Delicate toilet cleaning problem

wantoretire_didAugust 28, 2006

Our main toilet is so close to the wall that I have to literally go face down to clean the outside by hand. If I use a mop while doing the floor, I dislodge the little thingies that cover the bolts, so still have to stick my nose down there to put them back (wouldn't you think they would have come up with something that screws on loosely or some such thing that wouldn't always be falling off???). Is it me or old age, or what?


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LOL, no it's not just you. Those bolt covers have a mind of their own. I've threatened to use some industrial strength glue on a few of ours. : )

At the price of toilets, you'd think they could make a better cover. But at least they're replaceable. We recently broke the lid on the downstairs toilet. That was after spending many hours renovating the bathroom and DH having to install an offset flange because the new beadboard reduced the space behind the tank so the toilet didn't fit as before. The toilet is 16 years old so we can't find a lid to fit it. It was made in Brazil. There's a new toilet on our horizon with new little covers. Wonder how long they'll stay attached? ; )


    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 7:57PM
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My little covers are missing since the cats discovered that they come off and make great toys!!

My next toilet, after I win the lottery, will look like this:

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 8:54PM
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Now that is a toilet. Where can one find this?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 10:20PM
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It's nice, isn't it?

Here is a link that might be useful: L'Expression Toilet by Porcher

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 7:47AM
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Why not use a small amount of silicone on the outside edges? Actually hadn't thought about the issue before, but I've always had the same problem as you do. They are loose only to get to the bolts if needed, the silicone can easily be removed for such and would also keep dirt/water from getting around the bolts.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 10:01AM
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The Toto Vespin toilet we had installed this week doesn't have little bolt cover thingies. Or a "tricky" profile around the trapway to clean. :-)

Although I do wish I'd coughed up the extra for the one\-piece Carlyle, the Vespin's awfully big for the space.

I like the idea of silicone caulk on the cap, although I'd just use a dab to secure it rather than going all the way around, because then I could get a thumbnail or putty knife underneath easily to pop it off. I just looked at the Toto Whitney in the master bath and it has a little plastic "seat" for the cap to snap onto but it can still be knocked off, so I think I'll give that a shot.

As for the cleaning issue... what about one of those cleaners-on-a-stick like the Clorox Bath Wand or Mr. Clean Magic Reach? If you don't like to use those disposable products, OXO/Good Grips makes several variations on the sponge-on-a-stick notion. I do like the Swiffer mop for the pivoting head that fits into tight places, although I'm most likely to put a cloth on it and use my own cleaner rather than use the Swiffer products.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 5:12PM
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That's a beauty. Even if I silicone the thingies, I still have to get my head down there.......Guess I'll bite the bullet and do it and get it over with.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 7:38PM
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I caulked my bolt covers on several years ago after many years of cursing them.........

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 12:12AM
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Love the silicon idea - sick of those little suckers.

One of the few throw-away cleaning products I use are bathroom cleaning wipes. I can clean our whole little bathroom in about 5 minutes (including around the toilet) and toss the rag away.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 5:47PM
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Carol and all...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one. My face gets beet red when I try to balance between the sink cab. and the toilet and lean over on one foot to get behind and recover the loose covers which like to hide there. I'm beginning to suspect DGK's of playing with them on their potty trips. Eeeeuuuwww. I drop them in bleach when I clean, just in case!!!!
It's my least favorite room to clean.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 3:00PM
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What you need is a reacher. Aside from being useful for getting things from high and low places, they are great for disgusting jobs, like removing our cat's kills. (Just clean and sanitize afterward.)

You could get away with a cheap one for this job, but the good ones are sooooo much better. We buy ours from (no relationship other than being a satisfied customer). Unlike then cheapies, these work well and feel secure enough to handle full bottles and the like.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 5:20PM
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My toilet is so old I can't even find bolt covers that fit it!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 12:46PM
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All you'd have to do to remove silicone covers is take a piece of strong thread or thin wire, circle the bolt, and pull the ends. Glass artists often use silicone to mount pieces, and use the wire or thread technique to remove.

I have the same problem with cleaning under and behind both my toilets. Doesn't bother me, as long as I don't have to stick my head IN the toilet. The only thing that would bother me is the smell if cleaning had been let go, and I hate smelly toilets, so that doesn't often happen.

My upstairs toilet is really wierd-- I think somebody put a "water saver" tank on a base that is not designed for it (the bowl is huge), and it really hard to flush. There's a crack where the base is bolted down, so I'm getting a new toilet. Love some of the ones pictured above, but I don't think any of them are in my budget!

Dayle Ann

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 8:41PM
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Love some of the ones pictured above, but I don't think any of them are in my budget!

I certainly hear you on the budget business. One thing I keep in mind, though, is a comment a plumber made on one of the other forums here several months ago: he didn't understand why the cost of a toilet mattered at all, knowing that it would be used several times a day for years on end.

The main-floor toilet in my house (one of those old 3.5-gallon-per-flush monsters) is 32 years old. It's still in good shape. Frankly, if it wasn't such a water hog, I wouldn't even be thinking about replacing it. Just to play with numbers a bit, based on the number of previous occupants of this house, I'm guessing this toilet has been flushed more than 150,000 times. How many items have you bought for your house that you know will last for 150,000 uses and 30+ years, 24 x 7 x 365? Considering that, even $400 or so for a Caroma or some other high-quality toilet isn't that expensive considering it will be working for so long.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 9:14AM
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I gotta say I agree with Steve_O... for something expected to work flawlessly multiple times a day for many years, it is worth scrimping somewhere else to get something that's going to work really well. Looks notwithstanding, I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO glad we spent the money on really good toilets. (I spent more than the minimum possible to support a local business. I could have saved about $200 on the three I've purchased by ordering online.) The Toto Drake is not that expensive as the higher-end toilets go, and an excellent performer. It can often be had for under $250, and you don't have to buy the fancy (expensive) seat, a $10 hardware-store seat will fit it. Although the softclose seat IS cool, DH is very entertained by it. LOL The American Standard Champion models can be somewhat cheaper - $50-60 - and are more readily available (Home Depot) but don't have a good reputation for reliability; the Kohler Cimarron is generally considered the best-functioning toilet Kohler makes but it isn't much cheaper either (about $235 at Home Depot). The Totos just suck down even the worst loads - sorry for the indelicacy - that would have had our old toilets, which were only 11 years old, backing up and needing to be snaked, and they're both so quiet! (Toilet #3 is going in the powder room, which has yet to be revamped. It didn't fit in the spot it was supposed to go and I didn't want to pay the restocking fee, so I'm hanging onto it for when we do get to the powder room.)

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 5:53PM
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I do understand the per use theory, and I agree whole heartedly. Problem is, when you have a small budget (matches the house LOL), it's pretty hard to justify spending even $100 to replace a 5 year old toilet that works perfectly well.

I'm still waiting on the lottery win! LOL

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 7:30PM
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homemaker, _I_ was speaking in reference to Dayleann's post, and she does not have a toilet that "works perfectly well". If yours works fine and is not a waterhog it would be silly to replace it! But if you have to buy a new toilet anyway, it makes sense to get a good one.

BTW, we saved up for two years, refi'ed our mortgage to pull a little equity - much less than we theoretically could have, but I don't consider my house an ATM - and spread our bath reno out over a year to pay for it, so I'm no stranger to the budgetary corset! We replaced the second toilet because the existing toilet did not work well at all and we were going to have the plumber there anyway, but that bathroom has to wait for the rest of the job even though the white toilet and beige sink/tub doesn't look nice at all. (I am well aware that 2.5 baths, even if the .5 is not working, is a wonderful luxury. Both DH and me getting food poisoning living in a condo with only one bathroom made me swear that when we bought a house it would have two toilets - we just lucked into an affordable property with an extra full bath.)

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 8:46PM
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