Cleaning the bathtub slip resistant bottom: OMG, it’s like new!

It’s like a miracle, but it’s embarrassing, too: After many years of housekeeping (ish), I finally learn how to clean the bathtub grungy anti-slip bottom — effectively. I recently completed a series of videos about my beige bathroom renovation, and when I did, I was so embarrassed by the state of the slip resistant bottom of my Kohler Dynametric tub. Yes, I am not the world’s most attentive house cleaner. But I swear, I really did (try to) clean this tub with some regularity. I only take showers, so it didn’t really bother me that it looked grungy. But finally, that icky video image sent me onto the internet to find a solution and to wrestle it to the ground. And by golly, I think I did.

Please note:

Disclaimer: Here on the blog, as homeowners ourselves, we may try new cleaning products aimed at solving our own cleaning problems; if we think we’ve found something promising to consider, we may write about it. But, we are not professional chemists or engineers or home economists. So, please: Do your own research into these products and their suitability for your projects before trying them. More info in Terms of Use.


My first logical go-to, since I have a circa 2002 model year Kohler Dynametric cast iron bathtub, was Kohler’s website section, Care and Cleaning for Cast Iron Tubs. Yup, there I found that Kohler recommends three companies with products to clean their SafeGuard Slip Resistant Surface: Clorox Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner, Tilex Bathroom Cleaner and the mysterious-sounding “Express R.O.G.3 Tub and Tile Cleaner (Not sold commercially. Call 1-800-585-2325.)” Of course, I headed to ROG first — guessing they must have a specialized product.

Yup, seemingly so. Here is some of the text from the folks at R.O.G. of St. Cloud, Florida and their website:

I invented the type of dry etch slip guard which is used in the manufacturing of Kohler bathtubs today….

Slip resistant surfaces lose their effectiveness as dirt and oils fill the crevices. It is inevitable. The R.O.G. line of products are the only products able to do the job and clean where nothing else can….

The KOHLER company has approved the safeguard cleaner for all Kohler bathtubs, this safe chemical has been tested in great length to prove the safe guard restorer called ROG works without damaging the tubs surface. This is found on the Kohler website:  

“ROG products have gone under sever [sic] testing at our factory and will not damage the Kohler finish,  It is highly recommended for all resorts and hotels as well as home end users, as most cleaners will scratch and damage your bathtubs finish to keep the COF at the A.S.T.M. standard — Kohler Quality assurance [sic] Department”

Oh my, they say the slip resistant surface loses effectiveness when it gets grungy. So, by getting it clean, I’m making it safer too. That’s good to know.

Note, the stuff sounds kind of expensive. $40 for the two-bottle combo: One bottle of the ROG1 Slipguard cleaner and one bottle of the ROG3, which seems to be a more general purpose cleaner. UPDATE: See what Kohler says is approved for cleaning their slip resistant bottom — and ROG’s reply. Make your own decisions.

Update on the labeling:

Note, that in my subsequent use of ROG1 I saw that the label said it contained “Sulfonic Acid” — even though the owner of these ROG products says on their website, and has said on this blog in comments, that there is no acid in their products. So, I sent an email to ask about this discrepancy. Here is the exchange, and the company’s response:

I wrote to Vince Vallone, owner of the company:

This is Pam from Retro Renovation. I was just using ROG1 and noticed that an ingredient listed on the label is “Sulfonic Acid”. However, I don’t see this listed on the MSDS <– linked here. And you said this as a comment, “Yes Gina the ROG products are not caustic, no acids, many folks don’t realize the the grocery store and walmart caries many acid contained cleaners and will dull the bathtub over years, magic eraser has acid, 409 scrubbing bubbles and many more.”
Can you clarify?
 Thank you, Pam
 Vince Vallone, owner of the company replied via email (this is edited slightly because I asked a followup and incorporated the answer here):
Hello Pam
Hope all is well and we appreciate your follow up.
 The ROG 1 cream contains no acids.
After your e-mail….
Well we researched this and found the mistake and figured out what went wrong with the labeling.
We many years ago manufactured a deck and hull cleaner similar to the ROG 1 but it was called BCD’s deck and hull cleaner product named ROG 9
The ROG 9 Deck and Hull cleaner for the yachting, and boating industry this product had the sulfonic acid in the proprietary mixture and our bottle printer who prints the data on the bottle left this acid statement on the ROG 1 label, by mistake we never caught it till you mentioned it. Thank you, your new name should be retro-thour-ough-. LOL.
The ROG 9 was an experimental cleaner we tried years ago the formulas was to clean exhaust fumes on the aft side of the boat from inboard engines exhaust marks from the diesel engines and worked great but it never took off as expected so we stopped production on this product. Both were created around the same time, as we also had Glass cleaner and deodorizers, we no longer make.
But leave it up to you with your great journalism to find this mistake. Again thank you, we have now taken steps to remove that error from all future ROG1 bottles.
Thank you for looking at our mistake and we have now taken steps to remove this on all the ROG 1 bottles


 Back to price: Plus shipping. But, I am pretty much always willing to pay if I get what I pay for. My husband taught me this Important Life Truth, which I almost always find is correct:

Good. Fast. Cheap.

Pick Any Two.

So I put $51 on the credit card, and my shipment arrived promptly.

This past Saturday afternoon, I put the ROG1 (again — Kohler says that what they approved is ROG3, but the ROG folk said I could use ROG1 and so I did) to the test. And I have to say: I was ecstatic at the results. However, you know I gotta say: Do your own thorough research and make your own decisions… I have not used this product long term — just once, so far.

Here was my process:

Here are the two ROG products that I received by mail. The white bottle on the left is the one formulated to clean the Kohler Safeguard Anti-Slip finish, according to the ROG folks — but see what Kohler says.

I  had cleaned my tub with my regular cleaner — Lysol Basin Tub & Tile Cleaner in the liquid spray bottle a week earlier. It was still pretty clean. Except you can see that the Safeguard finish was grungy looking. It has been grungy like this for like 8 years, since a few months after the tub was installed. I had tried both Scrubbing Bubbles and the Lysol, to no avail. For this experiment, I rinsed the tub first and left the bottom damp. Note: Of course, I recommend you follow ROG’s instructions. But they were silent on whether to start wet or not, I believe.

I applied the ROG1, squirting it right out of the bottle. Then, with a rubber glove on, I kind of pushed it around to cover the entire non-skid surface.

I  let the stuff sit for a good solid 5 minutes. It was probably even 8 or 9 minutes, I wasn’t paying super close attention, I was running around the house cleaning this and that. I then scrubbed, not tooooooo hard, as I am always concerned about being too abrasive on surfaces like this. I used the scrubbie that ROG provided. See Kohler’s care instructions for what kind of scrubbies they recommend. I am not sure Kohler likes the ROG scrubbie and what it’s made of, or not.

I rinsed with water. This is what the Safeguard bottom looked like after my first application of ROG1. Still some grunge showing, especially around the edges…

… Here is a close up. I will say: I think that in the first appliation, I applied the ROG1 more thickly toward the center of the Slipguard surface than around the edges. SO: I REPEATED THE PROCESS… this time being more cognizant of getting the paste cream evenly applied including on the edges… I let it sit… then scrubbed again, not really any harder, and –>

Oh Beautiful for Spacious Skies. This is the first photo I took. It is so clean and the light is shining such, that you can’t even see the slip resistant Safeguard etching or whatever it is. But it’s still there. The bottom of my bathtub is just… Clean Again.

From a slightly different angle, with the overhead light doing some reflecting, and, you can see: The slip resistant etching is same as it ever was — and this bathtub looks like new again! I took a shower later, and the slip resistant surface  seemed to still work… and when I got out out, it still was clean looking. Like, you can see here I was working barefoot (hot summer day). Surely the bottom of my feet were dirty when I took a shower. They did not immediately leave marks; that is: The clean surface did not seem to be an immediate dirt magnet used next time around or anything like that.

I will continue This Very Important Reporting as time progresses, and let you know how the new, clean surface holds up. I also will report on my tests of the more general purpose tile etc. cleaner, ROG3.

UPDATE on products NOT to use — as per Kohler:

products to avoid when cleaning porcelain

Update: I did a follow up story asking Kohler about various other products readers were saying they used — read this complete story here.

clean fiberglass showerAnd I did a test to clean the disgusting fiberglass shower base in our basement bathroom — Success!

Wanna buy some? Here’s where to order ROG1. 

To clarify, I received no payment or anything to write this review; I discovered and paid for the product I tested myself.

Feb. 2015 update:

I am closing comments on this story because they are getting very repetitive.

Readers, do your own research and to cross-reference Kohler recommendations, which we profile here —

Another cleaning product — a vintage favorite, now back on the market:

Jubilee kitchen wax — is back. Here’s the scoop, so far:

UPDATE: You can now get single bottles of Jubilee on Amazon (affiliate link):

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