How to Make a Dull Bathtub Shine Again

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Maintaining your bathroom means to clean every surface, and make sure everything is in tip top condition. What better luxury can you find in a bathroom than a clean, shiny acrylic tub? A shiny bathtub looks great in your bathroom, but when the bathtub starts to look dull, it sticks out like a sore thumb in your otherwise pristine powder room. 

Do you frequently use the bathroom, or do you seldom have time to let yourself have a nice, aromatic soak? Either way, your acrylic tub needs upkeep every now and then. In this guide, we’ll show you how to bring back the shine to that dull acrylic bathtub using a homemade cleaning solution:

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What Causes a Dull Bathtub?

Bathtubs are not low-maintenance fixtures - they require frequent cleaning along with the rest of your bathroom. Porcelain and acrylic tubs, with their shiny finish, are often subjected to soap residue, mineral stains, and general dust; so clearing away these particles is essential in making your dull acrylic bathtub shine again.

General Grime and Dust

Haven’t used your bathtub in a while? Dust accumulation can make any surface look grey and seem dull. An easy enough fix is to wipe the surface clean with a damp cloth, but wiping improperly would just spread the dust around. 


If you’re fond of those exfoliating body scrubs, you may be scratching the surface of your acrylic or porcelain bathtub. These small scratches accumulate over time, and clumps of them can make your bathtub get that matte, dull feel. You’ll need to polish and add a protective layer to your bathtub when it’s scratched up to prevent further damage.

Soap Scum

One of the biggest causes for bathroom surface dullness is soap scum, and the bathtub is basically a giant catch basin for soap residue. Those lush, colourful bath bombs that you love putting in your bath leaves a lot of soap residue, and as do those bath gels. 

Hard Water Stains

Even when you’re rinsing, cleaning, and wiping away all the dirt, you’ll find stains from hard water minerals on your acrylic bathtub. Mineral stains are tricky to get rid of, as they can always come back whenever your bathtub gets in touch with water.

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How to Make your Dull Bathtub Shine Again: Best Methods and Tips

Since dull bathtubs are often caused by leftover particles and small scratches that give off a cloudy appearance, simply removing these particles can make your dull acrylic bathtub look new! All you’ll need are a few household solutions, and you might already have some of these in your pantry. 

For professional cleaning, our cleaners at Luce Home use top quality cleaning products tailored to the material and grime of our clients’ homes. For home cleaning, however, you can use ingredients such as lemons, vinegar, or whatever you have on hand. Here are a couple of cleaning solutions that you can use at home:

Salt and Lemon Juice

One of our favourite DIY cleaning hacks here at Luce Home is the salt and lemon scrub. It is a safe, powerful cleaning combo that leaves a fresh scent, and is generally accessible to most households. 

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Little known fact that baking soda makes a terrific buffer. Add vinegar to the mix and you can say goodbye to the dust, soap residue, and mineral stains that are making your bathtub look dull. Good for both porcelain and acrylic bathtubs, a baking soda and vinegar solution safely polishes the surface without scratching.

Create a thin paste out of the two ingredients, and apply a generous amount all over your bathtub. Use a soft and clean cloth to rub the paste in light, gentle, circular motions to avoid scratching the surface. Keep scrubbing until you can see some shine, then wipe the paste away. 

Castile Soap

It may be hard to believe that soap can get rid of soap residue, but it makes sense since the residual particles left over from bar soap easily dissolves in a mild soap solution. Castile soap is your best bet, as it clears away the scum without leaving soap marks of its own. 

Mix together 6 tablespoons of castile soap into a liter of water, and place the solution in a spray bottle. Spray down your acrylic bathtub with the soap solution, and use a soft scrub brush to gently lift the dullness away. Rinse your tub with some warm water, and wipe clean with a microfiber cloth. 

Car Wax

Car wax was meant to get your cars clean, shiny, and scratch-free; but it also works on porcelain and acrylic bathtubs! Simply apply the car wax onto your porcelain or acrylic bathtub like you would on your car, and work the wax in to remove the scratch marks that are making your bathtub look dull.

Oven Cleaner

Both ovens and bathtubs need gentle polishing, and oven cleaners can be used to polish the surface of both! Oven cleaners typically have microscopic, gentle abrasives that can make any surface shiny again. Apply the oven cleaner onto your bathtub and rub with a cloth or sponge until the soap residue is gone, and the surface feels smooth. Rinse and wipe dry. 

Fine Grit Sandpaper

With a heavily-scratched bathtub, you may have to resort to buffing out the scratches with the finest grit sandpaper you can find. We recommend letting an experienced renovator do this, but you can try your hand at removing those scratches by buffing in gentle, circular motions.

When you’re satisfied with your polishing, apply a new layer of varnish, wax, or protective coating to cover the exposed surface you just buffed. Make sure you wipe clean the residue, and that your bathtub is dry before you apply varnish.

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How to Keep Your Bathtub Looking Clean and Shiny

With the right tools, a bit of elbow grease, and some time, you can bring the shine back to your entire tub. Avoid using abrasive tools as these may scratch and damage your tub further. The ultimate way to keep your bathtub shiny is to do frequent cleaning.

However, we understand that not everybody has the time or patience to tackle that cleaning task, and Luce Home is here to provide you with top-notch cleaning services that will surely get your home clean from top to bottom!

Check out our blog for more cleaning tips, or check out our website for a full list of services we offer.

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