower with Tile-X or variant after the shower
3. Put a suction cup hook on the shower wall in the middle, halfway up. When you finish your shower, hang the hem of the inside shower curtain on the hook. This allows air to circulate, and keeps the inside curtain from getting moldy (it dries faster and there's nothing blocking air circulation from the tub)
5. If you have an outer shower curtain, wash it occasionally. This won't help the shower, but really, it needs to get cleaned and so many people don't do it.

Last edited by Marion_Wormer; 10-22-2013 at 05:24 PM.
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