Just to preface the OCD characteristics of this post, I do want to say that we have had icy weather here in Dallas and I have been cooped up inside for around 3 days. Although, if you know me, you also realize that I would have done this anyway, even if it were perfectly sunny and I were getting plenty of outdoor exercise. Still…
I had recently become fixated on the grout around the bathtub. The bathtub is surrounded by white tile with white grout. Or, it is white in some places, off-white or weird shades of whitish orange or whitish reddish in others. That is the thing – the fact that it is white in some places convinces me that all I need to do is find the appropriate cleaner and I can make all the grout white!! Wouldn’t that be amazing?!
Since this is me we are talking about, I have been trying to achieve this white grout thing without tons of dangerous chemicals. Last week I stood in the cleaning isle of the grocery store examining various scrubbing brushes. I realize that a toothbrush can be used to clean grout, but who am I – Cinderella?? Aren’t we a little more advanced than sitting in a bathtub on hands and knees scrubbing with a toothbrush?! So obviously there is some kind of implement I can purchase that will not be a toothbrush and therefore will make this less pathetic.
I ended up buying this Scotch Brite scrubber thingy. I liked it because it has interchangeable heads – you can use the brush or you can get this kind of steel-wool-looking thing and switch them out. This made me feel like I was being very green because it is so re-usable.
Yesterday I set about to use it on the grout. I looked through the 3 books on cleaners that I have and the only thing they had to offer was a kind of baking soda paste made with bleach. I really didn’t want to use up all my baking soda, though, so I tried some bleach diluted with water and tried sort of “throwing” the baking soda onto it. Remember, this is a vertical surface I am trying to clean. Therefore, throwing baking soda “at” the wall of the bathtub…not so effective.
Also, I have my doubts about this scrubber. It says is is ergonomic. What does that even mean? I am sitting here rubbing it on the wall and it hurts and I am uncomfortable. How is that ergonomic? Am I supposed to be standing in the tub? I can’t do that because I am wearing slippers and I refuse to take them off, it’s too cold!
So, baking soda – not effective. Next I tried the Clorox green bathroom cleaner and that worked a little bit on some of the less persistent areas. Sort of. At least it made bubbles which gave me a feeling of getting something done.
Finally, I resorted to this old leftover Target brand Mildew Remover I have had for years. It is mostly bleach. In fact, I would not be surprised if it is 95% bleach. I sprayed that stuff all over and scrubbed a little. I had to leave the room before I passed out from the bleach fumes. I went to eat some dinner and forgot about it for a while. I came back and most of the grout was white!
In conclusion, I have no idea what worked. I put at least 3 different things on it and then I forgot about it for a while. I am pretty sure most of what I used ended up being pretty toxic, too. And I still have several areas around the base of the tub will mildew stains I cannot remove. If straight-up bleach can’t remove it, I really don’t know what could. Any ideas?