During my house-neglect period, the bathtub got pretty gross. I don’t know if it was due to hard water, extra-dirty kids, infrequent cleaning, slow drain or what (probably all of the above), but a yellowish, scaly-looking patch formed at the end of the tub. The area stretched from around the tub train to partially up the tub wall.

This tub-ick really bothered me, but I could not find anything to remove it. I tried various products from the store shelves: liquids, powders, and foam sprays. I tried calcium/lime/rust removers, products with bleach, and earth-friendly products. I tried common “home remedies” such as baking soda, vinegar, baking soda and vinegar together (science fair volcano!), dish detergent, salt, bleach, and borax. I tried different scrubbers, sponges, erasers, and brushes and lots of elbow grease. NOTHING worked.

Then, one day, a new idea came to mind. Out of desperation, I grabbed the toilet bowl cleaner. I didn’t have high hopes, but what did I have to lose? I took a few “before” pictures to help me document any “after” success, which I doubted there would be. With a shrug and a sigh, I squeezed the ooey, gooey, clingy, blue liquid on the affected area. I gave the product time to set and soak in. When I returned and started wiping and scrubbing the spot, I saw a ray of hope. Were my eyes deceiving me or was some of that mystery ick gone?


I grabbed my camera and compared the before picture to the current state of ick. OH MY GOODNESS! IT WAS WORKING! I quickly squirted another round of toilet bowl cleaner on the tub. Now, patience is not my fortitude, but I forced myself to wait and let the ooze do its thing. When I went back and scrubbed again, big patches of the ick were gone. Hooray! I literally did a happy dance. I still get goose bumps thinking about it.

Perhaps the thick, cling-action of the toilet boil cleaner is the key or maybe some secret ingredient. I don’t know and I don’t care! I found something to get my tub looking much, much better, and surprisingly smelling minty-fresh! This won’t be part of my routine cleaning, but if it ever gets this bad again, at least I have an option to go to!

DISCLAIMER: I do not recommend, endorse, condone, or encourage the use of toilet bowl cleaner on your bathtub. This is not the intended use for this product. In other words, if you try this and something bad happens to your tub, don’t blame me! I simply retold the story a woman desperate to get her bathtub clean!

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Posted in: Home.
Last Modified: October 22, 2013

2 comments on “Attacking the Tub

  1. Gretti2U

    Huh. I did the exact same thing yesterday with our equally funky-looking tub. However, I wet the tub down and sprinkled (caked) the tub with Comet and let it sit there until I forgot about it while I was doing other things around the house. That did the trick for me. I think that from this day forward, October 22nd should be “National Clean Your Tub Day.”

    1. Nutmom Post author

      Feel free to come over and clean my tub anytime, friend!

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