best material for temporary drywall repair in bathroom?

Looking for a quick'n'dirty solution here-
Situation- 1960 cookie cutter, typical 5x9 bath. Sitting on the throne yesterday, look down and notice a vertical crack in the wall facing me, very close to the outside corner where it abuts the mud-bed tile job around the tub, down at the bottom near the floor. Start poking around with a fingernail, and determine that the lower edge and corner there has gotten wet and soft under the paint, either wicking up from floor, or from overspray soaking through defects in the grout and edge caulking.
I can switch to the other bathroom for a week while this drys out. And yes, I know the proper repair is to remove all the mushy stuff and build back with new. However, the entire bathroom really needs fresh drywall due to 'redecorating' done by previous owner, which consisted of mechanically scraping off wallpaper and painting over. (Sort of looks like knock-down textured plaster.) And if I'm dong that, may as well replace fixtures and vanity, etc. In short, it needs a gut job, which simply ain't in the budget this year (money or ambition wise). Maybe next year. (I'll probably hire it out, other than maybe doing the demo myself- my drywall skills are sub-par, I've never done tile, and I don't have the tools for plumbing.)
So, I really don't want to open this wall any more than I have to, right now. What is the best material for a spot repair, after raking out the loose particles from the crack with an awl? Vinyl spackling compound? And what is the best thing to coat the grout lines in the area with, to keep water from seeping through? A thin layer of tub caulk is all that came to mind for that one. Don't care if it looks perfect, just so it doesn't look hideous, as long as it will limit further damage until I can afford to have the whole room redone.
-- aem sends....
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I'd let it dry out, then use that or regular drywall mud.

Unless it looks bad for some other reason, I'd just figure out where the water is coming from that caused the problem and eliminate it. Make sure no new water gets to it. pools there, etc and you should be OK till rebuild in another year or so without screwing around with the grout.
A thin layer of tub caulk is all that

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aemeijers wrote:

I see this a lot. Since you just want a temporary cosmetic fix, use wallboard compound. Get "hot mud" that cures in 20 minutes. Scrape out the damage, fill it in with mud, sand it, paint it. If you have to, cut out a section and patch in new wallboard.

It's probably leaking at the bottom caulk joint, especially if it's grout instead of caulk. Use a utility knife and a putty knife to remove the existing caulk/grout. Clean with bleach, then water, then denatured alcohol. Put in a new bead of caulk.
You may have splashing around the curtain. A buddy had me in to look at his tub that leaked through the downstairs ceiling. A plumber found no problems. I recaulked, but the problem persisted. We finally determined that it would be better to use the caulk gun to smack the son upside the head to get him to stop splashing water outside the tub. "What am I gonna do--he's a teenager?", my buddy said. Gee, where do I start?
There are plenty of grout sealers made for the job if you determine that that's the problem.
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Steve Bell
New Life Home Improvement
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I think you should mention that "hot mud" as you call it does not sand well like regular mud. It's hard as a rock the stuff I've seen anyway.
http://www.naturalhandyman.com/iip/infdrywall/infdrywallcompound.html
    "Quick set (Hot Mud): This comes in bags. It's powder that you mix with water. Ranges in drying time from 5 minutes to 210 minutes. Be careful, once it starts setting up, there's no stopping it, and it is very hard to sand."
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Red Green wrote:

I guess different brands have different characteristics. I've been using "Sheetrock" brand, and it sands just fine. Of course, I'm a handyman, so I only use it for small repairs, then use an electric sander.
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