I AM SO EXCITED! Remember when I was slaving away on our kitchen on my hands and knees?
While I was in the trenches of DIY, one thing kept me going steady (besides the extra doses of Advil.) It was the dream of having our home featured in a magazine. Well, that dream became reality this week! If you happen to be in the magazine section of a store near you, you might see this:
Do It Yourself is one of my favorite publications because they feature beautiful homes and projects that were created by the homeowner. They Did It Themselves! Plus, the magazine shows you how to complete the same projects yourself! I am super honored that they wanted to photograph my home and some of my DIY projects for this issue.
But, I have to tell you, I was very nervous before the photo shoot. I had visions of the editor and photographer walking in my home and walking back out in disgust. As the date drew closer, I was frantically checking last minute fixes and DIY projects off my list:
hack an ugly IKEA dresser
paint mirror frame
re-caulk board & batten
clean, clean, clean
figure out how to get rid of the urine smell! YIKES!!!
Any of you who have boys know that they have poor aim! No matter how clean I get their bathroom it still has a slight urine odor. Please, please tell me that I’m not the only one with this problem.
Funny story: I created this little piece of art that hangs on the wall over the toilet in the boys’ bathroom. I thought the kids would love it because they are big Star Wars fans. I also wanted them to think about this sage advice everyday when they wake up. Handsome Guy thought it was my attempt to get the kids to improve their aim. #Headsmack
Anyway, back to the urine odor. I would be mortified if the photographer and editor walked into that bathroom and got a whiff of pee. I set forth with only a few cleaning supplies
to try to eliminate the odor (because “Do or Do Not…There is No Try.)
How to Clean a Stinky Boys’ Bathroom (as if a Magazine Photographer was Coming!)
(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)
- HomeRight Steam Machine Plus
- Lots of clean rags
- Lemon oil + Water + Basic H2O mixture in a squirt bottle
Let’s get busy!
To use the HomeRight SteamMachine Plus, simply remove the water reservoir by pressing in the buttons on both sides of the tank.
Unscrew the gray cap to fill the water tank. (My one piece of feedback about the SteamMachine Plus, is that the little cap is a bit hard to lift because of the small size grip. A small hole or indent in the tab would help give something better to grip onto.) The directions in the manual suggest pressing against the tab with your thumb, which does work better than trying to grasp the tab. Otherwise, the tank conveniently fits easily under the bathroom faucet for filling.
For detail cleaning, slide the release button up on the front of the handle to remove the SteamMachine Plus from the upright floor cleaning base. It easily pops in and out as you work your way around cleaning tasks.
Attach the accessory adaptor to the SteamMachine Plus. Attach your accessory. Press the start button to initiate the water heating. The internal light will turn blue when the machine is ready to steam.
To clean around the toilet lid, tank and hinges, the angled nozzle will be your BFF! Simply depress the trigger to release the steam. Then aim it around all those hard to reach (and see) spots.
Wipe up any moisture with a clean dry rag.
I cleaned the inside of the toilet bowl with my regular bowl cleaner and steamed the rest of the exterior of the toilet.
While you still have the attachment adaptor on, you can clean a lot of other surfaces in the bathroom. Just be sure to turn off the machine when you change attachment heads to avoid getting burned. The squeegee head works beautifully to remove this soap scum and dirt ring:
First I like to spray a little lemon scented soapy water to loosen the scum and freshen the air.
The soap scum is easily steamed off and wiped. I think the bonnet is supposed to be used for steaming garments, but I used it on the tub (shhhh, don’t tell HomeRight!) I’ll throw it in the wash and it will be as good as new.
Thick soap scum is no match for the 205ºF steam coming out the nozzle!
A quick wipe with a clean rag and the soap dish feels smooth and almost brand new.
Afterwards the tub was smooth and sparkly clean.
Turn off the machine to put the small brush attachment on. Then turn the machine back on again. Clean in and around the handles and around the base of the faucet. This area is especially prone to build up where the water and gunk collects.
Wipe off the faucet with a dry cloth for instant cleaning gratification!
After the bathroom was completely cleaned, I almost cried because I still smelled urine. As I sunk to the floor sitting face to face with the toilet, I got an idea.
My bright idea was to aim the nozzle under the base of the toilet around the edge. I’m warning you, the next two photos are disturbing. Look away if you have a weak stomach.
Pee! Lots of yellow pee was forced out from under the toilet by the steam. YUCK!!!
I quickly wiped it up before I puked.
To finish cleaning the room, I re-inserted the SteamMachine Plus into the upright steam mop handle (after removing the accessories.)
The compact head slides easily around the toilet and into tight spots.
After the steamer has been turned off and cooled down, you can remove the mop head and toss it in the wash (use mild soap and warm water to clean.) Obviously the HomeRight SteamMachine Plus picked up the excess that our vacuum cleaner missed.:
I took a big breath and ALL I smelled was clean with a hint of lemon oil. Finally, no more urine odor!!!!
When the photographer and editor arrived, it was all smiles. No one walked out in disgust. Phew!
Andrea Caughey (pink striped sweater) is the regional editor for Better Homes and Gardens and she worked her tail off styling my home with beautiful flowers and accessories. Brie Williams (wearing the gray headband) and her assistant Pat worked tirelessly to light each shot and get the right angle. Brie used a sheet to add more light into dark areas. I thought that was a great (and inexpensive) idea! Buddy just thought they were laying it out for him to nap on. Andrea, Brie and Pat worked beautifully together to make my home look magazine-worthy. Because normally on a day-to-day basis, my home does NOT look like a magazine home.
It’s amazing how much work goes into each photograph. Andrea held a pendant light out of the way with a croquet mallet. Brie had barely enough room to set up the camera and lights for the bathroom shots. She ended up crouching in the tub. To shoot my aqua dresser, Pat and Brie had to climb into my bed. All in a day’s work right?!
Want to see the final photos? Here’s a sneak peek:
Want to see more? Ah, I’m sorry, you’ll have to find a copy at a newsstand near you. It’s an eight page spread so there’s lots more to see!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by HomeRight. I was sent a SteamMachine Plus to try and was compensated for my time. As always, I’m extremely picky about the products I promote. If I don’t like a product, you won’t see it mentioned. All projects and opinions are my own. I was not told what to write or say about the HomeRight SteamMachine Plus.