Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Vinegar Victory!

I was at an Education Week class a couple years ago, and the topic was cleaning tips. When it came to the bathroom, the instructors said they had a product to be given as a prize to whomever in the audience had the most sons. I remember thinking that wasn't really very fair. I mean, most of us were there because we have kids to clean after. Why do boys win the award? So the prize went to some lady who had eight sons, and I felt a bit cheated out of the competition.

But no longer!

I have a boy who likes to mark his territory and brags about how high up the wall he can "shoot". I think I've finally broken him of the on-purpose out-of-the-toilet practice, but he still misfires occasionally. So I have been fighting a pretty nasty scent in the bathroom for several months now. Because we have a septic tank, we can't flush harsh chemicals, and my "green"/edible cleaners weren't doing the trick. I came up with using antibacterial wipes on the floor and toilet, but they didn't work on the sand-finished walls.

So I did a little research on the internet and found several proponents of vinegar who said it would neutralize the urine smell. Most said to mix it with a 10 or 20:1 ratio of water to vinegar. But I wanted to make sure it would work the first time. My ratio was 2:1. Today I spent over an hour scouring the kids' bathroom. I sprayed the solution on every surface, floor to ceiling. I hand-scrubbed the entire floor so I would get every crevice that a mop might miss. I used a soft bristle brush on my sandy walls. The result? My bathroom no longer smells like pee!

Now it smells like I pickled the toilet.


Our family said...

awesome, I'll have to try that! I'm just really excited to someday replace all the toilet seats in our house. They need it, but until aim improves, I don't see the point. My 3-year-old started peeing outside this week. She thinks it's fun to pretend there's a toilet outside. Now she has an increasing supply of clothes outside that she accidentally hit and hasn't brought in.

Anonymous said...

Yikes, maybe #5 will get old enough one of these days to clean up after himself and then it won't be so fun aiming everywhere but the toilet bowl. Jacob wasn't like that so I didn't know boys could be this gross.
Love, Grandma

Mary said...

Kent has given me plenty of warning that boys could be at least this gross. He and his three brothers used to gather around the toilet for peeing games and competitions, including some duels. So I guess I can be grateful that #5 won't have a #6 with whom to play such disgusting games.

Charlotte said...

"It smells like I pickled the toilet."

That is awesome. I'm still chuckling. I'll probably think about it every time I have to clean my boys' bathroom

Mindy S. said...

A pickled toliet is better than a pee'd toliet. (And since vinegar's odor disappears once it dries - you've hit the jackpot.)

Our family said...

that's funny that Kent had to tell you about how gross boys can be. Don't you remember the gross pee games you made us participate in as kids? At least boys have a chance at aiming!

mindy said...

I use vinegar to soak stuff my cat pees on. Works wonders. I hear it also works well to get a cigarette smell off of walls. It's awesome!

Mary said...

Our family--I was hoping you wouldn't bring that up! As I recall, most of our pee games involved sitting, unless we were outside running through sprinklers and having too much fun to go inside for that business. But it wasn't all me. I don't think it took much persuasion to get you to participate. What was wrong with us? :)

Mindy--So lets say a certain child peed on a couch. Would you recommend just drenching the spot with vinegar water and let it air dry? (I rinsed repeatedly with water and don't see a spot or smell anything, but I'd still like to know it's completely gone.)