TOTO CeFiONtect on Drake II - can't get it clean!

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Temp945

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Hi all,

I finished my Jack-and-Jill bathroom remodel a while back (thanks to a lot of help from the good folks on this forum!).

I installed two new Toto Drake II toilets. They both have the CeFiONtect bowl coating that is supposed to keep the bowl cleaner, longer.

I also installed a Fluidmaster "Flush N' Sparkle" (non-bleach) cleaning system on just one of the two toilets.
https://www.supplyhouse.com/Fluidmaster-8100P8-8100P8-Flush-N-Sparkle-Toilet-Bowl-Cleaning-System

After about 11 months, the Flush N' Sparkle toilet has a gunky buildup in several places on the bowl. It does not clean off with a soft / blue kitchen scrub sponge and soap, even when scrubbing vigorously. Toto's directions state to not use anything abrasive or certain chemicals on the CeFiONtect coating:
http://pdf.lowes.com/productdocuments/6481acf9-d112-4433-87e5-b266811fc7c9/44276181.pdf

Any advice on how to clean this buildup off? I do not want to damage the bowl! The "blue" Flush N' Sparkle is not bleach, it is just a surfactant of some sort. The buildup you see is not damage to the bowl. You can feel that it is a buildup of material by lightly scratching it with a gloved fingernail.

Incidentally, the toilet that I did NOT install the Flush N' Sparkle on has stayed very clean with no buildup anywhere. I am not 100% certain that the difference is the Flush N' Sparkle. Although both toilets are Drake II with the coating, they were made in different factories because one is a washlet+ model and the other is not. The Washlet+ model is the one with buildup problem.

I've uploaded some photos, including a few beauty shots of the washlet+ toilet with the S350e washlet.
 

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Reach4

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After about 11 months, the Flush N' Sparkle toilet has a gunky buildup in several places on the bowl. It does not clean off with a soft / blue kitchen scrub sponge and soap, even when scrubbing vigorously.
I suspect the one with the Washlet has more mileage on it (more use and flushes).
 

Jadnashua

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I wonder what the pH of that stuff is...

How hard is your water?
 

Temp945

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I suspect the one with the Washlet has more mileage on it (more use and flushes).

Actually the non-washlet toilet has more use. My wife uses only the non-washlet bathroom and I only use the washlet bathroom. She is a full-time homemaker whereas I am away from home every day.
 

Temp945

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I wonder what the pH of that stuff is...

How hard is your water?

I tried to find the SDS for the Flush N ' Sparkle to see if I could figure out the pH but could only find one for the bleach version.

My guess is that the pH is not too harsh. Fluidmaster markets the system specifically to not damage the bowl, in contrast to the bleach version.

I do not have a water softener, but my water is not very hard. I've never had any problem with scale or with buildup on my old toilets.

Fluidmaster advertises the blue system as: "Wax based cleaner that coats the bowl so debris does not stick to the bowl". I think the buildup must be a hard wax substance.
 

Jadnashua

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A hard coating on top of the glaze may make the glaze less efficient! The glaze , in theory, is a very smooth, consistent coating...what gets left over during the flush, doesn't have a chance of being as smooth or consistent.
 

Temp945

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I'm definitely going to stop using the Fluidmaster system.

Any ideas on how to safely clean off the residue?
 

Jadnashua

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I think I'd try putting some on say a glazed plate, letting it dry out, then try some various things like maybe acetone to see what dissolves it more easily. Then, work on the toilet. I might first call the company to get an idea what they think might dissolve the substance once it has dried and the solids have hardened. Not sure what really will dissolve a wax. YOu might try a floor wax stripper like this ZEP 1 Gal. Heavy-Duty Floor Stripper-ZULFFS128 - The Home Depot . One place suggested mixing ammonia, powdered dishwasher detergent and hot water. I'd run any of those by Toto, but they'll probably tell you you shouldn't have used it in the first place! That ZEP products says it's pH neutral, so shouldn't damage the glaze, but I'm not positive.
 

Temp945

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I might start with a plastic razor blade and see how that goes.

I definitely regret using the Fluidmaster system. I naively assumed that since it was advertised as a safe way of keeping the bowl clean that it would reduce the need for cleaning products. Wrong!

Incidentally, the "ramps" where the cyclonic water enters the top of the bowl feel noticeably rough and unfinished, and I think this is why there is some buildup there. I think this may be a factory defect. It seems like this area should be very smooth and well glazed like the rest of the bowl.
 

Reach4

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Tell us more about the marks. It looks like mold? Or residue from somebody scraping with a steel tool like a non-plastic razor blade?

So I would try a little liquid chlorine bleach on a q-tip. Any effect?

City water?

Pumie brand pumice is good, but that is the kind of thing they tell you not to use. Yet if that's what it takes, consider it.
 

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I tried a plastic razor blade with little success. I then resorted to alcohol with a bit more success. Hopefully the short exposure did not damage the bowl coating. I do not see any visible damage. However, there are still some hard deposits that do not want to come off. In particular, the staining near the two "cyclonic" channels (where the water enters the bowl for the flush) seems to be impossible to remove. The dark grey/black marks make me think this is actually unrelated to the Fluidmaster system and may be the result of a factory defect in the glazing - it always felt noticeably rough in this area.

I threw the Fluidmaster system in the garbage.
 

Jadnashua

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Got an electric toothbrush? Try an old head, and some toothpaste. Yes, it's abrasive, but very mildly so. The plastic bristles should get in around the minor imperfections. Try it in a less obvious spot first to see what happens. You could try just wetting the toothbrush with alcohol first if you wanted since that seemed to clean some of it up. The soft bristles will get into places the flat blade can't.

Hard water will, eventually, leave mineral deposits. The smooth glaze helps limit how well that sticks, but eventually, you'll get enough buildup to both feel and show. On a really old toilet, those mineral deposits can build up enough to actually clog the waterways.
 

Tuttles Revenge

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If the surface of the toilet itself is not smooth, I would contact Toto to see if that isn't a factory defect in the finish. But also wouldn't use that cleaning system either. My water stains my cefiontec bowl more readily than other localities water too, but it cleans with a regular plastic bristle brush.
 
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