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Epic bathroom cleanup job

HevachHevach Registered User regular
edited April 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
With a title like that you know this isn't going to be fun.

Ok, background: a relative is going into a nursing home, and it now falls to the family (read: Me while they go through the attic and decide who takes what) to clean up the house for (hopefully) sale. Lot of heavy duty cleaning - she's 88 and hasn't really kept house for years. My aunt was there weekly to help, but I'm seeing now she didn't help as much as was needed.

Anyway, one challenge that I can't overcome is the toilet. I don't think it's been cleaned in a decade, and now it's got a yellow-brown... something built up quite thick in there. Right now I have CLR in there in a concentration that's probably going to make my lungs bleed when I go back, but how exactly do I get this off?

Hevach on

Posts

  • JLM-AWPJLM-AWP Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    CLR is great for everything bathroom stain-related. It pretty much destroys rust and mildew and all that.

    My advice to you is to work with a LOT of ventilation if you are going to be around the fumes. I used this extensively on my bathroom last weekend and actually got a considerable sore throat, and really made me feel like crap. Just be really careful and take a break every so often to go outside and get some fresh air.

  • ZeonZeon Registered User
    edited March 2011
    The yellowish brown staining is just mostly rust from the pipes. Any toilet will get that if it slightly runs and you leave it long enough. Anything with bleach will get rid of it, or CLR will work fine too. I use Vim for my entire bathroom, works fine.

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  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    If its that terrible, maybe see what it would cost to have a maid service come out get the bathroom.

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    CLR should do it, just get a good scrub brush and go to town.

    Gloves wouldn't be a bad idea either, and yeah, lots of ventilation.

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • Judge-ZJudge-Z Teacher, for Great Justice Upstate NYRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    If it's truly awful and will not come clean, you can pick up a basic, brand new toilet at most hardware stores for under $100. The catch, of course is that you would need to install it, which isn't too hard. Plenty of guides online if you don't have someone in the family who can do the work.

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  • LaOsLaOs Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    My first instinct was "fuck, new toilet!" but if you're using some CLR in there, it is likely to do the job as well. If you're having problems working in the room with the CLR in there in that concentration, turn on the exhaust fan and let that run while the CLR does its work.

    But really, my understanding of toilet prices is that they're not that expensive these days, they always look nice (and it's attractive to have newer-styled toilets in a house you're going to sell), and you may even qualify for government rebates/tax subsidies for purchasing new eco-friendly (maybe low-flow) units... so replacing could get even cheaper/become more attractive.

    I think the basics of taking out a good toilet and replacing with a new one are pretty simple... there should be guides online or you could buy books in any Lowes or Home Depot... and even if the seal of the old one is bad, there are guides to fix that before you install the new one.

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I thought of recommending a new toilet too, but wanted to see if the CLR worked.

    It's probably not too hard to replace one; like most home repair jobs, it's the surprises. Replacing a toilet is pretty easy, aside from the weight and a little messy. But who knows what crazy plumbing is in there, or what the floor looks like underneath.

    An if it's an old one, people may actually like that instead of that low-flow shit, so to speak.

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    MichaelLC wrote: »
    I thought of recommending a new toilet too, but wanted to see if the CLR worked.

    It's probably not too hard to replace one; like most home repair jobs, it's the surprises. Replacing a toilet is pretty easy, aside from the weight and a little messy. But who knows what crazy plumbing is in there, or what the floor looks like underneath.

    An if it's an old one, people may actually like that instead of that low-flow shit, so to speak.

    This. Replacing a toilet is a feasible task for a quasi-handy person with no especial plumbing skills. The enormous caveat to this is if you discover the floor is dryrotted (badly?!) then you may not be able to slap the new toilet on there, and repairing the dryrot is absolutely not within the abilities of a typical do-it-yourselfer. The likelyhood of dryrot ranges from possible to likely with the age of the home.

  • ZeonZeon Registered User
    edited March 2011
    Toilets are made of porcelain. Theres no reason to replace a toilet because its dirty. It will take way longer to replace the toilet than it will to put some gloves on, grab an SOS/Brillo pad and some bleach and go to town. Yeah it might be gross, but jesus, get over it. You can get gloves that go up to like your shoulders if youre that worried.

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  • DrFrylockDrFrylock Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    For cleaning toilets get a pumice stone. It will scrub off the calcified crap without etching the porcelain. Keep it damp and don't rub too hard.

    Spoiler:
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Zeon wrote: »
    Toilets are made of porcelain. Theres no reason to replace a toilet because its dirty. It will take way longer to replace the toilet than it will to put some gloves on, grab an SOS/Brillo pad and some bleach and go to town. Yeah it might be gross, but jesus, get over it. You can get gloves that go up to like your shoulders if youre that worried.

    If it was their house, maybe. But keep in mind they're trying to sell the house, so the $100 for a new toilet can be well worth it. Spending $8,000 to make it a Kohler showcase? Probably not, but a new crapper can cap the sale.

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    CLR made some progress, but I used up the whole bottle so it's until next weekend until I go back with a second. I'll have to get some more proper tools for it. Also, new rubber gloves. Elbow deep in toilet bowl is not the way you want to discover yours leak in the fingers.
    DrFrylock wrote: »
    For cleaning toilets get a pumice stone. It will scrub off the calcified crap without etching the porcelain. Keep it damp and don't rub too hard.

    Will I need a special one or can I just get one of those ones you use on feet? CLR loosened stuff well but I don't really have a tool that'll crack stuff off.

  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited March 2011
    Get an actual pumice stone, not one of those pumice pads on a stick. You might not be able to get the right angle otherwise.

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • WildEEPWildEEP Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I scratched the hell out of our toilet with a pumice stone. Just FYI.

    I love the kaboom stuff - It worked better for me than the CLR did.

  • skipper386skipper386 Registered User
    edited April 2011
    JLM-AWP wrote: »
    CLR is great for everything bathroom stain-related. It pretty much destroys rust and mildew and all that.

    My advice to you is to work with a LOT of ventilation if you are going to be around the fumes. I used this extensively on my bathroom last weekend and actually got a considerable sore throat, and really made me feel like crap. Just be really careful and take a break every so often to go outside and get some fresh air.

    Just tried to remove a rust stain from the side of the bowl. Thought CLR might do the trick. The toilet is new, and shouldn't have any stains inside the bowl.

    I thought that maybe it's rust (old plumbing system) or calcium, or lime. I thought "What should work better than CLR?" Well, after much scrubbing, much of the stain is gone, but there still is a stubborn deposit that just won't go away.

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