Looking for non-toxic tub/shower cleaning products, cat edition
May 12, 2019 8:08 AM   Subscribe

One of our cats likes to lick the tub a lot, and we need some recommendations for tub/shower-cleaning products that won't pose a danger of the little guy getting sick.

My daughter's cat likes to lick the tub. A LOT. He's one of those cats who is always looking for a fresher source of water. This is why we always have to keep the toilet lid down. Anyway, so these days we give him a splash of water in the tub sometimes when we go in there and he avidly licks it up. This part of the tub is pretty clean.

The rest of the tub and shower walls, however, are badly in need of cleaning at this point, and I want to be sure we use products that don't pose a danger of making him sick. Or at least minimize this danger. Obviously of course whatever we use we will rinse like crazy extra much. The shower head we use has a hose connected to it so rinsing will be straightforward.

The tub is plastic (? I think, feels like plastic), and has your standard soap scum around it, and pinkish stuff on the upper flat parts where we keep the shampoo and so forth. The shower walls are ceramic tiles with grout, so we would need something that works on that too. We live in an apartment, so replacing the tub is not something we can do.

The only bathroom cleaner stuff I have right now is the Lysol spray kind, and I worry that any residue would make him sick. So do you have any recommendations for something that would be good to use and wouldn't pose a danger of making him sick?

Here is Sputnik aka Sputtbutt.
posted by cats are weird to Pets & Animals (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda can be combined in many configurations to produce nontoxic cleaners of various strengths.

As an alternative- have you considered simply keeping the bathroom door closed?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:12 AM on May 12, 2019

I use equal parts Dawn dishwashing liquid and vinegar in a spray bottle. A lot of cat sites seem to recommend using Dawn to bathe cats, so I assume it's not particularly toxic to them. Just make sure to rinse well, and I'm sure it will be ok.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:20 AM on May 12, 2019 [2 favorites]

For spots of heavier soap scum, where it flakes off as a white powder when you scratch it with a fingernail, but when you get it wet it turns gummy and stubborn - I highly recommend the first step of using a plastic card (last time, I used an old hotel room keycard I had lying around) to scrape it off when the tub is dry. It won't harm the tub like a razor blade could, and it's very satisfying shoving that card along and having all that old soap just fall off the walls of the tub.

Then you can go at it with the various wet methods that will be recommended, but it'll be way easier because you don't have to scrub down through the layer of sticky, gooey gunk!
posted by themissy at 8:27 AM on May 12, 2019 [5 favorites]

Eponhysteria ensues...
posted by kate4914 at 10:19 AM on May 12, 2019 [3 favorites]

Your tub is likely fiberglass, in case that helps with identifying appropriate cleaning stuff.
posted by cnidaria at 6:50 PM on May 12, 2019

Use a wet dryer sheet to get rid of the build-up, then switch to one of the DIY mixes mentioned.
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:51 PM on May 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

i use dawn and vinegar mixed in a spray bottle. spritz heavily, let sit for a while, rinse off with maybe a bit of scrubbing. works great!
posted by misanthropicsarah at 7:38 AM on May 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

I have a cat that loves water like this and I ended up just putting a dish in the tub for him. When I go in there, I refill the dish and put it back in the tub. Once he has his fresh water, he leaves the rest of the tub alone (fortunately, given my hair dye habits). Might be a good interim solution if nothing else.
posted by possibilityleft at 7:43 AM on May 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

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