I finally worked on a project at the rental and it felt so good! If you remember from this post we bought a cast iron tub off Craigslist. I believe it is cast iron with a porcelain overlay, so we have to be careful cleaning it. It was just sitting in the garage until we could get around to cleaning it up. It finally happened!
The tub as it sat in the garage.
We couldn’t tell if it was just dirty or if there were scratches.
We meant to spend all day at the rental but of course by the time we were ready it was already noon. The kids needed baths and what-not. But we finally left and I made sure to bring all of my cleaning supplies. I asked Ross for a project – something I could do with the kids to be helpful – and he could not come up with anything. #hmph So, I picked the cast iron tub to be my project!
We opened up the garage so any cleaning fumes would air out. Julius just hung out in his car seat most of the time and George pushed his Tonka Truck around the yard and followed daddy around. After awhile he came into the garage to play games on my phone. I just barely got started and it was time for lunch. We brought a picnic lunch which worked out really well. Eventually the kids were ready for a nap so I put them in the car with the a/c running and kept and eye on them while I worked.
My first step was cleaning off the dirt. There was a lot of dirt. If it had been outside I would have just hosed it down, but this was in a garage with a dirt floor so that was not an option. Instead I wiped it down with this ammonia mixture that is generally recommended for cast iron tubs and porcelain sinks. It worked great! I was rinsing it off with water until I read you should alkalize the acid with baking soda and water as a rinse, so I did that next.
After our ammonia, liquid soap and water scrubbing.
George telling me I missed a spot.
That cleaned the surface well enough but there were rust spots as well as some tiny spots of old wall paint someone had carelessly spilled on the rim. Ross went to the store for Barkeepers Friend and an elderly lady told him to use the pumice called Scouring Stick. So I tentatively tried the pumice first and it took off all of the paint without any scratching!
There were streaks of paint on the edge of the tub that were difficult to remove.
The Pumie Scouring Stick we used to scrape
Using the Scouring Stick on the paint and rust spots.
It did take off some of the rust too but not all of it. I need to work on those areas a bit more. I think I’ll try Barkeepers Friend on those spots. But looking at the interior of the tub now, I would take a bath in there, no problem!
After scrubbing away rust with the Scouring Stick.
I didn’t even get to the exterior of the tub, which is flaking and rusting. I’ve read you just sand it all off with a sander then repaint. The claw feet are also badly rusted, and I am planning to sand them by hand with steel wool. Now that it is all cleaned up, I love this tub! I wish it were going in my house. #sadface
Our progress so far! (The exterior of the tub needs a good sanding and painting)