Often people have no idea what is making their tub or shower so gross looking is soap scum. Once soap scum starts to accumulate, build up of it accelerates, and since the process is so gradual, people don’t realize that the dullness they see is actually something that can be removed. Build up of soap scum is typically on an old worn surface that allows the initial layer something to “bite” in to. A thick layer of soap scum can only be efficiently removed with a razor.
Coatings will not adhere to any contaminants so soap scum must be removed completely before we can reglaze your bathtub or tile. We have various ways of doing this both physical (such as razors) and chemical.
Quite often we see failed coatings where the refinisher did not properly remove all soap scum. Usually this is on the sides and corners of tubs, and the hard edges, corners, and grout lines on tile.
In the above picture, you can see parts of the tile where we have scraped off the soap scum, and parts of tile where it still needs to be removed. The powdery substance at the bottom is the actual soap scum.