Last Updated on March 2, 2023
Have you ever noticed scaly adhesive on your fiberglass tub & wondered how to get rid of it efficiently and effectively? While it can be tempting to reach for harsh chemicals, there are gentler and safer ways of removing adhesive from your fiberglass tub.
There are several methods for removing adhesive from a fiberglass tub, including vinegar, heat with a hairdryer, alcohol, and specific products like Goo Gone. With these tips and tricks, you’ll get the job done with minimal hassle, whether trying to remove residue from stickers, tape, or rubber mats.
We’ll also cover some common adhesive types and the best products and methods to remove them from fiberglass. Additionally, we’ll tell you how to prevent future adhesive buildup. So read on for everything you need to know about getting rid of adhesive from a fiberglass tub.
How to Remove Adhesive From Fiberglass Tub: 4 Methods
Removing sticky adhesive from a fiberglass tub can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. If you’re looking for an effective and efficient way to get that pesky adhesive off your tub, here are some ways:
Method 1: Applying Vinegar
Vinegar is a great natural cleaner, and it works wonders in getting rid of pesky adhesives. To remove adhesive from your fiberglass tub with vinegar, simply follow these steps:
STEP 1. Heat Vinegar in the Microwave
To remove adhesive from fiberglass, start by heating vinegar in the microwave. You’ll want to heat the vinegar until it’s hot but not to boil. Once the vinegar is heated, carefully pour it over the adhesive you want to remove. Be sure to pour slowly, so you don’t damage the fiberglass beneath the adhesive.
STEP 2. Coat the Adhesive With Hot Vinegar
Once you’ve poured the hot vinegar over the adhesive, use a brush or other tool to coat the adhesive thoroughly. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies so that no adhesive is left behind. Let the vinegar sit on the adhesive for a few minutes to soften and break down the bond.
STEP 3. Let the Vinegar Set
After you’ve coated the adhesive with hot vinegar, give it a minute or two to do its thing. During this time, the adhesive starts to bubble and loosen from the fiberglass surface. Once it’s loosened, you can proceed to the next step.
STEP 4. Wipe the Excess Vinegar Away
Once the adhesive has loosened, use a cloth or paper towel to wipe away any excess vinegar. You might need a little elbow grease to remove all of the residues, but eventually, it should come off quickly. If any stubborn residue remains, you can repeat steps 2-4 until it’s gone.
STEP 5. Wash the Area
If there’s any vinegar left on the area after you remove all the adhesive, wash it with soap and water. After you’re done, let the surface dry completely.
Method 2: Heat With a Hairdryer
Another effective way to remove adhesive from fiberglass tubs is by heating the substance with an ordinary hairdryer. To effectively remove adhesive with a hairdryer, follow these steps:
STEP 1. Cover the Area in Aluminum Foil
The aluminum foil will help to reflect the heat from the hairdryer and prevent the adhesive from sticking to the surface of the fiberglass. To use this method, simply cover the fiberglass area that has the adhesive with a layer of aluminum foil. Make sure that the foil is smooth and flat so that it can even reflect the heat.
STEP 2. Heat the Foil With a Hairdryer
Then, use a hairdryer to heat the aluminum foil. The heat will cause the adhesive to become softened and easier to remove. Turn the hairdryer on to its highest setting and hold it close to the fiberglass surface.
Make sure to keep the hairdryer at least six inches away from the tub’s surface so as not to damage it. Move the hairdryer back and forth over the area for about five minutes or until you see that the adhesive has softened up enough for removal.
STEP 3. Scraping Off Adhesive
Once the adhesive is softened, you can use a putty knife or razor blade to scrape it off of the surface of the fiberglass. Start by gently scraping at the edge of the adhesive to see if it will come up quickly. If not, you may need to use a bit more force. Be careful not to scratch or damage the fiberglass surface.
STEP 4. Using WD-40 to Remove Sticky Residue
WD-40 can also be used to remove leftover sticky residue from fiberglass. Simply spray WD-40 onto the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes. The WD-40 will help to break down the sticky residue so that it can be scraped off more easily.
Method 3: Using Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol works well as an all-purpose cleaner for removing adhesives from fiberglass tubs, but ensure you don’t use too much. Here’s how to do it:
STEP 1. Apply Alcohol Directly to the Adhesive
Applying rubbing alcohol directly to the adhesive will loosen the bond between the adhesive and the fiberglass. It is crucial to ensure that the area is well-ventilated when using rubbing alcohol, as it can be harmful if inhaled in large quantities.
STEP 2. Let it Sit a Few Minutes
Once the rubbing alcohol has been applied, it is essential to give it some time to work its way into the adhesive. After a few minutes have passed, the adhesive should be much easier to remove.
STEP 3. Scrape the Adhesive off
Once the rubbing alcohol has softened the adhesive, scraping off with a putty knife or other tool should be easy. It is essential to be careful not to damage the surface of the fiberglass while scraping off the adhesive.
Method 4: Removing with Goo Gone
If none of these methods work, try using some Goo Gone. This special solvent was formulated specifically for removing sticky substances like glue, adhesives, stickers, and more without damaging surfaces like ceramic tile or porcelain enameled steel bathtubs.
Follow these steps to clean:
STEP 1. Apply Goo Gone Directly to the Adhesive
Removing adhesive from fiberglass with Goo Gone is a straightforward process. First, it is important to identify which type of adhesive needs to be removed. For example, if the adhesive is an epoxy-based product.
Once you have identified the appropriate adhesive, you must apply Goo Gone to the affected area. Using either a soft cloth or brush, spread and rub the Goo Gone into the surface so that it fully covers the affected area.
STEP 2. Allowing a Few Minutes to Sit
Once your surface has been covered in Goo Gone, it is important to allow it a few minutes to sit for it to work properly. During this time, allow the Goo Gone to fully penetrate and dissolve any adhesive bonds on your fiberglass surface.
This may take anywhere from 5-7 minutes, depending on how thickly applied it was and what type of adhesive was used. Avoid leaving it sitting for too long, as it may start to dry out and become ineffective at dissolving any adhesives on your surface.
STEP 3. Wipe the Surface
After allowing your Goo Gone sufficient time to penetrate and dissolve any residual adhesives, use a clean cloth or paper towel and wipe away any excess product or residue left behind on your fiberglass surface.
Make sure you use firm pressure but gentle strokes to create no new scratches while scrubbing off any remaining particles of epoxy or other substances left behind by your previous application efforts.
Once everything appears clean and smooth, move on to rinsing off your fiberglass surface with warm water to ensure all traces of Goo Gone have been removed.
Is it Safe to Use Chemicals to Remove Adhesive on a Fiberglass Tub Surface?
Using chemicals to remove adhesive from a fiberglass tub surface is generally safe, provided that the chemical used is intended for this type of material and the user follows the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
It is essential not to leave the chemical on the tub’s surface for extended lengths of time, as this could potentially damage or discolor the finish.
What are the Common Types of Adhesives that Can Stick to a Fiberglass Tub?
The two most common adhesives that can be used for sticking materials onto a fiberglass tub are polyurethane and acrylic-based sealants.
Polyurethanes are usually stronger and offer greater durability than acrylics, although they may require special equipment and more precise application techniques to ensure proper adhesion.
Acrylic-based sealants are easier to apply and offer better flexibility regarding the placement of materials, such as caulk around fixtures or corners.
How Do You Remove Strong Adhesive From a Bathtub?
Removing strong adhesive from a bathtub requires a mixture of xylene and isopropyl alcohol, typically mixed in a 50-50 ratio. This combination helps loosen up the adhesive and the tub’s surface so you can wipe it away without causing damage.
It’s essential only to use this mixture on non-porous materials because it could cause staining on porous surfaces like grout or tile. Also, it’s always wise to test the mixture on an inconspicuous spot first to ensure that any discoloration won’t become too noticeable.
Does Vinegar Dissolve Adhesive From a Fiberglass Tub?
Vinegar can help dissolve adhesive from a fiberglass tub. It is a mild acid that works well to break down the glue and other adhesives, making them easier to remove without causing damage to the tub’s surface.
While it’s not as effective as more powerful solutions like xylene or isopropyl alcohol, it still does a good job of breaking down adhesives quickly and safely.
How Can You Prevent Adhesive Residue From Forming on the Fiberglass Tub?
It’s best practice to take certain measures before applying any type of adhesive to fiberglass surfaces to prevent residue from forming afterward. To start, ensure that the fiberglass surface and the adhesive are clean and free from dirt or other debris before application.
This ensures that there isn’t anything between them that could cause residue to stick around after application. Also, try not to use too much adhesive when applying it, as excess will likely leave behind residue once dried up and removed.
Lastly, use some barrier between the application area and any surrounding surfaces. This will help keep residue within the desired space rather than seeping onto other tub parts.
Easily Unstick Stubborn Adhesives From Your Fiberglass Tub
Removing stubborn adhesives from a fiberglass tub can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming if done correctly. You can quickly restore your fiberglass tub’s luster with the right tools and techniques without resorting to potentially harmful chemicals.
With those methods, applying vinegar, using heat with a hairdryer, applying alcohol, and removing with goo gone, you can quickly and easily remove even the most stubborn adhesive.
By following the advice outlined above and taking extra precautions against future adhesive buildup, you’ll be able to keep your fiberglass tub looking its best for many years.