Your No-Sweat Guide to Spring Cleaning

My New Favorite Hack to Get the Bathroom Sparkling Clean

Hint: It has something to do with a drill...

January 21, 2021
Photo by Rocky Luten

Welcome to Your No-Sweat Guide to Spring Cleaning, a month-long series that puts the fun (yep, for real!) back into cleaning. We’re talking spruce-ups that take less than five minutes, why-didn’t-I-think-of-that hacks, and hands-off cleaning tasks that basically…do themselves—plus our trustiest tools and helpers. The goal: clean less, go outside more.

I have been known to attack the bathtub with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser at a moment’s notice (and by “known,” I mean about five people in total). Still, it could be said that I have found my calling in an unplanned scrub session. This usually involves not putting my hair up first (“I’m just going to get this one smudge”), forgetting to change out of my ~good sweatpants~, and becoming entirely so sweaty during a commercial break that I end up missing the rest of The Bachelor because I now need to clean myself in the room I just cleaned. Phewf.

While I really love the effectiveness of a Magic Eraser on soap scum, I really don’t love the mostly single-use-ness of it (they disintegrate quite quickly while using), and I really, selfishly, don’t love how much physical labor is involved. I swapped the eraser out with baking soda and vinegar a while back (truly, just as effective), but I was still searching for the “lazy girl” way out of scrubbing.

Then, one day it dawned on me: I bet there’s a scrub brush attachment I can put on my drill, reducing the load on my (weak) arms and increasing SPS (scrubs-per-second). Low and behold, it exists! A 4-piece set costs $10, and they ship in two days. Huzzah!

Despite the knowledge that the Amazon truck comes twice a day (at approximately 1pm and 6pm, which I figured out thanks to quarantine), and I had text tracking updates—I still paced around, eager for my soon-to-be hero product. This level of cleaning-excitement is not the case for everyone, of which I am acutely aware. I do know, however, that making a cleaning task easier and less painful (for real, I need a heating pad for my lower back after a bathroom scrub) is something we can surely all get behind.

My Weapon of Mass De-SCRUB-tion Photo by Caroline Mullen

When they finally arrived (yay!), I got to work. To set the record straight: my bathtub is yellow, which already makes it look somewhat… dingy. To make matters worse, it’s covered in rows of textured polka dots, presumably for traction, but if we’re presuming, then I’m going to guess they were put there to keep me up at night. Since they’re not slick like the rest of the tub, these dots have a habit of collecting dirt, so I know the tub needs a clean when they start to become more apparent. Fun!

I sprinkled a generous amount of baking soda on the floor of the tub, readied my vinegar in one hand and drill in the other, and… oh baby. I’ll just leave you with the before and after, and tell you to try it yourself.

Before Photo by Caroline Mullen
After Photo by Caroline Mullen

Oh, and by the way, this tool isn’t limited to just bathtub-scrubbing. It would be just as satisfying to use on tile floors, gunky shower grout, dirty patio furniture, greasy hubcaps, and even crusted pots and pans. The applications are seemingly endless and I look forward to discovering them all.

What would you use this genius device on? Tell us below!

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. As an Amazon Associate, Food52 earns a commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.

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  • Jackie Watkins
    Jackie Watkins
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    Elaine Ortiz
When I'm not writing & editing for Home52, I'm likely to be found DIY-ing a new piece of furniture (or restoring an old one), hanging things on the wall in my apartment, or watching hours of vintage RHONY.


Jackie W. May 3, 2021
Mine's coming on Saturday (Amazon Day), because my semester's not over until Thursday and I don't trust myself to not go right to work on my shower walls when the kit arrives. Your bathtub/tile looks exactly like my girls' bathroom furnishings in the house we moved out of 7 years ago. That color (Harvest Gold?) always looked dingy.
SHELLEY S. April 5, 2021
Caroline M. April 6, 2021
Hi Shelley, they're linked above in the article or you can search for "Holikme 4Pack Drill Brush Power Scrubber" on Amazon and it should come up!
Kim S. April 5, 2021
LOL! I've been snagged by impulsive cleaning binges. When I feel one drawing me in, I set a timer for 10 minutes, and "make a date" to finish later. I, too, invested in rotary scrubbers that fit my power drill. My current rental has ancient vinyl flooring in the kitchen that simply will NOT stay clean. Fortunately, it won't be my problem much longer.
Caroline M. April 6, 2021
Ugh, old vinyl flooring is the worst. Best of luck in your new place, though!
aargersi January 25, 2021
As a person who lives on an aerobic septic system with which we are unable to use conventional cleaners I am HAPPY to see this hack, and I just ordered my scrubber set! I DO use baking soda and vinegar, it definitely eliminates “funk”
Caroline M. April 6, 2021
I'm so glad!! Hope it works just as well for you.
Elaine O. January 22, 2021
Absolutely ridiculous. This is literally the Spin Scrubber minus a long handle and extra attachments. 🤦
Caroline M. January 25, 2021
But... it attaches to the drill I already have!
Sharon H. January 21, 2021
Amazon? Yikes. I'm sorry.
Caroline M. January 25, 2021
Hear you on this... I'm sure these are available at local hardware stores, too.
Cathy J. January 21, 2021
As a commercial housekeeper, I was receiving constant compliants about the restroom floors, walls, toilets etc. We troubleshot by using every machine or chemical possible with very little result.

Using Lysol bathroom FOAM or even Scubbing Bubbles made the restroom toilet, sink, tub and especially the grout and ceramic floors look new and sparkle!

Simple spray on a small 24x24" section, allow to sit 15 minutes, then using a medium brissil scrub brush, scrub, followed by wiping with warm water to remove suds. On the grout lines, usually 20 back and forth strokes will have them "white" after drying. The high traffic areas may need to be done a couple times. Love It!
Caroline M. January 25, 2021
Years ago I had a can of Scrubbing Bubbles that I realized went flat when I tried to use it and I honestly never went back... will have to try it again!
Smaug January 21, 2021
Oops, that's "Scum Buster". I also keep an old, not quite dead electric toothbrush around for cleaning in tight places.
Caroline M. January 25, 2021
Might dig out my old electric toothbrush for exactly this purpose. Genius.
Smaug January 25, 2021
Check with Amy Farah Fowler for further uses (and naming suggestions) for your old toothbrush.
Smaug January 21, 2021
So is B&D no longer making the scrub buster, which was designed for this? The leverage on this is hard on the wrist as well as the drill's drive. I find it hard to believe that people are still using baking soda mixed with vinegar as a cleaner, a concept that never made the slightest sense and has been roundly debunked a million times.