If at any point in your life you have ever used a public restroom. You have probably thought “Why on earth are the washrooms not cleaned?” because of the foul smell in there.
Contrary to what you might think, the bad smell is often from uric acid since most public restrooms are cleaned regularly.
Although not limited to public toilets only, uric acid also forms in house toilets. Uric acid is formed when urine and lime in flush water combine to form hard crystals also referred to as uric scale. The uric scale is a breeding ground for bacteria which in turn cause a bad smell. In addition, uric scale may be formed through the contribution of debris and organic materials such as chewing gums being thrown into the toilet/ urinal.
If left unattended uric scale may cause additional problems to the existing bad smell such as pipe blockage and permanently staining surfaces such as toilet bowls and tiles.
In an attempt to eliminate the bad smell caused by uric scale most people make the mistake of flushing the toilet continuously but only end up wasting gallons of water down the drain. We wouldn’t want you to go through the same struggle as everyone else, so we have gone to highlight different methods of solving uric acid problems;
Yes! It’s what you are thinking of, normal vinegar.
What makes it first on our list is how cheap yet effective it is. For starters get a bottle of vinegar and here’s how to use it;
- Splash the vinegar extensively onto the area affected by the uric scale
- Cover the surface to ensure it stays wet, and soak for about 24hours to allow the vinegar to break down the uric acid. You will need to use an alternative toilet for that time frame.
- Finally, flush the toilet a couple of times and clean the toilet with a brush sprinkled with vinegar, to remove the very stubborn crystal sediments.
If you happen to be anything like us, you are probably wondering how regular vinegar does the job. Well, we went an extra step to give you the breakdown; although urine is quite acidic, uric scale is basic. On the other hand, vinegar is acidic with a PH of around 2.5. This means the vinegar dissolves the basic uric scale.
The magic of science is quite impressive, right?
2.Using coca cola- baking soda combo
Another creative yet effective method is using coca cola and baking soda.
Since coca cola is also acidic the actual process of cleaning the uric scale is similar to that of using vinegar, but with a twist at the end.
Here’s how to go about it;
- First off, flush the toilet/urinal and remove the most severe scales using a toilet brush.
- Pour coca cola extensively on the affected area. And let it soak overnight.
- Pour in just a small amount of coca cola and add several spoons of baking soda. Let it sit in there for around an hour. If the sediments are still severe add another spoon of baking soda.
To paint a clear picture; the coca cola dissolves the basic uric scale particles. On the other hand, baking soda being a base causes the coca cola to shake up and foam. This movement causes the uric acid sediments to loosen from the toilet surface.
3.Using chemical cleaning products.
This is the best solution if after using vinegar and coke-baking soda combo, the bad smell and uric scales are still persistent.
Fortunately, with cleaning products, you are spoilt for choice. You can use descalers, denture cleanser tablets or dishwasher tabs, by letting them soak in the toilet water for a few hours and scrubbing away remaining scales with a toilet brush. But what we found to be effective for urinals and importantly environment friendly is using Eco-tabs which are easily purchased online or at well-established DIY stores and supermarkets.
To use Eco tabs;
- Flush and make sure there is no debris in the urinal.
- Apply toilet cleaner and let it work its magic for up to half an hour.
- Brush thoroughly with a toilet brush and flush.
- Drop eco-tabs into the urinal, and you are good to go.
Additionally, we have included a breakdown of how eco-tabs work;
Once wet, Eco- tabs go on the hunt for food which they find in the bacteria on uric scale. They then kill the bacteria. The dead bacteria are washed away down the drain leaving the pipes and fixtures clean and smell- free.
Alternatively, the best method to solve uric acid problems in the toilet is preventing the buildup of uric scale in the first place. The following simple preventive practices will do the job;
i. Flush often
It goes without saying that the more urine sits in the bowl the faster uric acid crystals will form. For that reason, you should flush regularly or instead install an auto flush system.
The advantage of auto flush systems is that;
- When paired with inline sanitizers they break down organic matter before it becomes pipe clogging
- They additionally reduce cross-contamination because they don’t require contact when flushing.
ii. Use urinal screens
In the case of urinals, urinal screens would prevent unwanted debris in the pipes, which often lead to organic build up. Preventing debris in the pipes eliminates organic material buildup which is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
iii. Frequently clean the toilet
By frequently cleaning the toilet you will immediately remove urine stains and effortlessly remove uric scales starting to form on toilet surfaces.
iv.Clean under the toilet rim
Although not easily visible, under the toilet rim is where most uric scale forms. Based on that, it is important that you regularly clean under the toilet rim with a toilet brush or old tooth brush to eliminate any unseen uric scale build up.
Now that you are done going through this article, we are sure you are familiar with eliminating and preventing uric acid problems in the toilet. With your newly acquired skill, your toilet/urinal will look spotlessly clean and smell even better.
But before you go, remember to share the newly acquired tricks with your building friends. Or even the manager of the restaurant you loved eating at but dread going back to because of the awful smell in the restroom, and you might just have your lovely eating spot back.