Lavatory is probably the most visited place in the house. And the toilet bowl, putting it mildly, is its dirtiest part. Its surface easily accumulates a layer of limescale and rust; this also happens in the inner part of the tank with clean water. Are there any effective and safe methods to remove such contaminations or you have to just put up with them?
Before cleaning the toilet bowl, it is necessary to determine the nature of contaminations accumulated on its surface. Fortunately, there aren’t many of those hardest to remove:
uric scale is the deposition of mineral salts contained in urine, under the rim and on the surface of the toilet bowl. The causes of uric scale are very simple: very rare cleaning of toilet bowl and lack of habit to flush after going to the toilet. It is very difficult to cope with this contamination;
lime scale — the most common contamination, the cause of which is excessive water hardness. Calcium salts in its composition gradually settle on the walls and inside the toilet tank, forming a rough plaque on which, in turn, a variety of contaminants settle even stronger;
rust is also very common, its emergence also directly depends on the quality of water (in particular, the concentration of iron in it), and on related factors (rusty water supply pipes, rusted “filling” of the tank – drain system and so on).
It is also worth remembering that mechanical damages of the surface inside the toilet bowl and tank cause gradual dirt accumulation on them. Therefore, they shall never be washed with hard brushes and abrasives. Contact of the surface of the toilet bowl with hot water, which must not occur normally, leads to microcracks on the faience surface.
Removing contaminations
Modern household chemicals ensure the most effective removal of dirt, even if it is stubborn, from the toilet bowl surface. The range of such products is rather wide nowadays, but it can be divided into the following groups:
household chemicals containing chlorine: they perfectly remove both lime scale and rust, and neutralize odors. At the same time, they themselves have a specific strong smell of chlorine, which is not so easy to get rid of. It is a common fact that chlorine is the strongest poison which easily penetrates human lungs, settles on the skin and mucous membranes, thus provoking allergic reactions, including asthma;
alkaline agents are solutions, the main component of which is caustic soda. Alkaline products are highly effective, have no smell, and perfectly disinfect. Nevertheless, you have to remember that caustic soda is an extremely poisonous and corrosive substance. Once on the skin, it can cause deep burns;
acidic agents based on oxalic, formic, hydrochloric, phosphoric acids or combinations thereof. Such chemicals leave no chance for lime scale, rust and uric scale. But frequent use of these agents is undesirable, as acid has a negative effect on the faience surface, corroding it;
another product for cleaning of toilet bowls is special powders. These powders and a hard non-metallic brush can help clean the dirt from the surface, but frequent use of powders and abrasives, over time, will also lead to microcracks on the faience, where dirt will be accumulated in the future.
Any cleaning agent has its advantages and disadvantages. With this in mind, the B&B Company has developed two special agents in the UNICUM series: Toilet bowl cleaning gel with hypochlorite and Toilet bowl cleaning agent “Lemon” based on citric acid. Active components of these agents “work” on the surfaces of plumbing fixtures gently, without damaging them, but effectively removing all kinds of dirt, including the stubborn ones. They are suitable for cleaning not only ceramic and faience surfaces, but also for tiles and plastic. The agents prevent growth of dangerous bacteria, leaves a protective layer on the surface, have disinfecting properties and are totally safe for people.
Unfortunately, there are cases, when the surface grows quite uncared-for, and even the most effective agent cannot cope with a thick layer of limescale, rust or uric scale, which has been accumulating over years. In such cases, really strong agents shall be used –
concentrated acids (hydrochloric acid, oxalic acid): they are sold in household stores and shall be used very carefully, wearing rubber gloves, apron or robe, as well as a respirator mask. After using acids, the door to the lavatory shall not be closed – on the opposite, the room must be ventilated well. Acids effectively remove any plaque from the surface of the toilet bowl, including uric scale;
electrolyte, which is in the car batteries, also represents, in fact, a strong acid which effectively removes deposits and scale from the toilet bowl. For this, electrolyte shall be poured into the toilet bowl observing all the precautions (gloves, apron, respirator). In 30-60 minutes, electrolyte shall be flushed with plenty of water. Electrolyte must not be used if sewer pipes are made of plastic;
iodine monochloride — is a special liquid which can be found in dispensaries of veterinary medicine. The solution removes any scale and rust quickly and effectively, literally “eats” them off the surface within just a few minutes. However, iodine monochloride ruins metal pipes; therefore, it must not be used if sewer pipes are made of aluminum, steel or cast-iron.
Though it would be better not to bring it to a situation when all that is left is to use a potent toxic agent of this kind. First of all, they damage the surface of plumbing fixtures. Secondly, using them may harm the health of those who live in the house. So, the best option is timely cleaning and disinfection of toilet bowl during weekly cleaning of the lavatory.