Striving to create a home strong in the foundations of love, respect, and God's truths ...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Don't Judge A Toilet By Its Stains

Today's post includes some yuck.  If you don't like yuck, feel free to skip today's post and come back tomorrow for a nice, calm book review.

Or, if you're one of those people who has a cleaning routine for every five minutes of the day, come back tomorrow.  My crazy attempts to be neater might stress you.  :-)

I've been trying to cut out chemicals from my household for a few years now.  Mostly I've focused on the un-natural additives to our food, but having heard about lots of simple cleaning solutions that were frugal to make and worked well, I considered making some.

But then we ran out of a few simple cleaners, and while I was at a local dollar store, I saw similar items.  Since I always bought a scrubbing powder there for my sinks, bathtub, and toilet, I grabbed some toilet bowl cleaner and sanitizing spray made specifically for the bathrooms.

I'll look up those cleaning recipes later, I reasoned.  I don't want to wait any longer (than the few days it had already been) to clean the bathrooms, so I'll look up those recipes soon and get my cleaning supplies made for the next time.

I took my spray and cleanser home and began to use them.  As always, I sprayed and squirted one bathroom, then moved to the other one and applied the solutions to that one.  Returning to the first one, I scrubbed away - sink, bathtub, toilet, just like always.

The difference came when I returned to the kids' bathroom.  There, no matter how hard I scrubbed, the toilet seat looked like this:

I was quite irritated with this orange-y stain.  I couldn't figure out how it could've gotten there unless someone purposely missed their mark, and since it was on top of the seat, this must've been quite intentional.  Logistically speaking, though, the seat would've had to have been down for a long time, and I have two kids, so it's never down for long.

Couldn't figure it out.

I kept squirting and spraying and cleansing and then one day realized that my toilet had Smurfy blue stripes on one side of the bowl.  They're faint in this picture, but they're there - see'em?

That's when it hit me:  no wayward child had gotten creative in the bathroom.  There were no Smurfs using our toilets.  It was the crazy new cleaning supplies.

I promptly threw out what remained of the new cleansers and mixed up my own using a recipe I found on Pinterest.  Basically, for your regular-strength standard household sanitizing spray, mix 1 part water with 1 part vinegar.  It really can't get much easier.  I'm not sure what took me so long.

The kids love this new solution.  Because I know it's safe, I let them take turns at cleaning their bathtub and sink.  What that means is that I turn a kid loose with a sponge and a spray bottle full of liquid loose in the bathroom.  Then I go rescue said bathroom about fifteen minutes later.  They've totally tackled every stray germ, the room is drippy and sparkling, and completely reeks of pickles. 

Yes, this solution will make your room smell of vinegar, but the smell dissipates in minutes, and then you're left with a sanitized area that you  know is clean and safe - for the kids, for the pets, and for your guests.  No more stray germs or chemicals that turn porcelain and plastic funky colors.

So if you come over to our house and see stains in our bathroom, it's not because we're total slobs and never clean - but because we do.  

My new personal creed:  Don't just a book by its cover.  Don't judge a toilet by its stains.  Love the smell of pickles.

Have you ever tried making your own cleaning supplies?  Have a recipe you love?  I'd love to know more about it!


  1. I working at switching to homemade cleaners, but bathroom disinfectant has been one of my holdouts. You may have convinced me!

    1. This was the final straw for me! I worried that something as simple as vinegar could really kill bathroom germs, but after seeing these stains, there's no way that I'll use those chemicals near my kids again! The vinegar solution DOES seem to work well, and it's SAFE! :-)