My 16 year old daughter decided to paint her bathroom this summer without telling us. To her credit she painted and cleaned up everything relatively well. But, apparently she cleaned everything in her tub, and just left it there without telling us anything. It's been a week now, and I just found out.

1) There is paint all over the bottom of the tub ... what is the best way to clean this up without damaging / scratching the fiberglass tub? 2) The drain is clogged. What is the best way to de-clog it?


  • Do you have access to the plumbing trap? – isherwood Jun 19 '19 at 16:24
  • Given the shower gels etc that tend to be used, if the tub is not new & unused, a latex paint has been known to peel off once an edge has been lifted... – Solar Mike Jun 19 '19 at 16:40
  • If paint is latex hot water will help break it down and peel off.Try that before cleaners to get rid of the heavy build up do not let any more get into drain.Not knowing how bad drain is clogged can not give advice. – user101687 Jun 20 '19 at 4:34

I'd have suggested Goof-off or Oops, which are for latex cleanup. Here's a more robust plan.

Step 1 Scrape paint off the fiberglass tub carefully with a plastic scraper. Clean with Barkeeper's Friend and water. Rinse thoroughly and repeat if necessary.

Step 2 Try Dirtex in a spray can to remove latex paint from a fiberglass tub. It's available from ACE hardware stores.

Step 3 Make a paste of baking soda and water. Rub the paint spot with the paste and a damp sponge. Rinse completely.

Step 4 Rub the spot of paint with a dampened Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.

Step 5 Scrub the paint spot with a non-abrasive powdered cleaner like Bon Ami.

Step 6 Visit a paint company and look for "Oops". It's made to remove paint spots.


As for the trap, you may want to remove and discard it. parts are cheap. If it's not accessible, try the products mentioned above to dissolve it, or go to more aggressive drain cleaners. Be aware that they will remove chrome from your drain hardware.

  • NO NOT Barkeeper's Friend! That is MUCH more caustic than Bon-Ami. And also not Bon-Ami either. Both are like pumice/sandpaper. Bon-Ami is much more mild than BF. Using anything gritty is going to scratch fiberglass. I'd go with a plastic scraper/old credit card or your fingernails gently, and Magic Eraser. – Chris Paveglio Jun 19 '19 at 17:48

Uncured latex paint is vulnerable to getting and staying wet. It will soften if soaked for awhile, and can be easily removed from most surfaces, especially a hard surface like a tub. "Easily" compared to any other kind of paint, like oil or 2-part epoxy.

If that doesn't do it, use the weakest paint strippers you can find. (I would use the solvent from my LPU (Imron-like) paint, it makes latex shrivel up). But first, test the material on a non-obvious corner of your shower to make sure it won't soften the fiberglass or its coating.


I'm a chemist. Dried latex paint will dissolve to alcohol. Rubbing alcohol or marine fuel alcohol would work.

With water going past the paint in the drain, it should eventually move down stream. If water backs up in tub, use a plunger to break it loose and open the drain. If that doesn't work use a snake or remove the tub drain plumbing and clean.

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