[request] bathroom and rug cleaning solutions
July 19, 2014 5:02 PM   Subscribe

Hi. Can someone suggest ways to clean our home rug and bathroom. the rug itself has been in use for over 20 years and has now grayed with dirt and compressed down. The picture shows a side by side of when the rug was new (a bed was under this area so it was untouched).

Also for the bathroom, there seems to be some layer of grim thats accumulated over the years.

I've tried using a vinegar / baking soda solution but it doesnt seem to be working. The harder I scrub, it seems to just rip off the water proof seal underneath. Any suggestions?

Thank you and best regards
posted by philllip to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Here are some pictures of my home

posted by philllip at 5:02 PM on July 19, 2014

1) it is time to rip out and replace that rug

2) try Krud Kutter on the tub. The waterproof seal sounds like caulk. Use a putty knife and some Goof Off to get that off, too. Then buy a tube of caulk and a caulk gun ($20 for both?) and put a new, fresh bead of caulk all the way around the tub.
posted by slateyness at 5:20 PM on July 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

This looks like a job for professional carpet cleaners. I washed my carpet with a borrowed machine and the peofession cleaner was much more effective.

For the bathroom, those are mold stains. The tub needs to be recaulked. This is not as hard as it sounds.

Alternately you can try making a thick paste of comet and leaving it on overnight - that worked for me once.
posted by bq at 5:22 PM on July 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

20 years is a very long life for carpet and rugs. Replace it.
posted by zachlipton at 5:41 PM on July 19, 2014 [4 favorites]

Replace the carpet.
posted by amro at 5:59 PM on July 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Bathroom: seconding slateyness that you need to get ALL of that existing caulk out of there. It looks like more than was ever necessary was put in there. Get it all out, dry everything out very thoroughly, and put in fresh caulk. If you don't know how to do that, see if you can find someone who is adept — it should be nice and smooth. Apply it with the tub full of water, and let it set before emptying the tub. (This is so that the deflection caused by a full tub doesn't rip a crack into the caulk the first time you fill it.) Going forward, use a mold-preventive cleaner, or bleach or vinegar, on a regular basis to prevent that kind of brown build-up.
posted by beagle at 6:19 PM on July 19, 2014 [4 favorites]

That rug probably has more forms of life than the Okeefenokee Swamp. Replace it!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:26 PM on July 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

It looks like you need new carpet, unfortunately. Even a professional cleaning won't even that out. 20 years is quite a long time for carpeting and you're due for new carpeting and padding at this point.

For the bathroom, you'll have to recaulk the tub. Everyone above is right- it looks like it has far too much caulk anyway and there is just no way you can clean what you have now.

To prevent that kind of mold and mildew buildup in the future, using Tilex every so often will work wonders. Even now, if you were to spray Tilex on and let it sit for a few minutes (while making sure you're keeping the bathroom well ventilated), it would make a big dent in the mess. It'll also help to cut some of the grime on the bottom of the tub now.

Vinegar, baking soda, and elbow grease will make a dent, but spending a few dollars on a heavy duty cleaner will save you a ton of time and effort.

For what looks like a stainless steel backsplash, try out Barkeeper's Friend to help you get it cleaned up... but if that's rust I'm seeing, then you'll just have to replace it.
posted by Old Man McKay at 6:31 PM on July 19, 2014

Caulk is something that you have to redo every few years as part of normal home maintenance. As far as home projects go it's not too bad, and sort of fun. Smushing caulk into the joint is weirdly satisfying.

And yes, dispose of the rug with extreme prejudice.
posted by gatorae at 6:32 PM on July 19, 2014

Recaulking is actually pretty fun. Scraping out the old caulk is super satisfying in kind of a destructive way, and then recaulking is pretty easy, plus it's fun to say "caulk" a lot.

The linoleum in the bathroom looks like there's nothing for it but to either replace it, or at least just accept that it's clean when scrubbed down and mopped regularly. That wooden cabinet front could probably stand to be oiled down with something like Scott's Liquid Gold every few months.

If, as noted above, that is a stainless steel surface behind those soap dishes, try a light hand with steel wool and the aforementioned Barkeeper's Friend or Bon Ami.

The bottom of that tub wants to be just scoured within an inch of its life. Try a Mr. Clean Eraser to buff down the built up crud.

The carpet's just gotta be replaced or lived with. Carpet has a limited life.
posted by padraigin at 7:48 PM on July 19, 2014

Let me tell you, when you pull that carpet up you will gag at the amount of dirt and cruft are under there. The discoloration isn't going to change--it's due to light fading and years of vacuuming grinding the dirt deep into the fibers, as well as color change resulting from using different carpet cleaning solutions and not getting them completely out.

Cleaning will help in a surface manner, but won't address the major issue of 20 year old grunge ground into the carpet and through the pad to the floor.

Nthing the ideas above for the bath.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:27 PM on July 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

When you re-caulk the tub, tape the edges first- it's a bit fussy, but it'll look so much nicer. Check out YouTube how-to videos like this one.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 1:59 PM on July 20, 2014

Yeah, that tub seriously needs to be scrubbed and re-caulked. I'm assuming that waterproof seal you are talking about is caulk, which is very easy to re-do and kind of fun.

I don't think vinegar and baking soda is going to make much of a dent considering the amount of mildew that seems to have built up. I'd try soft scrub with bleach, a scrub brush, and a lot of elbow grease. Make sure you scrub the tracks of the shower door as well. Barkeeper's friend will probably work on the stainless steel (if you use it on the tub, you might scratch it).
posted by inertia at 11:14 AM on July 21, 2014

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