Good morning you guys. Today organising chaos is focusing on the place of our house, in which cleanliness is the most important, yet avoided in discussions. The significance of keeping toilets clean can never be underrated. A person can breathe a healthy life while keeping a disorderly bedroom, dressing room and lounge. But if he/she is careless in the washroom, it can affect his/her health inversely. A person can easily catch bacteria, virus or bugs if the toilet isn’t kept clean.
I would love to share an experience. I was traveling on PIA and after showing emergency exits video, they showed a video displaying all that cannot be thrown in the toilet seat. The video included juice boxes, forks and glasses. I laughed first. And then I sadly realized that people must be stupid enough to throw all these in the flush which is why they made the video.
Toilets of the world
Let’s take a look at what kinds of toilets exist in the world.
1. Public toilets in Pakistan
It is indescribable how some people abuse public toilets in our country. Since I moved back to Pakistan, I have been going to sightseeing trips with Discover Pakistan and Nature Explorers. These trips are incredible except for one big problem. The public toilets. If a person is out from 6 am till 9 pm, it is natural to use the loo at least once. In most areas in Pakistan, public washrooms are a catastrophe. Unfortunately, despite their ghastly condition, at such times, one is desperate. I thought my worst toilet experience was from Islamabad zoo, but the one in Kacheri at Kotli Satiyaan proved me wrong.
That was when I promised myself that the only way to enjoy such trips is not to have any water the whole day long (except a few sips while trekking). This really is a serious issue. I’m waiting for the right opportunity to convince government authorities to introduce a fee system in all public toilets across the country. It will be a nominal amount (like Rs. 20) but that will ensure cleanliness.
This will also reduce disease and joblessness which are widespread in these rural areas. Honestly, I would happily pay even Rs. 150 to be able to use hygienic toilets while traveling. When I’m away from home, I am being extra cautious not to fall sick, so even the sight of nauseating toilets is enough to put one off during such otherwise happy days.
I am not indicating in any way that only Pakistani’s are notorious in the toilets. Although it seems to be true in case of public toilets, it is definitely not true on domestic level. For over two years, I had the chance of sharing toilets with people from almost all major nationalities in the world. I realised that so many educated foreigners use toilets like animals literally. I was the doomed Pakistani who was seen with rubber gloves and bleach, cleaning the fungi off floors and walls as no one else gave a damn.
2. Hascol petrol pump paid toilets in Pakistan
Hascol launched its initiative of paid clean toilets on Motorway in Pakistan in various places some years ago. I have been their most loyal customers and always made it a point to pay Rs. 50 to use those luxurious and sparkling clean toilets. They are really a treat to use. I fully support these toilets and I encourage all of you to only use these on Motorways to promote this great incentive.
3. Swiss self cleaning public toilet seats
Swiss public toilets were the most hygienic washrooms I’ve ever seen in my life. Their state-of-the-art technological flushes worked like robots. The moment I pulled the button, detergent was sprayed around the seat, an automatic sponge appeared and cleaned the surface, and to top it off, a little wiper emerged and removed any traces of soap adding to the sparkle. While I starred at this astonishing piece of machinery, I heard a little thush and smelled refreshing scent that was released automatically. Although swiss public toilets cost around 2 francs, but they are definitely worth it.
4. German clever toilet schemes
The Germans have a really witty marketing campaign for their public washrooms. They charge about 0.70 Euros. When you pay, you receive a drinks voucher which gives you 50 cents reduction on your next drink. Who can resist such a tempting offer specially when your stomach is now relaxed. So you grab a juice, coffee or two. When you do drink though, you have to use the loo and there you go again buying yourself some more drinks from your free vouchers. So it is a vicious cycle.
On our honeymoon, when we checked into our first hotel with complimentary honeymoon suite, we were pleasantly surprised to see our bathroom. One whole side didn’t have any wall. There were only windows with a thick jungle in front. Many times there were monkeys hanging from trees and looking inside at us. There are no privacy issues as no human can go in this thick forest; Only animals can. The bathrooms had soothing music playing inside at all times. The Jacuzzi had massagers installed.
6. American public toilets
I have bad memories with them. I feel they are filled with water till the top which can cause splash issues. Even when the door is closed, there is a line from which people can see you. There is an auto flusher in many of them. So every time it happens, I get so annoyed and am like: ‘No I’m not done yet!’
My favourite toilet cleaning accessories
If you wash your toilet yourself, make sure you use rubber gloves, and proper cleaning equipment. Two of my favourite toilet items are the following:
1. Toilet cleaning tablet
It is a drop-in tank tablet which can be used for any accessible cistern. It works from inside the cistern to release a dose of powerful detergent with every flush. Distributing the liquid across the bowl, it helps you maintain a hygienic and deodorised toilet and prevents the build-up of stains giving you a continuous clean toilet. It is available in different colours (blue, purple or pink) which makes the water change its colour and gives a very clean look and feel. Following are its advantages.
Provides continuous cleaning
Easy to use with no mess
Cleans with Blue action
Lasts up to 1 month depending on usage
2. Toilet rim block
A toilet rim block is a block-shaped substance used in flush toilets which slowly dissolves in water. It often comes in a small holder that is attached over the rim of a toilet and hangs down into the bowl. So, as the toilet gets flushed, the water passes through the holder coming into contact with the block. This block has detergent contents in it which cleans, the flush automatically and gives a clean scent to your washroom. It also avoids stains from forming around the water level.
Aesthetics are as important in the washroom as they are anywhere else. Interestingly, that’s where a persons mind is most active. For pleasant thoughts, one needs pleasant surroundings. I’m born in an artists house where all toilets have at least two paintings, flower pots, candles and magazine racks. A well decorated bathroom will typically have a good bathroom set, rug set, shower curtains and matching/contrasting towels.
1. Bathroom sets
These are easily available wherever you live. Khaadi Home has some beautiful ones. I got the following set from there on sale.
2. Bath rugs
Try not to choose too bold colours in the bathroom as you can get sick of seeing them so much. Check this one out for colours.
3. Shower curtain
In order to have a clean bathroom, we must keep a shower curtain. It can be a good coloured/printed one to add decor to the bathroom also.
This shower curtain at Amazon adds colour and theme to your bathroom. Check this funkier one out too. Consider the fact that you don’t want a curtain that could potentially block the light you would need while showering. In that case, choose transparent/light colours like this one.
4. Choice of towels
Fresh and funky towels can also add to the beauty in your bathroom.
It is a great idea to keep plants in the bathroom. They are so charming.
Tips for maintaining cleanliness in toilet
1. Clean before a shower
I clean my toilet about once a week before taking a shower. I keep rubber gloves and cleaning equipment hidden under the sink cabinet.
2. Arrange while you shower
While taking a shower and enjoying the warm water on your back, its a good idea to arrange your shampoos and shower gels at this time to save time.
3. Keep it in bags
Old handbags can be used to store private items in the washroom. These can be hung on shower rods using shower clips in an organised manner.
3. Say no to hanging clothes behind the door
I have never liked the concept of hanging clothes behind the door in the bathroom. I prefer to have a handy bag there instead to discourage anyone from hanging clothes. Hung clothes behind the door give a very untidy and dirty feel.
4. Herbal products in bottles in washroom
If you love herbal products (like I do), it is a great idea to keep Basin, vinegar etc in the bathroom in small bottles.
5. Wipe all surfaces clean after use
One thing that causes the most damage in any washroom is excess water. Once it has been used, its best to wipe sink/tub/toilet seat so excess water isn’t just hanging there. Make sure soap dishes don’t have water left in them as stagnant water is perfect to breed bacteria and thats big trouble in the bathroom.
6. Never blame Wuzu
Most people make excuses like ‘I was doing wuzu thats why washroom is all wet’.That is a really bad way to degrade your religion. Islam is a religion that promotes cleanliness. As soon as you have completed wuzu, you must wipe your body and then wipe all surfaces clean before stepping out. I hate to admit that in most Pakistani offices, professionals make a complete mess of the bathroom in the name of Wuzu. Mucking something up yourself and then blaming religion for it is highly inappropriate behaviour and only demonstrates lack of grooming.
6. Toilet paper must always be handy
A toilet paper must be prominently accessible in the washroom at all times for everyone to dry up the surfaces after use. Everyone using the washroom must make sure they look back before walking out. Everyone needs to leave the toilet in better condition as they found it. They should make sure they don’t leave any hair/water on surfaces before stepping out.
One of the funniest airplane orientation videos I have seen in my life was from Pakistan International Airlines. I was in my sad moods flying back to London from my homeland Islamabad. The video showed that forks, spoons and Pepsi glasses are not to be thrown in the toilet flush. That really cracked me up.
Here are some more cool ideas for bathroom decor from Pinterest. Let me know your thoughts guys. Are you also particular about your bathroom? What are the things that you use to keep it organised? I would love you guys to share pictures so we can inspire each other.