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So, I have this problem
cap, captain miss america
teaberryblue
I am one of those people who is fairly talented at a number of things. Which is cool and all, but there is one thing that I suck at.

Cleaning.

Seriously, I just completely suck at it. I don't know how other people do it; I don't know how people keep things clean or figure out where to keep stuff or whatever. I never have enough places to put all the things I own to keep them off the floor. I can't get into the habit of hanging up clothes the minute I take them off, no matter how hard I try, I run out of hangers, I don't have room in my drawers, I don't have anywhere to put my yarn. I just don't get the discipline it takes to keep things clean-- or the mentality of where to put things. I feel like it's the one thing that I'm really bad at that I should know how to do better.

So, anyway, I have been trying. I've been cleaning my bathroom once a week. I have got the sink and the toilet all right, but the bathtub, I have trouble with. And that is why I bring you this survey!



Note: if you have a spouse, roommate, parent, or household helper who does these things and you know what their answers would be, answer as if you are answering for them.

The following color swatches are for the last question:
Swatch 1Swatch 2Swatch 3Swatch 4Swatch 5


Poll #1372418 Tub Cleaning!

How often do you clean your bathtub or shower?

Every day
1(2.6%)
More than once a week
0(0.0%)
Once a week
5(13.2%)
Once every two weeks
7(18.4%)
Once a month
4(10.5%)
Whenever it looks dirty
21(55.3%)
I don't actually "clean" it but I use one of those mildew sprays when I get out of the shower
0(0.0%)
Clean? What?
0(0.0%)
I live in a residence with shared bathing facilities/don't have bathing facilities in my home
0(0.0%)

Do you feel like you clean:

Not often enough
27(71.1%)
Too often
0(0.0%)
Just often enough
11(28.9%)

What cleaning supplies do you use in your bathtub or shower?

Do you use a...

Scrub
1(2.6%)
Spray
0(0.0%)
Bleach
0(0.0%)
Powder
2(5.3%)
Foam
0(0.0%)
Soap
1(2.6%)
Steel Wool or Plastic Scour-er
0(0.0%)
Sponge
0(0.0%)
Cloth/Paper Towel
0(0.0%)
I just use water, nothing else
0(0.0%)

How long does it take you to clean your tub/shower on a regular basis?

Less than five minutes
5(13.2%)
Five-ten minutes
15(39.5%)
Ten-twenty minutes
12(31.6%)
Twenty-thirty minutes
4(10.5%)
between a half-hour and an hour
2(5.3%)
More than an hour
0(0.0%)

In between cleanings, I:

Use an anti-mildew or anti-soap scum spray
1(3.0%)
Rinse the tub/shower out with water
3(9.1%)
Wipe soap residue out with a cloth/paper towel
0(0.0%)
Clean hair out of the drain
12(36.4%)
Something else I will tell you about in the comments
1(3.0%)

After a shower or bath, the water drains out:

Almost immediately
25(65.8%)
Within five minutes
7(18.4%)
Within ten minutes
2(5.3%)
Within a half-hour
1(2.6%)
Within an hour
0(0.0%)
It takes more than an hour
0(0.0%)
It is still there when I get up in the morning if I shower at night/ when I get home from work if I shower in the morning
0(0.0%)
I don't know, because I always go to bed or to work or school as soon as I've showered
3(7.9%)

Look at the color swatches above. On "cleaning day," my shower or bathtub appears to have grime/a ring closest to:

Swatch 1
5(13.9%)
Swatch 2
12(33.3%)
Swatch 3
11(30.6%)
Swatch 4
5(13.9%)
Swatch 5
1(2.8%)
Darker than swatch 5
2(5.6%)




Your input is much appreciated and will help Tea become a better domestic whatever she is!

My answers are post-remodel.

Before that, the bathtub in our house and the bathtub in our prior apartment were essentially un-cleanable, no matter WHAT we did. It was horrible and probably contributed to my husband's past history of depression/lack of giving a damn about personal hygiene - the bath itself was so unhygenic that it could easily seem pointless.

It's also really hard to answer the swatch question because the bath fixtures we now have are not white. The prior tub was supposed to be white, but was pretty well permanently around 2-3 with spots of 5 (or other discolorations) even IF just cleaned.

Oh! And the process itself: wet bathtub surfaces, apply Ajax/Comet, allow to sit 3-5 minutes, scrub with scrubbing brush, rinse off, repeat if needed.

Edited at 2009-03-26 04:51 pm (UTC)

I wet down the tub and spray my Scrubbing Bubbles spray and wait a few minutes, then scrub it with a scrub brush and rinse. The draining issue varies, depending on how much of my hair has got in the drain, but I try to keep it draining pretty quickly.

I have no established cleaning plan or routine. I'm still experimenting with what works best for me. I'm trying to find something that works, and I'm also interested in learning about environmentally friendly ways to go about cleaning my shower.

I'm actually pretty good at cleaning in the sense that I know how to do it--I've worked several housekeeping jobs (private home, nursing home, inn). The problem is that I'm horrible about cleaning my own home. I understand the principles and all of that. I'm quite good at organization, even. I'm just bad about applying all of it to my own life and personal environment. On the other hand, my workspace is fairly tidy and organized.

Mine doesn't ever really look dirty. We mostly just take showers around here but I clean the tub every week plus whenever the girls have a bubble bath. Usually I use scrubbing bubbles and a rag or sponge, but I like to use Barkeeper's Friend, too. It's designed for steel sinks I guess but it's really scrubby so I like that every now and then. If I'm out of Scrubbing Bubbles, then I will use 409. If I'm out of that then just bleach and water will do the job. We don't have tile, though, so no mildew or grout to worry about.

Omg, if you saw photos of our bathtub and shower, any inferior feelings of your own cleaning skills would leave immediately. Our bathtub has been given up on and is unused and bright orange. The shower basically looks like someone's crapped in it by the time I clean it. I should be doing that right now...

Once a week is a really good plan.

It's less that I feel bad that I don't do it enough, and more that I feel like I must be doing something wrong, because the tub seems to be gross and filthy after about two days. And it's embarrassing when I'm trying to clean for guests and worried that by the time the guests come, it will be dirty again.

While I am glad to contribute, I am embarrassed to confess that I live with a bunch of filthy ex-homeless bachelors. We get a good clean in about every six months. 10 people regularly use our shower. So... don't feel bad.

I don't have a tub, but you should check out hip_domestics. :)

I said swatch 3, but my shower is a cream colored, not white, so it's a very rough guess.

It's ok! The dirt in my bathroom is more brown than grey, so it's a rough approximation.

I love cleaning the bathroom/toilet. Seriously, it's my fave place. Also, Barkeeper's friend is the best stuff ever. It gets out so much grime, and makes the tub/tile look sparkly and gorgeous.

I love cleaning the toilet too! I like using the toilet brush and how the poo goes away!

I clean whenever it gets dirty. And by clean I mean spray foaming bubbles stuff. I also have to clean my drain every couple weeks, or the draining gets bad. But I think you'd have to do that more often because your hair is kind of like drain death. It chokes the life out of them in a very impressive way.

My bathtub is like a usual 2/3, but if it gets worse I use a sponge.

Yeah, I pull the hair out like every day or two or it looks like a cat puked!

I use spray Comet. You spray everything down, walk away for fifteen, then come back to scrub until the fumes make you pass out.

Jon uses soap that just... melts. He goes through it like MAD and won't change it out. So it turns into grey crud in the tub. EEeew. But that will go away if sprayed with comet.

If you have a clog, I'm told that you should pour baking soda down the drain, followed by vinegar, then stuff the hole with a rag. After half an hour or so, pour boiling water down. Hey hey presto!

And use a thingie over the drain to catch hair in the future if you don't already.

I don't have a clog. I am actually having the soap problem Job has, I think, but the problem is that I do spray the shower every day and it doesn't do anything to the crud.

I only have a narrow shower, and it is in a very small, ill-ventilated suite-style bathroom. I've used various things to clean it, mainly sprays, but there's only one instance when I felt like I made any significant, lasting progress with the shower. My roommate mixed Comet powder and water together to form a paste. We smeared it all over the shower, let it sit for a while, and then scrubbed and eventually rinsed it off. It also took hours with the sort of elbow grease we were using. Oh, and our shower curtain was pretty terrible then too, so I think my roommate laundered it.

Since then, I've used sprays fairly often with the occasional short scrub, which seems to at least keep it from getting as bad as it was. We also now have dehumidifier crystals in the bathroom, which seem to help somewhat.

Oooh I like the dehumidifier idea.

(Deleted comment)
I have never tried that, but I will!

hey -- you live in an old midtown apartment right? you probably have a really old porcelain tub from like the 1920's or earlier, when your building was built.

which is to say, it just may be stained. When I was in new york, you could tell grime/film, but after you cleaned a tub, it looked dirty but you couldn't feel the grime... (you could *&feel* it was clean with your toes, but it didn't *look* clean.)

I would guess that there are products which could get your bathtub "white/clean" but I would almost guarantee they'd be bad for the environment.

I'd do a little online research abotu how to clean old bathtubs.

and good luck! hang in there! breathe! (I really enjoyed your poll, by the way...) loves & supports.

Oh, I'm not talking about AFTER cleaning it-- my tub is white after I clean it...it just gets really brown really fast.

Is there a possibility that the staining could be a result of hard water?

I'm blanking on the name right now, but there's a drain cleaning product that I love-- you dump a certain amount of solution down the tub drain, let it sit for about 30 minutes, and then let the water run for a minute or two-- it dissolves hair and any other goop that's got stuck in the pipe beneath the drain really well, with the added bonus of not having to pick out lumps of nasty drain hair with your fingers!

There isn't any staining. I think I must have worded things confusingly. The problem is that after a couple days, there is a huge build-up of greyish-brownish grime that is like, a thick layer that I can scrape off with my fingernails. It just seems to build up very quickly compared to, say, my mom's tub or the bathtub at home when I was a kid-- we washed the tub about the same amount i do now and I never remember it getting dirty like this.

I think my drain is okay-- I have a feeling any backup is because I live in a large building and I shower at popular times. I already have a hair trap, although oddly enough, I dumped some drain cleaner down it a few weeks ago-- one of the drain uncloggers like the one you mentioned (There's Liquid Plumr, Mr. Plumber, and Drano)-- and the next few days it would not drain at all. Now it's back to normal.

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