As a landlord, cleaning a filthy bathtub is sometimes part of the job. The fixtures found in older homes may have years of buildup on them from previous families, so it’s important to remember that the goal is leave the fixture better than you found it. Even if that means you have to come back several times to get it right… So here is part 1 in my ongoing saga of bathroom clean-up in our rental property.
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Some of my funniest stories come from rather un-fun scenarios. Here’s a new one that just occurred this week. I was meeting a potential new roommate for the rent house and had just been asked the question, “so where is the bathroom?” We walked upstairs and I began to show him the rather large upstairs bathroom. All was going well until I pulled back the shower curtain… Having lost my motivation to grab a quick bite to eat and with the potential renter long gone, I decided to grab some cleaning supplies and get to work. From the picture, please notice the following:
- filthy tile and grout
- severe hard water buildup around the drain
- soap scum along basin walls
- mold along caulked edge
- missing faucet
- curtain stands up on its own
- hair clog in drain
In previous articles, we had discussed various cleaners that could be used to remove hard water stains and other grime. In this installment, I’ll show you what I used to clean up this mess. No, not fire. A $2 razor blade scraper <– much fancier than the one I employ, but you get the idea. Starting with the hard-water buildup it was easy to pick away at the mineral deposits. After about 5 minutes I had loosened all of the mineral scale with the razor blade and mopped them out of the basin using a piece of toiled paper. If you decide to use a razor blade on your basin, please BE CAREFUL. Using a very narrow angle (10* between handle and basin surface) and appropriate pressure you can removed the buildup flake by flake. However, if you push too hard or use too large an angle you can leave light marks on the finish. I used a similar approach on the basin corners where shampoo bottles had formed rings of mineral deposit. Using the razor blade, I was also able to quickly remove all of the soap scum from the tile surfaces. Looking down at the amount of scum on the razor, I’m glad I didn’t waste money trying to cut through it with cleanser! I finished up with some citrus-based goo gone and a green scouring pad on the basin. The shower curtain found itself in the trash and the drain clog got relocated to the toilet. So this was where I stopped for the night. Here is the basin afterwards; better than it was, but still a long way to go On my next trip I’ll re-caulk the tub using mildew-resistant white caulking, install a new faucet, clean the fixtures and soap holder, and focus on cleaning out the grout lines.