I’m going to go out on a limb here and tap into part of my past life as a cleaning expert. I should explain that I have around four years of experience training people to clean buildings; two of those years were spent in Haifa, Israel at the Baha’i World Centre where I was looking after ten historic homes and holy places with a crew of 25 volunteers from around the world. It was a fantastic experience to work side by side with people from various walks of life, but I also learned a great deal about cleaning agents. No, not the people you hire to do the job, but the goops, sprays, and pastes that the majority of us use to clean surfaces.
When pondering our bathtub here in Beijing (our daughter is not at all keen on showers), I noticed that the tub quickly builds up a residue on the sides and bottom, even after just after a couple of uses. This is from the minerals in the water, soap and shampoo residue, and dead skin (a lovely thought). If you are like me, and only use a tub for showers, residue buildup for a few days is not much of a big deal, but the idea of dropping my daughter in a dirty tub didn’t sit well with me. In the past, I would have grabbed some scouring powder or paste like Comet or Axe and blasted the thing once a week, but with a child came the need for more frequent tub cleanings and a gentler approach.
What I have found works best for me is a little bit of bath gel or bubble bath on a gentle scouring sponge (I use the blue Scott brand sponge). I prefer using the bubble bath, because that tends to be what the next soapy product is that gets dropped in the water anyway. Basically, the soapy bubbles are just acting as an agent to carry the dirt and grime away that the scouring sponge lifts off, so odds are a little bit of whatever you use while bathing will work effectively. Every so often, I might still reach for something stronger, but never just before someone takes a bath. If I have to use gloves when using a cleaner to protect my hands, I certainly wouldn’t want to risk leaving some behind on the tub to get on a baby’s bum.