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.

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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

Pricing

 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.  And, it’s now available on Amazon.

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

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Comments

  1. Dianne M. says

    I bought the combo pack of ROG 1 & ROG 3 from amazon.com (free PRIME shipping). We have a 40-yr-old fiberglass shower pan that has no protective gel coat (if it ever had any in the first place). It definitely looks much older than Pam’s. It is stained (I wish I could upload pics). As the manufacturer recommended, I cleaned the pan with ROG 3 blue spray first to supposedly remove scum to prepare for deep cleaning. It did nothing that I could tell. You could consider skipping that step if you clean your shower pan on a regular basis. I then proceeded to clean with ROG 1 cream – three times! First, I applied the cream and waited 10 minutes to scrub/rinse. Then applied, letting soak 20 minutes. Then 30 minutes in just the still-stained areas. It is definitely cleaner – cleaner than I’ve ever been able to get it. But, there are areas it didn’t help. I believe these are WORN areas and not stain areas and that no future ROG 1 applications will make any further difference. If you have a surface in better condition to start with, ROG 1 is a good option. Also, you can order the combo from amazon.com or the bottles individually. I haven’t used the ROG 3 maintenance cleaner (blue spray) on regular tile yet, so I can’t say if it is better than Scrubbing Bubbles.

    • says

      Hi Diane my name is Vince the owner of the ROG cleaner company
      We certainly want all our customers to be happy with our product,
      I understand your fiberglass basin is 40 years old the gelcoat is more than likely gone after all those years, also depending on what cleaners you have used has a lot to do with this problem prior to the use of the ROG, I’m sure you’ve used many different cleaners in the past years. However if you are unhappy with the product. I’ll be more than happy to refund you your money, but only after you try the rog on your tile and let me know how it works please. You can email me
      At vincebcd@aol.com, customer satisfaction is our highest concern. And thank you for the review this will help others with older bathing areas.
      Remember the ROG3 and replace almost every cleaner and your house except for the Windex and the ROG 3 is great on the ground get it cleaned

  2. Carla says

    I ONLY use Dawn, original and a cheap scouring scrubber…one that you can use on your smooth stove top…It cleans EVERYTHING spotless!

  3. Lilly says

    Your tub looks just like mine. I use Lysol toilet bowl cleaner & it works wonders. I evenly coat the bottom of the tub & let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing & lightly scrubbing.

  4. Michelle says

    I just use Bon ami and one of those poofy nylon shower thingys. Gets all that gunk out and hasn’t scratched my acrylic tub in over 7 years.

  5. Debbi K. FL says

    Just ordered my tub cleaner thanks to your blog and photos. First time I can say I can’t wait to clean my tub! Hoping to finally see results!

  6. Marlene Haffner says

    I wish I had sense enough to google a website before I had my old Kohler tub removed and had a new one put in. I thought it was just old and that’s why I could never remove the stain on the bottom. The tub I had installed is identical to what was taken out. I would not consider anything but cast iron, so it was more expensive to have the plumber hall it up to the 2nd floor. Now, in less than a year, the bottom looks the same as the old one. Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us about this cleaner and show us the results. My next step is ordering this produce.

  7. says

    I was just about to order this produce and went to the web page where they advertise it. I read the reviews. Some said it worked great, others said it was a waste of money. So I decided before I ordered it and spent $50.00, I will try something. I used a 1/2 cup of baking soda and two tablespoons of Ajax dishwashing liquid (probaby anyone would work). Made a paste out of those 2 products and smeared it on the identical non-skid tread in the picture. I let it sit for 24 hours and then took an old washcloth and started scrubbing. My bathtub looks like the after picture. It is squeaking clean. I couldn’t be happier. Save your money and try it.

    • pam kueber says

      Best to check with Kohler to see what they say about these materials and their potential to eat at the protective surface… lots of stuff on the market “works” to clean the surface – but also eats away at the protective coating; that is the issue.

      • Sue says

        I am wanting to try the ROG1, but Amazon is out of it.
        They do not know when it will be back in stock if ever.
        Do you happen to know another place that might carry it?
        My tub looks like yours did…I have tried everything !!!
        Thank you!

  8. vince says

    I/m Vince the creator of the ROG products and know our products will never hurt the finish of the Kohler cast iron finish, for great reviews go to amazon.com many folks love it and it will not scratch or degrade the shinny finish of a cast iron tub or your fiberglass shower pan.
    thank you Pam for explaining this to the viewers

    5.0 out of 5 stars Cleaned Stains, May 22, 2014
    By Harrison Duckett (Atlanta, GA United States
    This review is from: Express R.O.G. Tub and Tile Bathtub Cleaner Starter Kit (Health and Beauty)
    I was a little hesitant to purchase this after reading some conflicting reviews. While there are many factors that probably deal with a person’s success in using this (type of tub, age of tub, type of stain, age of stain, person’s willingness to scrub hard, etc) I can only say that this worked very well for me. I had gotten some wood stain in the bottom of my new fiberglass bottom shower after finishing my project and showering. Standard cleaners, bleach, etc did not work in removing the stain. However, I followed the directions on the R.O.G. starter kit as directed and was able to remove these pesky stains easily. Very happy with the result and while I know not everyone will have as successful of a time as I did, R.O.G. did what it stated it could do. Great product. and I love my shinny tub and Shower floor.

  9. says

    I read a tip online somewhere that helped me. The bottom of my shower is textured and was scuzzy, like in your picture, when I moved in.

    I rub a fabric softener sheet (for the dryer), and it cleans the shower walls and floor so well. I’d tried hard bristle brush and cleaners, but this is easier and more effective. The shower needs to be wet for this to really work.

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