Is a Peeling Bathtub Dangerous? (What You Need to Know)

If you’ve noticed that your bathtub is peeling, you may be wondering if it’s dangerous to use. Is a peeling bathtub dangerous?

In this article, we’ll explore the potential risks and causes of peeling bathtubs, and provide tips for ensuring safety and efficiency in your bathroom.

Key Takeaways

  • A peeling bathtub can pose serious risks to your health, depending on the cause of the peeling.
  • Bathtub peeling can be caused by a variety of factors, including age, wear and tear, and exposure to harsh chemicals.
  • Repairing a peeling bathtub is important to prevent further damage and to ensure that your bathtub is safe to use.

See Also: Can You Replace A Bathtub In A Mobile Home?

Causes of Bathtub Peeling

Bathtub peeling can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor quality refinishing, exposure to harsh chemicals, and age.

If the surface of your bathtub was not properly prepared before refinishing, the coating may start to peel off after some time.

Harsh chemicals, such as bleach, can also cause the finish to peel. Additionally, bathtubs that are old and worn may start to peel due to wear and tear.

THREE Dangers of a Peeling Bathtub

If you have a peeling bathtub, there are several dangers that you should be aware of.

These dangers include chemical risks, lead exposure, and physical hazards. In this section, we’ll discuss each of these dangers in detail.

1. Chemical Risks

One of the biggest dangers of a peeling bathtub is the risk of exposure to dangerous chemicals. Many bathtubs are coated with a layer of paint or other material that contains chemicals like methylene chloride.

When this coating starts to peel, these chemicals can be released into the air and inhaled. This can cause a variety of health problems, including headaches, dizziness, and nausea.

2. Lead Exposure

Another danger of a peeling bathtub is the risk of lead exposure. If your bathtub was painted with lead-based paint, the peeling paint can release lead particles into the air.

When these particles are inhaled, they can cause lead poisoning. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), even low levels of lead exposure can cause health problems, including brain damage and kidney damage.

To avoid lead exposure, it’s important to have your bathtub tested for lead-based paint. If your bathtub does contain lead-based paint, you should have it professionally removed and replaced with a safer alternative.

3. Physical Hazards

In addition to the chemical and lead risks, a peeling bathtub can also pose physical hazards. The peeling paint or coating can create a slippery surface that increases the risk of falls and injuries. Additionally, the rough surface of a peeling bathtub can be uncomfortable against your skin.

To prevent physical hazards, it’s important to address peeling as soon as possible. You should have your bathtub refinished or replaced to ensure that it is safe and comfortable to use.

Repairing a Peeling Bathtub

If you have a peeling bathtub, you may want to consider repairing it. There are two main options for repairing a peeling bathtub: DIY bathtub refinishing or professional bathtub refinishing.

DIY Bathtub Refinishing

If you are handy and have some experience with home repairs, you may be able to refinish your bathtub yourself. Here are the steps to follow:

Steps for Refinishing a BathtubDescription
Strip the Old FinishUse sandpaper or a chemical stripper to remove the old finish from the bathtub. Be sure to wear gloves and a mask to protect yourself from the fumes.
Clean the BathtubOnce the old finish is removed, clean the bathtub thoroughly with a bathtub cleaner and rinse it with water.
Apply the PrimerApply a bathtub refinishing primer to the bathtub and let it dry completely.
Apply the TopcoatApply a bathtub refinishing topcoat to the bathtub and let it dry completely.
Repeat if NecessaryIf the finish is not smooth or even, you may need to repeat the process.

Professional Bathtub Refinishing

If you are not comfortable refinishing your bathtub yourself, you can hire a professional to do the job for you. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Steps for Hiring a Bathtub Refinishing CompanyDescription
ResearchDo your research and find a reputable bathtub refinishing company.
Get a QuoteGet a quote from the company and make sure it includes all the necessary steps, such as stripping the old finish, applying the primer, and applying the topcoat.
Prepare the BathtubBefore the refinishing process begins, make sure the bathtub is clean and free of any debris.
Let it DryAfter the refinishing process is complete, let the bathtub dry for at least 24 hours before using it.
MaintenanceTo keep your refinished bathtub looking new, avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbers. Instead, use a mild detergent and a soft cloth.

In conclusion, repairing a peeling bathtub is possible with either DIY bathtub refinishing or professional bathtub refinishing. When refinishing a bathtub, be sure to follow the necessary steps and take proper precautions to protect yourself from fumes and chemicals.

THREE Ways To Prevent Bathtub Peeling

If you want to prevent your bathtub from peeling, there are a few things you can do. By taking some simple steps, you can ensure that your bathtub stays in good condition for years to come.

1. Use the Right Finish

One of the most important things you can do to prevent bathtub peeling is to use the right finish. Enamel is a popular choice for bathtub finishes because it is durable and long-lasting. However, if you don’t use the right type of enamel, your bathtub may start to peel over time.

When choosing an enamel finish, look for one that is specifically designed for use on bathtubs. This type of finish is formulated to withstand the wear and tear of daily use and will help prevent peeling.

2. Apply a Primer

Before you apply your bathtub finish, it’s important to apply a primer. A primer will help the finish adhere to the surface of your bathtub and prevent peeling.

Make sure to choose a primer that is specifically designed for use on bathtubs. Apply the primer according to the manufacturer’s instructions and allow it to dry completely before applying the finish.

3. Use Proper Maintenance Techniques

Proper maintenance is key to preventing bathtub peeling. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbers on your bathtub, as these can damage the finish and cause it to peel.

Instead, use a mild soap and a soft sponge or cloth to clean your bathtub. Rinse it thoroughly with water after each use to prevent soap scum buildup.


In conclusion, a peeling bathtub is not necessarily dangerous, but it can pose some risks if left unaddressed. While the sight of a flaking tub may be unsightly, the real dangers posed by a peeling bathtub are cosmetic.

However, if you have a peeling bathtub, you may want to consider having it refinished or replaced. A peeling bathtub can lead to potential leaking, making it prone to moisture, and it may feel uncomfortable against your skin.

If you are unsure of what to do with your peeling bathtub, it is best to consult with a professional. They can assess the situation and provide you with the best course of action.

In addition, it is important to note that the cause of the peeling should also be addressed. The surface of the tub should be of high quality, and if the refinishing is not of high quality, peeling is bound to occur after some time.

Overall, while a peeling bathtub may not be dangerous, it is best to address it sooner rather than later to avoid any potential risks.

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Is a Peeling Bathtub Dangerous?