Bathtubs do not remain in good condition forever. Even if you keep them clean, the finish will slowly deteriorate. Cracks and chips can appear. After a while, your bathtub will look old, worn, and generally unappealing. Here's how you can keep your bathtub looking pristine, or otherwise restore it to a more attractive state.
A good cleaning can help get rid of stains, mildew buildup, and grime. Cleaning a bathtub starts with how you use it. For example, you should rinse the tub with warm water after each use.
You should also remove moisture with a cloth or sponge. Doing this after each use will allow you to go longer periods of time without a deep cleaning.
When the rinse isn't doing enough, you can also use a solution of vinegar and water to spray the tub before you wipe and rinse it. Spray the solution in the tub, and let it sit for 15 minutes before wiping it.
You can also use the same solution on the bathtub fixtures. Vinegar works to prevent mold and mildew, so it's a good idea to get into the habit of using it on your bathtubs, which naturally attract mildew.
Weekly or Biweekly Cleaning
When it's time for a deeper clean, you can use a commercial cleaning product. Choose non-abrasive cleaners for the job, and follow all directions on the products. You can also scrub the tub with a mixture of hot water and dish detergent. Use 1 gallon of water and about 2 tablespoons of dish detergent. Use a soft rag, scrub the tub, then rinse.
You may have a rust stain or tough buildup of scum. If your normal cleaning methods don't do much for these types of stains, you can try a few things.
Commercial cleaners – Once again, you can use commercial products for specific types of stains. They're out there. You can find dedicated mold and mildew removers. You can also find dedicated rust stain removers.
Baking soda paste – You can create a paste out of baking soda and dish detergent. Put the solution on a sponge, and rub the rust or soap scum or hard water stain with it.
Going Beyond Cleaning
If cleaning doesn't do enough to keep your tub looking new, then you may need to take it to the next step. You can have the tub refinished to restore it. This also applies if you start with a tub that's already heavily chipped or worn.
Refinishing can restore your tub to a perfect condition. It's also a good way to change the color of your bathtub. After the bathtub refinishing, you can start the process of routinely keeping your bathtub clean to maintain the new finish.