My toilet smells right again

Toilet pictured not blogger's own.  Because that would be weird.  Apparently I can write about my loo, but not photograph it.  (This pic came from, as usual.) The baby is just because toilets with babies are much cuter than toilets without.

Toilet pictured not blogger’s own. Because that would be weird. (Apparently I can write about my loo, but not photograph it. This is why I am a writer, presumably!)
This pic came from, as usual.
The baby is there because toilets with babies are much cuter than toilets without. Natch.

I must begin with a warning.  If you are delicate of stomach, or sensitive about matters scatological, look away now.

Likewise, if you are the kind of housekeeper who can be dropped in on at any time and never found wanting, you will probably not find much to identify with in this post.

If on the other hand, you, like me, think that dust is God’s way of marking the passage of time, stick with me, for I have a tale to unfold.

It all started with the Excel running out.

For many years now, I have been using cleaning product made by an Australian company called Tri Nature.  I discovered them when I was working for a group that promoted environmentally-friendly technology.  This isn’t an ad for them, so I won’t go into raptures about the stuff, except to say that it ticks all of my boxes: it’s Australian, environmentally sensitive, plant-based (organic, wherever possible), safe for babies and dogs, it doesn’t make me itch or sneeze and most importantly, it works.

This last is particularly important when you understand that, as a housekeeper, I am more of your slash and burn merchant than your little engine that could.  I know that little and often is an effective way of keeping the place nice.  But… and I know this may shock the diligent among you, so I hope you have taken my advice and looked away… I don’t really care.

I could, I imagine, clear away the cobwebs on a daily or weekly basis.  But how, then, would the spiders catch the teeny flies that escape from the frog tank?  It seems simpler to just name the spiders and pretend they’re part of some greater pet ecosystem.  Actually, come to think of it, I don’t need to pretend it – they are, whether I think about it or not!  I just choose to see it as a conscious embracing of the wonders of nature, rather than a symptom of my lazy-arse home care habits.

(No doubt, you will be thinking at this point that if I had spent the time it took to write about the cobwebs cleaning them, the problem would no longer exist.  You’re quite right, of course.  But then the spiders would be homeless and I would have no post.  So it would seem I am part of the household eco-system as well.  It’s a triumph of nature.)

However, there is an exception to the ‘when you can’t tell what the sideboard is made of, it’s time to dust’ school of housekeeping, and that’s in the kitchen and toilet.  I don’t mind mess, in fact I cause most of it, but I am a bit of a stickler for hygiene.  Where things enter and leave the family bodies, I like the surfaces to be clean.

Which is where the Excel comes in.  It’s a cleaner made especially for bathrooms and toilets and I normally keep a little bottle of it on top of every toilet in the house (both of them, lest you think I’m living in some kind of mansion bristling with ablutory facilities).  It does a wonderful job of cleaning and it has a distinctive smell, which, since I have been using it so long, has come to represent ‘clean toilet’ to me, in much the way that eucalyptus or tea tree means ‘disinfected’ to the Australian olfactory senses.

And recently I ran out.

Now, if Tri Nature were available at the supermarket, this would have been no problem.  But sadly, it isn’t.  It’s only available from distributors.  And the problem is that I am my own distributor.  (Short story was, I liked it so much, I joined the company.)  Which meant that I needed to put an order in to get more Excel.  But I wasn’t ready to put an order in.  I needed to stocktake and check up with my few customers and so on.  I had stories to write and things to do.  I could make do with other products, surely?

So I did.  For weeks, I managed.  I put up with it, because it seemed silly to rush the ordering process because I was pining for a smell.

But it wasn’t the same.  The other products did the job but not with the same ease or elan (cleaning products can so have elan).  And they didn’t smell right!  It was a small thing, but nonetheless a palpable sadness, every time I went to the loo.

But no privation lasts for ever.  I finally got around to putting the order in and yesterday, it arrived.  I refilled my little bottles from the big ones.  I ceremonially put them back on top of the cisterns and cleaned the toilets.  With a smile on my dial.

And now I am happy again.

Yes I am that weird, apparently and all over a smell!

What about you?  Are there any ridiculous joys in your life?  Any domestic product that your life is not complete without?  Do tell!

And while I’m heAustralia post cataloguere, a small skite and promo for the Australian readers.  The Destiny Romance books are featured again in the latest Australia Post catalogue and this time my cover is pictured! Squee!  And because, on the interwebs, it’s pics or it didn’t happen, herewith is proof!  They are advertised as available till June 9, so if you haven’t got a copy yet, now is the time!

17 thoughts on “My toilet smells right again

  1. I am a bit humbled by your post, Imelda, as I realise I’m not really diligent at all and like you tend to amass cobwebs (though I do like a clean loo!) I have a favourite cleaning product that I squirt about liberally on desks… doesn’t remove much graffiti but it gets rid of dust and grime. Best of all, it has a lavender fragrance which makes the kids all go, “Oooo Miss, what’s that nice smell?” Very exciting about your book at Australia Post – that’s a wide coverage. Just finished it, loved it 🙂

    • Thanks Lee-Anne! Thrilled that you liked it and yes, it’s very nice to see the book in Aust Post. It’s an experiment all ’round, so we have our fingers crossed that they go well.

      I like the sound of your lavender spray. I’m all for anything that makes one look good without too much effort. Because believe me, NO-ONE needs to be humbled by my housekeeping! 🙂

  2. This made me laugh, Imelda. Funny how things have to smell right. They do say that our sense of smell is the biggest memory kick in later years. I’ve not only seen your book in Australia Post shops, I bought it! 🙂

    • Ah, Bless you, my dear! All adds to the total! Glad I made you laugh. The truly ridiculous part was how it was bothering me, but I felt that was insufficient reason to get organised and order the new stuff. It felt silly. It probably was silly, but the relief is so great now I have it back, that I think I’ll just go with the silly next time!

  3. Your post reminds me of something on Gardening Australia once about not always needing to flush a toilet, i.e. eco friendly toilet flushing and it stuck in my head. “If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown, let it drown”. One step back from cleaning I know, but……
    Onto much nicer topics, I began your book on the bus today and the driver had to remind me of my stop. Jo is about to rock climb!

    • Trembling muscles ahoy! Glad you’re enjoying it! When the water restrictions were very tight, we employed the eco-flush system. But I can’t do that without the excel! Both for smell and because it helps prevent staining!

  4. I have a number of fridge magnets that explain my approach to this foreign concept of housework. One, you can admire the dust, but please don’t write in it (caveat for residents given one never knows when inspiration strikes lol). Plus, a warning how housework can be dangerous, so why bother (I can’t remember the exact words for that one lol).

    I have an agreement with spiders, geckoes et al that they live above the picture rails and I’ll leave them alone. Works out well for us all.

    I do like my cleaning thorough when I do get to it, however due to irritations etc I tend to not use anything with heavy scents (triggers headaches). So scents in our house tend to be from incense or fresh flowers etc.

    Yay re the book! So happy it’s been extended out (it has right? I’ve lose track of these things lol).

    • Hi Nicky! I’m actually not sure whether they’ve been extended, or they’re just advertising again, but either way it’s good! Re the smell, all the fragrances in the Tri N stuff are plant-sourced and that seems to keep the headaches away for me. I have the same problem. I can’t walk into those shops with scents without getting a headache. Even the laundry aisle at the supermarket makes me sneeze. But I seem to be okay if they’re plant based. The Body Shop is usually okay and the Tri Nature stuff is also okay. Some of the stuff is unfragranced and others are mild. The laundry stuff, especially is low frangrance, compared to most laundry powders. I have no idea what they use for Excel – it has an odd smell. My Mum could never quite come to terms with it, so she doesn’t use it. But now that I am used to it, it is, as I said, the smell of the clean toilet, for me!

  5. Hey Imelda! I’m definitely your kind of cleaner…I have a resident spider who lives happily in the bathroom windowsill. I used to be a ‘neat freak’ many moons ago, but maybe it comes with the territory of writer? Who knows… But glad things are back to normal with your cleaning product now. And CONGRATS on the Aust Post plug – you should be very proud!

    • I am, Alarna! It’s very cool. Thank you! I’m sure it comes with the writing territory – or maybe just getting older? 😉 Either way, unless they’re actually in my face, spiders are welcome!

  6. I’m a Kiwi bloke, and there are two opinions in our household about toilets. I say they are cleaned when you flush them (good Kiwi bloke comment, that). My wife says they’re not. I figure I’m right because the toilet’s always sparkling clean and smelling of lavender from the toilet cleaner bottle above it, and I NEVER clean it, thus proving that flushing alone works. I think… Might be a flaw in the logic there somewhere 🙂

    Joking aside…I do worry a bit about some of the artificial chemicals we’re pouring down our drains – in mega-tonne load, when you look at the amount that’s made and sold. The chemistry needed to make these cleaners with their artificial aromas is scary enough, let alone thinking about what happens afterwards – they don’t vanish just because we’ve poured them into the ecosystem. Going for the natural/organic cleaners, I think, is essential these days.

    • Hehe! I like your logic, Matthew! Brian, the guy who invented Tri Nature, likes to talk about ‘gentle chemistry’. He says that calling things ‘natural’ is a nonsense, unless you take it straight off the tree. Anything processed is chemistry so the aim is to engage in gentle chemistry. That is, chemistry that produces minimal and/or benign by-products in processing, that is safe to use and breaks down safely and without adding to environmental toxins (including excess environmental nutrients). This philosophy is why I like Tri Nature. Environmentally friendly in use is fairly easy. Safe for people is easy. Things that work are easy. Doing them all at once is much harder. Cradle-to-grave care about these things is rarer still. I understand why people use products that they’re used to, especially when it comes to hygeine, but I do believe that we need to give it some thought. It’s only a small thing, but many small things make the world!

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