Fiberglass is no stranger to the bathroom. The material has been around for over a hundred years and continues to be the go-to for showers. Thanks to its moldable nature, manufacturers can create shower basins and surrounds in virtually any style. Plus, it’s much more affordable than the alternatives.
Like any other bathroom surface, fiberglass showers will collect some pretty unsightly grime over time. No make matters worse, fiberglass is prone to scratching and color loss. Frequent cleaning is key if you want your shower to maintain its looks.
Luckily, the best fiberglass shower cleaner will help you get the job done in no time. These products can cut through the toughest stains and restore that glossy finish you love.
Common Fiberglass Shower Problems
Fiberglass is a pretty unique material. It’s a type of plastic that’s reinforced with tiny glass fibers. While the material is used in everything from boats to insulation, it’s a common sight in bathrooms. The material can be molded into virtually any shape, making it a popular choice for shell tubs and showers.
When it’s used to create shower pans and surrounds, the material is melted and poured into a gel-coated mold. The finished result is that waterproof finish you’re used to seeing.
Despite its resilience in watery places, fiberglass is actually quite porous. There’s only a thin layer of smooth gel protecting the exposed side from the porous one.
When compared to other materials, such as acrylic, tile, or porcelain, fiberglass isn’t the strongest substance out there. As a result, you’re going to have to take some special precautions to avoid damage. Here are some of the most common issues that homeowners face with their fiberglass showers.
Over time, fiberglass has a tendency to dull a bit. The gel-coating begins to develop tiny pits and crevices. The constant exposure to water causes the surface of the material to oxidize, which ultimately changes the way the light bounces off of it. Overall fading due to age is unavoidable. However, you can prolong the shine of the fiberglass with regular cleaning and drying.
Along with overall dulling, fiberglass can start to develop a yellow tinge. This is most often caused by mold or hard water. Hard water, in particular, has a noticeable effect on fiberglass. I wish I would have known that earlier, as it could have saved a lot of my bathroom fixtures.
A home water softener is always a good idea. That will automatically solve most staining issues and prevent future issues in the future. However, if that’s not an option, you can prevent staining by cleaning regularly. The problem with hard water is that it can cause more damage the longer it’s allowed to sit on the fiberglass.
Cracks can be caused by a couple of different issues. In most cases, they’re caused by accidentally dropping items. They might not seem like they would do a lot of damage, but you’d be surprised at what a heavy shampoo bottle can do!
Smaller scratches may be caused by stress on the fiberglass itself. Hard cleaners can dissolve some of the gel coating and the resin holding the fiberglass together. Strong chemical solvents are fully capable of affecting the finish of your shower, so stick with gentler alternatives.
Generally, fiberglass is a bit tougher than some other shower materials. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s immune to abrasive damage! Abrasive cleaners can mar up the surface of your shower. When you throw a harsh scrubbing pad or stiff-bristle brush into the mix, you’re bound to create some cosmetic issues. To be on the safe side, it’s best to use a mild abrasive cleaner.
Benefits of Using a Fiberglass Shower Cleaner
So, what’s so special about fiberglass shower cleaners anyways? Well, the biggest benefit they have to offer is efficiency. While you could go to your local grocery store and pick up some generic cleaner, it’s not going to be as effective as you need it to be. Those products are meant to serve the masses, so they’re formulated for basic stains.
They may appear to work initially. However, there’s a good chance that you’re going to have to put some elbow grease into it. Not only does this make your regular maintenance routine more cumbersome, but all that scrubbing could damage the fiberglass.
Fiberglass shower cleaners are specifically formulated to cut through things like mold, soap scum, and hard water stains. They’re very easy to use and can get the job done quickly. Plus, the formulas are all safe on the fiberglass. You can clean confidently knowing that your investment is being protected.
How to Choose the Right Cleaning Product
The key to picking the right fiberglass shower cleaner is to choose something gentle enough to not damage the material but powerful enough to get rid of common stains. Here are some things to consider during your search.
It’s always a good idea to take a peek at the ingredient list. The market is filled with heavy-duty cleaners these days. While it can be tempting to get the most powerful option out there, we recommend that you go with gentler alternatives. Steer clear of anything that has bleach or ammonia. Bleach can ruin the resin in the fiberglass. It’ll slowly dissolve that gel coating over time. Not only can it affect the smooth glossy finish of your shower, but it can lead to some structural issues, too.
Natural plant-based cleaners are a good option. They use ingredients like lemon and vinegar to take care of grime. The acidic nature of those ingredients can cut through messes with ease. Yet, they won’t affect the fiberglass like bleach will.
If you don’t want to spend your afternoon scrubbing your shower, you can use a scrub-free formula. Most scrub-free cleaning products incorporate oxygen into the mix when you spray. This helps to create a thick foam-like consistency. Why does this matter? Well, it ensures that the product can stick to your shower walls long enough to clean!
No one likes to deal with chemical fumes. Harsh cleaners can emit fumes that cause coughing, breathing problems, headaches, and a slew of other uncomfortable issues. Some manufacturers will try to mask those fumes with perfumes and powerful fragrances. However, they tend to do more harm than good.
A light and pleasant aroma is always preferred. You don’t want the cleaner to hide any strong smells. The goal is to create a fresh scent that stays contained within your bathroom.
Convenient Spray Bottle
Last, but not least, you need to be able to spray the cleaner onto your shower! Simple hand pumps are easiest. Though, some products use aerosol cans. Whatever the case may be, just make sure that the bottle is comfortable to use in the shower. You’re going to be cleaning vertical walls and a sloping shower floor, so the bottle needs to be operational in all angles.
5 of the Best Fiberglass Shower Cleaners
From Bio-Clean is this colorful multi-surface cleaner. This isn’t your average bathroom cleaner. It’s a heavy-duty product that can take care of pretty much anything. Whether you’re dealing with limescale, hard water stains, or even simple yellowing, the Bio-Clean cleaner has you covered.
While most cleaners require you to spray the solution on, this one works a bit differently. It’s a thicker substance that you must use to wipe the surface down. This can make things a bit more cumbersome for you as you clean, but the final results speak for themselves. You’re not just limited to the shower. You can also take care of metal fixtures, tiles, the toilet, and more.
The bright green cleaner has some very fine abrasives in it. This effectively scrubs away stains. Exercise a bit of caution with this product and don’t scrub too hard.
- Commercial-strength cleaner
- Environmentally friendly formula
- No harsh chemicals
- Can be used on multiple surfaces
- No stronge fumes
- Safe for fiberglass
- Fine abrasive texture
- Might cause small scratches on weak fiberglass
- Pricier solution
- Doesn’t come with spray nozzle
The Bucko Cleaner is a multipurpose cleaning product that can restore your shower to its former glory. Despite its appearance, this cleaner isn’t going to cause damage to your fiberglass shower. It doesn’t have any harsh abrasives or harmful solvents. In fact, the ingredients list is relatively short. Rather than a list of confusing chemical names, you have a handful of easy-to-understand ingredients that are safe for you and your home.
With all that said, the product is surprisingly efficient on common shower issues. It can cut through biofilm, soap scum, and even hard water stains without missing a beat. Thanks to the spray bottle, you can cover your entire shower with the solution and let it sit. The Bucko Cleaner is a no-scrub solution. Just leave it on for a few minutes to work its magic. Then, wipe it down and rinse.
- Multipurpose cleaner
- Non-toxic formula
- Light citrus scent
- Convenient spray bottle
- More expensive than other options
- Might not be powerful enough for tough stains
Scrubbing Bubbles is no stranger to making some great shower products. The Mega Shower Foamer product has a lot to offer in terms of simplicity. This is a scrub-free formula. So, all you have to do is apply the product to your shower floor and walls. The moment the solution touches the shower, it’ll start to foam up. This creates a thick texture that stays put.
The oxygenated mixture works to remove scum, grime, and dirt. Just let the foam sit on every surface of your shower for a couple of minutes. Then, you can just rinse or wipe it all away.
When it comes to smell, the cleaner is pleasant. There aren’t any major fumes to worry about. Once the job is done, the solution will leave behind a light and fresh scent.
- Scrub-free formula
- Thick foaming agent
- Wide spray pattern
- Light smell
- Doesn’t harm fiberglass
- Aerosol sprayer
- Must use a lot of product to clean efficiently
- High price tag
- May require some light scrubbing for tough stains
Looking for an eco-friendly product that you can use regularly? Check out this option from ECOS. It’s a plant-powered cleaner that takes advantage of tea tree oil and aloe vera. There aren’t any harsh chemicals or overpowering fumes. The cleaner does leave behind a natural scent, but it’s not going to cause the same ill effects as bleach or other toxic ingredients.
The cool thing about this cleaner is that it can provide some protection from soap scum. It’s not meant to be used as a periodic cleaning product. Instead, you’re supposed to use it every day. After every shower, spray the solution all over your shower walls and floors. Then, you’re done.
There’s no need to scrub or wipe the surfaces of the shower. The ingredients in the cleaner will work to remove grime and protect the fiberglass from future problems.
- Contains natural ingredients
- No dyes
- Scrub-free formula
- Provides protection from stains
- Easy to use
- Not going to clean serious stains
- Smell may be unpleasant for some
- Takes time to see results
We’re happy to say that the Bring It On Cleaner is just as tough as it sounds. This is a multipurpose cleaner that works on a wide range of materials, including fiberglass. It’s not like your normal water-based cleaner. It’s has a creamy texture that holds up well on the vertical sides of your shower.
To use the cleaner, you have to use a soft sponge or cloth to spread it on the fiberglass. As you let it sit, the bleach will work to remove stains.
Yes, you read that right. This cleaner has bleach. However, it uses oxygen bleach. Unlike traditional chlorine bleach, oxygen bleach is safe and non-abrasive. It doesn’t even leave behind harsh fumes. Instead, this cleaner has a light minty fragrance that smells fresh.
- Non-toxic formula
- Removes hard water stains in minutes
- Uses oxygen bleach
- Safe for fiberglass
- Thick paste-like consistency
- Min fragrance
- Requires light scrubbing
- No spray nozzle
Fiberglass showers have a bit of a bad reputation for not lasting that long. While it certainly isn’t as tough as some other materials out there, fiberglass is tough enough to last much longer than most people think. The problem is that not everyone is using the right cleaning products to maintain their showers correctly.
Any one of our recommended fiberglass shower cleaners will serve you better than a generic product. With that said, we have to give a special shoutout to the Bucko Cleaner. It’s the clear winner of this roundup for many reasons.
First, it’s very tough on stains without affecting the finish of your shower. Because it has no bleach or toxic materials, it’s completely safe to use. We also like the fact that this is a no-scrub cleaner that you can easily spray. The Bio-Clean and Bring It On cleaners do a great job of cleaning your shower. However, they require you to wipe and scrub. With the Bucko Cleaner, all you have to do is spray it in your shower and let it sit.
Ultimately, the Bucko Cleaner checks off all the boxes. It’s safe, non-toxic, and very easy to use. You can’t go wrong!