That’s a Sterlite, not a starlight, soak!

It’s not what you think.

See for yourself:

my tote tub

What do you see? If you say a Sterlite 25-gallon plastic tote, then you know your brands! Congratulations {ding ding ding} you win an imaginary prize!

If you say something in which to store blankets, Christmas crap treasured ornaments and wrap, toys, shoes, sewing materials, things you inherited from grandma you’ve not even looked at it for 10 years never mind could recite, cleaning products, well, that’d be right too!

That 25-gallon tote is, in fact, my tub.

No, not kidding.

My studio has a shower but no bath. It’s been a huuuuuge thorn in my side. Because I am a baths person. Well, specifically, a waterbaby. Mine is a Piscean watery highly sensitive nature. Regular readers may recall my impassioned post on sentoo. One thing I miss most about life in Japan.

So you get the drift. {drift, haha, a freebie} Water’s my element and as near to air in need as it could get. Baths are essential to my being. My well-being. Health. Balance. Healing. Sense of safety in a chaotic messy cruel fucked-up world. Respite. All that and more.

Anyhow, creating a tub in a tubless studio is no easy feat. Morever, creating a tub in a teeny-tiny bathroom with a teeny-tiny shower with a teeny-tiny entrance measuring 22 inches wide {that’s right, even a moderately overweight American, aka today’s typical American, could not use this shower!) has been an endeavor long on creative ideas and frustrations and short on successes.

McGyver be I. Sister too. Thank you, dad, for those genes of intelligence and thinking-outside-the-box!

I’m also very much a problem-solver. In that light, I’ve not solved the problem of the missing tub on a lasting basis. Lasting = the duration of my residency. The tote is a temporary fix until I acquire what my McGyver mind has determined is a better and more lasting solution than the current.

More pix to convey just how, um, big this tote is … not:



Look past that hideously ugly 1970s wood paneling. If you can. See that bubble wrap? Verrrrry attractive too, n’est pas?



It encircles the tote twice. Is held by duck tape — and God bless the person who invented that!!

Reason: I discovered that thin cheap plastic from China does NOT retain heat! And even if scalding water fills the tote, within 10 minutes, it’s turned lukewarm. So yes, the bubble wrap does help some. Also a plastic shower mat on the bottom. Because the shower’s lined with tile.  BRRRRRRRR tile. With zero heat retention. Trust me, I’ve tested it.

You may also wonder what’s that funny thing beneath the bubbles. Well, that would be a plastic grocery bag covering the tote’s label for protection. Again, kudos to duck tape creator! In case the tote didn’t work as a tub and needed returning to Walmart. Not the first container I’ve dragged home to test out. Yes, that’s just how my brain works. Always thinking. Always thinking ahead too. A thinking head. 🙂

The tote’s now too far gone to return to Walmart. As you can see in this snapshot:


Though the tote tub’s been used infrequently in its month or so here, its sides are already bulging out and cracking. Let’s face it. A thin plastic tote is not designed to hold the weight of water.

Precisely 166.8 pounds of water weight.

One gallon = 8.34 pounds. At a guesstimated 20 gallons in the tote tub: 166.8 pounds.

I can see it any night now. I’m sitting there. In my “starlight” tub. Well, “starlight” in imagination. Bathroom has zero windows. No natural light or circulation either. More thorns in the side. Hence nightlight, candles, whatever are employed to create a mood.

All of a sudden: BURST!!!! The tote, stretched past its tensile strength, explodes. Some 20 gallons of liberated water shoot through the air! Walls, door, towels, vanity, mirror, ceiling splashed. Shower: flooded. Room: flooded. Water water everywhere and a fucking mess to mop!

Up until a couple days ago, there was just one bulging deformation on the one side.  I’ve been watching it carefully. Very carefully. Even sometimes sit there soaking at night, petite origami girl that I am in my “relaxing” tote, examining. Has it worsened? Weakened? Expanded? By how much. Again, my brain. Never stops thinking. Or studying the details.

The second overstretched deformation on the other side is new. Not a good sign. This tote is permanently damaged. Beyond repair. No longer is the shape rectangular. It’s permanently splayed.

Its clear that its end as a tote tub draws nigh.  What use I’ll make of it if any is TBD. Anti-clutter nazi that I am, I do not keep things I cannot/do not use. So it may go the the thrift store. Someone CAN make use of it.

Happened pretty quickly too, considering it’s not been used that much. On the other hand, it’s not designed to contain some 170 pounds of water. Plus having never used a 25-gallon plastic tote as a tub before, I’ve found it an educational experience.

So as I prepare for Plan B, a more enduring replacement, I can only say that my baths have taken on a twist. Not referring strictly to the twisting tote.

At any moment in any bath now, I may find myself sloshing around in a Sterlite midnight not in a sea or stream but a flooded teeny-tiny shower tiled in cotton candy pink in a teeny-tiny bathroom. Mopping up a mother of a mess.

There is one silver lining. Always is. I’m on the ground floor. No ceilings below to destroy.


2 thoughts on “That’s a Sterlite, not a starlight, soak!

Talk to Me

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s