Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tuesdays 411 on Cleaning:Bathroom Cleaning Part II

Getting Rid of Stains and Hard Water Build-Up

Yesterday, I gave you a glimpse of what my bathroom shower stall looked like when I moved in, and what it looks like now since I finally found something that worked, without hours of effort.

The day we looked at the house we are now renting, everything was clean and somewhat orderly, even in the midst of boxes and moving preparations. Even though half of the house looked stuck in the early 90's, as far as wall paper and fixtures, it was newer construction and not as big as the yellow house. Both of these things were very important to us because the big yellow house was hard to clean and keep clean.  

The day we moved into the house was a different story.  Apparently, in 2 weeks time, a house can go from immaculate to filthy. Especially during a move.  I knew that. But, another reason we rented this house was the appeal of using a rental agency.  Having rented directly from homeowners before, we learned that during move-ins and maintenance, renters can often be left on their own. With a higher rent, came higher expectations for the house to be ready to move in. That wasn't the case.

I am not sure what happened, but there was no time for clean-up or any of the standard move-in procedures to be done on the day we picked up the keys for the house.  We picked up the keys at 12 noon.  The owner of the home had moved out right at midnight a few hours before. I think the move was much more overwhelming than she realized and there was simply not enough time to get it all done. Carpets weren't cleaned, no touch up paint, no exterior cleaning....no interior cleaning. To make things worse, for some reason on the day we looked at the house, the only place I didn't stick my head was the master bath shower stall. Had I done that, I would have been prepared.

In the bathrooms, this is what we walked into 

Main Bathroom Tub

Master Bathroom Shower Stall
I wanted to cry.

It takes a lot to get me mad enough to actually say something, unless you are in my immediate family. No problem there.  But, other than that, I hate confrontation.  But I got really, really angry when I saw the shower stall.  I called the rental agency.  They sent a cleaning crew, a painter, a carpet cleaner, and a maintenance man over within an hour.  Maybe I should speak up more often.

By that afternoon, everything was clean and to our satisfaction...except the shower stall.  The gal that cleaned it even agreed, this was not a typical dirty shower stall.  She made arrangements with me to come back the next day and work on it some more.  Early the next morning, I wanted to take a shower.  I was cruddy feeling from all the moving, but I didn't necessarily want to take a shower in that stall.  I knew it was surface clean because the gal had spent a couple of hours scrubbing it.  But it didn't look clean and that grossed me out.  So, I decided to clean it myself. I tried:

Comet Bathroom Cleaner
A Magic Eraser (Bath)
Bar Keeper's Friend

NOTHING touched it!  I took a quick shower anyway.  When she came back to clean it further, I gave her a list of everything I tried so that she wouldn't waste her time.  She assured me that she would get it clean.  My suggestion was she let me call the agency back and demand a new door and tile.  She was so sweet, she just smiled and told me not to worry.  

She got it a lot cleaner. After 8 hours.  Of SCRUBBING. With her fingernails and a green scrubber.  One. tile. at. a. time. She was a better woman than me.  I wouldn't have had the patience or strength...or temperament   Worse part is that it didn't all come off.  It was simply "livable". The glass doors still looked frosted, hard water stains where thick on the chrome, and there was still a brown tint on the tiles.

Livable, but not as white as I'd like
So, I've spent the last year and a half scrubbing and spraying and trying everything I can get my hands on just to keep the stall from getting back to where it was....and hoping to get it looking better.  There are lots of suggestions on Pinterest. I think I tried them all. Little by little, the glass has started to look better, but the brown on the tile and the white on the chrome has not. Not even the famous Dawn and vinegar solution did the trick.

A friend recently showed me some before and after photos of her bathtub. She had removed the shower doors and was in the process of a bathroom makeover.  She asked for suggestions in cleaning the tub.  I gave her my Magic Eraser with Comet Bathroom Cleanser (Spray) idea because that is the only thing that gets our main bathtub clean (porcelain), my Tuesday house bathtub clean (Porcelain), and my Wednesday house bathtub clean (fiberglass).  Note, not the tiles, just the bottom of the bathtubs, on the slip resistant areas and on bathtub "rings".

But what she used was....


....Bar Keeper's Friend! That's AMAZING! Funny, I tried that, but it didn't work for me.  I use it in my Wednesday house and it works great in her porcelain sink.  Three doors down, in my Tuesday house....it doesn't touch a single stain.  Darn Chemistry again. Still, with results like this, I HAD to try it one more time.
I went to Walmart, but they were out of the powder.  They did have the soft scrub. I picked it up hoping it would work just as well. It didn't really do much in my stall. No sense in wasting it,so I brought it with me to clean my Tuesday house.  This is the same house where the powder didn't work.  I had been trying to remove these rust stains from their porcelain tub for several months:

To my utter amazement and great delight, It worked!  The soft scrub Bar Keeper's Friend WORKED!
Nevermind that it didn't clean the bottom of the tub. It got the rust spots off, and look at that CHROME! Man. I wish it would have worked for me. Oh well, back to scrubbing and searching.

Two weeks ago, I bought a bottle of Citrasolve.

I used it for an image transfer project. ( A link to that project, here).  I found it at Publix, in the Greenwise section, not with the regular cleaners.  I had never heard of it before.  While working on the image trasfer, I read the label and thought....maybe THIS will get the stall clean.

I used it FULL STRENGTH.  It did OK on the door, got a lot of the white stuff off of the chrome, but didn't touch the tile. Not only did the white still have a brown tinge, but the blue now had a white tinge.

Back to scrubbing.  At least I had some success with toilets.  That made me feel better. And I didn't have to deal with yucky shower stalls in the other houses.  The reason for that is they wipe their stalls with a towel or  use a squeegee after they shower.  I've started doing that also.  Yes, it is a bother, but it makes so much of a difference.  Less water staining equals less scrubbing. Back to my toilet success post....

From that post, a friend asked how to clean fiberglass stalls.  That question made me remember the slob days...and the yucky tub. WHEN I cleaned that tub, to get the iron build up off, I used Whink Rust Remover. Last week, I googled it to get the name right to tell my friend.  While looking a Whink's product page, I came across something I had never seen before.

Whink Lime Buster.  

I had never seen it before, because (as far as I know )it is only sold in Winn Dixie stores here.  I never go to Winn Dixie, it is too far away. 
Last week, I made a special trip.  I came home and did a test area on the stall.

I see hope!

Yesterday, I got out my gloves, grabbed a sponge and went to town:

and I kept on going....

outside of stall lime build up (before)

outside of stall lime buildup (after)
And here are yesterday's sneak preview shots again:

Finally, I have a clean shower stall! 
And Tuesday's house? Lime Buster got their stall clean also.  Their's wasn't as bad as mine, but nothing else has removed the build up of lime off of the chrome or glass before now.

Side note:  I did let the Lime Buster stay on for a few moments on tough spots, I did squirt directly on caked-on lime, and I did use a scrub brush on those areas. Also, I reapplied in some areas.  Still, it wasn't eight hours; it was less than one.

For a view of how it did on fiberglass, check out my album on facebook. Like my page if you want to follow me on facebook.

I've shared this post on:


  1. How bad were the fumes?

    Had you tried Lime Away previously? I didn't see it on your list.

    Any suggestions on how I can get hubby to use the squeegy? I have one hanging in there but he never uses it.

  2. I have used Lime Away before in another house but it didn't work, so I didn't try it on this one. The fumes were not bad at all. When I used Whink's Rust Remover in my old house, it was pretty bad. But with the Lime Buster, there was only a mild smell on the tough spots. It even bubbled a little on the heavy parts and that's when the smell came. But I did not have to leave the stall. My hubby doesn't use the squeegy either, lol. But I do, so half the battle is won! Something is better than nothing, right?

  3. This is an awesome post! I have really hard water and I'm glad to know there is something out there that will tackle it! Now....to find the Whink Lime Buster. I'm on a mission....thank you! Saw you over at 4 You with Love and happy to be following you via GFC. Looking forward to more!

  4. Hope it works on yours, too! There is a link in the post (Whink's product page). They have a "where to find our products section. You should be able to find a list of stores. Happy New Year! May your bathroom be clean and shiny! :)

  5. I've been looking for bathroom cleaning ideas....THANKS for sharing!