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Refinished bathtub maintenance tips- How to clean and maintain a refinished bathtub

refinished bathtub being cleaned with dawn

A professionally refinished bathtub normally offers several years of trouble-free enjoyment as well as similar features and functional benefits as those that can be expected from an original tub, if the job is done by an experienced and reputable bathtub refinishing company.

When it comes to refinished bathtub maintenance the most important rule is common sense. We always tell our customers: “don’t do to the tub what you would not do to the hood of your new car”.  However, in this article, we have put together a guide for the homeowners so that they can get the most out of the fixture. Here are some important do’s and don’ts that should be kept in mind at all times.


What is the curing time for a refinished bathtub?

Although the total curing time of a refinished bathtub is 7 days, it can be safely used 48 hours after a professional bathtub refinishing service is provided. During these first two days, it should not be touched, used, or put in contact with water. Many people believe it is a good idea to open windows or doors in the property for the first few hours to make it dry quicker but the truth is that this practice should definitely be avoided. If the door or window is near the tub, dust, rain or solid particles could make their way in and settle onto the wet surface, jeopardizing the outcome of the procedure. Even if the door or window is far from the treated area, this rule still applies because some condensation could occur inside the premises, which is why it is highly recommended to have the whole home shut as well as to keep the air conditioning system running at all times.

Can I use mats on my refinished bathtub?

The permanent use of mats on refinished bathtubs is one of the most common mistakes made by homeowners and residents after hiring a reglazing professional. Paradoxically, this one is a very critical DON’T mentioned by the experts across the board within the industry when it comes to maintaining a tub. In that regard, it would be worth mentioning that if you want a good number of years of enjoyment of your bathtub, mats (especially the ones with suction cups) should be avoided, at least on a permanent basis.

Mats without suction cups are the only ones accepted as a good solution for people with the risk of slipping and falling on the bathtub as long as the mat is removed immediately after the person is done taking the shower. Another great alternative to prevent falls on slippery bathtubs without having to put mats down is the anti-slip texture that some bathtub refinishing companies like America Refinishing Pros offer. It’s inexpensive and it does not affect the look or durability of the procedure.

What kind of cleaners can I use on my refinished bathtub?

Cleaners and products that should be avoided on refinished bathtubs
Some cleaners and products that should be avoided on refinished bathtubs

The use of the right products to clean a reglazed bathtub is also a crucial aspect of its care and maintenance and has a tremendous impact on its look and longevity.

Comet, Ajax, and other solid cleaners are extremely popular and thus highly used by homeowners and residents on refinished bathtubs but unfortunately, the abrasive properties of these products make their use very counterproductive and reduce considerably the lifespan of bathtubs in general.

There are many other products that can be used safely though. Jelly dish detergents like Dawn, Ajax, or Palmolive diluted in similar amounts of water are among the most recommended substances among the experts. They are safe and mild while they do a really good job keeping the soap scum and grease away from the surfaces. Also, tub cleaners like Formula 409, Lysol, Mr. Clean, Fantastik, Scrubbing bubbles have fantastic results, as long as they are in liquid or foamy versions.

Always avoid ammonia, pure bleach, harsh acids or strong products like drain cleaners or clog removers. Highly acidic formulas, as a general rule of thumb, are to be kept on the do-not-use list. Soaps, on the other hand, tend to be safe since they are normally alkaline. Should you wish to use a product not listed above, we suggest being very careful. Always test on a small area before applying it to the entire surface.

What should I use to scrub the refinished bathtub?

Abrasive materials like steel wool, steel scourer, wire brushes, sponges with rough or hard faces, or similar should always be avoided. Instead, we recommend the Magic Eraser sponge from Mr. Clean or any soft sponge as an alternative. A damp cloth could also be used.

How to clean my refinished bathtub?

The best practice to care for and maintain your refinished bathtub is to wipe it down with a towel after each use. Regular cleaning is important to prevent soap scum build-up which will mar the beauty of the finish and will be hard to remove once it hardens.

We recommend the following steps to clean it:

1- apply the cleaner

2- spread it all across the surface

3- let it sit for a few minutes

3- scrub all the surfaces gently but firmly

4- rinse it very well

5- wipe it down completely

Can I use my refinished bathtub for water storage?

As it was mentioned at the beginning of this article a refinished bathtub, if done properly, preserves most of the functionalities and capabilities as those of an original one. Water storage is not an exception: bathtubs, either original or resurfaced ones can only be used to store water for short periods of time (a few days at the most) as emergency measurement, let’s say when there is a storm coming to have some water reserves in case the service is interrupted but they are not supposed to be used for that purpose for relatively long periods of time. The consequences in both cases could be disastrous. Among them, we can mention the appearance of rust in areas like around the drain or overflow.

Can I steam clean my refinished bathtub?

A household steam cleaner with a scrubbing attachment may seem like a good way to get rid of all that dirt and soap gunk without using abrasives. Unfortunately, the use of steam is never a good idea when it comes to reglazed tub surfaces. It could quickly damage the finish, by getting underneath the coating or through any cracks.

Have a stubborn stain or scratch on your refinished tub?

In this type of situation where the bathtub gets stained or gets a not that deep scratch, we suggest the use of an automotive rubbing compound, which has a very fine grit in it, and if you scrub it onto the area for a couple of minutes it could bring back the shine. Once the stain or scratch disappears you can remove the product from the surface by scrubbing it with a wet cloth or washing it with some soap and then rinsing it.

Can I bathe my dog in the refinished bathtub?

dob being bathed in bathtub
Can I bathe dogs in my refinished bathtub?

Small dogs of eight pounds or less should pose no problems but when it comes to bigger dogs it would always be a good idea to put a bucket, a baby tub, or a similar object (preferably plastic) to prevent those major pets’ claws from potentially scratching the surface while them digging into the tub or while making a sudden move. Always inspect the bottom rim of the baby tub or bucket and make sure to put a towel down underneath it.

Follow the above-mentioned instructions and relax

A refinished bathtub can provide years of exploitation and trouble-free service if treated with respect and common sense. The recommendations made in the body of this article are very important in terms of appearance and functionality and will guarantee that your tub stays bright shiny and would not chip for a long time. 

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