How to get rid of smell from reglazing a bathtub

You may have done a bathroom makeover or redone your bathtub because it was damaged and needed restoration. When completed, a strong bathtub reglazing smell may emit from the area, which has serious health risks if not attended to.

Fortunately, you can get rid of the unpleasant smell using household remedies. Discover how to remove this unpleasant smell from the bathtub and restore a fresh smell to your bathroom.

Materials you’ll need

  • White vinegar or activated charcoal
  • Baking soda
  • Exhaust fan (optional)
  • Chemical bathroom cleaner
  • Stiff brush
  • Protective gear (ventilation mask and protective gloves)
  • Essential oils
  • Water

Tips on how to eliminate bathtub reglazing smells

When you’re done reglazing your bathtub, an odd odor may emit from your bathroom that you’d want to remove immediately. Below are the steps on how to get rid of the bathroom reglazing fumes.

While any of them can work, we advise that you try one procedure at a time to find out what works best for you.

1. Ventilate the bathroom

Ensure the bathroom is well-ventilated by opening the windows and doors.

You can speed up the air circulation by using an exhaust fan to eliminate the bad smell for 15 to 30 minutes.

2. Clean dust, spills, and dirt

Clean Bathroom

The bathroom should be cleaned of dust, chemicals, and dirt and free of all fixtures like shower curtains or drains.

You can thoroughly clean the tub’s surfaces using a chemical bathtub cleaner such as CLR Brilliant Bath and a stiff brush.

3. Use baking soda

In most instances, the smell should go away with these steps. However, if there’s still a lingering chemical smell, then clean the tub using baking soda.

Follow this procedure to clean the bathtub with baking soda:

  • Wear protective gear, like a ventilation mask and rubber gloves, to avoid inhaling toxic fumes or contact with chemicals.
  • Mix ½ cup of baking soda with water until it forms a paste.
  • Apply the paste on the tub’s surface and repeatedly scrub all the reglazed areas.
  • Clean off the bathtub with clean water
  • Leave the bathroom windows open, then wait for a while.

If the smells do not go away, proceed to the next step.

4. Use white vinegar or activated charcoal

Activated charcoal
Activated charcoal

White vinegar and activated charcoal are good at absorbing lingering odors, however strong they may be.

  • Place 2-3 bowls filled with white vinegar or activated charcoal near the tub to absorb the smells.
  • Leave them in the bathroom overnight or for two to three days to absorb and eliminate bathtub reglazing odors effectively.
  • The odor should be gone completely. However, if the odor has reduced but has not gone away, replace the vinegar and charcoal, then give it a few more days.

Note: This process may take more time. Therefore, you need to be patient and not in a rush to use your bathroom while the activated charcoal or vinegar is still working.

Using essential oils and water

  • Mix at least two or three drops of essential oil and water into a diffuser or spray bottle.
  • Spray the fragrance across the room or let the diffuser run overnight to mask the bad odor.
  • The best scent for this process is lavender or lemon, which has a fresh and uplifting fragrance.
  • To make a DIY air freshener, mix ½ a cup of baking soda and three drops of essential oil in a small bowl full of water.
  • Mix them well and let them sit near the tub to absorb the resurfacing smell in a bathtub overnight or for a week.
  • Remember to refresh the solution every few weeks for effective results.

Additional tips and advice

  • Avoid using shower gels, hair dye, or colored bath oils, as they may worsen the bad smell. They also stain the bathtub and damage its finish.
  • Do not use harsh cleaners such as dish detergent, abrasive soap, or powdered cleaners that contain bleach, as they may scratch the surface. Instead, you can use liquid dish soap like Ajax to wash the bathtub as it’s a less harsh cleaner.
  • If all the cleaning remedies don’t remove the smell, contact a professional cleaner or odor removal specialist to eliminate the resurfacing smell. They use their expertise to identify the source of the odor and recommend the best solution to remove the smell completely. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

These are the most commonly asked questions.

What does tub resurfacing smell like?

Tub resurfacing emits a chemical paint-like odor, which is methylene chloride. Its fumes are dangerous when inhaled as they cause health risks such as headache, dizziness, and nausea.

Mildsix Reusable Dust Mask
Use a ventilation mask to avoid bathtub reglazing odors

Since methylene chloride is a heavy gas, it may spread throughout the bathroom. When inhaled for a long time, it may cause long-term health effects like respiratory problems such as throat irritation or even death.

How long does bathtub reglazing smell last?

The smell from reglazing your bathtub may last for two days when the process is complete.

Since the fumes are toxic and contain chemical odors, it’s best that you open the windows and doors for proper ventilation and for the smell to go faster.

Can you use Epsom salt in a reglazed tub?

You can use Epsom salt when bathing in a reglazed tub, as it doesn’t cause chemicals to leach.

However, salts are abrasive and cause the finish to worsen. Therefore, it is not advised if you want a smooth, lasting finish.