Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thursday Tips: Cleaning the Bathroom

Every Thursday is tip day.

We have a weird toilet. It is a Microphor Microflush, which uses pressurized air to flush. In most RVs, the holding tank for "black" waste is directly below the toilet and the flush results can drop into the tank using gravity. In Odyssey, the only space big enough for the waste tank is below the kitchen. In order to use conventional RV plumbing, we would have had to place the toilet there, next to the refrigerator. I knew that living in a bus would require certain compromises on my part, but there was no way I could live with that!

So, in order to have the toilet in a more reasonable (not to mention more private) space, we had to install a type that could push the waste sideways and down into the tank. This has worked out fine, for the most part. My fears about the failure mechanisms of pressurized poop were unfounded. The only complaint we have is that the Microphor uses more water per flush, which isn't great for boondocking. It also means that more water rides in the bowl as we move down the road, increasing the chance for slopping on rough roads.

After a twisty scenic byway or a couple of hard stops, it isn't unusual for me to find a bit of eau du toilet on the lid or seat. (You can stop reading anytime if this is too much information.) No matter how clean the can, it still isn't pristine and who wants to sit on a wet seat anyway?

I use disinfecting wipes to clean the seat, and keep them right there in the bathroom. After each day's travel, it is so easy to just pop up one of the premoistened, anti-bacterial towelettes, and quickly wipe the seat, porcelain rim and lid. Since we drive almost every day, the toilet is being cleaned almost every day, which means it never gets very dirty and so it is never a horrible task. 10 seconds of lemon-scented labor and a feeling of freshness is a good thing.

I've tried a bunch of brands, including generics from several grocery stores. I prefer the Chlorox or Lysol ones. They all contain the same cleaning chemicals, but the more expensive national brands have better lids. The "pop up" dispensers actually work on them. The generic lids tend to let the wipes slip down into a soggy mess, or pinch my fingers, or pop off the can altogether and roll behind the toilet (where I don't clean every day.) I guess Proctor & Gamble pays its packaging engineers better.

For cleaning the bowl, I use whatever regular toilet cleaner is on sale and scrub it with a brush. These chemicals are not particularly good for RV holding tanks, but that's okay. I only clean the bowl right before we dump the tanks, so anything I've just flushed gets whisked away into the dump station. So: no need to buy the spendy name brands for squeeze-it-into the bowl cleaner, but it is definitely worth the extra cash for the wipes.

Ta da! Everything you ever wanted to know about cleaning Odyssey's toilet. Aren't you glad you stopped by today?

1 comment:

  1. Too funny! I never would have guessed that as a blog subject. ej


Share your comments on this post! We currently allow anyone to comment without registering. If you choose to use the "anonymous" option, please add your name or nickname to the bottom of your comment, within the main comment box. Getting feedback signed simply "anonymous" is kind of like having strangers shout things at us on the street: a bit disconcerting. Thanks!