As you gaze at your freshly refinished bathtub, you may vow to keep it looking as pristine as the day it was restored. Unfortunately, unless you use just the right products and techniques, your cleaning efforts could do more harm than good. Unchecked maintenance problems that seem relatively minor can take their toll as well. Thankfully, keeping your bathtub in beautiful shape does not have to take a lot of time or effort. You can simply follow the four tips below to protect your tub’s flawless finish well into the future.
If your tub was previously covered in rust and hard water stains, you may be accustomed to using abrasive chemicals and scrubbing pads in an attempt to remove the discoloration. After having your tub’s surface restored, however, you must abandon these cleaning methods in favor of a gentler process.
You should keep soft cloths and sponges in your bathroom cleaning kit for use on the tub. The sponges should only have a gentle porous surface on each side, instead of including a highly abrasive material on the opposite side. An abrasive scrubbing pad is designed to scuff the finish to lightly sand away unsightly residue, which leaves light scratches with each clean. Never use steel wool pads on your tub either, as that will surely leave deep scratches on the surface. Over time, both light and deep scratches develop stains that make the tub look unclean at all times.
Keep the abrasive granulated cleaning products far from the bathtub as well. These cleaners have caustic agents that gradually eat away at the outer layer of finish on the tub, which can leave it looking dull over time. Also, opt to skip the bleach, as that will often bring out rust spots if your tub has any unseen nicks or scratches in the surface.
Instead, use gentle liquid cleansers designed for use in the bathtub in particular. Scrub the surface with a soft rag or sponge immediately after applying the cleanser to avoid letting the chemicals damage the finish. Repeat this process once a week to avoid buildup that could cause premature wear or damage.
In addition to thoroughly cleaning your tub on a regular basis, keep a soft cloth on hand for drying the tub after each use. Drying the surface will help protect the tub surface from developing a layer of soap scum or mildew that could lead to discoloration.
Install an Inline Water Filter
Water coming through the pipes is full of mineral and chemical based contaminants. Although the contaminants are kept at low levels for safe public consumption, the substances can still wreak havoc on your bathtub. If the contaminant makeup has high levels of magnesium and calcium, your water will leave chalky white hard water deposits on the tub and fixtures after every use.
You can mitigate the damaging effects of contaminants in the water by installing an inline water filter. The filter hooks to the water supply line for your tub to remove the vast majority of the potentially damaging minerals and chemicals. You may need to change the sediment filter cartridge every six months to keep the inline unit from clogging with accumulated debris. If you would rather, you can hook your entire home to a dedicated reverse osmosis filtering system to remove nearly all of the minerals and chemicals in your water supply.
Fix Leaky Fixtures
A leaking faucet not only costs you money on your water bill, it can leave permanent stains on the surface of your bathtub. Even the smallest amount of minerals or chemicals in the water can have a damaging effect on your tub’s surface with near constant exposure.
When the faucet constantly drips, you might start to notice blue or green stains around the drain ring from calcium accumulation. The water exposure can also cause the metal drain components to rust and send contaminated water flowing across the bottom of the bathtub. As a result, after showering or bathing, you may see streaks of rust residue running down the bottom surface.
You may be able to fix the leak by simply tightening the hardware holding the fixture to the wall. If that part continues to leak, however, you must completely replace the faucet and its associated washers and gaskets. Afterward, your faucet should remain leak-free for the foreseeable future.
Skip Chemical Clog Removers
Although a clogged drain can leave your tub exposed to moisture for an extended period of time, haphazardly sending chemical clog removers down the drain just serves to worsen the problem. The strong acids in chemical clog removal products can etch the surface of the tub, removing the outer polish layer and leaving the surface below susceptible to additional damage. Without the clear epoxy polish on the surface, your bathtub may look dull and dingy. Stains will also show up faster due to the lack of a protective layer.
Instead of using chemical clog removers, have your plumber run a drain auger through the pipes to push the clog through. Although this manual process can take longer than using clog removers, retaining your tub’s finish is often well worth the time. If someone does use chemical clog removers in your bathtub, clean the surface with a mild cleanser as soon as you learn of this mistake. Afterward, you can polish the tub with an acrylic epoxy or contact your tub refinish professionals for assistance.
Continued Care of Your Refinished Tub
With the above techniques, you can keep your beautiful bathtub finish lasting for years to come. If you do notice any problems developing, be sure to take action right away to keep the problem from spreading or worsening. In some cases, it may be possible to remove the stain or reverse the damage before a total refinish is required.
Anytime you need professional assistance with your bathtub restoration efforts, remember to call Bath Pro at 407-869-8696 for a no obligation estimate. When you call, be sure to ask about current specials to save on your repairs with the deals of the season.