Elbow Grease – Day 20

Image by Didio dcc from Pixabay

28-Day Personal Challenge

***NOTE: The links to Amazon are not affiliate links and this post is not sponsored. I got a much better deal on my cleansers at Target, so check your local store first. The Goo Gone I had never came with a sticker scraper, so I can’t say if that works or not.***

A little elbow grease saves a ton of money.

The Tub

Oh my gosh, we’re really going here. This is horrifying. So I have boys, and clearly I didn’t do enough on the supervision of chores.

Now, I’m a firm believer in getting kids to take care of tasks around the house, lawn mowing, sweeping, mopping, and cleaning the bathroom. The whole bathroom. To be fair, my kids did that. And at first glance, the bathroom looked okay. It was scrubbed. It was clean.

Every Fall the bathroom chores took a backseat to school and to band activities. However, I still sent them in to clean their bathroom. They would fight over whose turn it was to clean the toilet, every darn time.

But the tub…that didn’t get as much attention.

The Backstory

Now, I can’t blame all the tub issues on my boys. When my 25-year old son was just a little babe, learning to sit up, that bathtub looked huge. I was positive he was going to slip and biff it, in the tub. So I bought the little decals that you stick on the bottom of the tub to give a little traction.

My husband warned me not to, but I scoffed at him. I’m sure everyone knows a grandparent or parent who has these darn decals in the tub. They are the most miserable inexpensive item ever.

Anyway, I stuck the decals in the tub. They turned from white to offwhite to grungy white over the years. They got a ring of mildew around them that I could not get out. Then I got on my bleach kick. I have a serious bleach addiction. All of our towels become white. I should stop buying colors because the shade between what I buy and the white they become is always unattractive.

One day, I got the brilliant idea to bleach the mildew out. And in the process, I would turn the decal stickers white again. Total win, win situation.

Until it wasn’t. I may have over-estimated my bleach to water ratio. What happened was that the darn decals turned a yellowy-grungey color and the mildew-ish looking ring didn’t go away. Not even with scrubbing.

The worst part? I stained the lower two inches of the bathtub an off-white, slightly yellow color.

The Years Didn’t Help

Over the years, the boys would clean the bathroom. They did a phenomenal job on the sink and toilet. We did have a few rows about how often to clean the bathroom. The tub never received as much love. It looked clean, until you ran your hand over the surface, especially on the wall where the faucet is, and felt the soap buildup.

I had tried a few times in the past to remove the decal stickers from hell, but I always made the situation worse. I could never get the darn things up. And then a few little bits would get lifted and it was like hardened plastic bits stabbing anyone in the shower. Which since it was the boys’ bathroom, their feet suffered.


Yesterday, I had enough. I went in and brought an arsenal of cleaning tools and supplies with me. I spent four hours scrubbing.

My action plan went like this: Spray a wall (I broke the tub into four sections – three walls and the tub) with Mr. Clean Clean Freak, let it work for five minutes and then scrub with a scrub brush. Rinse that section, wipe it down and spray it with Scrubbing Bubbles Mega Shower Foam, let it sit for five minutes and then scrub again using a scouring pad. Rinse, spot treat, rinse. That was one section. Repeat three more times. I was able to break through the soap barrier back to the smooth fiberglass.

After cleaning all of the areas, I broke down and started picking at the decals with my fingernails. In the past, I had always tried using a little scraper type thing, but this time, it worked. I used my fingernails, to lift sections and then used the little plastic kitchen scraper to shove under and help me peel up the decals. Full disclosure: I totally trashed my nails.

The Magic Ingredient

Once I got the decals up, there was still a layer of glue(?), dried up stick em (?), whatever it was, it was stuck! I scraped and scraped and sprayed cleaner on and rinsed and scraped. It wouldn’t budge.

It was time to check the garage where I found the Goo Gone. I doused each little decal section with Goo Gone and waited three minutes for the product to soak in. Then I grabbed some paper towels and began the long tedious process of rubbing in tiny slow circles. It worked. I finally got those horrendous nasty little decals out of the tub. And it was smooth again.

It’s not perfect, the bottom two inches are still stained from my bleach attack so if you have tips on how to deal with that, please let me know. And, you can still make out the shapes of the decals because apparently, even the bleach couldn’t get under those decals, so it’s white there.

Elbow grease, persistence, and Goo Gone saved the tub.

I was so happy I bought some bath bombs and took a nice long soak. It. Was. Awesome.

Previous 28-Day Personal Challenge Posts

About the author
Diane DeMasi is a freelance writer and author. As a freelancer she writes articles, blog posts, newsletters, web content, catalog copy, and more. As an author she writes dark, twisted, creepy short stories and novels.

1 comments on “Elbow Grease – Day 20

Comments are closed.