Last year I purchased citric acid for use in making a DIY dishwasher detergent. Though I still haven’t done that (I lost the recipe), I did experiment with using citric acid, both alone and combined with baking soda, to clean my toilet. Here’s the before, during, and after photos, all of which were taken a few weeks before monkey girl arrived.
This is the result of toilet neglect, otherwise known as “I’m pregnant, throwing up, and everything that has a smell makes me throw up, so I can’t even do the laundry” syndrome. Months and months of throwing up, combined with one of my sons being a “mystery pooper who won’t flush” left this much calcium build-up. Gross, right? I am not proud of it, to say the least.
To begin, I measured out, oh, about 1/2 C each of the citric acid and the baking soda, mixed them together, and poured them in after turning off the water and flushing out all the water I could. Fizzing commenced.
And nothing happened. I have 3 lbs each of the baking soda and citric acid, so I experimented 3 times with an increase of each, even leaving the last batch in for a solid four hours before trying each ingredient separately. And yes, between attempts I scrubbed with a toilet brush in an attempt to agitate the scum. I also added vinegar to the mix. Nothing changed. This solution is likely best used with light soil deposits, and toilet maintenance between regular cleanings. It has done nothing for my heavy calcium deposits.
Even now, months later, nothing has changed. I am able to clean (more) regularly, but I have yet to discover the solution to remove the calcium deposits.
I suspect the answer lies in a water softener. Even the humidifiers have developed calcium buildups much more frequently than they did prior to our move to this area. Those I am able to treat with vinegar left in the humidifier base overnight, and most of the calcium is gone.
“So Sarah,” you may ask, “Why don’t you try just the vinegar?” The answer? I have!! It isn’t working! I’ve seen it work on the humidifiers, why isn’t it working in the toilet? Maybe it’s the quantity of vinegar and time (not enough of either)? Probably. But thats for another post. Trust me, I do intend to get to the bottom of this. Pun not intended. My toilets reputation depends on it.