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Handyman Q&A

Care for Fiberglass Shower


Question: My fiberglass shower enclosure has become dull and film-coated. I've been told not to use an abrasive cleaner. What do you suggest?

Answer: Abrasive cleaners or cleaning pads can scratch fiberglass finishes so they are difficult or impossible to repair.

We've had good luck with a cleaning product called "Gel-Gloss," which is available at most supermarkets. Once clean, you can make the fiberglass easier to clean and more stain-resistant with an application of automotive-type wax or polish.

Bear in mind, however, that the floors of shower base units or the bathtub bottom may become slippery if waxed, so only wax the surfaces you do not walk or stand on.

If mineral buildup is heavy, consider doing something about your water quality. Water treatment experts can install filters in water lines to remove lime, rust or other potential stains.

Installing a water softener will usually end stains from most waterborne minerals. If soap scum is the problem, soft water will leave less soap residue. Also, consider using an alternative brand of soap that may produce less soap film buildup.

To submit a question, write to Popular Mechanics, Reader Service Bureau, 224 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019. The most interesting questions will be answered in a future column.

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