I'll never buy another "toilet brush" again

enduringMarch 27, 2013

When I was looking into getting a Toto toilet because of recommendations on GW and from my plumber I was reading that some have been difficult to clean with a toilet brush. I also was worried about the sanagloss finish and if it was more delicate. I have noticed too, that the toilet brushes seem to be really stiff. I don't know if the finish is more delicate but I was not wanting to risk it.

The instructions with the toilet say not to use a metal brush or scouring pad. I would never do that. But the regular brushes seem so rough. So I bought a dish brush in the kitchen section of Target or Walmart. I love the flexability of the handle and the small size of the brush head. The bristles are soft and I am not worried about scratching. When I have used it, it is perfect!

Now maybe this is quite common for people to go this route, but I had never thought of it before so I thought I would share. Habit has always lead me to the toilet brush isle to buy a toilet brush. But I will never buy another toilet brush again.

Isn't it cute?

You can also buy a small utensil crock to house it and coordinate with your decor.

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treasuretheday

As one of the Toto owners who posted about the difficulty cleaning the bowl, THANK YOU for the suggestion! I'm going to try this out.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 8:40PM
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enduring

Oh boy! let me know what you think :) I just showed DH my post and he laughed. Initially, before I used the brush to clean, I had his stone pencil holder as my new toilet brush holder. The brush fit so nicely in that small stone vessel. But, I gave it back to him before the bathroom went live. It was a little tippy because of the small base of support in conjunction with the tallish and slightly weighted handle of the brush.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 9:20PM
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treasuretheday

Of course if this works, that will render my RH polished nickel brush & holder just a $$ decorative accessory... just like the matching plunger & holder that we haven't needed yet. ;)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 10:50PM
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williamsem

Love it!

So did you end up with Sanigloss? I -almost- picked out an Aquia II, but I'm really nervous about the small water spot. I might have to give up on a dual flush, but that Aquia meets every other requirement I have and is soooo tempting. Have you been happy with your new toilet?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 11:11PM
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lee676

went with a Toto "double cyclone" commode just so I wouldn't have to use a brush - there are no small holes inside the rim that tend to attract mildew underneath; just two large easy to reach openings in plain view that tend to stay clean.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 4:56AM
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enduring

The small water spot doesn't bother me. The toilet always flushes. The sanagloss does really keep it clean. My toilet is the Promenade - it has an old fashioned look to go with my room. It has the G-Max flush system.

Williemsem, I really like the looks of the Aquia II.

Lee676, I see several models come with the C2 system, including the Drake. I will keep this system in mind if/when I start on the next bathroom.

Treasure, I feel your pain with the expensive un-nesessities. I think I have ended up with a few of these too. For example the rough in plumbing I put in, for an independent spray faucet that I nixed because of the crowded space. But not before I had the cabinet maker account for the needed space by making shorter drawers than I would otherwise have had.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 8:49AM
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pricklypearcactus

This is a fantastic idea! I've been using a standard toilet brush (probably some cheap-o from Target), but I don't have a sanigloss finish on my Toto. It's not impossible to clean the toilet, but I agree the angle of the brush and bristles isn't quite right. Your idea looks perfect.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 10:45AM
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gbsim1

The best is a toilet swab that you can get a a janitorial supply house.
The handle is long like a toilet brush but it has a soft round head made of fibers. No bristles.
First you use it to push out some water down the trap .... Sort of like you are plunging. This exposes some more of the porcelain so your cleaner doesn't just instantly dilute.
Then you squirt some cleaner on the head and swab around.
Very soft and they last forever. I store mine in a big plastic cup in my cleaning supplies caddy.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 2:05PM
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enduring

Pricklypear, this brush is so maneuverable. I can't stand the bottle brush ones I've used in the past.

Gbsim, that sounds like a great cleaning tool. It might be even better than what I've found. I'll keep my eyes open. I never get to any janitorial supply places. I could look one up on the internet.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 6:45PM
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lee676

enduring - the Drake 2 in the one I bought because it's the least expensive with the double cyclone flush.

These videos show why you don't need a toilet brush with them - there's no "rim" to clean underneath (in Quicktime or Windows Media format). Still, that brush looks like a great cleaning tool. I hope it includes a holder that lets it dry and keeps it covered and out of view when not being used.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 8:23PM
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enduring

Lee676, that is a great illustration of how the toilet flushes. Definitely a consideration. The Drake is my plumber's favorite toilet to install. I'm not sure which Drake he prefers.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 9:05PM
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lee676

I've used the original Drake (1.6gal) with what Toto calls a "G-max" flush, and a new Drake II (1.28gal) with the Double Cyclone. Before the double cyclone was introduced a few years back, initially only on two higher-priced decorative models, the G-Max was their top-line flush system - "G" for gravity, the implication that that this was the best flushing available without resorting to more expensive and noisier pressure-assist systems, the ones that often have a button on top and flush quickly but noisilly. Now, G-Max is on their cheaper or older models, and uses a conventional design with the small water holes underneath the perimeter of the rim. The G-Max commodes like the Drake 1 are also excellent and will allow you to retire your plunger, but maybe not the toilet brush, as it sends a large flume of water down the front but less than I'd like elsewhere, straight down without a swirly motion. I haven't used a 1.28g version yet, but with the 1.6g a piece of TP stuck to the side of the bowl would occasionally survive a flush.

Not so the new Drake II, even with only 1.28 gallons per flush on the one I ordered. As you could see from the video, it sends two powerful jets of water almost sideways that quickly clear everything in its path and in a few seconds it's done. The area in the bowl normally filled with water is smaller than in some other brands, which usually isn't a good thing, but not a problem for this one. It's only been installed for a few weeks, but I'm not planning on keeping either a plunger or a toilet brush in the bathroom. I don't know if they still make a 1.6g version of these, athough they do have a 1.0g version for California and a few other states where ultra-stringent water use statutes are in effect. Don't know how well those work, but the 1.26g Drake II flushes cleaner (and much faster) than the 5-gallon-flush 1960s loo it replaced.

Toilets are one of those things I normally pay no attention to unless they don't work right, in which case things can get really messy and gross - a clogged, overflowing toilet is something I don't want to ever have to deal with even once, so I researched them extensively before buying to get what seemed to be the best available, at least on a moderate budget (not too dear at under $300 delivered to my door). I'm seriously impressed.

(p.s. - i'm renovating 3 bathrooms in the house all at once, and thus have exhaustively researched sinks, showerheads, faucets, toilets, and bathtubs. I obviously know *way* too much about this stuff now, but will likely have forgotten most of it by next year....)

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 12:12AM
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williamsem

Lol, Lee676, I know what you mean! I pegged the new Kohler bath commercial as "Kohler" almost instantly. Not sure if that's impressive or sad for someone not in the industry!

Vanity arrives in a week, hoping I like it. I went to revisit a few on Amazon I liked initially and it had a steep price drop so I jumped on it.

Still debating the toilet. So far I have "Toto", hoping to decide on which model this weekend. Must be skirted, I'm done cleaning around those dang bolts!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 12:28AM
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lee676

That rules out the Drake or Drake II then, but they have several other styles that are skirted. You can't go wrong with any of the double-cyclone models. Although I don't care for those like the Guinevere with the downward-facing flush levers on the side that require an awkward pull at the bottom of the lever towards you to flush them (or was it away from you? don't remember). The more common side-mounted flush levers that are sideways and you push down on the front of the lever are easy enough to use, and those like the Soiree with the lever in front are easier still to reach. Choosing a one-piece rather than two-piece model will also make for easier cleaning, elminating the gap where the tank and bowl meet that inevitably becomes grungy.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 1:01AM
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abfabamy

Enduring, that is an interesting idea. I would love to have a "tidier" brush that is easier to store. My concern with that one is the length of the handle. How close does your hand come to the water when you are cleaning the very furthest reaches of the trap?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 8:29AM
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herring_maven

williamsem: "Still debating the toilet. So far I have "Toto", hoping to decide on which model this weekend. Must be skirted, I'm done cleaning around those dang bolts!"

The skirted version of the Toto Drake II is called the Vespin II; we installed a Vespin II in our home, and it has worked wonderfully for more than two years (so far).

You might also look into the Inax Dover or St. Clair models. The Inaxes have a Double Vortex flush (video on the Inax website) which is essentially the same as the Toto Double Cyclone. Inax historically has been the technology pioneer among Japanese plumbing fixture makers*, and it may well be that Inax invented that kind of flush mechanism -- or this may be one of the times that Inax copied Toto. (*Inax was the company that came out first with advanced toilet seats in the 1970s, and Toto rushed development of its alternative -- the Washlet -- in genuinely justified fear that Inax was going to capture 100 percent of the then-nascent but rapidly growing market for Western-style toilets in Japan; if it were not for Inax's disastrous early 1980s Gorilla television commercial, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaOdP1D_B30, Toto might never have caught up.)

Here is a link that might be useful: The Inax line-up

This post was edited by herring_maven on Fri, Mar 29, 13 at 8:44

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 8:42AM
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enduring

Abfabamy, I think that it reaches ok. I don't go deep into the trap by practice. I have taken more pictures of my brush in action :) I will post below.

Herring_Maven, thanks for your Inax and Toto info. I may look into both those models as I get into more detail with my second bath remodel. Question, it shouldn't be a problem to get a toilet now, set into place, then when remodel time comes lift it and store for re-installation later? I think I've read that others have done this without issue. I guess the concern is where one would store the toilet during remodel. Saving the original box could be a great storage.

Brush inside trap, as far as I usually go:

Side view to show the height of handle with brush end inside trap:

An old crock my DM had given my some years ago, now repurposed as a brush holder. I think it looks cute:

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 9:19AM
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abfabamy

Oh that looks like plenty of room on the handle. I like how small and easily put away it is. I will check into it for sure! Thanks so much for posting more pictures!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 12:16PM
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enduring

It's sort of like a toothbrush for your toilet :)

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 12:35PM
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naughtykitty

A little off topic but I recently bought the Toto Drake 2 for my guest bath and the Auqia for my powder room. I absolutely LOVE the Aquia and will buy it for my master bath when I get around to updating it. Love Love Love!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 3:38PM
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enduring

I think the Aquia is very attractive. Just was over at the Inax site and there are some nice looking skirted toilets there too. Thanks Herring-Maven for sharing that link.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 4:35PM
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lee676

> The Inaxes have a Double Vortex flush (video on the Inax website) which is essentially the same as the Toto Double Cyclone

One notable design difference (which Inax points out) is that ALL of the water in their Double Vortex design is sent to those two ports in the rim area, without any additional water being sent to the bottom of the bowl directly in front of the drain to help push things through. Most toilets send a substantial percentage of the water, sometimes more than half, directly to that underwater jet, although I've seen several besides the Inax that don't have an underwater spout in front of the drain. Not having one does mean that all of the water has a chance to help clean the bowl first, so not sure if either design is inherently better.

I can't believe I'm spending even part of Easter weekend debating the fineries of competing toilet designs.....

Also apologies for the thread drift, which i realize i helped cause here. Back to soft-ended brushes....

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 11:50AM
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williamsem

Omg, if I made a list of all the things I couldn't believe I was researching/debating/sharing here for this remodel I think I'd miss Easter altogether!

This is all relevant, thanks! I do want a Sanigloss model, so which one with which system and how often that nifty brush may be needed are oddly important at the moment....and file that under things I did not expect to say today, lol!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 12:05PM
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island

Oh funny! Cute is never a word I would have associated with a toilet brush. But smaller does mean easier to hide away in a cabinet and I'm all for that!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 1:05PM
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enduring

Lee, et el, did you see the Inax SATIS? It has 70percent water from the top and 30 from a spot at the bottom. The toilet has an integrated wash seat, and it is very pricey at 4-5k full price. I really like the looks though.

Its ok to get off topic :)

Williamsem, I love it! You too?

SATIS:

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 1:13PM
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williamsem

So far! Though I guess it depends on how things turn out. Will know in about 7 weeks when things are done!

We plan on eventually building a house, not sure when but not in the immediate future. Plenty of planning time!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 1:48PM
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lee676

I had never even heard of Inax until last week, and didn't look at the specs on anything that far out of my price range (instead focusing on the conventional Double Vortex units), but wonder how it would face off against the similar-looking Toto Neorest (again, one's obviously copying the other). My take on this style though is that their functionality is available by just buying a Toto Washlet-type bidet on a standard good-quality elongated-bowl toilet, and that combination is about 1/3 the price. As for looks, I would rather have one of the increasingly popular tank-in-wall toilets (made by Toto, Grohe, Geberit, Duravit, and others) that's used in conjunction with usualy a wall-mounted bowl that's similar in appearance to the Satis/Neorest, actually even smaller and more svelte, and the wall-mounted flush buttons (usually there are two, with several color and trim options) are the only part of the tank you see. These are also great space-savers, protruding about 10" less into the room. I've only used the Geberit (it works great btw, and flushes very differently than anything else I've seen - a sheet of water sprays out from the back from just below the rim, aimed at the front a few inches below the rim, and the water spreads to the sides after it hits the front. This is also the only dual-flush toilet I've used where the low-water option worked adequately well. One of these with a Washlet would still cost less than a Neorest or Satis.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 2:01PM
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enduring

Yes, I agree those special combo toilets, while looking fantastic, are very expensive, compared to a matched set of toilet and seat that serves the same purpose. I have the Toto toilet with the Inax "advanced toilet seat" I have been very happy with it.

With my new BR remodel pending, I had been considering a wall mounted toilet, but am not yet ready to say for sure. I live in a family home, 3rd generation. I don't want to get too far out of the norm with fixtures, so that it doesn't hamstring the next generation with expenses or complexities.

I think my toilet brush fits my low maintenance and low complexity criteria.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 2:57PM
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herring_maven

lee676: "I had never even heard of Inax until last week ..."

Inax is a major component of an integrated group of companies now called Lixil, which is a giant company. But it was not always a giant, and it owed its breakout chance to an American, Frank Lloyd Wright, who back in the 1920s wanted a certain kind of tile (that at that time did not yet exist) for an architectural commission he had won in Japan (it may have been for the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, though Wright had several Japan commissions). He sought out a small company to make all of the tile for his job, and Inax went on to become probably the largest supplier of architectural brick, ceramics, etc. in Japan.

In the plumbing fixture category in Japan, Inax and Toto are like Joe Frazier and Muhammed Ali, or like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, where the two giants' corporate moves often seem to be as much about what the other is doing as they do with any relation to the rest of the world.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 5:44PM
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olivertwistkitchen

Like the rest of you, I can't believe I'm reading this thread!

But I am.

I like the toilet swab idea mentioned above. There are a bunch sold on Amazon.
i am wondering if it will clean better. Better. Stronger. Faster.

I plan to store it in the vanity under the sink, but I am looking for a caddy or holder that comes with it. I don't want to just repurpose some other container.

Anyone find a toilet swab that comes with its own holder?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 8:01AM
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gbsim1

I'm a swabber. The toilets in my former home were almost 30 years old and looked like new. I'd used the swab with a liquid gel from the janitorial supply house since they were new.
Push out some of the water down the trap, swab on some cleaner, swish around and flush. Swish out swab in the bowl and flush again. About once a year I used a piece of toilet "screen" cloth to get mineral deposits.
I keep the swab in a large heavy plastic cup and keep that in my cleaning supplies bucket.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 8:16AM
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olivertwistkitchen

Duh, that seems so obvious to keep it in the bucket and not under the sink! Why didn't I think ot that?

Look at these:

http://www.fullerdirect.com/products_detail.asp?cat=1&subcat=1&id=2665

http://www.fullerdirect.com/products_detail.asp?cat=1&subcat=1&ID=552

http://www.fullerdirect.com/products_detail.asp?cat=1&subcat=1&ID=443

They say the caddy will hold the swab but I'm not so sure.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 8:21AM
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olivertwistkitchen

Duh, that seems so obvious to keep it in the bucket and not under the sink! Why didn't I think ot that?

Look at these:

http://www.fullerdirect.com/products_detail.asp?cat=1&subcat=1&id=2665

http://www.fullerdirect.com/products_detail.asp?cat=1&subcat=1&ID=552

http://www.fullerdirect.com/products_detail.asp?cat=1&subcat=1&ID=443

They say the caddy will hold the swab but I'm not so sure.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 8:22AM
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