Keeping a toilet maintenance-free, by buying the best home toilet, self-dispensing cleaners, and other tricks

Every lazy homeowner’s nightmare is the toilet. It’s the dirtiest part of the house, and if your toilet clogs, ugh. That’s work nobody wants to do, especially if you’re lazy. I’m proud of the way I’ve basically eliminated maintenance from my bathroom life, so I’m writing this blog to share some tips with you.

 

The first thing to do is get a new toilet. I know, that sounds like the last thing a lazy person’s going to want to do. But according to my own experiences and wise words from a plumber, it doesn’t matter how much you fiddle or tweak an old toilet if it doesn’t flush well in the first place. You’re always going to end up with clogs. The same thing for a bad drain design. If it doesn’t change water cleanly, you’re gonna get mold stains and that filmy crap right away, even if you clean on a weekly basis (and do you really want to have to?).

 

Start off by just biting the bullet and switching your toilet to a more powerful flusher. I’ve had great success with a Toto Ultramax I found by searching for the best home toilet. It’s super low-profile, so there aren’t any stupid nooks and crannies to have to clean, and it flushes so, so hard. It’s the most satisfying thing. You can hear it cleaning itself every time you go to the bathroom. Obviously prices change all the time, but I got mine for about $500 with installation.

Ok. So now you’ve got  a toilet that’s pretty much impossible to clog and basically cleans itself. You’re pretty much done, now, to be honest. But I’ve got a few more tips for you and a closer look at toilet models through this resource.

 

You can buy these little cleaner pellets that stick to the inside of the toilet bowl and self-dispense whenever water runs over them (each time you flush). I have to say, I was skeptical at first, but a former roommate totally converted me. You can get away without scrubbing your toilet for a month without anything building up if you use these things. So get one. Next is a toilet paper stand next to your toilet. You never want to have to wander around in search of a roll while you’re on the throne, so having a stand that holds at least 4-6 rolls is ideal. These things also keep your paper safe and dry, which isn’t always the case under the sink.

Finally, Seventh Generation makes some really great disinfecting bathroom cleaner that’s the perfect toilet scrub for when you do have to clean the outside. I’ve never really had to work hard–everything just comes right off. That makes the Lazy Homeowner grade for me!

Ok, that’s it. So, upgrade your toilet, put in an automatic cleaner dispenser, get a convenient toilet paper case, and buy some cleaner that does the cleaning for you. Good to go!

My Favorite New Gadget: Vacuum trash systems

I’m not a huge newsreader, but this is an internet story that caught my eye recently: as part of an initiative to be less dependent on fossil fuels, the people of Stockholm, which is the capital of Sweden, have switched over to a very cool new way of taking care of every kind of waste.

 

They used to do things like we do here in the States, with trash and recycling bins out the roadside, and a fleet of trucks to pick everything up. Now they’ve started using something way, way more modern.

 

Instead of a bunch of trucks making the rounds and burning lots of diesel while they’re running, every building in Stockholm is now hooked up to a massive vacuum collection system. It’s like the toilet on a plane, only with little portholes in every house, and on the street where you used to see clusters of trash baskets. So, when you have something to get rid of, you open the right porthole (for trash, recycling, or compost), and it’s all sucked into  the closed vacuum system. The vacuums suck everything to one central collection bin, which gets picked up by one truck and brought to the landfill or recycling plant.

It cost millions of dollars, but the Swedes have singlehandedly eliminated smelly bins, taking out the trash, and paying people to pick it up. Apparently, it saves lots of fuel, and it’s actually easier to deal with the waste, since the vacuums do the compacting instead of needing trucks to do it. And it works for everything. EVERYTHING. You can have anything in your house, and just throw it down a porthole and it’s gone forever! How cool is that? Doesn’t get much better for a lazy guy like me.

 

I don’t know what you’re supposed to do with a big cardboard box, though. Maybe tear it up? Anyway, I’m sure they’ve thought of everything like that already.  

 

No mess, no smell, everything clean and simple. So Scandinavian. Hopefully we’ll start seeing more of these Stateside in the near future. The company who builds the infrastructure has done a couple smaller projects for rich neighborhoods here, but no full cities. One day!

I wish we could get these here, for the trash or for the toilets, while we’re at it. That would be awesome: a vacuum system instead of your home toilet. As long as it doesn’t look as industrial as the ones on the plane.
So, yeah. I’m always into cool inventions, and anything that feels generally futuristic. This one’s definitely my favorite thing I’ve seen this year.

My Lazy Homeowner Wish List

Hi! Today’s blog is about some of my favorite purchases I’ve made that I think should be on any lazy homeowner’s wish list for birthdays, holidays, or really any occasion. They’re all sound investments that make your life significantly easier and more enjoyable.

 

-Roomba:

The Roomba is the obvious vacuum choice of the lazy 21st century man, and getting one has made my life infinitely more enjoyable. Now, I know this mainly works for me because my place is one story, with no real stairs to speak of. So, I can basically let the little guy rip without worrying about accidents. It might be harder with stairs, but so is everything else, right?

 

If you don’t know about Roomba’s, they’re robotic vacuums that look like big hockey pucks. They zoom around your house on a computer map, using sensors to get around furniture and walls, and vacuuming every single inch of your floor (It’s hard to argue whether they’re doing a better job than you once you consider that the algorithm makes it pretty much impossible for a Roomba to miss a spot). You set it up, set a time for it to clean every day or every week, and then just let it work. I end up cleaning mine out every two weeks-ish, but I also don’t have pets. If you do, it might be more like every time it runs. Still, emptying a compartment is so, so much easier than actually vacuuming.

 

They’re really not that expensive anymore, and they’ve gotten better with each model, so the latest ones (the one I have) don’t have any of the weird glitches that apparently hit the first generation. I seriously recommend it, as long as you don’t have stairs. You don’t know what a relief it is to always have clean floors until you come home to them every day for a week.

 

-Garbage Disposal

 

I never had a garbage disposal in my first few places, but I’ve always wanted one since I used to go visit my grandmother when I was a kid. I loved the fact that you could just put stuff in the drain and it was gone. There’s nothing more satisfying. I know this isn’t strictly kosher with the composting programs in some cities, but most places, it’s totally fine. I like having mine because with no food scraps in the trash, I don’t have to take it out nearly as often. It also keeps your drains from getting clogged, because there’s a system that literally grinds up anything that goes down them. Definitely a worthy investment.

 

-Dishwasher:

You can’t be a true lazy homeowner and live without a dishwasher. Let’s face it. If you’re spending your time scrubbing dishes every time you want a meal, you’re just never going to be happy. Suck it up and buy a dishwasher. If you’re concerned about the environment, know this: dishwashers use way, way less water than you do when you’re slaving away at the sink. As far as appliances, this and the Roomba are the two key ones to make you happier.

 

I have a Miele Futura, because I’m kind of a snob, and because yes, if you show me a machine that does literally everything, I am prepared to spend as much money as it takes to own that machine. This one does everything automatically, it’s incredibly quiet, and it’s super cool from a design standpoint. Highly recommended.

 

-Toilet Cleaner Balls

 

I mentioned these before in my other post about how to make your home toilet less of a pain to maintain. I think they’re one of the best, simplest cleaning things I’ve ever seen. Basically, you buy a little capsule and stick it in the bowl of your toilet, and then every time you flush, some cleaner dispenses and keeps things clean. If you use them consistently, you basically never have to scrub the bowl again. Super cheap, and they save a lot of gross cleaning.

 

-Buying in bulk

I’m a big fan of Costco, since I can get absolutely everything there. I also like it because I can get things in bulk. Bulk is convenient, and bulk is way cheaper than normal sizes of things. So whether you’re using a wholesaler like Costco or something like a food coop, buying everything in bulk is smarter. You save trips to wherever you buy things, you save lots of money, and you always have things in the house when you need them.

 

-Amazon buttons and subscriptions:

My favorite way to shop for things these days isn’t Costco, though. Since Amazon launched its buttons, I’ve been using them to order pretty much every household essential, like laundry soap, TP, and stuff like that, since they’re so easy to use. You just press the button when you need more, and it orders some for you and sends them out right then and there. Amazon also has some good subscription services for food stuff, especially things like Clif Bars or protein powder, and for toiletry stuff like toothpaste that you go through pretty consistently. I’ve never had anything to complain about with either the buttons or the subscriptions, so if you’re a Prime user, you should check them out.