Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuesdays 411 on Cleaning: Bathroom Cleaning Part 1


Remember last week's post on getting the "tinkle smell" out of a bathroom?  At the end of the post, I showed a stained toilet and asked for advice on how to remove two types of stains.  Thanks to two friends, I got the stains out!

Getting the hard water drip stains and the green toilet cleaner stains out was quite easy with The Works toilet bowl cleaner. I squirted it on, used a toilet cleaner brush to scrub, and all of it came off.  There was only one problem...

Can you see it?

The problem is, there is still a hard water ring around the water line.  You will see it clearer in the next photo.  My first friend told me about The Works, the second friend simply suggested using a pumice stone. Although I had heard of them, I had never used one before, successfully that is.  Years ago, someone I cleaned for handed me one to use.  I thanked her, and when she wasn't looking, politely put it back with the rest of the cleaning products.  I had no idea how to use it. I figured by now, it was worth learning more, so I researched and found this article:  How to clean porcelain with a pumice stone.  Please note, we are talking about PORCELAIN.  Read the directions on the box before using it on any other surface.

I found a stone at Walmart, made sure it was really wet and proceeded to gently scrub away.  It didn't work.  I figured out that there was too much water.  It is the paste which forms with water that does the trick, so I had to lower the water level in the toilet.  Ever done that?  If not, get your gloves.  

Using a rag, push your hand quickly towards the drain in the bottom of the toilet. 3-4 quick motions with the rag in your hand should force water to go down the hole and it should look like this: (Do not flush, it will refill the tank)

See the stain now?

After the water was lower, I was able to gently scrub with the stone and IT WORKED TOO!

Now THAT'S a clean toilet bowl!
I wish I could say that The Works and a pumice stone are all you will ever need to clean a toilet, but I would be lying.  Yes, they did work in this house, but The Works didn't do much for my own toilet.  Comet or Ajax work best at my house.  Wondering why?

I think it has to do with Chemistry. I hate chemistry!  In fact, taking high school chemistry was pretty much the deciding factor in whether I would go to college.  After about 3 weeks, I knew I would never, never go to college if I had to pass that class. I dropped the class and opted for business school instead.  Haven't regretted it since. Until now.  I do wish I understood it more.

I am convinced that different water, different dirt and grime, different personal products (like shampoo and soap), and different surfaces all combine to cause different cleaning challenges.  What works in one house doesn't in others.  It really is true.  Sometimes, I find something that works in most, but rarely have I found a bathroom cleaner that is good for all.  

Because of that, all I can offer you are several tips combined with some products that often work, to clean many different types of bathrooms. I get bored with the same subjects for too long, so I will probably post bathroom cleaning tips off and on throughout the next few Tuesdays.  Right now, I am on a quest to find something to clean hard water stains in shower stalls with regular tile.  I'll explain more later.  For now, take a look at all the bathrooms I clean on a weekly basis and you will see what I mean about different issues:

Tuesday House

Wednesday house-A

Wednesday House - B

Thursday House - A

Thursday House - B

And just for fun, here is the master bath from the big, yellow house:

THAT was a big bathroom!
In all the above bathrooms, there are a variety of bathroom surfaces including, Travertine, fiberglass, tile, porcelain, and regular ol' Formica  Plus lots and lots of glass...and huge shower stalls.  UGH!  My favorite.  Of course, all of the photos were taken AFTER I cleaned, but how does all that glass stay so clean?  You may notice that I haven't shown my bathroom.  There's a reason.  I haven't found anything yet to get all the hard water stains out.  I'm getting close though....

UPDATE: I found something that cleaned my shower stall!  To find out what it is, click here


  1. The Works soap and scum remover USED to work before they changed the ingredients. It had phosphoric acid in it and it worked GREAT. Now it has hydrocholric acid or something like that in it and it doesn't work at all. When you find something that works, I'll be thrilled!!!

  2. I've heard that about the Works. I'll be thrilled to find something too. One thing blogging on Tuesdays about cleaning has done....it has motivated me to keep on cleaning. I WAS near backsliding. lol