housekeeping tips

I thought I was finished with toilet troubles, but…

This post is going to be a bit TMI.  Don’t read it if you’re sensitive to body humor.

I really do like our new house.  In fact, after I get the bed made today, I might even walk through and take photos for the curious.  It’s still not 100% set up yet, because we need to make a couple of minor repairs.  For instance, I have drapes that I can’t put up until we fix the curtain rod, which got pulled out of the wall when the last tenants lived here.  The drapes are sitting on a stepladder, which is in the middle of the living room.  When the rod is fixed, the stepladder will be put away.

However, after all of my grousing about the toilet in our last house, I have to admit that I also have issues with the ones in our current house.  Although none of the current toilets are “water savers” that require me to hold the button down for a minute (which I still do out of habit), they are longer on attractive design than they are on practical function.

The new toilets are nice looking, but though they don’t have “shelves” like the old fashioned German toilets do, they still catch the “stuff” that falls during everyday dumping rituals.  Consequently, I still have to flush several times and scrub to get the toilets clean after doing #2.  My German and American friends who have experienced this phenomenon understand the struggle of perpetual skid marks in the toilet bowls.

Looks like a nice toilet, and it is, but it needs a good scrubbing at least once a day.  The flusher is on the wall.  I suppose I could have shown a graphic photo of what happens after every dump, but I’m not quite that tacky.

Every time I need to take a crap, I have to break out the toilet brush.  No matter how much I wish and hope the solid stuff will not end up smeared all over the inside of the bowl, it happens just about every time.  And if you don’t clean that residue right away and it dries even a little bit, it becomes a lot harder to get rid of.

It’s a good thing we bought an extra toilet brush, because at the rate we’re going, I have a feeling we’re going to go through a few of them.  The rushing water isn’t enough to get rid of the shit.  I have to scrub, too.  And then I have to flush at least once more to get rid the shitty residual water that results after scrubbing.  Sometimes, I even have to flush a third time to get it totally clean.

Germany is certainly not the only place where toilets are troublesome.  I have a friend who lives in Belgium and has the same issue.  She has kids and they are being trained to clean the toilets every day.  When I was visiting England, I noticed that the toilets there seemed almost from a bygone era.  In order to get a good flush, I had to put some elbow grease into depressing the lever.  It was as if brute strength had a bearing on whether there would be enough water dumped into the bowl to get rid of the nasty stuff.  It reminded me of spinning the big wheel on The Price Is Right.  When I lived in Armenia, a lot of toilets couldn’t handle toilet paper at all.  We had to throw it into a trash can.  And in the 90s, people often used old books for toilet paper.

Maybe it’s not such a bad thing that the toilet has to be cleaned so often, though.  I mean, at this house, you really can’t let things slide.  Every dump necessitates an immediate cleaning, so the toilet doesn’t get a chance to turn really nasty.  In other houses I’ve lived in, you could sometimes let things slide, only to be faced with shitstains that were a lot harder to get rid of.  I mentioned before that the residue gets harder to scrub away once it’s been sitting.

I think the issue might be that the toilets use less water than they do in the States.  Some German toilets even have two buttons– one for #1 and one for #2.  My toilets, for the record, all have one wall mounted button.  They probably do use less water than American toilets do, but if I have to flush two or three times and clean at least once a day, that hardly seems Earth friendly.  I’d rather have a toilet that simply gets it right the first time.

There’s probably a practical solution for getting rid of so-called Bremstreifen (skid marks) left in the toilet.  In fact, this post on German Way may be helpful to more people than just me.  Perhaps I simply need to pre-flush so the bowl gets a little lubed up before I unload.  Maybe I need to learn the art of building a “nest”, which I saw referenced in a restaurant we visited last week in Schwetzingen.

I’m sure I’ll find the answer.  Maybe this is even why we’re still in Germany after four years.


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