August 26, 2007

And now a word from our sponsor

First a word of warning. If you are one of those people like me who is disgusted by those sappy women on TV whose happiest moment in life is to have a sparkling toilet, you might want to change channels right now.

The reason? Sappy La Gringa has to share this happy moment with you!

Toilet before

I'm humiliating myself only in hope of helping someone else who has bad water like we do. I also want to say that I was prepared to live with this problem. After all, lots of people have bad water and I've seen some pretty bad looking toilets. Many toilets are completely ruined from trying to scrub away the mineral deposits with harsh chemicals and wire brushes. It was El Jefe that couldn't stand it anymore.

I tried every toilet cleaner available at the stores. The toilet laughed at my attempts. I tried vinegar, purple stuff, blue stuff, bleach. It snickered. I tried home remedies like citrus oil, lemon juice, Coca Cola, and Tang powdered drink. The toilet said "Yum, give me more." I got tough with CLR, LimeAway, and acetic acid. Pffft. Nothing worked.

Where else to turn but my old friend Google? A search for "clean bad toilet" gives 2,930,000 results so I'm certainly not alone with this problem. I spent hours and hours reading about recommended products that I can't buy here. Home remedy suggestions were sissy things like adding a cup of vinegar or mixing 4 tablespoons of baking soda in a a quart of water. Hah. As if.

I read about toilet tune ups and disinfecting toilets. I was sidetracked by ghost flushes, phantom flushes, and whistling toilets. I read about dangerous chemicals and the need to wear a face mask and safety glasses. I got my PhD in
toiletology. But the real cleaning experts are at GardenWeb and Thrifty Fun. Finally, I read something completely new to me that sounded like it made sense. Pumice stone.

You can read about pumice stone on Wikipedia. Pumice stone is light. Here is a big one standing on top of a curled up lempira bill. It's not a trick photo.

Pumice is so light and porous that it floats on water.

Now rubbing a rock around the inside of the toilet may sound as strange and dangerous to you as it did to me, but remember that I was desperate.

I moaned to El Jefe that we needed a pumice stone. He didn't know what a pumice stone was but when I described it, he said that he knew where to get one.

After spending thousands of lempiras on cleaning products, a L.10 (US $0.53) rock did the trick! It
took a lot of elbow grease, but here is the result:

Toilet after pumice - Like brand, spankin' new

It worked so well that I thought I would try it on the sink. This sink was so disgusting and worst of all, it is in our guest bathroom, too. I was ready to buy a new sink so I had nothing to lose.

Sink before pumice

It doesn't sit properly so the water sits in areas instead of draining into the sink. I've tried all the products mentioned above, plus I even tried the no-no of using Ajax out of desperation. I thought the finish was permanently damaged.

A few swipes of the pumice stone (the white spot near the faucet) and I knew it could be saved.
After living for years with those nasty stains, here is what we have now:

Sink after pumice

We spent our Saturday evening cleaning toilets and sinks. What fun. When we were finished, El Jefe said that he wanted to invite some people over just to use the guest bathroom! ;-D

Fine print: For any unfortunate people in the U.S. who can't find a real pumice stone, I've read that WalMart sells pumice sticks in the plumbing department. ;-)

Newer posts Older posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...