Yes, I realize the actual phrase is “The gloves are coming off,” but you see, I was about to attack a toilet.  The gloves were decidedly going ON. For three years now we have lived in Utah and for three years I have been losing the battle against hard water.  Mineral deposits have been building up around the rings of our toilets. I have tried every chemical known to man and when that didn’t work I thought maybe more elbow grease was in order.  So I scrubbed and I scrubbed.  When that didn’t work, I thought strength training was in order. Push ups, biceps curls, you name it. When I felt sufficiently strong enough to woop a toilet I went at it again. When THAT didn’t work, I sent for reinforcements and unleashed the raw power of Andy at it. When THAT didn’t work I will admit I felt mildly better about myself but no less annoyed that I was losing not just the battle, but it seemed, the war, against tiny mineral particles.

I’ve wanted to post a framed sign above the toilets that reads “No, really…it’s clean! It’s just hard water build up,” for fear of what company must think.  I had truly begun to think that I would have to concede defeat and that, perhaps, this was just life in a hard-water area.

About 8 months ago my in-laws moved to Denver. My mother-in-law, Linda, noticed with dismay that there was a green ring around their toilets in their new home. (Better than brown like we have!) It turns out that copper was being leached from their pipes and was causing the green build-up. No amount of chemicals, scrubbing, or strength training would get rid of these either.  I don’t know what inspired her to try it, but a few weeks ago she mentioned to me that she had found something that finally worked.  Was it the most insanely expensive specialty cleaning item ever? I didn’t really care. I was desperate to hear what this magical cleaning weapon was.  Do you know what it turned out to be? The humble pumice stone.

When I finally got my hands on some (and I stocked up plenty!) I brought them home cautiously optimistic. I had had my hopes dashed before so I didn’t want to totally invest myself in believing this would be the final battle. I will admit that I had much more excitement than should EVER be had for cleaning a toilet as I put on my gloves and gave those hard water deposits my best “You’re going down!” stare.

I stand (sit? type?) victorious before you today. My toilets are gleaming white!! (Though I still don’t want Lilly to use them to dunk her toothbrush into.) This post is for everyone out there who lives in shame of their hard water deposits.  There is hope for a brighter (whiter) future for you as well.  No chemical warfare needed.