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.

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Little Penguins’ Fan Relishing Attention After Dance Video Goes Viral

A little Penguins fan has gone viral in a big way.

CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A boy from Butler County is getting noticed for the dancing he did during Sunday night’s Penguins game.

A video posted on Facebook is approaching one and a half million views.

[worldnow id=11172883 width=345 height=255 type=video]

Jack Weaver from Adam Township, Butler County, is a 7-year-old who loves hockey but also loves to dance.

KDKA’s David Highfield: “How often do you dance?”

Weaver: “A lot!”

A camera caught him dancing during a timeout at the game. He was up on the screen, and the crowd began rooting him on.

“They were cheering and clapping and everyone was having so much fun,” said his mom Tracey Weaver.

Even Marc-Andre Fleury mentioned Jack after the game: “That’s good dancing by that kid!”

The Penguins put his dancing on Facebook, and the video has had more than 1.4 million views.

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Pittsburgh Girl Shines On Reality Show, “The Voice”

Check out Mia Z, a Pittsburgher competing on The Voice!

CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – “The Voice” is a popular singing talent show where four celebrity coaches are forced to choose their team based on vocal talent alone because they can’t see the contestants when the sing, only hear them.

On Tuesday night’s episode, a young girl from Pittsburgh, Mia Zanotti – also known as Mia Z, caught the attention of three of the judges with her singing ability.

Mia Z says watching the auditions last night didn’t bring back the nerves, but more of an excited feeling of reliving such an amazing moment in her career. She credits her family for giving her a start in music and a chance to audition.

“It all started with my grandma and my grandparents; my mom and my uncle are in my band. I was just playing around, my mom just sorta submitted it,” Mia says. “She was like, ‘Hey, you got…

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:: Welcome Home ::

Looking for a way to make your home more inviting? Start with the entryway. While you might not have a built-in in your rental, a nice mud room bench and shoe rack and some eye-catching decor are just the thing to make you and your guests feel at home as soon as you cross the threshold.

Tuvalu Home

What’s Trending Wednesday

Bright red entry to a beauitful coastal home with the pup waiting patiently for you to get home!After a long day spent out at the beach it’s nice to be welcomed home with a great entryway. There’s no reason you should’t have a nice welcoming entry. Show yourself and anyone that comes over to the house that you care about your home and you want to greet them the right way. We’ve gathered some great images of what we would love to come home to and we think you’ll agree. Plenty of bright colored doors that are prefect for any coastal home that are paired with coastal decor to make the entryway complete. Check them out and get inspired to improve your entryway!
Chic, coastal entry ready to greet you after a long dayCute, coastal welcome nook perfect for dropping off the toweals and sandals after a long day at the beachFun, coastal entryway with an orange painted door and striped painted floorsModern coastal entry complete with classic looking surfboards

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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.

:: Know Your Scale ::

Need some decorating tips? This post recommends you keep scale in mind.

Tuvalu Home

Tuesday Tips

Coastal living room with natural textures and turquoise accentsScale is one of the most important factors when it comes to design. It can set the tone for the entire space. It can make a room feel full, empty, right or wrong. When you’re designing a space you need to keep everything to the scale of the room. If you just run out and start buying without knowing the right measurements you’ll be in for a big surprise when it comes to the install. Furniture and accessories will look awkward, they won’t fit and it will cause headaches. You want to know what will fit in your space before you head off hunting for it. Knowing the measurements of your space will also allow you to use it to its full potential as well as show you were you can take design risks. So do your homework, know your space and pick pieces that will not only look great…

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