Clean your bathroom with a natural chemical reaction using two common food items.
Step 1: Step 1: Try Lots of Different Name Brand Chemical Cleaning Products.
I strongly advise you to skip this step entirely.
I have tried just about all of them. I will save you the trouble and give you the results of my experiments, which have been spread over several months. As you can see in the photo, this bathtub has many issues: water minerals, soap scum buildup, and ordinary dirt. The large dots are textured, anti-slip areas molded into the surface of the bathtub. They are much harder to clean than the slick surfaces surrounding them.
I started by trying a general purpose spray cleaner, costing about $3.50 per bottle. I could almost hear my bathtub smugly giggling. A light spray, a little scrubbing, rinse with water, and 90% of my bathtub crud remained. I expected more from a heavily advertised $3.50 a bottle.
Before moving on to the next product, I must pause for a safety precaution: mixing cleaning products can be quite dangerous. The combination of ammonia and bleach releases very toxic fumes. Rinse your bathtub thoroughly between product tests.
I thought that a little bleach might help. I bought a different, heavily advertised bottle of spray cleaner for about $3.75, which contained “bleach”. The chemical smell of the bleach was quite strong. My bathtub continued its silent laughing, “Ha Ha, think you can win this fight with a little bleach?!” The cleaner did win the fight with my clothing, which left the bathroom with white spots.
Next, I tried those foam scrubbing blocks. They cost about $3.00 for a pair in a box. I admit that the chemical filled sponge blocks did improve my bathtub. I wasn’t totally happy with the results, but it did significantly improve the cleanliness of the bathtub. Scrubbing was very hard, and took a very long time. I didn’t like touching the wet sponge filled with unknown chemicals. I used the entire box, stopped my cleaning project to return to the store, and bought a second box to finish the bathtub cleaning project.
Tired of scrubbing, I next tried a product that claimed I didn’t need to scrub. Cheerful bubbles would do the cleaning for me! Just let it the smiley bubbles work awhile, and rinse. It was on sale for just $4.25. The stuff worked great when I sprayed it on my recently cleaned bathtub for a preventive touch-up. But, for a serious bathtub cleaning, fire those cheerful bubbles, and hire someone that isn’t afraid of doing hard work!
Having exhausted the cleaning aisle at the local store, I moved on to the telemarketing aisle. There I found a glorious product that was accompanied by strong customer testimonials. Buy one for $9.95, and get a second bottle free! Fizzing bubbles were job hunting, and willing to work hard. Admittedly, this product did work much better than the ordinary bottles on the main cleaning aisle. The problem was…the SMELL! I opened the door, the windows, turned on the fan, shut the door and came back later, drowned the bathtub in water, and the chemical SMELL just would not go away. Does my doctor approve of me breathing this stuff?
Step 2: Step 2: Go Shopping in the Grocery Store Baking Aisle.
- Baking soda
- A stiff bristled scrub brush
Baking soda costs about $0.69 for a box. Vinegar was $1.29 on sale. Generic, not name brand, is fine. So, for less than $2.00, I got enough cleaning supplies for the equivalent of 1-2 bottles of cleaner.
Step 3: Step 3: Clean Your Bathtub.
Sprinkle baking soda on the tub. Sprinkle vinegar onto baking soda. If you are cleaning a hard to reach area, put the baking soda and vinegar on your scrub brush, instead of on the tub. When the vinegar hits the baking soda, a chemical reaction causes the combined product to fizz and bubble. Scrub vigorously with scrub brush. Sorry, but there are no heavily advertised short cuts to scrubbing! I will comment that I scrubbed much less with the brush, than I did with the chemical filled sponges. My hand also held the handle, not the actual scrubber. The cleaning was done very quickly, and the smell is delightful. It reminds me of fresh laundry and Easter Eggs (Easter egg dye is often mixed with vinegar.) Rinse the tub, washing the residue into the drain to continue cleaning and freshening.
Wow. Why have I never tried this before? Was it because cleaning product companies cannot make money on this inexpensive product, and plain baking soda and vinegar have no champions within the advertising industry? I like that the ingredients are cooking ingredients. A curious toddler will find no toxic chemicals underneath my sink. I will not run to the hospital with chemical burns to my eyes or breathing difficulties, and I am adding fewer chemicals to the environment. (Of course, even baking soda can be dangerous, if you swallow enough of it, so keep a close watch on those toddlers.)
I would like to add a special note for our homeschool readers. The chemical reaction made when mixing vinegar and baking soda would make a great science lesson. Just don’t mention to the kids that the real reason for your science project assignment is your desire to have a clean bathtub!
Step 4: Step 4: Take a Long, Luxurious Bath.
Usually after cleaning the tub, I step into the tub with much trepidation, fearing a fall on the slick surface. Not this time! The tub was very clean, but not slippery. Were the non-slip circles now fulfilling their intended purpose, since all the deep crevices had been cleaned? Or did the slight residual traces of baking soda discourage slipping?
So, enjoy a bath in your freshly cleaned tub! For an extra luxurious bath, add some Luxurious Lemon Hand Scrub.
Step 5: Check Us Out
Check our other Instructibles for our award winning recipe, or visit our blog at www.cheapdiyprojects.com
Runner Up in the
Spring Cleaning Challenge