Organizing Theory & Artistry

Organizing Quick Win: Gleaming Toilet Bowls!

Armed and dangerous . . . to toilet bowls!
Armed and dangerous . . . to toilet bowls!

This month I am focusing on spring cleaning around my home and garden. I am slowly making progress forward. Part of what holds me back is a perfectionist tendency that when I am done cleaning something I want it to really look clean! It doesn’t seem like such an unrealistic expectation but when your home is 24 years old and you have a lot of degraded surfaces, it can be more challenging than you would expect.

This week, I am going to share three discoveries that made me smile and love my home more. I hope they might help you do the same.

When we first moved into our home, we inherited toilet bowls with rings in them from the prior owners. We have tried every type of cleaner imaginable on these toilets from toilet bowl cleaners to calcium, lime and rust remover, to porcelain restorers to Comet cleanser to baking powder and vinegar to scrub sponges and lots and lots of elbow grease.

Nothing touched these stains.

So, we cleaned the rest of the toilet the best we could, forgot about the rings and looked forward to the day when we could rip out the toilets and put new ones in.

Before: even the most powerful cleaners didn't touch these toilet rings.
Before: even the most powerful cleaners didn’t touch these toilet rings.

This spring, for some reason, I had a Dave Ramsey, “I’ve had it!” moment with these toilet stains. I just hated them and wanted them gone. So, I went online and researched how to get rid of them. There had to be a way!

The first site I stumbled across suggested a simple material that we have tons of . . . .

sandpaper!

First, flush the toilet and then turn off the water supply line when the toilet tries to refill so you keep the water level down.

Step One: Flush the toilet and turn off the water supply valve as the toilet tries to refill.
Step One: Flush the toilet and turn off the water supply valve as the toilet tries to refill.

Put on some sturdy, waterproof gloves and grab your sandpaper. I started with 220 grit (fine) sandpaper and scrubbed carefully just in case it scratched up the bowl. I didn’t want to make it worse!

2013-05-07-220grit-gentle

To my amazement, I was seeing some progress but I needed a little more firepower. So I upgraded to 150 grit (medium) sandpaper, scrubbing lightly at first then gently increasing the pressure.

2013-05-07-grit150

Wow! Wow! Wow! I about fell over from the shock! A gleaming, bright white toilet bowl, finally!

After: The bowl is so bright I gotta wear shades!
After: The bowl is so bright I gotta wear shades!

2013-05-07-beforeafter1

I had to spruce up all the toilet bowls in my house.

My new spring cleaning ritual, sanding the toilet!
My new spring cleaning ritual, sanding the toilet!

The best type of sandpaper for this task is a sanding sponge because it can get wet without disintegrating.

A sanding sponge is the best for this water-logged scrubbing task.
A sanding sponge is the best for this water-logged scrubbing task.

Due to our hard water, we will keep a sanding sponge with our toilet cleaning supplies for a quick scrub during our bathroom cleaning routines.

Have you sanded your toilet yet? It’s cheap, green, relatively easy, not that yucky and will make you feel like the most powerful person in the universe!

Have a cleaning challenge or cleaning tip? Please share in the comments.