So, it turns out that tools matter.
My hubby and I moved in to our condo almost six years ago. It's two levels, three bedrooms with a full laundry room and plenty of storage. It checked a lot of our boxes. Absolutely lovely. But, it fell down in one area: the upstairs bathroom.
When we bought the house, the previous owners had a very dark and heavy shower curtain in the bath. Although we checked the walls and tub and water pressure, once we actually owned the space and removed the hideous curtain, we discovered the fabric's dark shadows had hid a few flaws - including a painted tub. A painted tub! Who paints tubs?! Apparently this previous owner did. And they did a very poor job.
It also revealed orange-stained white tiles. The grout was orange, the tiles were orange, and no amount of scrubbing changed that orange tinge.
But, I lived with the orange tiles because of all the other boxes the rest of the house checked. It's in a good neighbourhood. It's the perfect size for us. For six years we took orange showers. And then, this year - Hubby and I started talking about renovating. He wanted to do the lighting, I desperately wanted to do the tile.
"Well, have you tried cleaning it with a toothbrush?" Hubby asked.
"Sure, here, I've got one." Hubby got an old toothbrush from the storage space (why Hubby stored his old toothbrush instead of throwing it out is fodder for another blog post), and he dipped the bristles in the strongest cleaner we owned.
He applied said brush to the wall and within seconds the ugly orange tinge I've been living with for six (SIX!) years scrubbed away leaving pristine white tiles underneath.
All it took was the right tool and a nightmare of a problem resolved itself super easily.
Now you could argue (as some of my friends have), how is it possible that I didn't know a toothbrush would be a superior cleaning tool on my grout issues? That's a good question. I guess I lived a very precious and sheltered childhood. But, a better question might be; where are you struggling? What tools are you using? And have you considered... there might be a better tool at your disposal?
I'd hate for whatever you're working on be covered in crud for six years. Maybe what you need is a toothbrush...