May 10, 2013

Myth or Miracle Cleaner Series: Clean Your Bath Tub with Vinegar

Homemade Bath Tub Cleaner Myth or Miracle Cleaner | Tried & Twisted


Hello, my name is Sara. And I am a Pinterest addict.

Pinterest lists tons of cleaning shortcuts and homemade remedies: dozen uses for vinegar, clean your kitchen with baking soda, etc. I've often wondered if these DIY cleaning methods work, if they are better than store-bought cleaner, and if it's worth the extra effort for a little savings in money.

One of my goals here on Tried & Twisted is to test out new projects and to share if it's worth your time and effort. This month's series is all about DIY cleaning methods.

The first challenge for my Spring Cleaning series: Homemade Bath Tub Cleaner!

You may have seen a graphic floating around on Pinterest promising dramatic results by a simple cleaning method of combining vinegar and dish soap. Just spray on, spray off, no scrubbing, and the shower is instantly clean. It will even take soap scum off of shower doors, so it claims. Let's see how that theory works out in practice.
Bath Tub Cleaner with Vinegar and Dish Soap | Tried & Twisted

Supplies:
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup dish soap
Spray bottle
Sponge/wash cloth

Step 1. The original directions say to heat 1/2 cup of white vinegar in microwave for 90 seconds and pour into a spray bottle. I presume it needed to be hot to blend the vinegar with the soap, but it was also hot enough to MELT my plastic spray bottle.

Heat Vinegar but Watch the Heat | Tried & Twisted
Heat the vinegar before mixing with the dish soap, but watch the heat!

You could heat the vinegar for 30 seconds at a time and use a very sturdy spray bottle. However, the vinegar and soap seemed to mix fairly well at room temperature and didn't really seem to affect the effectiveness, so new direction...

New Step 1. Just pour your vinegar direction into the spray bottle.

See, sometimes I can keep it nice and simple at Tried & Twisted!

Step 2. Add 1/2 cup of Blue Dawn Dish Soap to the bottle and shake gently to mix.

For the bargain hunters out there, don't worry. It doesn't have to be Dawn name-brand. It doesn't even have to be blue. Any dish soap will work fine for the same results.

Step 3. Spray mixture evenly onto shower and tub surface. I sprayed it onto the shower curtain too for the full experiment.

As for "evenly", well, that didn't go quite as planned. Even though the spray bottle was set to mist, the solution tended to run on the walls and create streaks. Then at the bottom of the bottle, the soap got a little sudsy, so pink foam sprayed all over the walls like I was in Ghostbusters or something. So, it did not spray on so evenly, but at least the mixture was on the walls, so...success?

Did I mention it smells like vinegar?

Step 4. Wipe solution off the and rinse.

A little easier said than done. Because the solution streaked, it only cleaned in streaks. Plus the dirt and soap scum didn't just rinse away. Expect to scrub for several minutes in order to really work the solution into the walls.

Since the solution doesn't just wipe away, scrubbing the shower curtain proved to be a bit challenging and it was hard to avoid some soap suds deposits.

Overall, the process wasn't quite as effortless as advertised, but who can argue when you get results?


Look at that white shine! This mix worked really well at removing dirt, soap scum, and even some stains. Granted, some set stains still remained. For example, the stain circling the ledge on the right of this picture is still there, but the vinegar/dish soap mixture did succeed at lightening it, which is more than most commercial cleaners have been able to do.

Rating of difficulty: 1 out of 5. This is a homemade cleaning remedy that I would recommend. You don't have to grate soap or mix 10 different ingredients together. It's only two ingredients, shake lightly, and spray away.

Cheap: Vinegar and dish soap are cheap commodities that you probably already have around the house, and they can serve many purposes, like cleaning dishes or spicing up your next stir fry meal. If you buy in bulk or buy bargain brands, you can save even more money over a commercial bath tub cleaner.

Green? This homemade cleaner can't exactly be called all-natural because dish soap does have chemicals in it. Every dish soap cleaner is a bit different, so if being environmentally friendly is important to you, buy green dish soap for this mixture.

Now, I want to hear from you! I have an opening for a mystery spot in the Myth or Miracle Cleaner series, so put suggests below or in my original post. If you've heard of an unusual homemade remedy for cleaning, I want to hear about it!

Linking at: 
Natasha in Oz, Mums Make Lists (1 & 2), The Pin Junkie,Watch Out Martha,The Dedicated House,

17 comments:

  1. I'm just stopping by to Say G'day from the Say G'Day Saturday Party. Have a beautiful day and see you again soon! Gloria @The Resourceful Gals

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  2. Heated 1/4 cup vinegar in glass bowl and added 1/4 cup Dawn, applied with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to an acrylic one piece tub and surround. Worked relatively well and have enough for another cleaning, Between cleanings use spray of rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Jet Dry and water and you won't have to clean. Did a trial of this on a shower in our home and it remains spot free and shiny

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    1. Thanks for sharing the tip, Wisconsingal! I'll have to test it out the next time my bath tub gets dirty.
      Toodles,
      Sara

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  3. Try hot vinegar by itself and then scrub it off with baking soda paste.

    Vinegar and soap don't mix ... but I have no idea what it does with the chemicals in commercial dish detergent. I would surprised if the combination is better than vinegar alone. (I tried a recipe for dish detergent and vinegar for window cleaning once. That one is absolutely an either-or proposition. Both do fine by themselves, but are a mess when combined.)

    Thanks for this feature and keep it up. There is a ridiculous amount of DIY cleaning solution bunk out there. Either the people posting haven't tried the cleaners or they're experience a massive placebo effect. Wetting and scrubbing with water does as well or better than most vinegar/soda/soap combos, because those things cancel out each other's cleaning properties when mixed together.

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    1. That's a good point, Karen. There's some science to how these items combine that I'd love to learn more about. Sometimes it's just the scrubbing action that fixes the grime and not the actual trick. I had fun with this, so I may do more posts in this series in the future.
      Toodles,
      Sara

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  4. More ideas: Those baking/washing soda and vinegar and or soap all purpose cleaner recipes. No grate laundry soap recipes. Dawn and vinegar window spray. Vinegar and ammonia oven cleaning solutions. Homemade wine, er "enzyme cleaner" recipes. The list is pretty endless.

    (Here's one for you. Followed a famous book's recommendation to slap a sprayer on a bottle of seltzer water for windows. Works as good as plain water, plus, the pressure makes the bottle spray and dribble nonstop. That's the kind of thing that makes me wonder whether people actually try the recipes they recommend.

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    1. Thank you so much for all of the suggestions, Karen! I'd love to try them out if I do another Myth or Miracle Cleaner series post. I agree with you--how many of these tips have been tested and how many are old wives tales? That's what I love to find out!
      Toodles,
      Sara

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  5. Been wondering if this works! We use white distilled vinegar to soak clean the shower head and run a cycle without dishes just vinegar in our dishwasher to clean it!
    But, by far the best tub cleaner I've tried is Bar Keepers Friend! It's like a cleanser, but it's very fine.
    I had rusty stains in my vintage tub that nothing would remove! Read a post on a product called "Bar Keepers friend". Found it a my Giant super market. It not only worked at removing all the stains, it cleaned stains off my dish ware too as the post i read suggested. New follow. Follow me too at http://www.sewsweetvintage.com/2013/06/beachy-pillows.html

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    1. I haven't heard of the Bar Keepers Friend before, but I'll definitely look it up now! Thanks for the suggestion. Thanks for following! I'm following you by email. I'm on G+, Pinterest, and BlogLovin' too. Can I look for you on there too?
      Sara

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  6. I'm not gonna lie, I didn't read all the posts but I like to put vinegar and dish soap in one of those kitchen scrub things with the scrubby and the handle that holds soap to wash dishes. I mix half and half and just let it hang out in the shower and I scrub while I'm rinsing off. Just a little shake and it's ready to go.

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  7. Vinegar is the best cleaning solution.. It is cheap, effective and safe chemical for cleaning.
    Bond Cleaning Sunshine Coast

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  8. I spray the vinegar, shake some baking soda on it, give it a little scrub and rinse. To keep it up I spray vinegar on the shower when I get out.

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  9. This was really helpful! I've never tried this one, but it's been on my list, and it's good to know it's useful :D

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    1. Yup, I still use this method all of these months later!

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  10. Dryer sheet, no joke when you get out of the shower and its still damp in there just wipe it down, so easy my 3 year olds could do it :D

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    1. Very cool idea! How often do you wipe it down?

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