How to keep your acrylic bathtub sparkling (and protect your security deposit)

We’ve posted in the past about security deposits, spring cleaning, and other tips for renters. This week, we’re going hyper focused: how to maintain an acrylic bathtub. Why? Because a lot of tubs are acrylic now, and keeping acrylic clean requires slightly different methods from porcelain or enamel. Plus, the return of a renter’s full security deposit depends largely on how clean the rental is after they vacate it, and the bathroom (along with the kitchen) is one of the places renters tend to lose most of their security deposit.

bathtub cleaning
Bathtubs can be hard to keep clean, but giving your acrylic weekly attention will make your move-out process much easier.

Our main point is prevention: the cleaner you keep your tub for the duration of your lease, the easier it will be to get it downright squeaky upon move-out. This is especially important if your tub is acrylic, a porous material that stains more easily than others but also requires gentler cleaning methods.

Tub Maintenance

Deposits from hard water and soap scum are the main culprits of tub stains. To prevent these from building up, rinse your tub with warm water after each use and have a squeegee or rag handy for wiping it dry. Bonus: this keeps grout clean and mold free, too.

Weekly cleanings are paramount to protecting your acrylic tub, but you don’t need heavy duty products. You could use dish soap, a mixture of vinegar and water, or even shampoo. Don’t use abrasive scrubbing pads, as this will scratch the acrylic. A plain old sponge will do just fine for regular cleanings. The final step of your weekly clean should always be a rinse with warm water followed by a wipe down with a rag or squeegee.

Be sure to include your tub surround—be it tile or acrylic—with all of the above maintenance measures.

For the Tough Stains

Comet, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, OxyClean, Scrubbing Bubbles, Lime-A-Way, CLR Cleaner, and the list of products goes on. Sure, these work great. But you know what else works? Vinegar, baking soda, borax, hydrogen peroxide, cream of tartar. Whether you’re making a paste from Comet powder or baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, consistency and duration are key. Paste should be thick enough to stay put on a stain for an hour or more. Another method is to soak a clean white cloth in vinegar and lay it on top of the stain. You could also fill the tub with a mixture of hot water and vinegar until the stain is submerged, let it sit for several hours, then drain and scrub the tub.

A quick Google search will bring up all sorts of odd methods: dissolve laundry detergent powder, dishwasher detergent, or even denture cleaner in your tub filled with hot water. Scrub rust stains with toilet bowl cleaner. The lesson: think outside the box.

When it comes to soaking away stains, be patient. Find something else to do for the hour or more that the cleaner needs to soak. If the stain is still there, repeat the process. Make sure to follow the directions to the letter and soak for the maximum length suggested. If you have to re-soak, soak it longer the second time.

Once your stain has soaked and you’re ready to apply elbow grease, use a soft sponge, nothing abrasive.

When You Move Out

So you’ve been maintaining your tub meticulously for the duration of your lease, and now you’re moving. You take the time to clean everything thoroughly, including your tub. How do you make sure you’ve done everything right? How do you protect yourself? First, consult any pictures you may (should) have taken of the vacant apartment when you first signed the lease. Compare the picture of the tub before you started using it to the picture of how it is now. Do they look the same? Perfect! You’re all set to turn in your keys. If your tub has stains that weren’t there when you moved in, take a little more time to get rid of them. If you notice them, you can bet your landlord will too and take the cost of cleaning out of your security deposit.

Once you’re confident that everything is how it was when you first moved in, take pictures of everything all over again. These will serve as evidence in the event that you have a dispute over the return of your deposit. If, however, you’ve followed all your landlord’s instructions and left everything as clean as how you found it, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Outdoor winter activities in Pittsburgh

Yes, it’s been frigid out this past week. Yes, it’s a bad idea to go outside when it’s this cold. BUT: the kids are getting cabin fever, and things will warm up eventually, hopefully giving the Pittsburgh area just the right weather for some fun in the snow before winter’s over. So, to prepare you for when there’s a good day for some outdoor fun, here are some recommendations.

Boyce Park snow tubing is open until mid-March, so if you want a tubing experience complete with a lift (No hill climbing required!), you’ll want to gear up soon. Two-hour sessions are available seven days a week, between 4:30 and 9 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Winter fun in Pittsburgh
Hurry! Before the beautiful snow melts, take some time to enjoy it with winter fun in Pittsburgh.

Snow tubing at Hidden Valley Resort is also open until March 15th, and it’s a bit farther afield than Boyce Park, but there’s more than just tubing at the resort. While kids under nine years of age must be accompanied by an adult, parents could send their older children to the tubing slopes while they enjoy an afternoon at the spa.

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort is another place that’s a bit farther south of the city, but offers a variety of activities. In addition to snow tubing, there’s snow shoeing for those who aren’t adrenaline junkies. Want to try something completely different? Nemacolin also offers snow dog sledding!

Looking for some classic sledding in the South Hills? Sunny Slopes in South Park is so popular that it’s on Facebook. For little kids, though, the local secret is a hill next to the Dormont Pool. Sunny Slopes is for the experienced, thrill-seeking sledder; the hill by the Dormont Pool is for the little ones hitting the slopes for the first time.

It might not seem like there’s an end in sight for this winter, but it is coming. Eventually. Because time flies when you’re having fun, why not speed the return of spring by enjoying the snow while it lasts?

Why and where to take public transportation in Pittsburgh

For the past two weeks, we’ve been focusing on public transportation and the where and how of finding a rental close to public transportation. This week, let’s talk about why using public transportation can be useful, and how to take full advantage of it.

Pittsburgh has fun events all the time, especially downtown and in the cultural district—First Night, Light Up Night, and that time a giant rubber ducky floated down the Allegheny River, to name a few. For events like that, parking can be expensive and hard to find. The easiest solution is to take the bus or the “T” (the city’s light rail system) instead of driving.

Here’s a (non-comprehensive) list of places you can reach via the “T” and the stops that are closest to them (listed north to south):

St. Anne's T stop
With a T coming by every 15 minutes or so, you’ll never be stuck waiting for long. But with gorgeous scenery like this, who’s complaining?
  • Heinz Field: Allegheny
  • PNC Park: North Side
  • The Andy Warhol Museum: North Side
  • Point State Park: Gateway
  • Market Square: Gateway
  • Cultural District: Wood Street
  • David L. Lawrence Convention Center: Wood Street
  • Console Energy Center: Steel Plaza
  • Duquesne University: Steel Plaza/First Avenue
  • Art Institute of Pittsburgh: First Avenue
  • Station Square: Station Square
  • Monongahela Incline: Station Square
  • The Ice Castle: Overbrook Junction
  • Someone Else’s Bar: Willow
  • South Hills Village Mall: South Hills Village

It would be insane to try listing all the places you can reach with the bus system, but suffice it to say that the Strip District, Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, Morningside, South Side, etc. are all well connected. In fact, lots of T stops are also major bus hubs or have a bus stop right around the corner (South Hills Junction, Steel Plaza, and Wood Street, for example).

No matter where you’re trying to go, it’s much less headache (no traffic, no parking) to take public transportation if possible. Sometimes it does take longer than driving because you’d have to transfer, but it’s easy to weigh your options before leaving home. Just look up the drive in Google Maps where you can also look up the public transportation route. It’s also a good idea to look up the route in Allegheny County Port Authority’s Trip Planner, and generally familiarize yourself with the bus and/or T schedule in your neighborhood.

If you live a bit farther than walking distance from the closest T stop, you can drive there, leave your car in the adjacent Park & Ride lot, and then walk to the station.

If you’re new to public transportation, don’t fear, the drivers are all very nice, and Pittsburghers (yinzers, if you will) are helpful and friendly. To make taking public transportation as easy as possible, pick up a ConnectCard at a Giant Eagle or at the Port Authority Service Center on Smithfield St. (right around the corner from Wood Street Station). A ConnectCard saves you the trouble of providing exact change in quarters and one-dollar bills. You can load a cash amount onto the card, or buy a pass. All you do is tap the card to pay.

So the next time you go to a sporting event, a concert, a play, or any other event in the city, consider taking public transportation.

Looking for an apartment close to public transportation? Contact Prudential Realty Company for our availability at a variety of locations throughout the Pittsburgh area.

Apartments near public transportation in Pittsburgh

Last week, we offered advice on how to find an apartment near public transportation in Pittsburgh. This week, we’re featuring the Prudential Realty communities close to bus and T stops. If you’re on the hunt for a new place, one of these might just be exactly what you’re looking for.

pet friendly apartments
Alvern Gardens has all the amenities you need, including a dog park and a T stop close by.

Alvern Gardens Apartments

Looking for an affordable home for yourself, and maybe for a small pet? Not only is Alvern Gardens mere blocks from the St. Anne’s T stop, it also welcomes cats and dogs under 40 lbs. There’s even a dog park on site as well as a pool. If you’re interesting in Alvern Gardens, email or call 412-561-4663.

The Brett Apartments

The Brett Apartments in Shadyside are close to several bus stops that will take you to Oakland, South Side Works, and beyond. Plus, if you have a car, you could park it in the garage. Call 412-722-8546 for the current availability at the Brett Apartments.

free parking
In addition to its garage, Place Seville has a free, first come, first serve parking lot for its residents.

Cornell Place

For an apartment in a beautiful building complete with stained glass windows close to shopping and dining in Mt. Lebanon, Cornell Place is just what you’re looking for. Located about 10 minutes walk from several bus and T stops, you have plenty of options for getting where you need to go. Call 412-401-9848 for the current availability at Cornell Place.

Place Seville Apartments

covered parking
Some of the Sleepy Hollow Townhouses have a little deck over the garage entrance, so a second car in the driveway can be partially covered as well.

If you’d like to live at the heart of Castle Shannon, Place Seville is the place for you. Located steps from the Overbrook Junction T stop, Place Seville offers 1 and 2 bedroom apartments as well as covered parking for those who have cars. Call 412-563-7256 for the current availability at Place Seville.

Sleepy Hollow Townhouses and Apartments

From 1 bedroom apartments to 3 bedroom townhouses, Sleepy Hollow has the right size home for you. Plus, the Memorial Hall T stop is right down the road. Call 412-401-9848 for the current availability at Sleepy Hollow.

:: Sea Glass Table Lamps ::

Looking for a way to brighten up your apartment? Why not adopt the latest trend of sea glass table lamps?

Tuvalu Home

What’s Trending Wednesday

Coastal bedroom with matching steel bed frames, turquoise rustic nightstand, and sea glass table lampSea glass is basically a permanent trend in coastal design. It will always be around and will always be a staple in coastal decor. So when we see something involving sea glass start to get more design time we instantly support it. Like these sea glass table lamps you see in this post. It’s a great addition to any coastal home and brings heavy coastal style into any space. It’s natural hues work perfectly with most coastal palettes as well. Check out these pictures and take notes on how these designers use sea glass table lamps in each space.

If you’ve fallen in love and need a sea glass table lamp, you can pick one up now on the Tuvalu Home webstore here!
Coastal living room decorated in nuetral tones and a splash of sea greenCoastal living room with a white palette decorated with blue accentsFantastic range of blue and turquoise featured in an eclectic spaceNatural textures mixed with blue hues to create a beautiful coastal vignette

View original post