Around the web this week (3/31/12)

by Angela Davis on March 31, 2012

I’m officially turning into my mother and have designated Saturday mornings as “time to clean like a ferocious beast.” Oh, the sweet memories of 2-3 hours of non-stop scrubbing, vacuuming, washing on every Saturday morning. I did not enjoy it as a child, but I can certainly appreciate the strategy as an adult. Set aside a couple of hours while everyone is trapped, including Daddy, and just get all the cleaning taken care of.

Here’s Matthew (2.5 years) helping with the laundry:

This was during a brief Dora marathon intermission.

I finally convinced myself to tackle the bathroom toilet and try to figure out if I could solve the “why does it still smell like urine 30 seconds after I cleaned it?” problem. This problem has just recently emerged when my two older boys started doin’ their business standing up. So I know the cause, I just can’t figure out the solution.

I scrubbed every crack and crevice of that porcelain throne and the surrounding surface areas this morning and it still smells like pee. What am I doing wrong? Please help!

Here’s a short list of posts that I have enjoyed around the internet during the past week.


This post may contain affiliate links. See the disclosure policy for more information.

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Abs Workout For Women June 27, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Great blog.Thanks Again. Will learn on…


Lee April 3, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Searching for pee is soooooo easy by using a small black light in the dark bathroom. Done.


Heidi April 2, 2012 at 8:32 am

This has to be the grossest most intriguing comments section I’ve ever read. Teach them to only pee sitting down at home and to only pee standing up at public restrooms. Works like a charm here.


Christy April 1, 2012 at 8:27 pm

I had the same problem and sprayed Scrubbing Bubbles, the kind that foams up, all around the base of the toilet and let it foam up there for a while. Then I scrubbed around it with an old tooth brush and it did the trick. Wish I could say it was my son’s fault, but I’m pretty sure it was my husband! Guys just can’t aim.


Candin April 1, 2012 at 8:25 am

A bit of an obvious answer is to wash or permanently remove the rug you might have in front of the toilet. My 2 boys still sit most of the time but still manage to pee out the crack between the seat and the bowl leaving pee running down the toilet onto the floor.


M April 1, 2012 at 5:47 am

There is probably a big icky goooy pee under the toilet.
I use a plastic knife to clean under there. Sometime a knife with a small thin cleaning towel on it and scrape that stuff out.
If it’s still there, I’d have dh move the toilet and scrub.
Then I’d seal it.


Jennifer March 31, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Shark Steam mop the begeebers out of the area and spray with Urine out pet odor remover or vinegar and water.


Laura March 31, 2012 at 7:57 pm

I bet it may be on the walls as others suggested. We used to clean the men’s restroom at our church when I was little and I will never forget how much better it smelled after we spent some time cleaning all the walls.. Also make sure that they flush the toilet with the lid down. That will help so it doesn’t spray out at all after they are finished. Good luck!


Francoise March 31, 2012 at 7:48 pm

I don’t have children except for a 42-year old one I call my husband. And although he doesn’t miss the toilet, he’s tall, so I know thare’s A LOT of splattering that goes on. I mentioned it once, but there’s absolutely NO WAY I could convince him to go sitting down, even if I put him in charge of cleaning… He would just leave everything dirty and smelly. I think it’s easier to teach a cat to use AND FLUSH the toilet than it is to convince a man to sit to pee.

So, how DOES one convince a man to sit, especially when they think it’s an affront to their manhood to do so?


Kayla March 31, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Although I still find it odd, my MIL taught both her boys to pee sitting down. I suppose it’s nice for me because there’s no pee to clean up. Of course if we happen to have a boy, the husband wants to train him this way too. Still a strange thing for me since I grew up with all boys but I guess it’s better than having to scrub endlessly!


Roxanne March 31, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Guess I’ll miss the day I sit on the toilet seat and my bottom isn’t wet.
Mom of 2 twin boys.


elizabeth March 31, 2012 at 5:50 pm

The only other suggestion I have to add to the excellent one’s already posted is to start teaching your boys to clean the bathroom :) They are not too little to learn to take a piece of toilet paper to wipe off the toilet if they dribble a bit or to take a Clorox wipe and wipe around the floor, etc. Both of my boys were in charge of cleaning their bathroom completely at the age of 6 (after being helped and taught by me). At 13 and 16 they are really good with their aim, in part, I believe, because if they aren’t good they know they are the ones who will be cleaning it up. Good luck!


Otto March 31, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Do you have molding along the floor of the bathroom? I finally figured out that there was urine dried underneath that! Gross. I’d never really bothered to try and clean under it before.


Lisa March 31, 2012 at 4:38 pm

I have been struggling with the same problem recently. It was driving me crazy, until I finally discovered that the smell was not coming from the toilet, but from the wooden stool in our bathroom. The bottom step doubles as a lid for a storage compartment, and the storage compartment was full of dried pee! That was no accident! So gross. We had to throw it out, and my husband and son spent the day building a new stool together. Here’s hoping pride in workmanship will deter a repeat performance…


Miss V March 31, 2012 at 4:35 pm

I also find it harder to get the smell 100% gone now that I have a little boy. And I have been wondering where I could pose this thought– my little guy’s pee smells much, much stronger than his two older sisters’. Has anyone else noticed that boys are “stinkier”? Or maybe it is just the chemistry of my particular boy…?


Abby March 31, 2012 at 4:35 pm

The only suggestion that I have heard of that was not mentioned is to drain the bowl and use acrilic paint (craft paint for painting ceramics that you can get at any craft store) and paint something for them to aim at. I have heard of a bumble bee and other small pictures. Boys small and big can’t resist a target.


Beth at Five Kids Is A Lot Of Kids March 31, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Thanks for the link to the Five Kids blog, Angela! What a cool surprise!

I did have to giggle at your peeing boys question, particularly since my blog’s URL is “”. Your readers’ answers? ARE AWESOME – I’ve never seen such a comprehensive list of ideas for solving this problem. I don’t suppose that adding my solution for smelly bathrooms – which is equal parts sighing and resignation – adds much value to the conversation. 😉

Can’t wait to try Kelleigh’s dental floss suggestion… or have my 12-year-old son try it for me.

Thanks again, Angela.

Beth Woolsey
Five Kids Is A Lot Of Kids


Brittany March 31, 2012 at 3:46 pm

If they use a stool to stand on, you might want to get rid of it. My son never misses because he’s so short it barely makes it over the side of the bowl. There is nowhere else for it to go when he’s so close to the target.


Sheri E. March 31, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Another idea is to use one of those hand held steamers. The hot water can go under and around anything. An old toothbrush and rags/paper towels to clean up behind. Non chemical and works great on small appliances and around sinks, etc.


Pam March 31, 2012 at 2:55 pm

My favorite kid story EVER is from my girlfriend who had this same issue. While they were remodeling, the kids used the laundry/bathroom. One day her 4yr old came running up so excited to tell her, “Mom, guess what, for the first time ever I got all my pee in the water, I mean all of it! I didn’t get any on the floor, the toilet, the garbage can or the laundry pile.” All she could think of was the year he’d spent peeing in that room, how this explained the smell, how she wanted to scream… she finally managed “Good job son” and just walked away.
Oh how I do love boys. I have three, I would never make them sit to pee, that doesn’t seem right. I do however, make them clean the toilet, a lot. It’s good incentive to shoot straight 😉


Tab March 31, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I’m going to have to agree with the wax ring comment. My mom has said the same thing, and she is the mom of 5 boys, so I’d go with her advice in that situation :)


Melissa March 31, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I have 4 boys. If the bathroom still smells like pee after I clean the toilet, I know it’s the walls.


Barbara March 31, 2012 at 1:45 pm

We invested in “easy off” toilet seats for just this reason! Pee gets under the area that holds the seat on. I also agree with the others who posted about the wax seal.
My “perfect” boy bathroom is stainless steel with a bleach/water firehose and a huge drain in the floor! :-)


stacy March 31, 2012 at 1:26 pm

I wipe down the toilet first to get all of the big yuckies off, then i put one cup bleach strait into the bowl . With a gloved hand and a sponge i scrub the entire toilet inside and out with the bleach water out of the bowl. Flush and let let dry to kill all germs. It always gets rid of the smell!


AmyH March 31, 2012 at 1:08 pm

I had the same problem. Someone mentioned a shower curtain. Mine was actually the wicker basket next to the toilet that my young son was peeing on when he missed his target (YUCK!). I replaced it with a plastic garbage can that I wash each week when I clean the bathroom. Smell is gone! So, investigate other objects in the room!


Angela March 31, 2012 at 1:35 pm

You may have hit the nail on the head. We have a large wicker basket right next to the toilet to hold dirty laundry…


crystal March 31, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Teach your boys to aim by using cherrios. They also make flushable figured just for this reason. It helps with the aim issues because they have something to aim for. My son has Autism and we have troubles when he hears something and he wants to see it…he flips his whole body around and keeps peeing!


Angela March 31, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Oh, no! Do you crack up every time you see that?


Edie April 1, 2012 at 3:49 pm

I wouldn’t crack up if someone was peeing all over my bathroom.


Tina March 31, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Also be sure to clean under the toilet seat hinge caps-lots of pee hides there as well…and yes, I did have my two boys pee sitting down until they had decent control! Now that they are teenagers, guess who cleans the toilets every Saturday?:)


Sue O March 31, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Make those darn boys sit down to do their business. Why do guys insist on standing up anyway?


Angela March 31, 2012 at 1:33 pm

That’s my question! The problem is that when we moved, the toilet bowl got smaller and the pee shot out the front when they sat down, so my husband instituted the “stand-up only” rule. I suppose it was a decision between the pee getting caught in the cracks of the bowl or everyone stepping in it when they walked in the bathroom :).


Barbara March 31, 2012 at 12:49 pm

I know several young women that train their boys to sit on the toilet for just that reason


Sarah G March 31, 2012 at 1:50 pm

I am one of those women. Both my husband and two sons pee sitting down when at home. The only time they’re allowed to pee standing up is if they’re in the shower!


Kelleigh @ Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs March 31, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Check the little crack under the tank and above the seat area. Dental floss the heck out of it. It is absolutely DISGUSTING!! :)


Beth March 31, 2012 at 12:41 pm

You might try replacing the wax ring under the toilet. Pee seeps underneath the toilet. It’s a cheap and easy fix and you can do it again when they have better aim (as the problem will likely continue until pee stops getting under there).


Twin Mom March 31, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Sometimes the wax seal at the bottom under the toilet isn’t tight to the floor and allows pee to “hide”. You might try replacing it. It’s ~$5 for a new seal at Home Depot and an hour of work to remove and replace the toilet, so maybe try washing/replacing the shower curtain first.


Sarah March 31, 2012 at 12:36 pm

I have the same pee smell problem. One, check your shower curtian, I think the bowl is often missed and the curtian soaks up the smell. I also noticed the pee soaks through the bolts that hold the lid on and there is a bunch of yuckness growing under the bolts leading down to the ground. Its gross, I am about to scream. My son’s bathroom is the one thing that makes me scream when I clean. I have to wash all the way around the toilet, walls, etc. I have no solution either, would love to hear someone elses. :)


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