but first, toilets

Marian ParsonsMaster Bedroom, Tips and Tricks215 Comments

Warning: This post contains pictures of toilets that some readers may find disturbing.  Reader discretion is advised.  

If you know me at all, you know I am bursting to break out some paint in this new house!  But I’ve learned from a few moves that a place feels more like home once the toilets are cleaned to my satisfaction.

Sooo, before we talk about all of the fun stuff, I’m going to share about these toilets!  Yep.  A whole new house to blog about and we’re talking about toilets.

This house has hard water and it’s been vacant for a while, so there was an ugly build-up in all of the toilet bowls and who knows when they last had a good scrubbing.  Our last house had hard water as well, so I learned how to clean it up lickety-split and I thought that would be helpful information for other people with that issue.

This is how the toilets looked when we first got to the house…

Insert Psycho music and women with no sense of potty humor fainting.   I’m sure it’s not the worst toilet you’ve ever seen, but there’s lots of room for improvement.

The blue in the toilet is the toilet bowl cleaner I squirted into the bowl before I thought I would want to take pictures of my new toilet to share with a few thousand people. (And look, I even watermarked that picture.  There is no denying that toilet.)

Step 1 – Squirt in your favorite toilet bowl cleaner and let it sit for a bit.  Then, scrub the toilet bowl cleaner with a scrub brush and flush…

Then it’s time for the magic.

Step two – Use a Scouring Stick, which is like a pumice stone.  Maybe it actually IS a pumice stone?

Whatever it is, it takes hard water build-up right off.

Just scrub the build-up with the Scouring Stick.  The process will wear away the stick and you will see pieces of it in the toilet, but those will be carried away in the next flush.  Keep scrubbing and flushing until the build-up is gone.  This toilet only took a minute or two.

I then cleaned the rest of the toilet with Mrs. Meyers All Purpose Cleaner in Lavender.  I scrubbed the hinges with an old tooth brush to get into all of the nooks and crannies.

And it looks like a new toilet!

I also needed to clean the jetted tub in the master bath.  And, I must say, I am super excited about having a jetted tub!  This one needed some attention, though…

Before I tell you how I cleaned it, let me back up the camera and show you how the tub is situated…

Isn’t that pretty with the arch?  Such a great space and so much potential to make it even better.

The first challenge in cleaning this tub is that the water only came out of the spout in a trickle.  It probably would’ve taken me 3 hours to fill the tub and that isn’t an exaggeration.  There was hard water build-up in the faucet that was blocking the flow.  Vinegar is magical with this sort of thing.  I poured white vinegar in a ziplock back and banded it over the faucet.  It sat for about an hour and, once removed, the water flowed much better.

The faucet still doesn’t function at full capacity, so we’re going to replace it, but at least I could run water to clean the tub.

I filled the tub with hot water and poured in some white vinegar.  I used a sponge and scrubbed the top of the tub, higher than the water line.  Then, I used a trick my mom shared with me – drop in a dishwasher tablet and run the jets for 10 minutes.  The vinegar and dishwasher tab clean and disinfect the tub and the interior workings of the jets.

I drained the tub and wiped it down and it looked like a brand new tub.  My mom usually does one more step and fills the tub with cold water and runs the jets one more time as a “rinse”.  It took so long to fill my tub that I didn’t do that step, but I will once we replace the faucet.

I hope this post wasn’t TMI (too much information) while you’re having your morning coffee and gave you some ideas for cleaning your own bathrooms.

We unloaded most of our kitchen boxes, had a new fridge delivered, hit the grocery store, and even unearthed our mattresses from the trucks yesterday, so we’re settling in quickly.

More new house posts to come…

PS – Let’s take a quick poll.  I’m a non-glove-wearing-toilet-scrubber, as you may have noticed.  (As a note, though, I did clean the bowl with bleach cleaner and a toilet brush before I stuck my hand inside.)

Do you wear rubber/latex gloves when you clean or not?

but first, toilets

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215 Comments on “but first, toilets”

  1. 1. I have never actually put my hands in a toilet bowl, and I’m astounded that people do!!! I had no clue that was a thing!
    2. We have rust in our water here, and our guest bathroom was formerly a children’s bathroom and there is a red build up all around the sink on the counter from water left sitting. Would the scouring stick work on that?

    1. There’s a product called CLR that you can pick up at any hardware store. It stands for Calcium/Lime/Rust and does a great job removing rust stains.

      1. But you have to be very careful with CLR because it is so strong. If you leave it in too long it can permanently etch the porcelain. In a toilet, this is a very very very bad thing. I speak from experience. I had to replace a toilet because I forgot about the CLR. Just saying.

    2. Me neither! No hands in ever! Just a toilet brush and gloves IF needed. But never venture INTO THE TOILET with my hands. UGH! 😉

  2. I never wear gloves. I know some people think it’s gross but just never have, not for dishes or toilets. Yikes! I’m starting to doubt self now, haha! Sending best wishes with settling in to your new home!

    1. Ha! I know! Now I’m thinking I’m crazy or something. 🙂 After changing diapers and such, I just got over cleaning a toilet!

  3. Marian, I found this real life post so cute. Yep, cleaning toilets before fun stuff like painting and decorating is a must. I sometimes wear gloves and sometimes not it just depends on what I’m doing. Ive switched over to more natural cleaning products so I’m using gloves less often.

  4. lol I was wondering why you didn’t have gloves on. Just the quickie disposable ones if not the latex type. I wear gloves as much as I can stand. It is fun watching your adventure. Something about cleaning toilets that make a house seem like it is home.

    1. I occasionally wear disposable gloves, mostly for “gross” jobs like yukky toilets. I would be concerned about wearing re-usable latex gloves unless you cleaned them afterwards (maybe most people do? I don’t really know!) as you would be carrying the germs on the gloves. Just a thought.

  5. Yes, I am a glove wearer when I clean the toilet and the bath tub and the bathroom sink. I do put my hands in the toilet, to clean it, because that’s how my mom did it.

  6. Haha, I did notice that lol. I don’t wear gloves either but maybe on that first scrub I would lol. Looks great. I will try that pumace thingy on the tough under seat stains from a son of mine. Love the house, love the posts!

    1. Ha! yeah, I’m rethinking that one, since they were someone else’s toilets, but the house has been vacant for long time, so somehow that makes me feel better…?

  7. Ah, the necessities of life, that aren’t too much fun, but need to be done! I love the arch over the tub and the fact that windows bring light into that space. It has loads of potential!
    Yup, I’m a glove wearing girl!

  8. I use a brush with a handle.so I don’t have to decide about gloves or no gloves. I just don’t wanna go there! 😂

    Thanks for sharing your ‘settling in’… It will be fun to watch this home evolve!

  9. I have well water and a water softner so that helps. I do get that build up in the toilet. I used to find a product called Santeen that was absolutely like a miracle but I can’t find it anymore. I’m going to try your scouring stick. I never wear gloves for any cleaning. Probably should but I’ve lived 69 years without them, so I guess I can make it another 40, eh? Can’t wait for all the house stories. Let me know when you want a tour of the MOA. I’ll bring my daughter and we’ll meet you there. I’ll buy you lunch, and we can it IKEA also!!! I’m not kidding.

    1. Jo,
      This item can be found at True Value Hardware store. Santeen, 128 oz delimer & toilet bowl cleaner, industrial strength, formulated to dissolve heavy accumulations of lime, rust & scale from toilet bowls, tanks, jets & rim holes of toilet, deodorizes & restores bowls to original color, can be used on china urinals, pumps, humidifiers & fiberglass boats.

  10. Marion, I’ve seen that pumice hint before, but always worried – will it scratch the new toilets?

    1. Nope! I have used a scouring stick on toilets for years and never once had it scratch. It was made to be used on porcelain surfaces. It has info on the side of the box about other surfaces it can be used on.

  11. Definitely a glove wearer! When I saw your picture my first thought was – “oh that is just a staged picture. SURELY she wears gloves when cleaning her toilet.” Guess I was wrong 🙂 I love using a pumice stone when cleaning my toilets. It’s a little scary at first because you think you are going to scratch it but it really does a perfect job of removing hard water deposits and rust and doesn’t scratch at all. It starts to turn into a paste while you are scrubbing.

      1. ok, another detour, but me too, I’m another Andrea Jane! And, sometimes gloves……depends on the job.

  12. I have a friend and her husband’s answer to moving into a previously owned house is….
    he replaces all toilets !!!:):):):):)
    Doesn’t matter what they look like or how old they are….he is gonna have brand new thrones!!!
    I have used the pumice stone before and it works well for me. I am looking into buying
    a house that currently has a brown toilet and
    an aqua toilet. Probably that brown toilet is gonna be replaced with a brand new toilet:):):):):)

    1. My house from 1978 had same as well as an almond one. There are people looking for the old ones to replace broken or damaged ones in vintage bathrooms.
      Our Dresden Blue one went to Georgia for over $200 to a man that broke the lid of his toilet. He said it would get him out of the dog house with his wife.


  13. I love the arch over your tub. It is just begging for a petite chandelier.
    I have a second job cleaning offices and restrooms, I wear gloves there, at home mostly not.
    At home when we replaced c1978 toilets we went with Kohler and the easy remove seat and the soft close one for Master bath. No more seat slam at 2:00 am.
    Seats be removed, cleaned and reattached in 2 minutes and so much cleaner.
    Cleaning makes the rest fall into place.
    Ps pull out/remove bottom kitchen and bathroom drawers to clean out crumbs and other things that fell out of drawers.

  14. Oh I don’t know how anyone lives without soft water! My dad was a Culligan man so I have never had to live with hard water. and I’ll admit, the hardest thing about going on vacation is knowing I’ll be without soft water for the week! That being said, I’ve never had to clean hard water deposits from my water fixtures.

  15. I noticed the no gloves immediately. I don’t wear them either, although my hands would probably be prettier if I had!!

  16. Thank you so much for the tip from your mother on cleaning the jets! I am going to do that. I am a nurse so I do use latex gloves or non-latex gloves for cleaning. I am excited for you on your new adventure!

  17. I use gloves if I’m cleaning the inside of the toilet with a sponge but I usually just use a brush with a handle. Thanks for the idea on the pumice stone! Funny story, I had back surgery a few years ago and my husband was cleaning the toilets for me. I caught him using the toilet water to clean the toilet seat and the outside of the toilet! I was horrified! So excited for your future posts on your new home and so happy for you!


  18. This is going to sound weird but it works and works SO well. Denture Tablets!! Drop one or two in the toilet and let it sit – removes hard water rings, calcium build up, scum, EVERYTHING!! Dentures are made from the same stuff toilets are porcelain! Added benefit . . .minty fresh potty!!

  19. If the rim etc of the toilet is clean then any water flushed into it is fresh water and in most cases come from the same supply as the tap water. Therefore would be ok to clean with. But it does sort of feel wrong 🙂
    Gloves depends on how dirty, how far I’m sticking my hands inside and whether I’m using strong chemicals. As long as you wash afterwards then no different from washing hands after using the toilet.

  20. Ha! I did a double-take on that picture, wondering if you were wearing gloves, I don’t use them either. We live in NE Florida and have horrible water. I use a pumice stone on my toilets every week, it’s a must down here! I have yet to find something that will get rid of the white deposits on my chrome faucets, handles etc.. nothing seems to work completely. I’m pretty sure I’ve tried every cleaner on the market at this point. Have fun setting up the new place, can’t wait to see what you will do with it!

  21. I was the only girl in a household of brothers, and am now the only woman in a household with a husband and sons. I wear gloves. 🙂

  22. As I started to read your column today ,I was thinking of the “dishwasher soap trick ” for the tub. Glad you did it . You may want to do that every month or so until it’s really clear. Running the water keeps the traps from drying out too!(and the critters that can come in when dry,ewe)
    Love your new house. A new adventure for sure.
    We are beginning the downsizing process. A daunting process for us.
    I love to read your blog for all sorts of inspiration ! Thank you

  23. Neither … I have a cleaning lady.

    I have been retired for a year and realized I have always hated cleaning, so I got myself a cleaning lady. She has been coming for the last 5 months, and it is heaven.

    Cleaning lady is my one little splurge. Love it.


  24. Hah, you are too right making sure all the necessities are in fine working order first! Definitely gloves☺. Looking forward to see you putting “the mustard touch” on your new house!

  25. Oh my goodness… I haven’t even read this yet, but the title an intro TOTALLY made me laugh! Great ‘catch’ title and phrases, Marian!

  26. HA! My first thought was why is she not wearing gloves? Then I thought of all the times that I haven’t and realized you’ll be fine. But my preference is to wear gloves….I love this down to earth, real person story. Thanks so much. Happy cleaning.

  27. LOL! The watermarked dirty toilet. Because I’m sure that would become your most stolen image. Have to admit, I cringed a little at your bare hands. I do use gloves to clean our toilets with a pumice stone.

  28. nope, never used gloves. And the bowl isn’t the dirty part to me…it’s the rim of the bowl that gets the drips and things. Once you get it clean, and if it gets yellow build up (I also have hard water), I cut a Mr. Clean sponge in quarters, it cleans the bowl right up.
    You are going to have the BEST time. It’s pretty to start with. Happy for y’all.

  29. I do not wear gloves.
    I can’t wait to see what you do with your new home.
    Going to be mixing up your milk paint today to paint kitchen cabinets. To be honest I am scared. I’ve only painted furniture so far. Cabinets I can’t just toss if I do a bad job.

  30. The first thing I noticed in that picture was your lack of gloves…. I am a weirdo and could barely look at the picture. 🙂 You may want to consider Oh YUK for your jetted tub. It is amazing and totally disgusting what it gets out of the jets. Also, we had to take a filter off of the faucet when we moved into this house or it would take an hour to fill the tub, too. something to look at- I actually think it was the exact same faucet you have. Looking forward to more posts about your new home!

  31. Hi. Congrats on the new house! Thank you for the cleaning tips. I am a glove wearer. Wait until your boys are older, you may become one. ;o)

  32. I do not use rubber gloves when cleaning but I probably should. Good job on the toilet cleaning, I would
    have just bought a new toilet.

  33. “Iron Out” is another product that works on rust stains, and also on the red clay stains we get in the South! It stinks of sulphur and will take dye out of fabrics, but it’s great for porcelain, concrete and white baseball pants.

    I only use gloves if the chemicals will hurt or stain my hands…soap and water is a good disinfectant, and after you’ve changed a few million diapers, what’s a toilet bowl?

  34. I used to own a house cleaning business for 10 years and I always wear gloves when dealing with toilets. There are lots of bacteria in the bowl that can make you sick. I also don’t recommend using a pumice stone because toilets are porcelain and can easily scratch which is what you are doing when using the pumice stone. It scratches away the stain but also some of the toilet with it and the stain will always come back sooner. I like to use comet in powder form with a heavy duty non scratch scouring pad. It isn’t as quick as a pumice stone but it really does the trick without those horrible stains coming back sooner than you would like.

    1. I have used this brand on my toilets in my PA home for years and it never scratched them. Perhaps it’s a different type or something?

  35. Horse people have used pumice stones to remove the winter fuzzies from their horses for decades. LOL….never knew they could be used on toilets.

  36. I wear gloves when I’m cleaning the bathroom and the cat boxes. I don’t wear them for anything else, unless there’s cat sick which needs to be cleaned up, in which case I wear them then, too! Otherwise, no gloves for cleaning. I guess toilet business grosses me out and needs an extra layer of protection. lol

  37. Yup Chris, me too! I ALWAYS wear gloves when going after the toilets. Except I didn’t think that was weird!
    Always look forward to your blog and have been enjoying your journey MMS.
    Have been wondering about your parents. How are they doing w/your move away? I understand the Lord works all those things out…but through the years we’ve lived both close to and away from family and now that my parents are just the next property over I would never want it any other way. Your family seems close like ours, so I’ve felt kinda sad for your parents.

  38. Yes, I wear gloves when I scrub toilets. I am squeamish like that. 🙂
    No gloves for other, less “icky” house cleaning chores though.

  39. I am a glove-wearing cleaner all the way. My hands dry out if I wash dishes without gloves and not wearing gloves for cleaning toilets…uh, nope! That’s just me. Thank you for the posts Marian! I’m loving them and I’m so happy for you and your family on this new chapter in your lives. Looking forward to more!

  40. Gloves or no gloves – doesn’t matter to me….I make the KIDS clean it!!!! Train them up young I always say! lol 🙂

  41. I love this post because its so down to earth and practical. No, I don’t use gloves too. It doesn’t quite feel the same as you grip the toilet brush and sponges and scrub away at the WC and sinks. Thank you for your advice, I’m getting a Scouring Stick!

    This is so exciting, a new journey… in new home. Looking forward to read your posts everyday Marian. Love to you.

  42. There are areas where you just can’t get all the hard water stains/calcium buildup. I buy boxes of single edge razor blades. I use them at an angle that allows me to just skim off the buildup. No, it doesn’t scratch the surface because of the angle used to scrape. I use these razor blades for so many tasks. It’s also great for removing excess putty around sinks and faucets, paint spatters on windows.

  43. I do not wear gloves but I use the new scrubbing bubbles toilet stick cleaner. I’m curious as to where you can purchase the scouring stick?

  44. So, I come here to Miss Mustard Seed, as I do just about every day, expecting to see furniture, etc, and I get toilets. 🙂
    Seriously, I have been wondering which pieces you moved and can’t wait to find out. You have a beautiful home that, once you put your style on it, will be even more beautiful. I can only dream of such a house.

  45. Yes, I do have Playtex gloves, but only wear them depending on my mood. Plus, I’m trying to grow my nails, and so I’m trying to do better in wearing them when placing my hands in water.

  46. Hi Marian –

    Congratulations on this new adventure, and to having it all fall into place for you and your family! I can’t wait to see what you do in the new house!

    I’ve been living in a house with hard water for the last 20 years, so I know the struggle! I’ve found (quite by accident) a combination of products/techniques that work really well for our toilets. I make sure that the window is open or the bathroom fan is on whenever I do this:

    1. Toilet bowl cleaner with bleach (whatever brand is on hand) – flush the toilet first, wait for the water to stop running, add in the toilet bowl cleaner, let sit for 5-10 minutes.

    2. Scrub the entire inside of the toilet bowl for about 30 seconds until the cleaner foams up (I use the Clorox toilet wand with the disposable scrub heads); DO NOT FLUSH!

    3. Add between 1/4 – 1 cup of bleach to the foamy cleaner in the toilet bowl (DO NOT ADD AMMONIA, since bleach and ammonia together can produce poisonous fumes). Let sit for an additional 5-10 minutes.

    4. After you’ve waited, do a very quick scrub over the stain ring and flush. Voila! Sparkling clean, and the bleach and toilet cleaner have done all the work for you!

    I also have found that the toilet gel stamps (which are applied to the inside of the bowl, near the top) are really helpful in keeping hard water stains from forming. Just be careful not to scrub these off when you’re cleaning the toilet!

    We used to use the white toilet tabs (like 2000 Flushes) that you place in the tank – we no longer do this, as our plumber told us that these erode the rubber gaskets and other parts in your toilet. (We actually had to replace all three toilets in our house after years of using these tabs, as the replacement parts were no longer available!) The gel stamps are much safer for toilets, and don’t interfere with the mechanical parts.

    And like you, I’m a huge believer in vinegar as a universal cleaner! 🙂

  47. Doesn’t a pumice stone scratch a toilet? It’s porcelain. I’d read so many cleaning tips for using one that I bought one and with the first stroke it felt like it was scratching/damaging the porcelain.

  48. I cannot stand those brushes on a stick. I never wear gloves. Hate them!! But I clean houses for other people and I use the stick brush on those.

    I’ve never used the pumice stone! Thanks for the tip!

  49. When I saw the photo I have to admit, I cringed. I always wear gloves, for toilet cleaning.
    ECOLI bacteria kept running thru my mind, even if I had a small cut or scrape, Ugh. That is the nurse in me, I can’t help myself.

  50. I lived in San Antonio, TX for years w/o a water softener–hardest water on this earth. These marks are lime deposits. I now live elsewhere & have a water softener, but before getting that, had the needed cleaning product sent to me from TX! You will continue to have accumulation of lime deposits until you install a water softener. To remove these deposits, talk to a local plumber and ask him what HE uses, then buy that product. Do not use pumice stones etc., as they will score the glaze on the toilet and eventually ruin the surface making it impossible to clean. All you do is pour a bucket of cold water into the toilet (forcing the water out), swab on the cleaner with a soft mop-like applicator, let it stand for several hours, then flush the toilet. Repeat if needed. Hospitals use such a product and it is widely available COMMERCIALLY. Don’t waste your time on grocery store toilet cleaners.

    1. GR… the best total advice on this topic. And pushing the water out of the bowl for heavy duty cleaning is a must. Also everyone should reconsider wearing gloves for jobs where bacteria is present. Take them off to finish the bathroom but use them for the toilet. And keep in mind that flushing toilets without the lid down spews microscopic droplets of bacteria laden water into a 4+ diameter in the bathroom…..think of that if you leave toothbrushes on vanities.

  51. Not a glove wearer. I just get right in there and scrub.
    Same with my yard work. I just can’t wear garden gloves. I’ve got to get down in there and pull the root of the weed out and I just can’t do that with gloves.
    Love the daily updates on your move-in and home update. Keep um coming.

  52. I am sorry but I would have to buy new toilets. I can hardly stand to clean up after myself and my husband, much less someone else. I would need a truly fresh start.

    Oh, I am on team no glove. They just get in the way.

  53. The bathroom is the most germ infested room in the house. I have to wear gloves just knowing that fact !!!
    I also insist that my husband replace all toilet seats when we move into a previously owned home. He thinks I’m crazy, but he believes in the moto, “happy wife, happy life.”
    So excited to come along on your new adventures.

    1. This may be a myth, but I remember reading/hearing that there are usually more germs in the average kitchen, but maybe that was just one of those things someone says that’s entire wrong!

    2. I’m definitely with you about getting new toilet seats. To me, the toilet isn’t completely clean unless the old seat is removed & the entire rim and top of rim is cleaned/disinfected (with bleach solution). I also scrub the holes (both top & bottom) where the seat attaches to the toilet. If I cannot have a new toilet, at the very least, I’m getting a new seat.

      Also, I wear gloves. Allergic reactions to cleaning products can happen at any time, including to products deemed safe.

    3. New toilet seats for us too. Thinking of all the stranger’s bottoms and business that goes on gives me the willies! lol

  54. Gloves!! Great post.
    I sometimes turn off the water to the toilet and flush to drain the bowl if it really needs a scrubbing.
    Also, to avert disaster when a leak springs I have also made sure all my kids know how to turn off the water main to the entire house. I am amazed at how many of my friends have no idea where it exists in homes they’ve lived in for years.

  55. I was tickled that you chose toilets as your blogging subject !!! No phony baloney still from you, for sure. I do appreciate that about you. I replace toilet seats too nor do I wear gloves. At the beginning of the post, I did fully expect you to wear them though. 🙂 I too, am a stickler for a clean toilet. I saw a thing the other day about using Coke for cleaning a nasty, nasty, sickening filthy toilet. It made such an impression on me, that I have been hoping to find a really nasty one to try it on, but probably won’t see one anytime soon. I am DYING to know if it really works that well. AND, I do love the archway over your tub. I can visualize a chandelier in that spot, just for you and your enjoyment. Keep up the good work and exciting posts.

  56. For the toilet and bathroom, gloves! EColi, athlete’s foot in the shower, etc. I read somewhere that, even with the lid down, microscopic bits of fecal matter can still get sprayed as far as 150′ away from the toilet! Plus, my hands are dry, so if that stuff gets into a small cut on my hand…
    That said, I never wore gloves for about twenty years (unless I was cleaning other people’s property, as I did for a second job for awhile). I now regret that. My hands have been ruined. I was a teacher for many years, and serve in our church nursery, so I have been fingerprinted more times than I can keep track of. Guess what? All that cleaning without gloves wore away my fingerprints, such that it has been an ordeal and almost useless to try to get my prints over the past decade. No matter how uncomfortable (I get sweaty hands, too), or how weird-feeling (I like to feel what I’m picking up and cleaning) I now try to wear gloves most of the time.
    Thanks for another real-life post:-)

    1. Thanks for the mention of the toilet lid and microscopic bits. We must have read the same article. Anyway, my mom trained me to keep the lid down. Now when I visit homes of friends or have visitors over I am amazed at how often they leave the lid open!

  57. No glover for my own toilets, but I don’t stick my hand into the toilet. But when we clean toilets at a new to us house, or after renters move out, I wear gloves! Ew.

  58. I came to read about the new house, and instead got some excellent lessons on cleaning toilets!! I wear gloves for EVERYTHING…sometimes even vacuuming! I had my Bridge group over for dinner and Bridge one night. When I rotated out (there are 6 of us), I got up to do a little dinner clean-up with my gloves on. You should have heard the teasing I got….!!!

  59. GLOVES – all of the time no matter what I am cleaning. I’m in my 60’s and no age spots on my hands. Nails and cuticles are in great shape because of gloves. I don’t want my hands in dish soap or toilets!!

  60. the pumice stone ….there is one with a handle. I dont have it but next time round I will get that one. Seems like a good idea to have a handle. They work wonders for mineral build up in toilet. nothing tackles it like the pumice.

  61. I always replace the toilet seats in a new place. Even if I’m just renting. It’s so worth having a new seat. On the gloves…no, never wear them, but always think half way through that perhaps I should. Sam’s Club sells Clorox Tablets to drop in the top of the tank, which helps keep the basin clean. They’re a good price and come 6 to a box.

  62. I don’t wear gloves, but I also don’t stick my hands in the toilets. When I saw your pictures, I thought to myself, “I can’t believe she’s doing that without gloves!” Ha! 🙂 I will definitely try the dishwasher tab in the jetted tub, though! I hope you enjoy your tub. We have lived in our house for 16 years, and I can count on one hand the times we have used ours. I dream of replacing it with a big tiled shower and converting our current stand-up shower into a closet. Anyway… needless to say, our seldom-used tub needs a thorough cleaning! Thanks for the tips!

  63. I’m glad you got the toilets clean! You have your priorities in order. Please, I beg of you, never stick your hand in a toilet without gloves. If you are ever unfortunate enough to suffer from an intestinal parasite or bacteria, you will understand. It can take months to heal from these types of things. And I would know :).

  64. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO funny, That’s the FIRST thing I noticed~ I was like YUK NO GLOVES~ but I’m a no glove wearer as well. LOL~ but cleaning someone else’s toilet~ I might have worn gloves~ but soap/water does a good job disinfecting !

  65. In Australia we would probably ask them to make sure the house was clean before we took over. It is standard here for a full house clean and those toilets would have been included. Otherwise that would be an agreement with the price of the home. I am guilty of not wearing gloves, but agree it is not a wise thing to do. Much love.

    1. In the US, mostly homes just need to be “broom swept”, so cleaning is usually involved. We had our PA house professionally cleaned when we moved out, so it would be nice for the people moving in.

  66. I don’t wear gloves when cleaning our own house. Skin is made to be a barrier 😉
    However, when cleaning someone else’s house as I’ve done for ill family members, I’m definitely a glove wearer. Excited for all the new design opportunities you’re going to have.

  67. I bought an older home and did replace the toilets because they used like 20 gallons per flush and the new ones use like 5 gallons. I got Toto brand which apparently is a gold standard toilet. If not using a brush on handle then gloves are a must for me.

  68. I don’t wear gloves either! Never have. Sure, if I was cleaning a public toilet but not the one at my house. My mom never did and she’s perfectly healthy so I guess I learned from her 😊

  69. I never wear gloves while cleaning my own bathroom. The best thing about human skin is it’s washability!!

  70. No gloves.😀 But while you’re on the bathroom cleaning subject, how do you get soap scum off of the fiberglass walls of the shower. Nothing I have tried works. We’ve lived here 13 years, are the only owners of the house, and I’ve never gone more than 2 weeks between cleaning but that hasn’t kept a huge build up of of soap scum. I actually used an old credit card and scaled some off. All that did was make a mess. Got any suggestions?

    1. Bobbie – try Dawn dish soap and Windex in distilled or RO water in a spray bottle together with a good scrubber to clean off the soap scum on the fiberglass. Also, I’ve found switching to liquid soaps has almost completely eliminated any soap buildup! We have horribly hard water here and I’ve used Lime Away instead of CLR as I’ve found it works better. But, that is just me.

    2. Bobbie, I make a thick baking soda and water paste and smear it heavy on the glass doors and shower walls where build-up is. Let it sit while I scrub the toilet with a rag and comet (without gloves) so less than 5 minutes, and then go over them with magic eraser, or good quality microfiber cloth before I rinse. I have cleaned vacant rentals for 20 years and I have used every form or cleaner known to man. Baking soda in a plastic Parmesan cheese shaker, comet with bleach, window cleaner and a good all-purpose cleaner like Mr. Clean, are all I have in my kit, along with erasers, microfiber cloths and tooth brushes. But I am in NW Ohio, and we have soft water, not sure how to clean hard water. Good luck!

    3. I just started using Bar Keeps Friend and a white non-scratch scrubbies. It did not disappear over night, but slowly, its looking mineral/soap scum free. No strong smells and just a bit of elbow greast

  71. I wear gloves because my skin gets so dry. I usually end up with water inside them anyway. Doesn’t bother me that some people don’t wear gloves. Your hands get covered in bleach, so no biggie. I too buy new toilet seats when moving into a new place.

  72. So funny about the gloves vs. no gloves. When I saw the picture, my first thought was “please tell me she normally wears gloves to clean the toilet.” Ha! I have done the quick swipe around the top of the toilet sans gloves but can’t imagine doing a deep cleaning without them. Gross. 😉

    Love the pumice stone tip, though – thanks! I’m the same way when moving into a new place: everything needs to get a thorough cleaning before I can think about making decorative changes. Happy scouring!

  73. I do wear gloves when cleaning partly because I’m a nurse and my hands and nails get dry enough from all the washing I do at work that I don’t need to dry them out further, partly from the ick factor. I agree with the person who said it’s not the inside of the bowl that’s the problem but the drips/spray on the outside. As a nurse, the rule is if it’s wet (or was) and not yours, wear gloves!
    Looking forward to the pretty pictures as you bring your style to this lovely house.

  74. I wear gloves when I clean toilets at my house. I get right in there with a scouring sponge and a small cleaning brush with a rubber tip on the end. I scrub the bejeebers out of the toilets. Hence, the rubber gloves. It also helps keep my manicure looking good.

  75. I just love your posts !! You are surely an all around girl!! I cannot wait to see your new home finished!! I think this house will be a Miss Mustard Seed hit!
    So HAPPY for you and your family!!

  76. I’m with you on the toilet cleaning, but take it a step further. When I have moved into a new home, I always replaced the toilet seats. Know they are clean, but a small price for my picky bathroom priorities.

    1. Yes, we replaced the seats, too, but I like to clean the toilet entirely until we get to that.

      1. Sue and Marian, I was just coming on the net to say something about that. I wasn’t cringing so much at the toilet bowl as I was the icky crusty stuff that was around the spot where the seat attaches to the toilet. Lots of nasty stuff that is hard to clean out of those spots without just removing the seats. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when you said you replaced the seats, lol.

  77. No gloves for cleaning or gardening either! Can’t wait to see what you do with the new house!

  78. I hope the beige ruffle pelmet thing doesn’t last long it would give me nightmares lol 😂 I’d be terrified to to use a stone on our porcelain in case it scratched!
    I only wear gloves when my hands are down the loo or removing hot pans from the oven.
    Looking forward to seeing more of your new home 🙂

    1. Yes, the curtain is coming down and the blinds will be changed out! No, the pumice doesn’t scratch the porcelain.

  79. Thank you, you just gave me some tips i needed and no i don’t use gloves, just wash my hands good with soap.

  80. I wear disposable gloves, even though my gloved hands don’t go near the water. Now that I think about it, that seems a little germaphobic! But I love your new house!!! I can totally see the potential! And I love the bathtub niche! Knowing you….I could totally see you draping a dramatic (blue & white of course) fabric curtain on the inside of that arch! That would look just stunning! And we are remodeling our downstairs, and we just ripped out a jetted tub! Wish I had known the dishwasher tablet secret before because running those jets always kind of grossed me out! Anyhow, this new house adventure is so exciting to follow you on!!! I’ve always loved reading your blog, but now with every subsequent post I get more and more excited for the next! It’s like the excitement you feel when you start watching a new series on TV that you really love and they leave you on the edge of your seat until the next weeks episode! And thankfully for me and all your other readers, it’s going to be a looooong series! You’re an inspiration, and you’re also hilarious! I love the comedy you throw in!!! It’s the best! God bless you & your family!

  81. I am surprised you didn’t mention the toilet seats. I replace mine every year or so.
    It is my obsession after cleaning out lime deposits.. I actually replaced all the toilet seats before we sold our home last year. Enjoy your new home. Happy for you and your family while you begin this new adventure?

    1. Yes, we’re replacing all of the toilet seats as well, but I just wanted to get them cleaned for the first few days. We also replaced the seats when we sold our home. It’s just nice to have clean ones!

  82. For some reason, cleaning our upstairs toilet is way different than the downstairs. We have well water and I find that Lysol in the black bottle only, works very well on hard water stains. We had quite a mineral build up and this worked like magic.

  83. I’ll be honest, I was screaming internally when I saw your hand in your toilet!! I do not wear gloves when I clean, but I don’t ever stick my hand in the toilet. If I ever had a need to hand-scrub the toilet I would definitely wear gloves. Four years ago we moved from an old home into a 1990 brick colonial. It had pretty bones but I had to remove a lot of ugly 90s decor. It’s slowly becoming a beautiful home. I do sometimes miss that old character…crystal door knobs and a clawfoot tub. But you know what I don’t miss? Shoddy electrical and plumbing work, a weird layout, the world’s smallest kitchen, and a dank leaky basement. I see your vision, and your house has lots of potential. I can’t wait to see the after!

    1. So funny. Yeah, I guess after changing diapers, I got over sticking my hand in a toilet. I’ve also replaced several toilets, and you have to really get in them when you’re doing that. Of course, I wash my hands right after!

  84. I love your blogs. You have a lot of good tips. I will look forward to seeing what you do in your new home and I’m sure it will look awesome. Thanks for taking the time to share with everyone. I’ve got my daughter reading your blogs now . Good luck in your new home and new church.

  85. Toilet brush with a long handle. Most def gloves used on anything below the seat. Not enough bleach in the house for this germophobe to place hands in there 😬 So the scrub stick does not scratch? Looks like it would. Thanks for the tip.

  86. GLOVES for everything! I even get the disposable ones from Amazon! Saves my hands and nails! I have a thing about cleaning bear handed or touching raw chicken! Blekkkkkkkkk!
    LOVE your house! Can’t wait to see more . . . 💚

  87. I have never worn gloves to clean anything, and I clean a lot. I do wear gloves to garden, and wouldn’t think of doing it in bare hands! I am watching a British show on OCD cleaners tackling the homes of hoarders/chaotic housekeepers and it is an eye opener. Some of the OCD people use a quart of bleach a day cleaning their homes, and one woman even licked the toilet seat to show how clean she kept everything; that was a little too much for me.

    Warning on the beautiful window above the tub; those can get very cold in the wintertime. Depending on how efficient the window seals and insulations are, you might want to consider window film for added warmth come late October.

    I think this home is perfect for you at this time. We have been renovating an old farmhouse for 30+ years, and it is only now coming to an end. All that farm character comes with a lot of work that most newer houses will never see, and having young children means that they will be more of a priority than updating plumbing and electricals. Best of luck!

  88. .I will have to try the pumice stick. I don’t use gloves unless I am using a very strong cleaner, like CLR. I changed my kids diapers without gloves and I don’t wear gloves to use the bathroom. I just wash my hands. Have fun with the new house.

  89. I do wear gloves, It grosses me out not to wear them. To each his own, I guess. I feel the same way about getting the bathrooms clean to be able to feel like home.

  90. Marion, look at the number of replies to your post today! You’ve hit on something here…getting real.
    That said, my mother would faint if she saw how I clean the toilet. “Look no gloves, Mom!!!” Let me just add that I use a toilet brush, but then there’s the quick wipe with paper towels that I do on ALL toilet surfaces especially if guests are coming. I always wash my hands thoroughly afterwards.

    Your bath “alcove” is so open to MMS possibilities. I look forward to what you’ll be doing with this one in the future. You know you just had to move. You needed new projects and this house will keep you busy and your blog full of material for years and years to come!

    Did I spy a view of the neighbor’s property from that bathroom window or is that your garage?

    I wonder what you’ll be posting tomorrow! I’ll be checking out my “inbox” come midnight.

  91. Hello All!
    Am really enjoying reading all the comments on the toilet cleaning! gloves or no gloves..well, for me I will wear…if I can find them! Moving next week into a town house and when I did a walk through several days ago, I was floored at the Rust (colored) stains in the fiberglass (I think) tub….how in the world do I get those stains off?? Have purchased new toilet seats and the toilets do not look too bad…I will be using gloves to give them a once over, however…
    I guess this post came at a good time for me!! So, if anyone has any ideas on how to remove what I believe to be hard water or? Rust stains, I would deeply appreciate any suggestions…worry about using certain things on the fiberglass (or what could the shower/tub be made out of?) I am going to get a new shower head as well…thanks all and thanks Marian for keeping the posts real!!!

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