Cleaning mineral deposits from sanigloss

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by alternety, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. alternety

    alternety Like an engineer

    Messages:
    649
    Location:
    Washington
    I am an all Toto house. My well water is not generally nasty enough to warrant treatment. But it does have minerals (calcium, and small amounts of manganese and iron). The problem I am trying to solve is build-up on my Sanigloss bowls.

    The list from Toto of what not to use, effectively excludes every cleaner that is not pH neutral. For mineral removal, and acidic material is the usual solution (no pun intended). Bristly stick is not effective.

    Does anyone know a safe method to remove this scale?
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,754
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I've been using the liquid bowl cleaners from the grocery store.
    The bowl downstairs, the oldest one, is shiny like the day I installed it. Clorex and Lysol
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  3. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    First off make sure the toilet gets flushed after every use. For customers who have problems or stains I use a product called "bar keepers friend" Its a white abrasive powder thats acidic. Works very well and is good for removing rust stains.
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,754
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    TOTO's specific instructions are

    No powders, and no acid.

    This is Sanagloss. Not your $80 builder special toilet.
  5. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    Unless Toto will warranty it and give them a new bowl and if nothing else will clean it,I would use the bar keepers friend. Either that or pay for a replacement if you want a clean toilet without stains.
  6. alternety

    alternety Like an engineer

    Messages:
    649
    Location:
    Washington
    I really don't want to argue with you Terry (you are sort of the god of plumbing), but I am holding the sheet from a Sanigloss I just opened and it says "acid or alkaline". So it is really saying neutral pH.

    Hackney: I really would not want to violate two of the no-no's from Toto.

    The Sanigloss process is dependent on nano-scale effects. Visual evaluation of the surface for "still shiny" is just not an appropriate metric. You are looking at maybe an electron microscope to effectively evaluate surface condition.

    It would be very helpful if Toto provide a list of what can be used (generically) rather than a statement that excludes essentially all cleaning products likely to be used.
  7. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    This should really be cut and dry. Whats the harshest chemical used to clean the sanigloss surface? I dunno but Toto should. Call'um
  8. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,754
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The reason they haven't provided a list of products, is there has been no guarantee that the chemicals used, will stay the same.

    If your bowl is being coated and you're happy, then I'm happy.
    My bowl is nice and shiny. I'm happy too.
  9. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    Ok I visited the Toto website and found that you can use a mild dish detergent. I knew there had to be a simple answer. Basically if you dont keep the sanagloss surface clean from the start and let things build up on the surface you cant use a strong cleaner.......so if a mild detergent will not clean it the surface may be ruined.
  10. alternety

    alternety Like an engineer

    Messages:
    649
    Location:
    Washington
    Experimentally, a detergent is ineffective for mineral deposits. Maybe I am not trying hard enough. But I have not been successful.

    Note that the statement from Toto indicates neutral pH. Yes they mention a mild dish detergent. But that pH statement eliminates most such materials. That is essentially unreasonable; but it is what they say. An effective (i.e. not cya) answer to this issue would be useful. And a mild detergent just does not seem to fix mineral deposits.

    As I have mentioned in another post, looking shiny is not an effective measurement.
  11. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    Yes and it also eliminates urinating in the toilet as urine is acidic.
  12. alternety

    alternety Like an engineer

    Messages:
    649
    Location:
    Washington
    That is indeed true. Even the water provided in your house violates the specified requirements for cleaning the toilet. Sense anything wrong here? Toto needs to provide better guidance. One of my points (not necessarily obvious) is that the info from Toto is mostly useless CYA statements. They are simply telling us to not use anything (even distilled water I think) , without explaining what we can use.
  13. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    I wouldn't worry too much about damaging a surface thats not working for you. I'd get it clean and if I ruined it,I'd buy a regular toilet without any special finish and clean it regular with clorox cleanup.
  14. alternety

    alternety Like an engineer

    Messages:
    649
    Location:
    Washington
    Thanks, but that does not really address the issue. Your suggestion, in my opinion, is not useful.
  15. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    So what do you suggest we do? You have said yourself Toto will not approve of any cleaners. Your toilet has mineral deposits So its either disregard Totos instructions or live with a mineral stained toilet.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  16. alternety

    alternety Like an engineer

    Messages:
    649
    Location:
    Washington
    I am not sure why you seem to be taking an antagonistic approach here. What I would like is for Toto to take responsibility for realistically specifying what materials can be used on their Sanigloss surface in common environments. Their published guidelines are complete crap. They provide absolutely no useful information (assuming you actually read and properly interpret their statements using accepted English syntax and meaning) on maintenance of the surface in frequently experienced environments.
  17. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    Its really simple. They state use a mild dish washing detergent. I've seen dishwashing detergent that claims to be mild,so thats what I'd clean it with. If it failed to come clean and no other cleaners were approved to use I would assume that either I have a defective toilet or I have bad enough water that sanagloss couldn't prevent the stains.

    I'm not Toto so I'm of limited value but I'm offering my professional opinion and I assume thats why your here posting.
  18. TJanak

    TJanak New Member

    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    South TX
    alternety, you seem like an intelligent guy. Mineral deposits, namely calcium and magnesium, are alkaline in pH. I don't know of a good way to chemically dissolve alkaline deposits except for using an acid. There may be some but I don't know of them. I will gladly accept any suggestions.

    It's kind of like my two new tile shower surrounds. I go over and read at the john bridge tile forums and he says to use an alkaline cleaner for the grout. Makes sense because the grout is alkaline in pH. But when you are like my parents and have very hard water (calcium), you are left with using an acidic cleaner. Again, as far as I know. That is why after 24 years my parents tile shower surround has no grout left, from using Lime Away cleaner (acidic).

    I think you either live with it or use a non-approved cleaner. Sanigloss is slick enough for $#@& not to stick but I don't think it has a chance against mineral deposits.
  19. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,754
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Geez, I sell a ton of the Sanagloss bowls in the Seattle area. Most of them use bowl cleaners. I don't see the problem here.

    If I had sold you the bowl, I would have advised you to use a bowl cleaner.
    Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    Sometimes you have to do something. Thinking is nice, but it doesn't get anything done.

    I certainly wouldn't have waited until the bowl was all scummed up to do something about it.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  20. alternety

    alternety Like an engineer

    Messages:
    649
    Location:
    Washington
    I have tried detergents; as noted above. It does not appear to work for mineral deposits. Which is what started this thread. I have cleaned them only with a brush and that worked fine for normal dirt. Sanigloss does seem to make a difference. But the mineral deposits were not frightened by that approach. I briefly used a cleaner then read about not using that so I stopped. A mild acid (maybe citric or acetic) would probably fix the deposits. You are saying that long term use of cleaners seems to have no affect on the Sanigloss. Maybe Toto's cautions are just lawyers doing CYA.

    I will try a chemical cleaner on one and see if there is any discernible effect. It is not that I don't believe you Terry; I just like to see things for myself. Oddly, your point about thinking has been mentioned by my wife from time to time. She is also fond of "if it can be done, it can be overdone".

    Thanks everyone for your views and information.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
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