Sanitation

Toilet Trouble

What’s the problem?

With toilets there are some really big cleaning challenges.
Old school:
Dump a bunch of toxic, corrosive chemicals into the bowl. Let sit, scrub and flush.
The greener way:
The toilet brush is your friend. Buy a good one – that will reach under the rim, and deep inside the “exit passage”. Replace brushes as soon as they start to wear out – exposed brush wires can permanently scratch the inside of the bowl. And make sure the brush you choose has a large, stable base in which to rest when it’s not in use.
When its time to clean it, and  you want some suds, squirt in some eco-friendly dishwashing detergent, works great!
And don’t fret about finding a replacement for the traditional chlorine bleach toilet cleaners. I mean really – how long do you think that toilet is going to remain “germ free”? If you want to disinfect the brush between uses on the other hand, spray it well with vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.You can even keep the brush soaking in hydrogen peroxide when it’s not in use. It’s much preferable to soaking the brush in chlorine bleach, which is highly corrosive and could be a hazard to pets and small children. Note that continually soaking a brush will often cause rust damage to the brush, though – and you will have to replace the peroxide frequently, since it naturally loses its potency upon exposure to air and light.
To clean the exterior of the toilet liberally spray them with vinegar (or use the vinegar/peroxide disinfection technique), let sit for a few minutes, and wipe dry with a clean, dry rag. DO NOT CROSS-CONTAMINATE SURFACES by using the rag for anything else afterwards. It goes straight to the laundry room, okay?
If you have a painted wooden seat and lid, be aware that vinegar can etch the finish. Don’t let the vinegar sit after spraying, but wipe it up immediately with a dry rag.

Special circumstances:

Some toilets will develop rust stains starting underneath the rim at the water holes, and spreading down the inside of the bowl or lime scale develops, usually creeping up from the outflow hole. Unfortunately both can be treated by a (toxic and corrosive) commercial-grade calcium, lime and rust remover. I have yet to find an Eco-friendly alternative to these extreme problems.

Anyone have any suggestions for green options?