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My bathtub has a textured non-slip surface on the bottom, which is in the form of a fine grid of raised and lowered areas, forming thousands of tiny squares about 1mm on a side. So each square is a little indentation in which dirt and grime tends to accumulate, and you can't wipe it away with a sponge.

So far the only way I have found to clean it is to spray it with a cleaning product (currently using Scrubbing Bubbles Shower Foamer) and then scrub it hard with a very stiff brush. It seems that the spray softens the dirt a little, and the brush bristles eventually dig into the indentations to scrape it out. But this is quite laborious - you have to scrub quite vigorously for a while in the same place to get it clean. I can only keep this up for about 5 minutes before my wrists start to hurt and I have to quit, and at the end of that time I've cleaned an area perhaps 10 cm on a side. At this rate it will take days.

There must be a better way. I'm open to chemical or mechanical suggestions, or any combination thereof.

I am not exactly sure of the material of which the tub is made - it's some sort of plastic or acrylic, or possibly fiberglass. It is definitely not porcelain, stone or enameled metal. Since I rent, I am not in a position to replace the tub with something more practical.

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You need a limescale remover, but you need to select one that won't harm the surface - something like Limelite (available as a gel, spray or liquid) should do it if its available where you are (see link below), but there are others available. Apply and wait the requisite time, then try rinsing or wiping off some to see if its done the job - if not, leave it for longer. So long as its one that's suitable for plastic or acrylic, it won't cause damage even if you leave it 3 times as long. I know, I've done it...

http://www.lime-lite.co.uk/products.php?id=3

  • Hmm. I don't actually have lime scale, but I guess this product is also effective against regular dirt / grime? So the idea is that this chemical will dissolve the dirt and then I can just rinse it away? – Nate Eldredge Sep 7 '15 at 19:55
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    Yea, limescale remover makes a great cleaner, but just try it and see if it works - sometimes you're not aware there's scale, its not particularly visible, just seems like hard-to-shift grime... – Bamboo Sep 8 '15 at 9:26
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An oscillating brush will work a lot better than a rotary brush to get into tiny indentations. I'd suggest an electric toothbrush as an experiment (obviously, use a head you won't use in your mouth again); if that works well, you may be able to find a brush attachment for a "multi-tool" oscillating head (a cordless type is safer, though a corded tool is okay if you have a GFCI -- Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter -- to connect it to mains power).

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I'd say your best bet would be to find a product containing potassium hydroxide (normally used in oven cleaners and fat removers). I'm using a concentrate called "Concentryl" which I dilute und put in a sprayer. You can use it on just about anything except aluminium. Let it work a couple of minutes and then lightly brush and wash off. Should be a doddle, to get the tub clean!

(Only work with rubber gloves as the product is acidic)

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    Potassium Hydroxide is strongly alkaline, not acidic. – Chenmunka Nov 30 '15 at 15:18
  • I'm really sorry, it is of course strongly alkaline. But the way it works is how I described. It'll do the job anyhow. – Rista Dec 1 '15 at 21:59
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Apply the Scrubbing Bubbles Shower Foamer, then use something like this to scrub the tub.

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Whitening Toothpaste will do the trick quickly and without much work. Can also be used on clothing instead of bleach to get stains out.

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The build-up on a composite tub is often body oils and dirt. In my experience, what worked best was a cleanser like Comet with bleach, Simple Green cleaning solution and a very stiff nylon brush.

Sprinkle the cleanser on the wet tub surface. Add a few tablespoons of the liquid Simple Green. Scrub until you have remove all the dirt trapped in the patterned floor. Rinse, repeat.

Once you have FULLY removed trapped dirt and oils, the surface will be easy to keep clean. A weekly cleaning with a few sprinkles of cleanser and a sponge, will keep the build-up from happening. I think the “scrubbing bubbles” are pretty ineffective unless your using it daily.

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