One of the biggest challenges of country living is well water. It is notoriously stinky, with a strong sulfur smell, and since it hasn’t been treated, it is often full of minerals that stain tubs, sinks, toilets and plumbing fixtures. If the water has iron in it, it can leave a brown stain on your white porcelain tub or toilet in less than a week. Certainly, there are expensive water treatment systems that can turn your well water from a hard water nightmare to something less familiar to country living, but with a little effort, one can keep the plumbing pretty without the added expense.
Quick tips for sparkling bathrooms and kitchens
1. Don’t let water sit too long. Flush guest toilets often.
One of the easiest ways to keep those pesky brown rings from forming in your toilet is to flush often. If you have a guest bathroom, or one that is not used as regularly, it’s a good idea to flush that toilet at least once a day. The biggest culprit in stained plumbing is water that sits too long. You’ll notice hard water spots that appear white on faucets and such. That’s where droplets of water have been sitting until they evaporate, leaving behind nothing but the minerals that your well water contains.
2. Wipe all sinks, tubs and showers dry after use; especially around the drains and on the faucets.
That leads to tip number two. It seems like a burden, but if you’ve chosen country living, it will make your plumbing look good longer. Wipe down all tubs, showers and sinks after using. If that’s too much, then do it once a day. Pay special attention to drains, because that’s where water collects, stands and stains. Also dry off faucets and fixtures to avoid those little white spots caused by water droplets.
3. Clean toilets at least twice a week.
I have not found that one product works better than another, so I recommend cleaning the toilet bowl twice a week. As I stated earlier, you’ll start to see that hard water stain in about a week if you don’t do this. Eventually, the stain will appear anyway, but it’s much easier to get rid of with frequent cleanings. If you didn’t already know it, country living is not for couch potatoes.
4. Get a pumice stone.
This is a cleaning product I had never heard of before moving to the country. When all else fails on the damages that come with well water, the pumice stone is your savior. It’s exactly what is sounds like – a piece of pumice. It comes in a couple of sizes. The most common and easy-to-use size is about four inches long and one square inch in diameter. It can be found in rural hardware stores and Walmarts. When the inevitable brown stain creeps into your toilet and around your sink drain, simply wet the stone and scrape off the hard water stain. It’s this part of plumbing maintenance that will condition you to be vigilant with the previous tips. If you don’t clean often, wipe up standing water, and flush often, then that brown hard water stain will be thick and extremely challenging to remove. But a pumice stone and elbow grease will do it.
5. Clean stainless with stainless steel cleaner weekly to protect it.
If you have a stainless steel sink, you can keep that pesky white film that comes from the minerals in the water at bay by not only wiping the sink out, but by cleaning the sink with stainless steel cleaner weekly. This helps the sink keep that lustrous look it had when it was first installed.
Country living isn’t easy living
The idea of relaxing and getting away from it all is most definitely one of the most attractive reasons to live in the country, but someone who is new to the concept may be surprised at the challenges that come with it. My final tip is this: Country living is relaxing because it brings us back to the basics of natural living. That includes well water straight from the ground to your faucet. It also includes the physical work of a rural lifestyle. To me, that’s relaxing.