Interestingly, the weak 4% household bleach didn't do anything
visible when poured directly into the bowl initially ... but ...
afterward, in the tank, the 3x stronger 12% pool bleach DID whiten
the remaining strands of brown stain!
However, it might be that the pool acid somehow 'weakened' the
brown stain, such that the pool chlorine could attack it - or -
it could simply be that the pool chlorine was stronger than the
household bleach initially used.
The water out here is high in calcium (something like
15 ppm or so, IIRC) but there is no appreciable iron,
as you have already inferred.
So, I agree with you, since in prior experiments on tools,
we've determined that the phosphoric acid turns rusty tools
black in just a few minutes.
That didn't happen here - hence - I would agree with you.
That brown stuff isn't rust.
I'm not sure 'what' it is - so I'll leave it at "cooties"
for now (but don't tell my sister that 'cuz I said it was rust).
Meanwhile ... I'm preparing the toilet bowl as I had not
realized I'll be flushing a gallon of HCl into the TOP
of the toilet bowl (I thought I was going to put it
directly in the bowl) ... so there's a bit more preparation
Will report back as my sister is driving me crazy, looking over
my shoulder all the time. She keeps asking if I know what I'm
doing and why I have to be on the computer all the time if
everything is really under control ...
THANKS FOR BRINGING THIS QUESTION UP!!
We have HARD well water and on a septic system. Based on comments
here, purchased muriatic acid at HD for around $5/gal ! We had one
wing of our home unused and all the water evaporated out of traps and
toilet bowls in that section. Hard as a rock brown crusty coating on
bowl. Turned on fan, held breath, and poured small amount of acid [??
1/2 cup] into the reduced water content bowl. WOW! foam and everything
just slid off. Used a plastic brush and scrubbed around completely
cleaning the bowl out.
Foaming continued for a while, but fumes weren't bad.
Neutralized with baking soda, now THAT foamed and foamed and foamed.
Used about 1/6 of the box! before foaming stopped when adding powder.
Now it's clean! Thanks again.
So armed with that I attacked 'my' toilet bowl [note one way to stay
married a long time is to ALWAYS have separate bathrooms] This bowl
only had slight brownish streaks in the bottom. But foamed up again.
Then while scrubbing out found what looked like two four inch long
angle brackets made of brownish calcium deposits. Obviiously up out of
sight from all previous cleanings. These were thick and glad whatever
that is is out of there. Again thanks for the thread.
That evening, I had severe nose bleeding. I'll bet the fumes took
their toll and I just did not notice. So, when people say avoid the
fumes, AVOID THE FUMES!
On Fri, 12 Apr 2013 09:56:54 -0700 Robert Macy wrote:
I found Oren's suggested trick of plastic wrapping the toilet bowl
for the hour that the muriatic acid sits worked well. I didn't even
need to tape it down.
Likewise, the plastic sandwich bag on the overfill tube also worked
to prevent fumes, as did the use of the ceiling fan.
Interestingly, the loud ceiling fan also drummed out the sound of
my sister nagging on the phone to my Mom that I was gonna kill her kids
with the fumes, so, the ceiling fan had a fortuitous secondary benefit.
Because it's FUN! Why do people climb mountains, drive race cars, or join
the Marines? Because it's FUN!
Anything that can't be made to explode, fling a projectile over 1,000 feet,
posion the immediate environment, or cause dismemberment is considered WORK.
You'd think everybody would know that.
And, because we handle minor dangers every day,
first by asking for advice, from the experienced
team at a.h.r ... for example:
- Winding garage door torsion springs
- Clearing 4-inch thick poison oak with chainsaws
- Washing discolored swimming pool walls with acid
and yes ... the new minor mundane task of
- Cleaning toilet bowls of brown stains
On Thu, 11 Apr 2013 21:25:27 +0000 Danny D. wrote:
My sister's brownish reddish stains dripping down from the
toilet bowl rim were not removed with scrubbing, vinegar,
household bleach, or 20 minutes of naval jelly pink slime.
The stains were removed after an hour of 28% muriatic acid.
Subsequently, 15 minutes of 28% pool bleach had a whitening
effect - but I'm assuming that's a minor triumph.
No obvious damage appears to have been made to the smooth
toilet bowl glazing (although a survey of roughness should
have been made prior to the start of the experiment).
What was extremely surprising was that the plastic-wrap
method of containing the corrosive gases was effective!
At no point in time, other than when actually pouring the
hydrochloric acid into the refill tube, did I get a whiff
of the corrosive muriatic acid fumes.
The procedure actually followed was almost what Oren' had
suggested (with the one inadvertent mistake as I couldn't
figure out how to empty the bowl completely of water without
also emptying the tank, since the water supply was turned off).
0. Safety goggles, gloves, mask, & spill towels were prepared.
1. The ceiling exhaust fan was running the entire experiment.
2. I shut off the water supply valve & flushed the toilet.
3. This left about 2 inches of residual water in the tank.
4. I sealed the bowl with three sheets of plastic wrap.
5. A plastic funnel was placed in the tank refill tube.
6. Approximately 1/4 to 1/2 gallon of pool acid was poured.
7. The refill tube was sandwich bagged, & rubber banded.
8. The acidic concoction was allowed to bubble for an hour.
9. A half cup of baking soda was sprinkled in the tank & bowl.
10. The water supply was turned back on & the toilet flushed.
11. A cup of pool bleach was poured in the tank & flushed.
12. My sister kept asking me if I knew what I was doing, and,
if I did, then why was it taking so long?
Before & after results are shown below:
I consider myself a master at freeware, so, there's almost
nothing that can't be done with the best freeware.
The effort, in freeware, is in finding the best of the best,
so that you don't waste time on the second-rate pretenders.
For arrows and text, the best, by far, on Windows is Paint.NET,
while, on Linux, the best, by far, is KolourPaint.
For autorotation, autonaming, & resizing, Irfanview batch operations
are the fastest on Windows, while ImageMagick and the Linux shell are
the quickest on Linux.
For example, on Linux, I rotate & resize the photos to a common size:
$ for f in *.jpg;do jhead -autorot $f;convert -resize 800x600 -quality 75
Similar batch commands are available in IrfanView on Windows.
Then, I create the montage, on Linux, using ImageMagick:
$ convert photo1.jpg photo2.jpg +attach side-by-side.gif
$ convert photoa.jpg photob.jpg -attach top-and-bottom.gif
Of course, I could just as easily have used Kolourpaint:
$ kolourpaint photo1.jpg
[KolourPaint]Edit->Paste from file->photo2.jpg
IrfanView has a create-panorama command, which works as well, on Windows.
The reason Paint.NET is needed, on Windows, is that IrfanView stinks when
it comes to texting and arrows, something that Paint.NET is stellar at.
Likewise, on Linux, the Gimp stinks at drawing circles, texting, and creating
arrows, which KolourPaint does with aplomb.
You're welcome to ask any image-editing question as I've been researching
the best freeware for decades, so, I pretty much know what I need (and
have spent a LOT of time on alt.comp.freeware & rec.photo.digital over
There were some statements made in this thread that I think need to be
corrected for the benefit of any newbies in here.
> the offending stained medium, it merely whitens
Bleach doesn't turn anything white. Bleach, NaOCl, breaks down into Na+
and OCl- ions in water, and those hypochlorite ions are inherently
unstable and break down into chlorine (Cl-) ions and lone oxygen atoms.
Single oxygen atoms are highly reactive and tend to react with unstable
molecules that would break down on their own given sufficient time, and
those are generally large organic molecules (like DNA for example).
Since most smells, tastes and fabric colours are created by large
organic molecules, the presence of lone oxygen atoms removes smells,
tastes and colours by breaking up those large organic molecules. The
resulting pieces are still there, it's just that none of those pieces
affect our nose, taste buds or absorb light the way the large original
molecule did, so the smell taste or colour appears to disappear. Bleach
doesn't turn blue denim white; it breaks up the blue dye molecules so
that they no longer absorb yellow and red light. Thus, the denim looks
the same as if it had never been dyed blue.
No bacteria or mold could survive having the molecules from which it is
made of being broken up into pieces. That's like saying a brick house
could remain standing despite all it's bricks being broken into pieces.
> material and also reacts strongly with the aluminum to create
> considerable heat and frothing (within the pipes) thereby aiding the
> disintegration of the organic matter.
The primary reason for bathroom drains to clog is because of human hair
accumulating in the drain pipe. The primary reason for kitchen drains
to clog is because of cooking oil/grease accumulating in the drain
Lye, which can be either sodium or potassium hydroxide (NaOH or KOH) can
theoretically clear both types clogs. That's because lye will both:
a) dissolve hair. Next time you're cleaning an oven, use a natural
bristle brush to paint the oven cleaner on, and you'll find out that the
oven cleaner dissolves the brush bristles. The fix is to use a nylon or
polyester bristle brush to avoid that problem.
b) react with cooking oil/grease to form soap and glycerine. And,
unlike cooking oil/grease, both soap and glycerine are easy to remove
because they both dissolve in water. That chemical reaction between lye
and oil/grease to form soap and glycerine is called "saponification":
'Saponification - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia'
So, the reason why Drano uses lye as it's active ingredient is not
because lye digests organic material. Lye dissolves animal hair, and it
reacts with grease to convert it into a water soluble compound called
"soap" and that makes it effective at clearing the most common cause of
clogs in both bathroom and kitchen sinks. Or, so the makers of Drano
would have you believe.
Remember that lone oxygen atoms will preferentially react with large
organic molecules which tend to be less stable than other molecules?
Well, cotton is almost 100% cellulose, and cellulose is what wood is
mostly made of. So, cellulose is a large organic molecule too. Lone
oxygen atoms will break cellulose molecules apart just as aggressively
as they break dye molecules apart.
You can prove to yourself that it's not just cotton that will be
attacked by bleach. Leave a cellulose sponge soaking in bleach
overnight, and the cellulose molecules in the sponge will get broken to
pieces too. In the morning, it will still look like the same sponge,
but will have no strength any more. If you pull it out of the bleach
and squeeze it, it'll crush to form a mush in your hand similar to wet
PS: You don't need to know the rest:
Water from the roots, CO2 from the air and sunlight combine together in
a tree's leaves to produce glucose; the simplest form of all the
different kinds of sugar molecules. (lactose, maltose, dextrose,
However, there are two different forms of glucose molecules; alpha
glucose and beta glucose:
It turns out that if you stack alpha glucose molecules up like bricks in
a wall, you get something called "starch", which is what rice, potatos
and bread are made of.
If you stack beta glucose molecules up like bricks in a wall, you get
cellulose, which is what cotton, paper and wood (mostly) are made of.
Every chemical you find in a plant, whether it's the lignin holding the
wood cells together in the tree trunk, the tannins in the plant's leaves
or the extracts that native people's used to treat medical conditions,
were all made by the plant out of the water and nutrients gathered by
the roots and the glucose produced by the leaves.
Right now we're using enzymes to break starch molecules down into their
constituent sugar molecules, and then fermenting that sugar to make
ethanol to sell as an automotive fuel. And, the big thing in bio-fuels
research right now is to be able to do the same thing with cellulose.
Then, everything grown on a farm could be sold. Corn farmers, for
example could sell their corn cobs as food, and most of the rest of the
plant as cellulose to make ethanol out of. And, old t-shirts, old books
and old furniture, all made of cellulose, would suddenly have worth
because they too could be made into ethanol. Cows, termites and wood
rot fungi have the enzymes in them to do that, but getting those enzymes
to survive and work outside of those living organisms is the challenge.
If all you want to do is make one image from two or more, it is easy to do
so with what you already have: MS Paint.
1. Open MS Paint
2. Open an image in any graphic program (including another instance of MS
3. Copy the image (Ctrl + A then Ctrl + C) or a portion of it (select the
area then Ctrl + C)
4. Now paste into the MS Paint from #1 above. It will paste into the top
left hand corner but you can move it wherever you want.
5. Repeat 2-5 as many times as you wish
6. Save the new composite image.
MS Paint starts off with a very large canvas (space to put stuff) and
available space that doesn't get filled up with your images is also saved.
You can get rid of it in MS Paint but it's a pain to do so; far easier to
open the new image in IrfanView, select and copy what you want, paste it
into a new IrfanView instance and save that.
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