Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Mommy Tip: Cleaning the Bathroom

Today I've done more housework than in a long time, having no official work to do immediately nor any imminent vacation plans. That being said, my head saw the wrong side of a toilet bowl for a good 20 minutes. This kind of thing gets you thinking about how one goes about making it easier to get the necessary stuff done. I almost used the word "crap" there, instead of the word "stuff," but I figured it would come across as an awful pun.

Why 20 minutes? While we were away Frank told me about this awful "concrete-like dust" that kept building up on the basement toilet, no matter how often he cleaned it. Weird, we both thought, since the bathroom has no windows and is completely redone, as is the rest of the basement. I made a mental note to check it out but honestly, forgot.

Until today. While down in the basement doing laundry, I had to flush some hairballs (hey, this is a post about the bathroom, I'm not sugarcoating anything) courtesy of our younger cat [who manages to do this only on carpet...]. That's when I saw the "concrete-like dust" my husband was talking about. Except it wasn't dust. Nor was it concrete. It was mold. Taking over the inside of the toilet. I almost threw up right there. I thought about telling Frank it was his job, since he's the only one that uses that toilet. Then I realized, it's probably getting so nasty because Frank doesn't know how to actually clean a toilet. This thought led me to the blog post.

1. Buy gloves. Not the reusable kind. The ones that once you're done, you can toss them. Let's face it, after those things touch the germs in your bathroom, do you really want to use them again? Nope, didn't think so. The gloves will protect your soft skin, but in reality, this just allows you to keep from touching all the gunk you are cleaning. I would put my hands in poop water with gloves on. Well, that's probably not true, but you get the picture.

2. Use a plastic grocery bag to immediately throw away the gloves & paper towels you are using to clean off the surface (or any garbage: tissues that have fallen outside the trash, clumps of hair, etc). This will keep the germs from sitting around, potentially flying through the air, and it will minimize the exposure your family has to the cleaning products (see the next item). This is probably the most eco-friendly item on this post: reuse your plastic grocery bags.

3. Use bleach-based products. I don't care what you're gonna say about breathing in chemicals or the environment - blah, blah, blah. If you want your bathroom to be free of viruses, bacteria, mold and mildew, use something with bleach. I guess you can also create a white vinegar solution, but why go to all the trouble? Best two products I use: Lysol with Bleach (both the spray & the toilet bowl cleaner) and Comet with Bleach. Make sure to follow the product recommendations for use! If it says, to disinfect leave set for 30 seconds, do it! If it has to set for 10 minutes, find yourself something else to clean and let it set.

4. Scared of the fumes? Buy a mask. And open a window. I also like to do it when the baby is not home, preferably in the morning. This gives it all day to air out before she goes to bed in the room right next to our bathroom.

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