Scrub-a-Dub Tub

Since moving in three years ago we have tackled projects in all but two rooms of the house… the office and the bathroom. The office is a newer addition and although it does need updating we have far more pressing projects to attend to. The bathroom on the other hand is completely different. We knew prior to moving in that the bathroom needed A LOT of work and although it is never a good idea to let things fester, we also knew that it is currently one can of worms we can’t afford to open. (When the time does come we will have some major planning to do since it is currently the only bathroom in our house.) So… let the savings begin continue.

Still, that doesn’t mean that we can overlook all the maintenance required, which is why the old tub got a good scrubbing last week. We’d been noticing the bathtub caulk strips were slowly peeling away from the wall creating small gaps where water could flow down into the basement. Since we’d already tried repairing portions of the strips in previous years (without much success) we decided it was time to switch to traditional caulk. In order for that to happen, all the caulk strips and sticky residue needed to be removed.
(Sorry I don’t have a before photo with the caulk strips, we were just too eager to get started!) 

Tub Before

Using a 4″ putty knife and a little elbow grease I was able to remove all the strips from around the tub, unfortunately most the sticky residue remained. First, I tried to scrape it off with the putty knife but discovered that only added gray scratch marks to the mix… so it was onto plan B.

Kal Scrubbin'

A few months prior I had accidentally discovered that Clorox’s Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner did quite a good job of dislodging the caulk strips from the tub (thankfully it was near the outside corner of the tub, so we didn’t have to worry about water at the time!). Hoping it would dislodge the residue again I coated a small (6″ x 6″) section with the Clorox cleaner and let it sit for about 5 minutes.


I returned armed with a terry cloth and began scrubbing the soaked area, luckily for me the residue came off without much effort! In order to keep the flow going I sprayed another small section of residue so it could soak while I finished scrubbing the first (something I continued as I worked my way around). In total it took me about a half hour to work my way all around the tub, which wasn’t too bad considering how it looked before we started!

Bathtub Progress

Next, I’m going to try to work some magic on those water stains in the tub before re-caulking… so check back soon for part 2 of this projects!!

Have you ever re-caulked your bathtub? Know any tips or tricks? Please Share!

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    • Kallie
      Kallie says:

      Hi Nancy, I’ve had a lot of success with a product called The Works if you are still looking for something! It’s pretty strong so I would suggest good ventilation, gloves and a mask, but it cleans things up nicely.

  1. Fran Maz says:

    The clorox product you are recommending probably works well on the enamel finished bathtub in the photos but will it provided the same results on a resin coated shower stall floor ?

  2. Sandra says:

    Before recaulking your bathtub fill it with water so the gap you are going to fill will be at its widest point…or you’ll be disappointed when you find your calling separates and allows water to get behind the tub surround.

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