Have you ever moved into a pre-owned house and loved the place, but found the bathroom grout stained and dirty? Are you one of those people who no matter what kind of cleaning product, and no matter how much elbow grease you use, the bathroom never looks sparkling and clean as you would like it to be? Well you are not alone, I experienced the same thing.
Recently I purchased some new products that I used to clean the bathroom grout and tile, and to caulk the tub, and they worked.
Cleaning the Tile and Grout ..The product that I now Love, because it did such a wonderful job for me is Oxi Clean Versatile Stain Remover.
Getting Started ..Wearing rubber gloves, old clothing that I did not care if it got ruined, and shoes with rubber soles, I mixed up my first batch of Oxi Clean and water. The instructions on the package for Hard Surfaces, on their old containers said, use 2 to 4 scoops (each of the old scoops equaled 2 tablespoons) per gallon of water, and that would be fine. In today’s Oxi Clean containers the scoops are larger and one scoop equals three of the old scoops or 6 tablespoons. I picked 3 of the old smaller scoops (which equals almost one of the new larger scoops) because it was the amount in-between the least and most quantity of product they suggested using.
Kneeling on a folded bath towel, I dipped a plastic bristled scrub brush into the cleaning product and water mixture. I started scrubbing the tile and grout in a north to south, then east to west movement. I worked on a 2 foot by 3 foot section of floor at a time. After a bit of scrubbing / scouring, I noticed the grout between the tiles starting to look a lot lighter. I then decided to take a yellow sponge with a green nylon / plastic mesh scouring pad attached to it (you can just use a nylon / plastic mesh scouring pad by itself) and used it with the Oxi Clean and water solution. With the green scouring pad side of the sponge facing the grout and floor tiles, I started scouring the grout lines north to south and east to west.
Next I took a piece of an old bath towel, dipped it into clear water, and washed over the spot just scrubbed clean. What a world of difference!!! Forty years of grease, grime and embedded dirt was gone. The grout and tile looked almost new. I then continued cleaning the grout and tiles, working steadily but not really hard, scrubbing and washing each section until finishing the floor.
After many repetitive dippings of my brush into the Oxi Clean Versatile Stain Remover and water solution, the product got dirty. I then made up another batch, five in all, to clean the bathroom. From the second batch onward, I used the maximal amount of scoops (4) (as suggested on their old containers with the small scoop, which equaled 8 tablespoons of product added to a gallon of water).
I ran the bathroom vent while working with the Oxi Clean, but the smell was almost non existent.
After finishing the floor, I started on the walls of the tub / shower area. Coloring agent from shampoo, cream rinse or conditioner had stained the white grout between the white tiles a pinkish-coral color. Again with the Oxi Clean and water solution, I scoured over that surface with my scrub brush. Again the Oxi Clean solution took off all the pinkish-coral stain, and the tile and grout looked new.
I have one trick here ..After cleaning over your wall tiles with the Oxi Clean and scrub brush, take your fingers and run them over the surface of the ceramic tiles. If you feel a bit of film on the tiles, dip your nylon /woven plastic scouring pad into the Oxi Clean and water solution and scour over them. The film just washes away.
After finishing the tiles around the bath, I continued downward right into the tub, and scrubbed it with the Oxi Clean solution. I finished up that part of the project with everything looking and feeling great.
Caulking the Tub
Buy Caulk for your bathroom caulking project at your local hardware store. It should say Kitchen and Bath on the package. Look for the words Mold and Mildew Resistant, Water Tight, and Permanently Flexible on the tube. It will come in colors like white, almond / bisque, and clear. Pick the right color for your project. You will probably need two 2.8 oz, or one 5.5 oz tube for a regular caulking project.
Tools used to Remove old Caulk around the Tub ..At my local, nationally known Big Box Hardware Store, I found a kit that is called a Caulk Finishing Set. It consists of two devices. One is for removing old caulk (illustration 1), the other is for applying new caulk, so you end up with results that are professional looking (illustration 2). To the two devices I found at the hardware store, I would also suggest getting / using a razor blade knife (illustration 3), and a retractable razor, show with a blade (illustration 4). As with all projects, where things could fly, wear a pair of safety glasses for eye protection.
Removing Old Caulk ..Take the pointed edge of the caulk removing tool (illustration #1) and position it so its point is in the spot where your old caulk bead is covering the space where the ceramic wall tiles meet the surface of the edge of your tub. Slowly push the point of the device forward into the old caulk. Don’t push too hard or fast. While doing the project, I thought if I pushed too hard and too quickly, it would break off the head (point) of the device. As you start to lift off the old caulk, try pulling on it. You might be able to peel / rip off a good amount. It does not matter where you start removing the old caulk. Where you start, and how you go at it, will most likely be directed by, if you’re right or left-handed.
After prying up a length of old caulk, turn over the device, and use its scraper. Scrape over the surface of the tub and tiles where the old caulk had laid. That will lift off any extra debris not pried up by the device. At this point, if you feel that not all of the old caulk came off, scrape the area with a razor blade knife and retractable razor. With the use of the three tools, one after another, you will be able to clean the surface, and make it ready to accept new caulk.
After removing all the old caulk around your tub, and along the inside edges, where the wall tiles meet each other in the corners of the bath / shower surround, it is now time to put on new caulk.
Applying the New Caulk ..Step 1 ..Take your tube of caulk and starting in a corner, squeeze a bead of caulk in the channel where the ceramic wall tiles meet the edge of your tub. Push the nose of the tube of caulk right up close, and into that space. If you see large gaps of space between the tiles and tub edge, make sure you squeeze a bit more caulk out, so it goes into, and fills the space. To start, Only squeeze out 5 to 6 inches of caulk at a time. That is equal to the length of one and a half ceramic wall tiles.
Step 2 ..Take the head of your Caulk bead smoothing device (illustration 2), hold it at a 45 degree angle, and pressing its nose in the corner of your tub, where you started squeezing out your caulk.
Step 3 ..With both sides of its triangular head (one pressing firmly on the wall tiles, and the other pressing firmly on the edge of the tub surround) slowly pull / drag the device backward away from the corner toward the end of the line of caulk you squeezed out. Don’t worry if you squeezed too little, or too much caulk out the first time. You can go over the spot multiple times, adding caulk if necessary to form the caulk bead. As you pull back the device, the perfect bead will be formed from the triangular tip. As you pull back, excess caulk will collect on the underside of the device. With the tip of your tube of caulk, just scrape it off, onto the end of your just pulled line of caulk, and continue pulling your caulk line from there. If you see a bubble / space in your pulled caulk line, just squeeze a bit of caulk from the tube right on that spot. Take your device and starting just before the spot needing refilling, position your tool and pull over the spot again. You can also turn the device and pull caulk backward onto itself.
After finishing the first section to your liking, squeeze out the next 5 to 6 inches of caulk and repeat the process, working section by section, until you finish caulking the tub. After a few sections you will master it like a pro, and say to yourself “This is an Easy thing to Do“.
After caulking the tub, you might want to then put new caulk around your sink area, if it has any, so everything is all fresh and looking good.
Wait 24 hours, or allow caulk to dry according to caulk manufacturer’s recommendations, before wetting the area so the product properly cures.
Finally I want to say ..I did not get paid by the Oxi Clean company for mentioning their product. I just got it, tried it, and it worked great for me. As with all things, your results might differ from mine, but you will never know until, you try the product. If you do use the Oxi Clean, or the Caulk Tools, I would love hearing from you.
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