The Crazy Suburban Mom: Too Dirty for Words, Project #5, The Tub

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Too Dirty for Words, Project #5, The Tub

According to Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook, less is more for routine cleaning jobs.  And frankly after cleaning my oven window with only a combination of baking soda and vinegar, I believe her.

She's not against stronger agents but thinks it's best to start with the simplest option, frequently just a solution of distilled white vinegar and water, and work your way up to the big cleaning guns if necessary.

Yesterday I tackled my (fiberglass) tub.  I've not been able to clean that scuzzy thing for so long I thought the marks were stains in the fiberglass rather then dirt.   In fact, I thought this method would fail so hard I didn't photograph the most egregious areas before attempting to clean them.

BeFunky Contrast on iPhone

This picture and the next show some of the  less awful spots and while icky, the truly horrifying ones went down the drain yesterday.

tub before

All I did was:  1.  Spray the areas with a solution of half distilled white vinegar/ half water.  2.  Sprinkled on baking soda.  3.  And a few more sprays to get the whole thing bubbling... and then I walked away.  

 I came back in a little while (as short as half an hour and in the case of the spot I forgot about, as long as over night) sprayed once more to dampen the area, wiped with a towel and Holy Soap Scum, Batman!  I had a white tub again.  

Seriously, I wiped away with a towel what commercial cleaners failed to remove.  There was zero elbow grease involved. Zero.  And I didn't have to clean in  a well ventilated area wearing a haz-mat suit.

I did a short video to show you how little work this was, it's not the best video in the world and the lighting is dreadful, had I videoed yesterday's darker stains the cleaning would be more obvious... but it does demonstrate how simple this is.

And the before and after...


The first picture is darker, grayer then the second (because of lighting) but you can  see the difference in the yuck factor.   The vinegar/baking soda also got rid of the discoloration around the drain.

Huge success.  Hugh.  These stains weren't removed with any cleaner I tried and I tried a lot.

  I want to add here; don't substitute my judgement for your own.  Different things need different cleaners and strongly acidic white vinegar isn't recommended for every surface.  Check what you have before you do something that might make a bad situation worse!


QWERTY 6/5/13, 12:47 PM  

I am so loving these posts. You have really inspired me and I have been cleaning up a storm. The tub is next!!

Tracy Reinhardt 6/5/13, 12:56 PM  

Qwerty, I'm so loving this too. I am so RELIEVED to have this stuff done and also being able to clean without expensive cleansers - they are so crazy expensive - and being able to stay away from things that I feel like I have to wash off, and wash off before I step into the tub again. Or am afraid to use around food... or my pets.

Steve Morton 6/5/13, 6:11 PM  

Great results Tracy, I will remember that tip and try it out


kanalt 6/6/13, 8:23 AM  

I am convinced that vinegar is the solution to many of life's dirty problems. I use it for so much, I buy it by the tub-full. And it's inexpensive! Can't go wrong with it. It's alo good for personal health issues, like toenail fungus (icky, yes, but putting it out there!).

Morag 6/6/13, 12:32 PM  

I am soooo going to try this on my shower base. TFS!

Tracy Reinhardt 6/6/13, 11:48 PM  

Steve, hope it works for you!!

kanalt, Amen, sister!

Morag, I hope it works! I'm trying to do the fiberglass shower base too - and it didn't work as well on that as the tub. Maybe it's because the tub has a smoother surface? I'm not sure but I'm working on this for that too - so if it doesn't work this time maybe next


LJ 6/30/13, 1:54 AM  

Dammit!!! I love the tip and really want to get some baking soda... my problem, as far as I can tell there is no such thing here :-( I just tried Google translate and the german for baking soda is exactly the same as for baking powder... not sure I'm brave enough to try to bring tubs of white powder into the country from the UK... lol x

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