Originally Posted by lovelydecor
Well let me tell you, I spent a fortune on cleaning items.
Probably woulda been better just to buy a new toilet bowl. You can buy the tanks and bowls separately.
I tried every cleaning product suggested on all of the cleaning tip websites--pumice, The Works, Magic Eraser, Iron Works, Wet/Dry sandpaper, some super strong chemicals that hurt my lungs, and dozens more--but nothing worked until today.
1. The wet/dry sandpaper woulda done more harm than good. It woulda scratched up the smooth porcelain so that mold would be able to grip the otherwise smooth surface of the bowl and hang on during a flush.
2. The problem with SO MANY TRADES is that none of them are actually taught anywhere. So, young painters learn from experienced painters. Young carpet installers learn from experienced carpet installers. Young janitors learn from experienced janitors.
The problem is that in most cases, those old painters, carpet installers and janitors never learned any theory whatsoever. There were no books on the subject, and they didn't have access to the internet to reasearch subjects the way we do now. What little they knew was pieced together from observations and assumptions, and the conclusions they came to were often just plain wrong. I once had an experienced painter tell me that bathrooms are a hostile environment for paint because of the high humidity. The notion that there are different kinds of latex paints and that some latex paints are more resistant to humidity than others never even crossed his mind. And so, he's been telling people that bathrooms are inherantly difficult on paint rather than telling them that they need to use a paint specifically meant to be used in bathrooms.
So, forget "household tips" and "home remedies". Open your yellow pages to "Janitorial Equipment & Supplies" and buy your cleaning supplies from a company that sells janitorial equipment. The cost will be similar to what you'd pay in a grocery store, but the advantage is that you get all the free tech support you want or need tossed in for nothing. That's because if you locate a small family run business that sells janitorial supplies, you're buying from someone who's spent a career hearing about and helping to solve difficult cleaning problems and dealing with the sales representatives of various companies like Lever Brothers, Johnson Diversey, Baneclene, all of which have had scientific training on how their cleaners work. So, you have someone to turn to for help. If you buy your cleaning supplies in a grocery or hardware store, then the only one you can turn to for help is the 17 year old that stocks the shelves, or the voice at the end of a 1-800 customer service phone number that usually doesn't know any more about cleaning or the product you bought than what they were told to tell customers in a two hour "training program".
When it comes to cleaning, what to use on what and how to use it is 99% of the battle. The people working in janitorial supply stores have the knowledge and experience you need and will give it to you free of charge. It's just that it simply doesn't occur to most people to buy their cleaning supplies from a janitorial supply store to get that free tech support.
Here's a perfect example:
Most people think a carpet shampooer will get a carpet cleaner than a vaccuum cleaner. Not true. That's like saying a car is better than a truck. They're different machines meant for different purposes. You use a vaccuum cleaner to remove SOLID soils (like sand and dried mud) from a carpet. You use a carpet shampooer to remove LIQUID SPILLS (dried or not) from a carpet. A carpet shampooer is LOUSY at removing solid soils from carpets because as soon as you get the carpet wet, then the surface tension of the water helps hold onto those solid particles. Next time you're at the beach, try cleaning sand off of wet feet and dry feet, and see which one works better. And, a vaccuum cleaner won't lift dried tomato juice out of a carpet. I rest my case.
So, if your dog barfs on your carpet, most people think the only solution is to clean up what they can as best they can, and then rent a carpet shampooer to remove what's left from the carpet pile. Some people will even go out and spend $400 on a mini carpet shampoo'er like those made by Bissell, Eureka and Hoover for this purpose. And, here again, a little knowledge goes a lot further than a lot of money.
Better answer: Use your own wet/dry "shop" style vaccuum cleaner and save your money. You can buy a decent quality wet/dry vaccuum cleaner from Sears with a two stage vaccuum motor for less than $100, and you can use it for many other jobs. Or borrow one. Just spray some water onto the spot and apply the suction hose of the wet/dry vaccuum cleaner directly to the carpet pile to lift the soiled water out of the carpet. Repeat as necessary. Problem solved.
But, what happens if it's a more difficult stain and you want to do as good a job as a professional carpet cleaning contractor would at removing it cuz it's a brand new carpet? Simple. Just go down to any place listed under Janitorial Equipment & Supplies in your yellow pages and ask for a "spotter" for dog barf (or whatever). A "spotter" is a bottle of "spotting solution". Janitorial supply stores will sell "spotting kits" that consist of various kinds of cleaners for various kinds of stains. Those kits will contain anywhere from 4 to 22 different kinds of cleaners, and each one can also be purchased separately (which is what carpet cleaning contractors do because they use some kinds of cleaners more often than others). You simply buy the kind of "spotter" or cleaning solution that you need for your kind of stain, and use your wet/dry vaccuum cleaner as a poor man's carpet shampooer to remove the soiled cleaner and soiled rinse water from your carpet or upholstery.
Here's a typical example of a carpet cleaning kit that a janitorial supply store would sell or a professional carpet cleaning contractor would have in his truck to remove carpet stains:
This one contains 10 cleaning solutions, a small brush, a dabbing towel, some pH test strips, an instruction booklet and some other stuff. You don't need all of that. If you just explain what kind of stain you're dealing with to the nice man at the counter, he'll sell you only what you need to clean it up. And, then if you can read and comprehend the instructions written in plain English on the bottle, you'll be able to remove any stain from carpeting or upholstery as well as any carpet cleaning company can. That's because you'll be using the same cleaners as the pros would, but you'll be using a $79 wet/dry vaccuum cleaner for the suction you need instead of a $1500 carpet shampooer. You certainly can't shampoo a whole living room carpet with a 2 1/2 inch diameter suction hose, but you certainly can remove stains from your carpet with one.
So, use a GOOD quality vaccuum cleaner for removing solid soils from carpet and a wet/dry vaccuum cleaner to remove liquid spills (dried or not) from carpets and upholstery and you'll maintain your carpets better and save the money you otherwise mighta spent on a useless piece of junk called a "miniature carpet shampooer".
And to top it off, the guy at the janitorial supply store will think you're smart for using your wet/dry vaccuum cleaner to clean stains outta your carpet cuz lotsa people wouldn't think of that.
So, next time you have a difficult cleaning problem, drop in and talk to someone at a janitorial supply store. You'll probably get very good advice and ideas that you never thought of. But, be careful. Some of these places eek out a living selling toilet paper and light bulbs to community centers where no one in the entire chain of events knows anything about, or even cares if they do, about cleaning. Best to avoid these places. Try to find a family owned business because these people will make the effort to learn as much as they can because they know it'll help their business in the long run. In those other places, everyone gets paid the same regardless of how lousy advice they give you, so no one makes any effort to learn anything.