Environmentally-friendly ways to avoid "ring around the potty" - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 05-10-2011, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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 I used to use those Clorox tablets in the tank, til I stopped using chlorine bleach. I currently use a pumice stone on the orange slime/water ring, but that's a pain, and I think DH threw my pumice stone away by accident....

 

Is there anything wrong with dumping some oxygen bleach into the tank now and then? Any other tips that are easier than, you know, CLEANING regularly??

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#2 of 17 Old 05-10-2011, 04:51 PM
 
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I just give the bowl a swipe with the toilet brush every couple of days or so. I haven't needed to scrub because nothing sticks around too long.

 

I am not a super housekeeper and HATE cleaning the toilet, but I have convinced myself that a swipe every so often isn't going to kill me :)  And I'm in there dumping dirty diapers anyway...


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#3 of 17 Old 05-10-2011, 05:08 PM
 
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well I just use a toilet bowl cleaner (the last one I bought was seventh gen) and I let it sit in the toilet for however long it takes til someone needs to use it (often a couple hours) and then I use the brush and everything scrubs off really easily.

 

I HAVE heard that just using straight vinegar and letting it sit awhile works just as well as bleach.

 

I don't find I need to clean the toilet often for aesthetic reasons anyway though.  However, I can go longer between cleanings when I make sure to use the brush under the rim were there is this weird space that gets SUPER gross and gunky.  Cleaning that out every few months seems to help the best.

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#4 of 17 Old 05-10-2011, 05:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have tried vinegar, but it's not as great as I'd like it to be... Part of the problem is that one toilet doesn't get used much and therefore gets a bit stale and sometimes moldy. I guess I need to just swish every day to keep it up. The other toilet gets used by all of us, and we don't flush every time or our water bill would be through the roof. So that contributes to the nastiness. (It's really not that bad, but our water leaves mineral deposits and a ring around the water line in addition to whatever the pee sitting in there is doing...)

 

So I'd like to find a way to be environmentally conscious by saving the water and not flushing all the time,  but still have a clean toilet. I guess I can scrub it out really well and then see how long it takes to get bad again if I swish every day.

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#5 of 17 Old 05-11-2011, 12:53 PM
 
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this might sound a bit crazy. but I recently thought about getting one of those hospital urine catchers to hold the urine, then dumping it in the AM and flushing it...


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#6 of 17 Old 05-11-2011, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's an idea, but then you have clean THAT too! And part of it is just that DS is not so great at flushing when he should. AND he's 3 -- do I really want to teach him to pee ANYWHERE but the toilet? I think not! ;-)

 

I have put a scoop of oxygen bleach in the tank a few times since my OP and it actually seems to be working. Once I get a chance, I'm going to scrub it all really well (and maybe resort to a not-so-friendly cleaner just this once, to get it clean) and then see if I can keep it looking good with just a daily swishing and cleaning with vinegar.

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#7 of 17 Old 05-13-2011, 06:46 PM
 
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I think Borax is supposed to be good for that.

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#8 of 17 Old 05-15-2011, 10:56 AM
 
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I still haven't found a natural way to clean the toilets. I've tried baking soda and vinegar, but I end up using Clorox anyway because nothing else works.

 

I did just want to say to be careful about putting stuff in the tank. My husband is a plumber, and he won't let me put any kind of cleaning agents in the tank. He says that it can cause the seals and inside parts to break down.


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#9 of 17 Old 05-15-2011, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the tip, bignerpie. I have the ring nearly gone, and I think if I just keep up the daily swishing it won't be a problem again. I just fall off the wagon when it comes to toilet cleaning b/c DS has to have his hands and face in everything I'm doing, so I put it off til he's not around.... and then it doesn't get done. This way, if I can start out clean and do a quick swish when he's not looking/asleep, then  hopefully I can maintain it a little better.

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#10 of 17 Old 05-16-2011, 04:07 AM
 
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We have really hard water so while a swish every couple of days helps we still have some build up. A couple of times a year I pull out one of the two big guns.

 

The first is not so environmentally friendly limescale remover. I drain out as much water as I can and let the limescale remover do it's stuff for a couple of hours. Vinegar just doesn't seem strong enough, even the stuff I use doesn't have nearly as much impact if you don't drain the water out first.

 

The second option is the steam cleaner. This is one of the jobs that it seems to do well, though it's not pleasant having you're head in the cloud of steam from the toilet (and I try and move as much stuff as I can out of the bathroom before starting). It does work though

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#11 of 17 Old 05-16-2011, 10:05 AM
 
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Try a pumice stone!  They make special ones for this with a handle.  I was skeptical when this was suggested to me, but it is the only thing that has worked for me.  I found it in the store with the scrub brushes, mops, etc.

 

I use Bon Ami for cleaning and like it, but it won't remove the ring.  I tried Borax, vinegar and even resorted to buying a not environmentally friendly cleaner to try to get rid of my rings but even that didn't work.  My toilets bowls won't fill beyond a certain level (they drain) and the ring is right at the water line, so using things that need to soak just didn't work.  A mixture of borax and vinegar left overnight is supposed to, but since my water level won't stay beyond the ring line to soak, it wouldn't for me.

 

Good luck!


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#12 of 17 Old 05-16-2011, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have tried pumice, but that seems to make it worse in the long run, b/c it scratches the bowl.

 

How do you all drain the bowl to clean it? Maybe that's what I need to try, since, as artemis33 points out, if the water is at the line where the ring is, you can't really soak/let cleaner sit on it...

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#13 of 17 Old 05-17-2011, 10:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post

I have tried pumice, but that seems to make it worse in the long run, b/c it scratches the bowl.

 

How do you all drain the bowl to clean it? Maybe that's what I need to try, since, as artemis33 points out, if the water is at the line where the ring is, you can't really soak/let cleaner sit on it...



Thank you for mentioning that - I have wondered if that would be the case.  My original intention was to get the rings off and keep them off with regular swishing, but with 3 toilets and 2 young kids (and I have to keep the brushes locked up from them - I can't have them right by the toilet) it hasn't worked out that way.  I only use the pumice about once a month or 6 weeks, but yeah, I wondered about the long term. 

 

Maybe someone else will have some magic  ;)


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#14 of 17 Old 05-17-2011, 12:03 PM
 
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When I worked for Merry Maids we used pumice on toilets and sinks routinely.  What I learned in geology class is that pumice is a rock that is softer than porcelain.  Your toilet porcelain is supposed to be very durable, so scrubbing it with a pumice stone won't scratch it.

 

However, I have a hunch that porcelain toilets ain't what they used to be, and perhaps they're more easily scratched. 


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#15 of 17 Old 05-20-2011, 10:10 AM
 
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I dunno, soaking works for my water line.  maybe I don't have as bad of a problem though.  I also just use seventh gen toilet cleaner or another natural brand (I found one recently that smells like cedar and I love it) rather than the even more natural vinegar.... those cleaners are thick so I just squirt a bunch in starting under the rim of the toilet so that it slowly runs down to the water, coating the sides and then floating on top of the water for a bit before sinking into the water.  I leave it there til I need to use the toilet again, scrubbing before I go to the bathroom.  I probably only clean my toilet bowl once every 6-8 weeks because I'm lazy and forget since I too have to keep my brush stored away.

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#16 of 17 Old 05-20-2011, 10:34 PM
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I use 7th Generation toilet cleaner every two weeks with a toilet brush and this seems to work

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#17 of 17 Old 05-26-2011, 06:00 PM
 
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Maybe I'll try borax -- I have a constant pink ring around my toilet and I hate it!

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