By far the dirtiest thing in this house when we bought it was the bathtub. It would make you cry just to look at it. No matter how long and hard I scrubbed it, it still looked dirty. I hated it. For Barry and me, this is our first time living somewhere with tile…and I gotta say, I’m not sure what the hullaballoo is about. I hate it.
Yes, I hate tile. I would rather have the stuff that’s all ONE piece instead of little cracks everywhere to clean. When you have children, little cracks just scream “Hey! Fill me up with something dirty…pretty please? Oh, and while you’re at it, would you run across me with wet feet, slip and fall down and cry bloody murder? Thanks.” Tile stinks.
In all fairness, I realize we might just have shoddy tile…but that’s okay – I would still prefer the other stuff. However, for now we’ll just live with it. An estimate to get it re-tiled and re-grouted was $800…and I’m too cheap to pay that. We got our tub refinished as part of our Christmas gift from Barry’s mom – and now it looks WAY better…but that grout is still yucky.
Barry and I are very much into DIY but neither of us have done tile…so that’s something we’ll have to learn later. For now, I just clean the tub and keep the curtain closed so no one else can see it.
I was able to get the grout cleaned to my satisfaction – so that I know it’s not dirty. Yes, it still LOOKS dirty, but I know it’s not. I tried all sorts of things before I finally found something that would budge that nastiness.
I tried: oxyclean, white vinegar, Kaboom (yes, I know that’s NOT natural…but I hate dirty tile), plain water, baking soda, spraying with peroxide, and just regular ole soap. Nothing. I was not going to buy bleach. I hate bleach. I won’t bring it into my house. I hate the smell and I hate the danger of using it…and I know I’d likely bleach everything accidentally and ruin clothing – that’s just how I roll.
I finally found something that would work and get the yuck off……
Enter baking soda, peroxide, and an old toothbrush. Bingo. It works GREAT! I wet the bathtub down, use my hand to wipe baking soda into the grout and then I let it sit a few minutes. After that, I wet my old toothbrush in peroxide and use it to scrub the grout area. It will foam – and it’s sorta fun…no matter how old you are. Your 3 year old will beg to “help.”
Note: make sure to put this toothbrush up and out of the way when you’re done, so that later your 3 year old won’t tell you that she “already brushed my teeth, Mama. I used the toothbrush in the bathtub.”
This is a little time intensive, so I’ll be honest…I won’t do it often.
Above you’ll see the picture I took before I cleaned it. Yuck. I’m sorry to put you through that. Below you’ll see my “after” photo. While it’s not perfect, it’s a lot cleaner. And I KNOW it’s clean…so for now I’ll keep my $800 and use my elbow grease. Maybe that’s what’s all over the tub anyway – elbow grease. Yep, that’s totally it. That and toe jam.
There are a lot of places on the tub that are still dirty, but they can’t be cleaned. It’s just old tile with missing pieces and it’s just dirty. That’s all there is too it – old and dirty. And while yes, my house is decorated in antiques and vintage items, old grout isn’t really on my list of “I wants.”
And now, as promised…a “magic” bathroom cleaner. Mindy from Creating Naturally is a good friend of mine and recently she told me how she cleans her bathtub. Instead of using my all purpose cleaner I am going to start using Mindy’s method.
- Mix 1 part white vinegar and 1 part dish soap in a spray bottle.
- Spray all over the bathtub.
- Let sit 20-30 minutes.
- Wipe down and spray off.
- Clean tub!