Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A sample of the fascinating blogging I would do if I were home all the time

My final uninterrupted, blissful day at home. And so far I've spent it...scraping the tub free of grout! Oooh, it was disgusting, spotted with black mildew.

I was on the phone with a friend last night, both of us scraping away at the grout in our tubs. She read the directions on the bottle she'd bought: "Remove all old grout... they can't really mean all the old grout, can they?"

We agreed that they couldn't possibly.

The guy who owned her house had scraped some of the grout away-- not all of it-- and then put clear grout over it. So when the mildew grew between the layers of grout, she could see it, but no matter how much she scrubbed she couldn't get to it of course.

Last night, and this morning, I scraped and scraped. It became an obsession. It must be a fundamental human urge: the urge to pick at things. So satisfying when the stuff comes up in great shiny white peels, but so elusive. I had three tools: the scraper bought for the purpose, a screwdriver, and a funny little curvy pointy tool I found in the medicine cabinet, looks like it can be used for getting stuff out from between your teeth. Or retrieving ingrown hairs, maybe.

Well, no longer. Now it is a Grout Pick.

See, sometimes you can see a big string of the old grout, hiding back there behind the big piece of linoleum or whatever it is that we have instead of bathtub tile, but the opening's too small and it just won't come out. So what you do is, you angle the Grout Pick until you can pull a little wedge of it out. Don't pull too hard or it'll just break and you'll be in even worse shape. Then, with the other hand, grab the screwdriver and gently push at the grout string from the edge of the opening, until a whole bunch of it comes out. Then, when you have enough, you can just pull it out by hand.

Or you can slash and slash at it with the grouting knife, spraying showers of crumbs all over the tub, as I did last night while chatting with RW.

But I'm never gonna be able to get all the old grout. I'm afraid of what would happen if I did. It appears to be holding the linoleum to the wall.

Next up: sweeping and vacuuming the tub, then scrubbing everything near the grout line, then actually APPLYING THE NEW GROUT and letting it dry.

You don't think anyone will need to take a bath or shower in the next couple days, do you?


Blogger WordsRock said...

Umm.... you sure you're talking about grout here and not caulk? Because it sounds like you're talking about caulk.

You definitely don't want to go the Home Depot asking for grout if what you really mean is caulk. :)


5:03 PM  
Blogger elswhere said...

Hmm. The tube says it's "silicone sealant." Think that'll work?

5:40 PM  
Blogger Angel said...

Heh, I'm having shower troubles myself, was just about to blog it LOL Good luck!

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, dear, this is much too late, but silicone sealant is exactly what you want, you're doing the right thing. Grout is this hard brittle stuff that's put between ceramic tiles--the white stuff between the tiles that looks kind of like toothpaste and is solid. Caulk is the flexible stuff. Either way I'm deeply impressed by your DIY acumen. Somewhere deep inside you is a lesbian trying to say "I could fix that." Which, for any straight parents of toddlers who might read be reading this post even later than I am, is NOT a botched reference to Bob the Builder but, rather, one of the markers of one form of lesbian identity, along with carrying a swiss army knife. Not, I had previously thought, Els's particular form of lesbianhood, however.


11:58 AM  

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