Illustration by Sofia Bews.

Illustration by Sofia Bews.

Before we get started, I just want to say: I don’t ordinarily think Life Skills should be about giving anyone cleaning tips. No one is under any obligation to be clean. Definitely not. HOWEVER, my loves, many of you will, at some point, be living on your own, in some sort of housing situation with people you aren’t related to. And, well…the tub is gonna get gross. I mean GROSS. Live with a few roommates, let a few months go by, and suddenly the communal tub will be scummy and dingy and so out-of-control grimy that you might be too grossed out to take a bath. And what is life without baths?? Drearier, that’s what.

But wait! It doesn’t have to be this way! You can enjoy hot soaks in a clean tub, and with very little effort. ::POOF:: My gift to you: A lifetime of hygienic bathing. Now, what I’m about to spell out for you isn’t a new idea by any means—I’ve been seeing it around blogs and Pinterest for years. But it is the only cleaning trick I’ve come across that is so good, and works so well, that it has made me angry, which is why I feel compelled to share it with you. (Every year that went by without me knowing about this was ONE TOO MANY!)

What you’ll need:

  • A bottle of blue Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid (It has to be the blue one, folks. I don’t know why. It just does.)
  • Eight or more ounces of white vinegar (NOTE! While it’s OK to use on acrylic or porcelain tubs, white vinegar is not recommended as a cleaning agent for tubs coated in enamel, which can be corroded by vinegar’s acid. If you don’t know/have never thought about what kind of tub you have, Jezebel offers some guidance on figuring it out here.)
  • A big, clean spray bottle that can hold 16 or more ounces of liquid

How to do it:

    1. Squirt blue Dawn into the spray bottle until you’ve filled about a third of the bottle with soap.

    2. Fill the rest of the spray bottle with white vinegar.

    3. Twist on the cap of the spray bottle, then shake that mixture up! It should be a neon blue color and will look almost creamy.

    4. Lavishly spray the mixture all over your bathtub with abandon, et cetera. Spray it everywhere. On the shower curtain, on the faucet, on the scummy shelf where all the shampoos and stuff are…spray until your hand gets tired, until the blue Dawn-vinegar mixture is running in small streams toward the drain. **Warning** This will smell INTENSELY VINEGAR-Y, so open the door or a window.

    5. Leave the mixture to soak for an hour.

    6. Come back with a sponge or rag and wipe the mixture off. The filth in your tub should come off very easily, with practically no scrubbing. When the mixture is wiped clean, rinse the tub well so it’s not slippery.

    7. Stare in awe at a tub that’s now so fresh and clean that it looks like your landlord installed it yesterday. Call your roommates in. Admire it together.

The vinegar smell will dissipate in a few hours. You’ll be a hero! And you can luxuriate in the WORLD’S MOST SPARKLY BATHTUB. ♦