If you have boys you will understand my dilemma.
The ever lingering chamber pot smell.
It seems that no matter how often I scrub, no matter what cleaner I use, this smell never truly goes away. I am sure it is because my boys (and I am including daddy in the list) are just missing the toilet at some point. Seriously, my goodness guys! Really?!?! Is it that hard to hit the giant gaping hole filled with water??!!??
I digress. This post is about cleaning. Not the male inability to aim. The fact of the matter is that with young boys this is an issue that needs to be managed on a daily basis if you are ever to have a lemony fresh bathroom again. So here are a few tricks I use to keep the odor and mess under control. They may not all be easy, and they may go against what you are accustomed to, but if you want your bathroom back, please heed my advice.
Flush the toilet. This seems like a no brainer, but my husband grew up in a family who out of courtesy for their sleeping siblings, they did not flush the toilet overnight in case it should wake someone. Trust me, the minor disturbance caused by a flushing toilet is nothing compared to the nostril full you are going to get when you wake up to brush your teeth in the morning.
DON’T USE BLEACH ON/IN THE TOILET. I know, I know. Sanitation. Sterilization. The ultimate clean. The swimming pool smell. Trust me. It is not worth it. Not only do most people over and misuse bleach, but it can have extremely anti-climactic results when used on urine. Urine contains ammonia salts. After the pee inevitably splashes it dries, leaving ammonia salts behind. This is what causes your smell. Bleach reacts with the alkaline salts causing noxious fumes and a lasting odor. Do yourself a favor. Leave the bleach.
Use an acid instead. Read your labels and find an acid based cleaner. Most environmentally friendly cleaners contain citric acid which is a great alternative. You know what else is an acid? VINEGAR. The greatest substance on earth. It may be a bit stinky while you are using it, but it dissolves the salts, cleans the mess, is cheap and non-toxic, and evaporates odorless.
Check for messes every time you use the bathroom. I keep a bottle of cleaner and a roll of paper towels at hand in the bathroom, and I make a habit of checking for splashes every time I am in there. Be diligent. Check around the toilet. In the little corners where the bolts are. Behind the seat and lid. Spray the floor and give it a quick wipe. It doesn’t take long and it makes a big difference.
Wash that toilet rug regularly. It is a giant pee sponge. Enough said.
Go to tile. This tip is one that requires a bit more time, effort, and money, but it worth the investment. Tile is your best bet in the bathroom. While some flooring boasts that it is water repellent or waterproof, unless you have a professional install it you are never going to get a perfect, waterproof seal and once that pee is under the flooring, no amount of cleaning is going to take it completely away. Tile is scrubbable, moppable, non-porous, and can be properly sealed. Along with cleaning, tile is your best defense against the urinal monster.
Avoid the flusher cakes. You know, the things that turn the water blue. While they may seem like a good solution, they are toxic, inadequate and expensive. They also breed forgetfulness when it comes to cleaning. Yes, they give off the air of cleanliness, and yes, they mask the smells quite well, but do you really want to cover the smell? Wouldn’t it just be better to eradicate it?
The pee splash is something that is inevitable. You may tell yourself it will be short lived, but be honest with yourself. No sooner do they get it down pat and they turn into adults who are drinking and being rowdy and are too busy, brainless, or intoxicated to pay attention to their aim. The pee splash is a lifetime battle and the only way to win is through proactivity.
Since this article originally aired we have seen the coming of Poo-Pourri.
If you are unaware of this fun little product I highly recommend checking out this hilarious ad they campaign with:
While this doesn’t help with the pee problem, it does help with odors in general. Making an effort to spray the toilet post-flush will ensure that whomever breaks the surface, with that ever might be going down, a lovely, aromatheraputic smell will fill the room.
I even find that sans Poo-pourri, a few drops of essential oils in the bowl of an unscathed toilet helps to dramatically reduce the overall ammonia smell that a little boys’ room tends to let linger–no matter how hard you clean.
In honor of our Re-Launch we are giving away a bottle of Poo-Pourri in our favorite scent, Juniper Woods. Please leave a comment below, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter to enter the giveaway. Open to the first 500 entrants, so please tell your friends! Good Luck!