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Guide To Low-Flow Toilets: Understanding And Cleaning Your Eco-Friendly Toilets

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From cleaning up your yard and replacing worn carpet to staining the deck and repairing broken doors, it is easy to see the overwhelming nature of owning a home. While some tasks are necessary to improve your home's function and appeal, others can help you live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Installing new toilets may not seem like a worthwhile task, but low-flow models can reduce your home's water usage. Unfortunately, you may not be familiar with these water-conserving toilets. Using this guide, you will get the low down on low-flow toilets.

Low-Flow Toilets 101

Low-flow toilets use gravity or a vacuuming mechanism to remove waste from the toilet bowl. The design also features wider flapper valves and trapways, which allow the waste to flush out of the bowl without a larger supply of water.

In the past, traditional toilets used about 3.5 gallons of water with each flush, but today's low-flow models use a maximum of 1.6 gallons of water during each flush.  This may not seem like a larger conservation of water, but the savings add up over time.

Many of the earliest models of low-flow toilets were unable to remove all of the waste from the toilet. These earlier models required two flushes to completely remove waste from the toilet, so many people argued that the low-flow models were not truly water efficient.

If your low-flow toilet was manufactured between 1994 and 1997, consider replacing it with a newer model.

Cleaning Low-Flow Toilets

Your low-flow toilet uses less water to remove waste, but this decreased water will also prevent the bowl from rinsing properly. While you are conserving water, your toilet bowl may discolor and stain. To protect your toilet bowl from stains, make sure to clean it regularly using non-toxic solutions that are safe for the environment and your septic system.

After every few flushes, sprinkle a few teaspoons of baking soda into the toilet bowl. Use your toilet brush to swirl the baking soda and toilet water around the bowl and under the rim. The baking soda will dissolve away leftover waste and surface residue without affecting your health or the environment.

If you still notice spots or stains on your toilet bowl, a more involved cleaning will be necessary. Add the following to a spray bottle:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of borax
  • ¼ cup of lemon juice

Shake the bottle to mix before spraying the solution onto the stained area of your toilet bowl. Use your brush to scrub the solution into the toilet. After cleaning, flush the toilet to rinse the interior of the bowl.

Low-flow toilets are excellent options for conserving your household's water usage. For more information, contact Jenkins Plumbing or a similar company.