Discretion advised: Some may consider this a dirty post. Sensitive readers proceed with caution.
Cleaning the bathroom, or the toilet area, is a task not generally sought out or volunteered for. In public spaces like restaurants, airports, and malls, it’s a chore that we are glad is meted out to someone, anyone, who performs the job rigorously and regularly. We don’t give much thought how it gets done, but we are glad it does. It’s nice when you’ve gotta go outside of the home that the space is relatively clean. An unsullied toilet zone, most would agree, is preferable to one that isn’t. We’ve all been in those, like the Port-a-Potty at sporting events, where breath holding is essential.
But what about our private domiciles?
The two rooms in the home generally considered necessary to keep clean — the kitchen and the bathroom — are collection centers for unwanted bacteria when lacking fastiduous attention.
Most people maintain their kitchens on a daily basis. It was a ritual in our house growing up. We wiped down everything until all traces of food preparation, cooking, and eating had vanished. Surprisingly, our bathroom also stayed relatively clean, although it was not an assignment charged to any of us as was the kitchen (mom?). But in many homes, bathrooms, rather toilets and the surrounding area, don’t engender decontamination with the same frequency and vigor. Not that we’ve got to be crazy clean freaks, but bathroom areas seem to beg for less attention to detail.
While it’s easy to keep the sink space relatively clean, the surrounding toilet area, while looking pristine, can be deceptively mucked. If, for example, a man is living in the home who doesn’t sit to piss, you can bet your ass there is urine spatter in a healthy radius around the toilet. It may not be visible, but it’s there.
When a free-falling water stream lands onto a stationary body of water, or onto a porcelain surface, splatter happens. While it may not paint a pretty picture, If that streaming water is urine into the toilet from above, it’s a given that splatter droplets are bouncing upward and outward with the zest of, well, piss and vinegar. If we had eye-level, unfettered visibility, we’d see beaucoup droplets springing forth with seeming enthusiasm. It’s the law of streaming urine which says that droplets seek to escape their intended target. To put the physical law in different words, urine exiting the body will always endeavor to spread its influence with splatter arc.
Of course, one method of capping that influence is sitting to piss. Cheek seal on a toilet seat foils errant splatter. But with a man in the home performing the standard standing piss, splatter onto the floor, wall, (as well as pant leg and shoe) is a given. Routine and meticulous wipedowns are therefore environmentally friendly. Hygienically cleaning well, in the absence of a high-pressure hose, involves getting down on knees and hands and embracing the sector with detergent and cloth.
Toilet area sanitation is an exercise I try to engage in at least weekly, with cursory maintenance during the week. When I set out for the full-blown workout, the plastic gloves are on, along with energetic music and an adjusted frame of mind of coaxed acceptance. Making the mission as pleasant as possible helps ensure a higher degree of comprehensiveness and cleanliness. Completing the endeavor also delivers a degree of olfactory, as well as visual, satisfaction. There is nothing like that feeling of a ‘just scrubbed down’ bathroom.
The one fly in the ointment after the in-depth ritual, at least for me, is the next standing piss. In a bathroom I’ve just cleaned with grit-worthy gusto, a standing piss is deferred for as long as I can, hmm,…stand it. It happens, therefore, with embarrassing admission, that the first few times after a thorough toilet area sterilization, engaging in spatter containment, or sitting to piss, is the opted way to go.
I’d better stop here. It’s been about a week, and I’ve got a job to prepare for.