Copyright © 2008 Happy Clean Living

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cleaning a Toilet and getting rid of the "ring"

First thing that I do when I start to clean a bathroom is put the toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet. I let it set while I clean the rest of the bathroom and then I come back and finish the toilet at the end.

While one of my customers had a toilet that was running water down the bowl all the time, it left a rust spot down the bowl where the water was running. I was so frustrated because it took such extra effort each week to get that rust spot gone. However, Lime Away toilet cleaner came to the rescue - it was on sale and I decided to use it. I put it in the toilet and cleaned the bathroom. When I came back the rust spot was gone without any effort. That is what hooked me onto Lime Away. It's not a good smelling as the Lysol - which does a great job too. But if you have a rust spot on the sides of your bowl - this may make the job easier.
After the toilet bowl cleaner has set for while, I come in with my toilet bowl brush. Make sure the bowl brush contains NO metal. The metal will scratch the bowl. It's better to use a a brush that is plastic - no scratching.

"Scrub away" all around the bowl. Scrubbing up under the lip of the bowl is very important as well as down the canal. I also have found with the new toilets they are designed in such a way that it is impossible to get your regular bowl brush into the groove down the canal. That is where I use the smaller brush - or even my sponge. Sorry - but I am sure the designers are people who don't scrub their own toilet - which is frustrating but you have to do what you have to do to get the tip of the canal clean.

Also while I am brushing the bowl, I slosh around the water to the lip to loosen any feces/poop. I scrub for a whole minute or more. If it is really bad and smelly then I flush and put in some comet and scrub again. I want it smelling clean and sometime it takes a second scrubbing.

Sometimes you will have a hard water ring around your toilet. This is from the new house I cleaned on Friday. No matter how much you clean your bowl - if you live in a place that has really hard water (like Idaho) the hard water ring is there every once and a while.
To get rid of the hard water ring (or ring from not cleaning it too often), you will need a Pumice stone. I usually find these in the hardware plumbing aisle. Sometimes a store will have them by the cleaning supplies and sometimes you can find the with a handle. They cost around $3.50.

I leave the plastic wrap around the stone and peel it back as I use it. That way it protects the stone until you use it.

After you have cleaned the bowl you gently rub the stone back and forth against the ring until it is gone.
Walla - ring is gone and bowl looks like new again. This also works where the water comes down into the bowl. Sometime the hard water makes lines running down to the bowl water. Use the Pumice stone on that too - always making your toilet looking new.

After the inside of the bowl is all clean, I spray 409 all over the whole toilet. The seat, the tank, the sides of the toilet, the place where the toilet is bolted down to the floor and all around the floor. I really like the "lemon fresh" 409. 409 is antibacterial and kills the germs.

Then I take my sponge and wipe every surface of the outside of the toilet.

I like how a sponge will fit into all the grooves.
Make sure you get the outside of the bowl where there are drips. Your toilet will not smell or BE clean if you don't clean the outside of it.

Make sure you get the floor around the toilet - very important. Make sure it is sprayed good with 409. Scrub right up to the ridge where the toilet meets the floor - it's gross but you gotta get all the pee that missed the toilet.

Then I wipe it down with a rinsed out wash cloth.

Then I dry it good. (my poor working hands - that are in chemicals all day long)

Dry the floor around the toilet and it will be clean and smelling clean.
Men/Boys and toilets! Seriously - can they hit inside the toilet?? It is just a frustrating thing when I have to clean up pee all over the toilet. I've had many discussions with my boys - on what the problem is.

One thing I have learned is that it is a MUST to have a night light in your bathroom. Boys don't sit and if it's dark - they can't aim... Make sure you have a night light to help with their aim.

It's all about training the male species in your house to lift the lid and hit the bowl. If they can't seem to get the pee in the bowl - the must be taught to grab a Clorox wipe and clean the mess up. No body wants to sit in it (me) or see it around the toilet. It's all in the training. Have Clorox wipes by your toilet all the time - it's a good thing (as Martha Stewart would say).

As a house cleaner .... I get pretty sad boys are not taught to aim into the toilet bowl. I wonder how they are at school -- really I don't want to know. But, I think it is vital that we teach our boys/husbands to be considerate and clean. Clean up their mess or aim better. Sorry to get graphic - but sometimes it just needs to be said.
Happy cleaning your toilets!


Tigersue said...

Ever since I learned about pumice stones, they have been my hero! I love how well they work.

As for the problem with men, I know one woman that has taught he boys to sit, (My dad does as well), and my husband actually kneels at the toilet, and I rarely, rarely have a mess to clean.

Cherie said...

I am in love with this post because I have a secret toilet fetish! I love a toilet to be sparkling white and I have boys too.
It is true they have bad aim sometimes and I have decided there is a "splash factor" - ew gross!!

Great toilet tutorial:D

I think it should be sent out to all colleges and new husbands as well!!

Small House said...

This is exactly what I'm doing today. I'm painting the bathroom, and I'm going to go to town on that toilet of ours. We have hard water, and it's awful. I'd like to just go get a new one. AUGH! Thanks for the tips. I'm using a few.
Have a great day.

Ann Marie said...

I am such a germaphobe that I feel like I need a shower after just reading your post!! :( LOL!!!

It was REALLY good for me to read. I have never heard of thos stones before.. And it would be VERY handy for me because we have terrible hard water also..

My question.. What do you do with the stone?? Throw the whole thing away after one use?? It seems very germy once you have scrubbed inside the toilet with it..

I thought I was a good toilet cleaner.. But as good as I "think " I clean it, after I saw that you spray the WHOLE toilet down with 409, I think I will have to try it for sure..

Sondra.. I really think you need to invent a good small brush to go inside the new toilets.. I am not sure I can put my hand in it. Gloves or no gloves.. HELP!

Thanks for the posts! I have learned some great new things!

Sondra said...

Tigersue, Wow! Boys that sit - that sure would fix the problem.

Cherie - splash factor - ew gross for sure. My home is good too with boys - because I am a mean mom.. It's all the houses I clean that makes me shake my head.

Sandra - Have a happy day painting and cleaning your bathroom!

Ann Marie - you totally crack me up. I keep the stone and re-use it - until it is gone. The bowl is clean before I scrape away - so I don't think it's that bad.. but I clean tons of toilets all day long that I am immune from the reality.

I just keep the pumice stone in my caddy all the time. My caddy has a special indented space for these small items.

When I watch shows house cleaning shows - where people have dirter kitchen sinks then their toilet through analysis (that is what makes me shiver).

I've cleaned some pretty bad houses. I hate the bad ones - but after I tackle it - they are sparkling clean.

Go take a shower :-)

Scrappy Girl said...

LOL...for some reason I giggle through reading this whole post...btw...I need you to come over to my house!

You should also pop over to my blog...I think you'll like what I have done!

Zoey said...

I have to say that the pumice thing is awesome. I do a 'swish and swipe' every morning (flylady), so yes, I clean my toilet and sink everyday at least with a clorox wipe to help my house be 'company ready' at any time. It really does help! Thanks for the great advice. I think I might need lotion after reading this post!

Tierra Lynne said...

Great toliet tutorial. I've never had to really worry about the boys/hit the edge or floor thing. It's always been just me and my aunt and then my mom when she was alive. So, for now i am in love witht the clorex magic wand. AMAZING.

BUT when i get that slow mover future hubby around, I'll be coming back to this post and you'll probably be hearing some venting stories. LOL

But, I'll have to check out the stone thing, and good old martha...Yes, she would say keep the clorex wipes near at all times. I highly agree.

I'm LOVING these cleaning post!

Janel said...

Hello Sondra,
I am new to your blog...I found you through Ann Marie at "An Old Fashioned Girl" (LOVE HER BLOG). I like the way you clean...your house must be immaculate! I too will try a pumice stone. I enjoyed this post and your previous one on the cleaners you use.

Nice to meet you...Janel in NJ

Sondra said...

Janel - Welcome to my blog!!! the more the merrier. It's so much fun to have new friends.

I LOVE Ann Marie's blog too! It is wonderful. I see that you also follow "Want What you Have" I love that one too.

It's so wonderful to get inspired everyday to do things better or be a better person. I love all the people I meet and follow - it's so inspiring and fun! Welcome!

~Dawn C said...

Wow, that is some toilet surgery going on there... great post. I hadn't thought about a pumice stone, thanks for the idea.

MP2Women said...

Thanks for the great cleaning tips!!
My husband learned as a teenager from his brother-in-law actually that in his house everyone sits down to go to the bathroom. And now my husband and three sons all sit down on the toilet. We potty trained them all that way. It never smells in our bathroom until friends come over and pee all over. I've told the moms about the sitting down thing and they probably think I am the weird one. I think they think it might make the boys have some complex or something. Ha :). At least its one less thing to worry about in the middle of the night and the toilet seat in down. :) Thank you again for this wonderful, awesome and informative blog!!! I use it for church lessons too. :)

Sam Luke said...

Very informative post on happy clean living. Thanks for sharing this blog.
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