Julies Blog

The dirt under the lip of the toilet

by Julie Finch-Scally

In a small bathroom one never gets to see the dirt that collects under the lip of the toilet: that space where the water enters the toilet from the cistern. In the bathroom in my house and several other homes I have entered, there is one spot where one can look at the inside of the toilet and actually see the top of the bowl and the porcelain just below the toilet lip.

I always taught my cleaners to scrub under and inside the lip of the toilet with the toilet brush and cream cleanser. It loosens any buildup and when the toilet is flushed removes it completely. I do know of some cleaners who squeeze bleach under the lip of the toilet and into the bowl. As I am not a great fan of flushing bleach down into the sewage system I am not in the habit of recommending this procedure.

This all sounds great, but there are times when nothing seems to work. I often see this in my downstairs toilet which has small holes around the rear rim of the lip. Sometimes there is a build up of soft greeny/brown fungus around the inside of the holes.

Yes I rub it thoroughly and roughly with the toilet brush, but the bristles don’t seem to penetrate into the holes or remove the fungus. I’ve tried scrubbing the small holes with an old toothbrush coated in cream cleanser but that is not very successful. The best thing I have found is to scrub under the lip and around and over the small holes with the scourer side of a scourer/sponge and cream cleanser. That of course is OK for a short while but it doesn’t take long for the furry fungus to reappear.

The other day I decided I wanted to understand where all this stuff was coming from so removed the lid of the cistern. There inside was the culprit. The whole of the inside of the cistern under the water line was coated with the soft, furry, greeny/brown fungus. No wonder if kept appearing in the toilet.

Now I am not too good and sorting out cisterns, but hubby is a great handyman and so next weekend we are going to attack the inside and clean it up. Hopefully, once I have removed any left over fungus inside the cistern, the underneath section of the lip of the toilet will be clean again and remain that way.

If you have a problem with a constant build up of fungus under the toilet lip, no matter how often and much you clean it, try lifting the lid of the cistern and see what the buildup of fungus is inside. Clean that out and your problem should be solved.


Computer cleaning kits

by Julie Finch-Scally

Someone mentioned to me a few months ago that there was a kit one could buy that had special items for the cleaning of computers. I found and purchased one at a stationery shop the other day.

Firstly let me say the kit is really a spray for cleaning monitor screens and a tin of high pressurized air for blowing into keyboards to remove dust. So what we really have in the kit is cleansers for keeping the outside of a laptop clean. That doesn’t meant the products don’t work, it is just a misnomer to call it a computer cleaning kit.

As I have mentioned many times before, with tin top computers the amount of dust that gets drawn inside the workings of the machine is incredible so needs a regular running over with a vacuum to drag the dust out of the vents that can get blocked.

But back to the kit I purchased. I tried the monitor cleanser and was pleased with the results. I had to turn off the screen and let it cool down before spraying the product on the glass. Special lint free towels were provided in the kit and made it easy to wipe down, but when those run out a micro-fibre cloth will work just as well.

The keyboard spray is a little different. If comes with a thin tube that fits into the spray nozzle so the cleanser can be sprayed directly into the cracks between the keys on the board. This is a heavily pressurised small can containing methane and is highly flammable. Care has to be taken when using it and my recommendation is that your machine (if it is a lap top) is turned off and been off for at least 30 minutes. If you are just cleaning a keyboard of a tin top machine the keyboard should be disconnected.

When I used this product I was amazed at the chill factor of the spray. I am presuming the chemical mix in the can contains nitrogen because there was a white film over the keys after I started to spray. It wiped off and there were no harmful affects but I could see there were possibilities of this being a very dangerous product if not used correctly.

Did it remove all the dust? Well some, but not all. My usual way of cleaning a keyboard is to place a large sheet of paper on the desk and lift up the board with one hand, leaning it on the desk at the short edge. With a small paint brush, I brush the bristles down along the cracks between the keys towards the desk. I then hold the keyboard at the top and lean the bottom section on the desk and brush down between the keys again.

I used my usual way of cleaning the keyboard after using the spray and more dust came out, so maybe the spray can of dust remover is not so efficient.

Either way; it was an interesting experiment, and having such kits available makes people realise the outside of their computers do need to be cleaned on a regular basis.

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