There are few things so gratifying to a homemaker as conquering a problem spot in her home. Like when I finally clear away all the paper clutter on the kitchen counter. It happens about once every three months and lasts for about five minutes at a time, but, boy, do I feel empowered for that five minutes!
But let me tell you about the household issue I have recently conquered, one that has left me feeling like the Joan of Arc of homemaking, and just in time for the holidays and guests.
If you have little boys, and particularly if you have MULTIPLE little boys, you know what an issue bathroom odor can be! I can spray and wipe and clean and scrub until a toilet glistens and the lid is spotless enough to eat off of. (Not that I would ever, EVER do that, but you understand. We’re talking CLEAN!) I can use every product in the Kroger cleaning aisle, wear a toilet brush down to a nub, mop like an absolute maniac, and then bathe the room in air freshener. And STILL that spotless, fully disinfected room will smell like urine again 30 minutes later!
I thought about banning my little boys from the bathroom, but that seemed a little extreme, especially when I don’t think outhouses are permitted in our neighborhood. Rats. It looked like my only choice was to learn to live with a bathroom that was clean, but never really smelled like it.
But, lo and behold if I haven’t discovered a little trick that works wonders on the little boy bathroom smell!
It’s all in who you know! A friend or ours works as a custodian at a local elementary school. (Which makes me shudder. I clean up after two little boys. He cleans up after HUNDREDS!) He recently shared a tip for handling stubborn odors.
This is all you need:
Clean your toilet really well just like you normally would. Mix baking soda and lemon juice together into a thick, but spreadable paste. I use about 1/3-1/2 cup baking soda and 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice, which makes more than enough for me to clean both the toilets in my house.
With an old toothbrush, work the paste all around the base of your toilet, where it is affixed to the floor. (And be warned: if you haven’t scrubbed around there in a while, and even is you have, you’re about to pull up some scary stuff! I’m not grossing you out with a picture here, but trust me.)
Allow the paste to sit for a few minutes and work its magic. Wipe up the grime and the excess paste with a damp rag and then rinse all around with a cup or so of vinegar. Gently pour it on and watch it fizz! That’s it. Wipe again and you’re done! Afterwards I usually do a final mop and that’s all there is to it!
I’m telling you, this works. It’s not permanent, mind you, but it really does remove the urine smell and keeps it at bay for three to four weeks at a time. Even after two weeks I would still sometimes notice a faint lemon scent in my bathroom. That’s a far cry from what I was smelling in there not so long ago! And I don’t have to use the paste every time I clean my toilets — just once a month or so. Of course if your bathroom sees more traffic than mine, you may need to do it more often.
I love that this little trick is inexpensive and simple and all-natural, involving no weird products or dangerous chemicals. So if you’ve been battling awful bathroom odors, here’s a solution for you just in time for your holiday company!
I have company of my own coming in a few days. Time for this victor to don her cleaning armor and get to work. There are other household issues I have yet to conquer!