Ode to a Toilet

17 Apr

Despite the title of this blog, I am not a neat-freak or clean-freak. However, cleaner and neater is generally better, in my view. I just do not have the energy most of the time, and my family has a tight budget.

This week I decided to splurge on some new cleaning supplies to improve general home conditions, and more specifically:  the bathroom used by our teenage boys.

No photos for this post. Trust me, you don’t want a photo.

I try very hard to avoid strong chemicals. They are dangerous. To your eyes, your skin, your lungs, and your general health.

There are safe solutions that work, I promise! 

My big purchase is a Swiffer Bissell steam cleaner for floors. Very small and light and easy to use, for about $50.00, with a swiveling head like the standard Swiffer. I can steam clean behind a toilet without getting anywhere near the toilet. The ultimate goal is for the boys to use it themselves, in their bathroom, but I am taking one step at a time. It looks and smells so much better in there, and I did not need to torture my knees, back, hands…or nose!

Speaking of toilets… I once had a school friend who was part of a Mormon family with eight children. I was at the house only once. The family was very nice, and considering the house held ten people and a dog, it was pretty clean.

Except for the toilet.

It had stalagmites in it. Like in a cave.

Truly, it did. I have never seen anything so filthy or covered in mineral deposits. I was shocked and confused, not to mention disgusted.

Looking back, I think they had just given up on the toilet.

I have a policy of expecting our boys to clean up after themselves. They do pretty well. Except for the bathroom. I suspect they are too squeamish and too gentle to do a proper job of it.

After three years in our apartment, my boys’ toilet was starting to resemble that Mormon toilet to some degree. One of them was ill recently and I knew his face was close to the toilet during that sickness. It is partly his own fault the toilet was so bad, but I felt sorry for him. I think, like the Mormons, the boys had simply given up on the toilet.

I decided to take drastic measures. Either that or we could never allow a guest in that bathroom!

I found an item at the store that looked like it might be useful.  A Pumie scouring stick –basically big block of pumice with a plastic handle. It worked as promised, although I needed to grind down nearly the entire block to clean the one toilet. (Under normal circumstances, it is meant to be reusable, getting smaller with use.) The toilet is clean, white, shiny and nontoxic.

I feel so much better now!



4 Responses to “Ode to a Toilet”

  1. David Jensen April 17, 2015 at 10:19 am #

    Vinegar and more vinegar for the mineral deposits. This advice comes from the Prince of Potties, famed for his work on toilets on ocean-going vessels. Because they use salt water pillars of salt develop rabidly. You can spray, sluice or rub it on. Heavy deposits require time soaking or repeat applications. Pumice is terrific. It can also be used to remove cracking calluses.

    • Rayme Wells @ A Clean Surface April 19, 2015 at 8:15 am #

      I have experimented with vinegar. Keep in mind that our apartment takes longer to ventilate than an ocean-going vessel. The boys have an aversion to the smell, although it does not bother me. Also, some of the problem was not mineral but something I might describe as petrified mildew, which was difficult to remove, even with the pumice.

  2. pegoleg April 20, 2015 at 5:06 pm #

    Howdy, stranger!

    Your toilet situation sounds…disgusting. Let’s not sugar-coat things. But I can relate. I have one that is stained black down at the very bottom. The only way I’m going to be able to clean this, if at all, is if I turn off the water, drain the thing,mop up the remaining water, then put something on to soak for a day. Not gonna happen anytime soon.

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