Cleaning a skanky tub naturally - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 11-09-2005, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My apartment has a fairly old and kind of crusty tub. It's fine for showering, but I wouldn't bathe in it. I've tried scrubbing with vinegar and baking soda, which helps--but there are still big gray patches. Any advice for what I can use to clean it? Would steel wool be too abrasive? I'm pregnant, so I don't want to use any chemical cleaners, bleach, etc.--but it would be SO lovely to be able to take a bath!

Thanks!
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#2 of 14 Old 11-09-2005, 05:54 PM
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I know you want to go natural, so I apologize in advance for suggesting this... but if you really want to take a bath and the natural cleansers aren't doing it... I would reccommend the Mr. Clean magic eraser... I am sure what they put in it isn't natural, however, you won't get any of the fumes of traditional clensers, and if you wear gloves and rinse really well, you can just treat the *tough* areas...plus, they are really cheap and it isn't a commitment to a big @ss clenser that you are only going to use once...

I don't mean to sound like a Mr. Clean commercial, honestly!! because I only use all natural cleansers I make myself, but for the really tough things that nothing seems to get out, I use that occasionally to prevent fumes and such...

Hope that helps a little...sorry I couldn't offer much more...
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#3 of 14 Old 11-09-2005, 08:38 PM
 
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I'm wondering if Bon Ami will do the job? From what I understand, that is natural.

Anyone have luck with bon ami in this gal's situation? It worked for me but I didn't have the patches either..so have no idea.
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#4 of 14 Old 11-09-2005, 08:49 PM
 
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I cut a lemon in half and use it to "scrub" around piles of salt and baking soda. This seems to work for all my tubs.
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#5 of 14 Old 11-09-2005, 10:36 PM
 
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Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds is a great natural cleanser. Put a squirt on a scrubbie sponge thing, then add some baking soda and scrub away. HTH

Heather, mama to          
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#6 of 14 Old 11-09-2005, 11:04 PM
 
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I wouldn't use steel wool. If you abrade the porcelain (assuming that's the kind of tub it is), it will be harder to clean than ever.

I've had some success in the past with the following method (this is for when you move into an apartment in which no one has seriously cleaned the tub in YEARS and the soap scum buildup is unreal. . . ) : First, apply dishwashing liquid straight to the area you need to clean. Then sprinkle baking soda or some sort of fairly gentle cleanser (Bon Ami should work well) over the dish soap. Let it sit for a while, preferably overnight. Then, applying more dish soap and baking soda, and using a green scritchy pad if absolutely necessary, scrub the bejeezus out of it.

I can't guarantee this will work in your particular case, but I've had some luck with it in some pretty hard core cases. It will also motivate you to never let it get to that point. To wit, I maintain tub cleanliness by scrubbing the sides a bit with a microfiber cloth when I take a bath and by (once a week, um, most of the time) putting dishwashing liquid on the microfiber cloth, sprinkling the tub with baking soda, and wiping it all down. That combo seems to cut through a lot.

That seems like a much, much longer answer than it needed to be. . . .
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#7 of 14 Old 11-10-2005, 12:18 AM
 
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definately try bon ami with a long handled scrub brush. we have very minerally well water and this works for the icky deposits that stick like cement to the tub.
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#8 of 14 Old 11-10-2005, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! I'm going to try the things I have first (lemon, dishwashing liquid, etc.). If I do end up trying the Bon Ami...where do I get it? Is it at regular stores or the HFS? Also, does it have any fumes? That's is what I'm particularly trying to avoid during pregnancy.
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#9 of 14 Old 11-10-2005, 11:06 AM
 
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hi amanda!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg
Thanks! I'm going to try the things I have first (lemon, dishwashing liquid, etc.). If I do end up trying the Bon Ami...where do I get it? Is it at regular stores or the HFS? Also, does it have any fumes? That's is what I'm particularly trying to avoid during pregnancy.
No fumes. I just went to a workshop this weekend on "living better with fewer chemicals" and the presenters recomended Bon Ami and said that you do not even need to wear gloves when using it.

I picked some up at the regular supermarket yesterday and am planning to try it out in my bathroom today.

Oh and it's waaaaay cheap. I think it was like $.89 or something like that.

~Erin
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#10 of 14 Old 11-30-2005, 02:27 PM
 
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I use Borax for the tub/ toilet. It is a detergent but all natural (boric acid). No fumes. It works really really well

  homeschooling, earth loving Mama to 3 crazy, wonderful boys, ages 10 & 7, & 3 mos.,3 spirit babies                                Inch by inch, row by row.  Gonna make this garden grow  
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#11 of 14 Old 11-30-2005, 05:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg
Thanks! I'm going to try the things I have first (lemon, dishwashing liquid, etc.). If I do end up trying the Bon Ami...where do I get it? Is it at regular stores or the HFS? Also, does it have any fumes? That's is what I'm particularly trying to avoid during pregnancy.
I use it to clean my stainless steel pans once in awhile. It works great, and is cheap, the package has a little chick on it and it comes in a can. I think the main ingredient is calcium carbonate.

FWIW, my DH (boyfriend at the time) was renting an apartment with a bunch of guys, and had to scrape the sides of the shower wall/tub off with a ice scraper! The mildew had a root system, gross!
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#12 of 14 Old 12-02-2005, 03:50 PM
 
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To whiten your tub, first wipe it down with a damp washcloth (so that the surface is wet.) Sprinkle with cream of tarter and then scrub with the cut half of a lemon. Repeat if necessary, and rinse well.

This should work. (NOTE: The first time I used this tip, it took about 1/3 cup of cream of tarter, and two lemons, but the end result was gorgeous!)

Visit www.evolutiontosimplicity.blogspot.com to follow my epic saga of single mummahood....

 

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#13 of 14 Old 12-19-2005, 10:38 PM
 
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Our tub actually had to be reglazed. Nasty process, but the tub was chipping off as the previous people had poured acid of some sorts on it. We tried everything to get it clean. nothing worked. The reglaze was cheap and looks great.

hh2.gif

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#14 of 14 Old 12-20-2005, 09:11 PM
 
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You say that the spots are gray. If it's a porcelain tub, I wonder if someone already tried scrubbing it with steel wool. I made that mistake once. The gray was from scratching the porcelain (which you'd have to go right for the reglazing).
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