Incorrect cleaning procedures | Water
quality | Dripping Faucets | Rusty Outlets |Chipping
| Water temperature | Initial installation
| Non-slip strips or mats | Cigarette burns | Drainage | Soaking of washing | Hair dyes | Nail varnish | Soap |
Other reasons | Unavoidable causes
Experience has shown that the life of a bathtub,
whether new or resurfaced, can be extended by many years if specific care is taken during
cleaning and maintenance.
|Most Hoteliers and homeowners
regard a bathtub as a permanent fixture. This, we feel is not true as the life of the
bathtub is directly related to water quality and the way it is cleaned
are some tips from our Bathtub Care Manual:
Incorrect cleaning procedures.
The greatest area of bathtub abuse occurs in the cleaning process.
Never use steel wool, abrasive pads or
applicators on the bathtub. These will cause immediate damage to most bathtub surfaces.
Never use abrasive substances on
sanitaryware. It is very tempting to try to remove marks with these substances but greater
damage is always the end result.
The most important substances to avoid
are abrasive powders and creams.
Considerable damage can also be done to
the bathtub by using acids or other chemical substances such as drain cleaners.
chlorine, pool acid, bleach,
vinegar, toilet cleaner and lemon juice must strictly be avoided. Most of these substances
will remove stains from a bathtub, but the surface glaze layer of the bathtub will also be
permanently damaged in the process.
The damage that these products do can be described as follows. They
clean the surface by "scratch" cleaning the dirt off. This leaves tiny scratches
on the surface which gets filled with dirt each time the bathtub is used,
so you scrub
harder to clean them off creating more scratch marks. Each time you clean the bathtub it
will become harder to clean.
This cycle eventually leads to a complete breakdown of the surface
of the bathtub. In effect you are gradually removing the enamel from the bathtub and the
ultimate solution, if this cycle continues, is that the tub will need to be resurfaced.
In some areas, domestic water contains unacceptably high proportions
of "foreign objects" which, in time, may either stain or scratch most surfaces.
Contaminants, such as vegetable colloids and iron oxide, will stain
the surface. Even new bathtub surfaces are often stained as well.
In areas where the water contains a lot of lime, a sediment often
builds up around the waste and below the faucets. It is important to ensure that dripping
faucets are attended to and water is not allowed to remain in the bathtub.
Damage caused by dripping faucets over a period of time causes
considerable damage to surfaces. Not only does it waste water but it eventually breaks
down the surface. We have seen many bathtubs worn right through the enamel, especially
below the dripping faucets.
The first sign of damage is the staining of the enamel surface. This
stain is usually green or a faint brown.
Often dripping faucets eventually cause rust around the outlet.
Whether a metal bathtub is resurfaced or new and the faucets continue to leak, rust will
Most bathtubs are susceptible to chipping. Below are a few causes:
Heavy metal plugs.
Objects dropping off shelves or window sills above the
bathtub or basin.
It is important to attend to damage as soon as possible to prevent
In many cases Mend-A-Bath® International offers a chip repair service
which includes color matching the area as well.
Contact Mend-A-Bath® International
USA near you
for more information about this service.
Extremely hot water causes any bathtub to expand and contract.
Sudden changes in temperature can cause cracks and other damage. It is advisable to
periodically check the temperature of the hot water.
A temperature not
exceeding 65 degrees centigrade / 149 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended.
Poor installation of a bathtub can lead to pooling of water on the
top and bottom edges of the bathtub.
Water left to stand on surfaces for a long period of time will
eventually cause damage. This is often the same damage caused by a dripping faucet. High
levels of chemicals in the water supply will only add to this problem.
Another reason for rust appearing around outlet is
is unable to
drain away because the outlet is sometimes higher than the bathtub surface. This
causes a "pooling" effect.
Correct installation of acrylic, fiberglass and cultured marble
bathtubs is critical, as severe flexing may result in the bathtub cracking.
Non-slip strips or
It is unhygienic to leave rubber bath mats in the bathtub. Always
remove the mat from the bathtub after use.
Mats left on the bottom of a bathtub trap water, becoming stained
and unhygienic from mildew and soap deposits.
Water left to stand on bare surfaces for a long period of time will
eventually cause damage.
Stick-on non-slip strips can cause problems when the edges start to
lift off and depending on the method of removal, can cause damage to the surface. Once the
edges have lifted, they are also unhygienic.
Cigarettes can seriously damage many types of bathtubs, especially
acrylic, fiberglass, and cultured marble surfaces. Although most surfaces can be repaired
economically, some damage is costly.
Vitreous enamel (porcelain) surfaces are not easily damaged by
Poorly installed wastes can lead to water lying around the waste and
not draining properly. Water left unattended will eventually lead to corrosion.
In acrylic and fiberglass bathtubs, the effect of water will often
stain the surface, requiring severe cleaning methods which often remove the shine and can
damage the surface.
The dyes and residues from clothing left to soak in a bathtub can
stain the surface of all types of bathtubs. This can be difficult to remove with acrylic
and fiberglass bathtubs as the stains impregnate the surface.
Strong detergents in washing powders will eventually cause damage.
Soaking washing in a bathtub will eventually stain a bathtub and
could also remove the shine.
Hair dyes contain very powerful chemicals which will stain most
bathtub surfaces. It is advisable not to use hair dyes in any bathtub.
Nail varnish often leaves marks on bathtub surfaces.
Nail varnish remover contains chemicals which cause damage to
fiberglass and acrylic bathtubs.
Many soaps contain caustic soda which, in time, bleach many enamel
pigments. Soap should not be allowed to stand on a bare enamel surface for a protracted
period of time. The use of soap rests or soap dishes is strongly recommended.
The frequent use of deeply colored substances such as bubble baths
and oils could also permanently discolor most surfaces.
The constant use of colored disinfectants and soaps in bathtub water
can result in stains which can only be removed with a specialized polishing process.
In some cases the stain penetrates the surface and cannot be
There are a few unavoidable causes of surface deterioration.
The most common of these is the supply of discolored water which
often leaves a yellowish brown stain. Unfortunately, bathtubs in these areas will show
rapid signs of staining and discoloring, especially below dripping faucets.
A second unavoidable factor is the effects of a cast iron or mild
steel hot water system. These systems also tend to produce discolored water which
eventually stain the sanitaryware.
Save yourself the trauma of retiling,
repainting, mess, time and money. So exactly what is
resurfacing and what can it do for you?