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Flush before you blush

Don't. Look. Down

Cleaning out the cupboard under the stairs has led to a rather surprising discovery: tucked away below Aragog's web was an entire bag (-for-life, do you need to ask?) of toilet cleaners, possibly stashed away for rectifying goodness knows what sort of gastrointestinal-related crisis one New Year. So that explains why we've not had to buy any in living memory.

Annoyingly though, loo cleaner is difficult to do in the zero plastic format I've come to make my life's mission to seek out. And we can't do without it really. It might sound like I'm veering carelessly away from the safe snugness of my consultation room, but believe me, cleanliness in the bathroom can help stop the spread of all sorts of unpleasant germs, potentially preventing common diarrhoea and vomiting bugs as well as worms, thrush, and...drumroll...COVID, which can lurk in the little droplets that fly around above the toilet when you flush. This is also why you should close the lid before pressing on the flush. Or if you have one of those high cisterns like in Paddington, before you all team up to yank the chain. Though not in a jokey way, of course. Ahem. Nothing funny about toilets. Except of course, toilet humour.

Fine, I'll admit to having tested a few different loo cleaners over the years, including Method which, admirably non-toxic ingredients aside, unfortunately has a weird nozzle that you have to turn with your actual real fingers. Yuck. Excuse me if I'd rather not touch there. There's also Domestos 'Lime Power' which is accurately lime green, and therefore fine if you don't mind being reminded of the last time someone was holding your hair back whilst you had your head miserably over the bowl. Um, apparently, I think *asking for a friend*. They should definitely rename it 'classic bile'. And similarly the YouTube videos for making your own cleaner using everyone's favourite school-project-volcano filling of bicarb and vinegar, administered in an unsuspecting mug, made me gasp. Yes friends, a mug. He nonchalantly drizzled the mixture around the bowl and I rewound to confirm that the mug did DEFINITELY TOUCH THE BOWL. And not even in a limited and specific way. I definitely gagged. Look I draw the recycled-pencil line at number ones and twos all over my Royal Doulton, is that unreasonable?

Now if you live in York I'd recommend gloves for bathroom cleaning, as we have very hard water and hence probably why our levels of eczema are higher. If you're washing your hands as often as you really ought to be during COVID, then it's even more important to protect them when you can. At the vaccination hub we typically use alcohol gel between 50 and a 100 times in a shift, which can leave hands feeling like they need a little spa break of their own. So if you like to wear a pair of Marigolds when you get down on your hands and knees, then you might want to check out these bad boys - not only are they natural rubber, they are compostable so once they've inevitably torn on a sharp knife (after the very first wear, eyeroll), you can snip them up and pop them out with your veg peelings and watch as they merrily decompose, providing both food and a happy hideaway for your tiny garden critters. I just hope they don't break down whilst in use. Especially if you're mid-toilet clean. Yikes.

And finally, don't forget to go for the eco-bonus-ball with zero plastic toilet roll. I've written about this before but it's worth a little reminder that Who Gives A Crap is the amusingly named brand of beautifully-wrapped bog roll that gives 50% of profits to help build toilets in less-developed countries. And you can choose either bamboo or recycled-paper rolls, plus the wrappings are super funky and you can keep them and wrap presents or use them for craft. They also do tissues but without the unnecessary plastic flap to pull the tissues through. Is there anything more annoying? Honestly, come on other tissue-box manufacturers. Has the climate crisis passed you by? Big eyeroll.

I'll stop now as too much advice might send you round the bend, or down the pan, and anyway I'm on a roll :-)

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