Quick Tip from Q-Tips

Heather says:

It’s time again for another quick tip from Q-Tips brand cotton swabs.

This time we’re heading into the bathroom and no, this tip has nothing to do with personal hygiene. Have fun watching the video. Someday I’ll get more comfortable on camera, until then, I’ll blink a lot. And I do mean, a lot.

Remember, do not use chlorine bleach to clean when there is any chance of the chemical coming into contact with ammonia. Remember, it’s not like you’re going to perform medical procedures on your toilet, and you do wash your hands after using the facilities, there is no need to have a sterile toilet. I’m not saying let your water closet devolve into  that awful scene from the movie Trainspotting -there’s a blast from the past for ya- just don’t obsess. Clean it and get on with your life.

For more great tips from Q-Tips be sure to check them out on Facebook.

Oh and for reading this far, I’ll let you in on a secret. I’m giving away three $50 gift cards, just leave a comment to enter, one entry per person, no purchase necessary. I’ll close comments on Monday May 28, 2012 and select the three winners at random. You must be a resident of the US to participate (Dear Rest of the World, Please accept my sincere apologies. Love, Heather)

This is a sponsored post. Q-tips® product was provided by Unilever, the makers of Q-tips®; my tips and usage suggestions are my own.


  1. 1Carolyn on May 28, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    If I’m going to use Q-tips to clean the toilet, I’ll want ones with longer handles!

    • HeatherSolos on May 29, 2012 at 7:09 am

       @1Carolyn Hi, Random.org selected your comment as one of the winners, please send an email to helpme@home-ec101.com with Q-Tips in the subject. Thanks!

      • 1Carolyn on June 6, 2012 at 5:52 pm

         @HeatherSolos Wow, thanks, Heather!  I sent two emails, but haven’t heard back.  If life’s just busy, that’s no big deal.  If my emails are getting misdirected, I wanted to let you know I’m out here. 

  2. Luciana Davis on May 28, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Nice tip!!!! Love Q-Tips use in so many areas of my house!!!!!

  3. deneicer1 on May 28, 2012 at 10:43 am

    You are SO smart, Heather!  Thanks for all the work you do for us!

  4. jessicake on May 28, 2012 at 12:57 am

    Soooo, bleach + urine = bad???  I suppose that includes my Clorox Clean-up as well… who knew?
    Thanks for the tip, Heather!

  5. torilynne on May 27, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    You did a great job on camera…never thought about ammonia in urine…I’ve used bleach in my bathroom toilet many times before…thanks for the great tips.

  6. cnuland on May 27, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Great tip. And don’t fret the video – you’re braver than me 🙂

  7. homeschoolmama on May 27, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Love your blog.  Thanks!

    • HeatherSolos on May 29, 2012 at 7:09 am

       @homeschoolmama Hi, Random.org selected your comment as one of the winners, please send an email to helpme@home-ec101.com with Q-Tips in the subject. Thanks!

  8. Polly on May 27, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    I’m wondering why they sell all of those bleach toilet supplies, then?  Thanks for the tips and encouragement for around the house!

  9. Amy H on May 27, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    I love this site! And I really appreciate your “clean it and get on with your life” comment about cleaning the toilet.  I’ll admit that’s my least favorite cleaning job, and I try not to linger 🙂

  10. Katie on May 27, 2012 at 10:35 am

    I am so glad I found this site. Never took a home ec class in HS and am now 30 and appreciating the info! Have marked it as a favorite!! 🙂  Thanks!

  11. charitykc on May 27, 2012 at 1:29 am

    Thanks for teaching Home Ec, we didn’t have the class in school and I wanted it soo bad. Now I’m 25 and REALLY learning.

  12. 23thirty on May 26, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Wow!! Never thought about the bleach and urine. Great tip!

  13. Tornado on May 26, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Here’s a tip – “100% cotton” isn’t always 100% cotton. My itching ears resolved after changing brands of cotton swabs.  Saving a little money with a Chinese-manufactured store brand wasn’t worth it.
    I don’t know if this is the place to suggest a blog topic, but I have a related question about “100% cotton.”:
    I’ve noticed nauseating smells from new “100% cotton sheets, pillowcases, and handkerchiefs from China. Even after repeated washings and overnight soaks, the smells remain detectible.
    I assume the manufacturer started off with cotton material and sprayed something on it to make it sell better. In the “old days” they’d use starch dissolved in water. When you washed the item, the starch went into solution and you were left with clean sheets.
    That doesn’t happen with these new Chinese items. Whatever they sprayed on the sheets doesn’t dissolve in water – and It smells much less healthy than starch.
    I thought about asking someone at the store or the manufacturer what the solute and solvent were, but didn’t think it would be very likely they’d be honest. They’d have to insist the sheets were 100% cotton and perfectly clean and healthy.
    I think you’ll know how to ferret out the real story.
    So, the question is: How can I get the “new” smell out of Chinese sheets, pillowcases, and handkerchiefs?

    • HeatherSolos on May 29, 2012 at 7:10 am

       @Tornado Hi, Random.org selected your comment as one of the winners, please send an email to helpme@home-ec101.com with Q-Tips in the subject. Thanks!

  14. Imthemommy on May 25, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    By the grace of God! 😀

  15. meginphilly on May 25, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    “clean it & get on with your life” love that! so true!

  16. JPMRR3 on May 25, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Love Q-Tips and love the blog!

  17. tracilyns on May 25, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Love your blog!

  18. sparrow23 on May 25, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Just found your site today from reading the flossip.com. This is a site I will bookmark. Thanks!

  19. Jennooo on May 25, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I would love to win!

  20. Lee Ann on May 25, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Wish I’d have bought stock in Q-tips when my kids were little.  I’m a great-grandmother now and I bet I’ve bought 3 tons of Q-tips over the years.  Live and learn!

  21. Kari on May 25, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Thanks for the great tips on cleaning the toilet. It’s always a good reminder that it doesn’t NEED to be perfectly sterile!!

  22. Jenny on May 25, 2012 at 6:16 am

    great tips! thanks!

  23. Jenny Jenn Jen on May 25, 2012 at 5:05 am

    My little sweet grandma taught me not to use bleach & mix it with urine! She was always teaching me stuff through out my childhood & until my 30’s, boy she was preparing me with a lifetime of household smarts & tips! I now use every little thing she taught me with my own family! And one day pass it on! I also love love Q-Tips!!! They are great for getting makeup off, nail polish off, cleaning in the bathroom, cleaning the air vents in the car, and small places around the house! Kids also love to paint with them!!!

    Thanks for this post!!


  24. Cadi on May 24, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Thanks for the info! I have 2 boys and I had no idea not to mix bleach and urine!

  25. judithboggs2 on May 24, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Oh, toilets!  Can’t live with them, can’t live without them!   LOL   Haven’t had a little boy at home for years, but now the grandsons are coming along and I’m back in the cleaning trenches again.   Oh, well, it qualifies as CUTE now that it;s grandkids and not kids!

  26. Shayna1 on May 24, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    you are so cute! I’ve raised 3 boys and didn’t know not to use bleach.

  27. KeterMagick on May 24, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Yay Heather, great video.  I never understood the bleach in the toilet thing.  I like to use Lysol disinfectant or its generic equivalent for washing the rim, seat, and handle, though.  Just a little diluted with water in a spray bottle and your choice of disposable wiping implement: spray it on, clean the bowl, wipe it off, done.  And don’t forget to clean the front and the base.  I haven’t had a little boy in my household for over 20 years now and golly, there’s still always an inexplicable mess there.  o_O

  28. kelly on May 24, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Thanks for the tips!  I’ve learned so much from your blog!

  29. hislovendures on May 24, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Yikes!  I knew about not mixing ammonia and bleach, but it never dawned on me about the whole ammonia in urine thing!  I’m glad you mentioned that.

  30. Alison on May 24, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    I JUST discovered your hilarious and extremely useful site and I’m having a blast! 

  31. ophelialives on May 24, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Great ideas!  I also love your book.  It helps me to look forward to my household activities when things start getting too routine.  🙂

  32. DebbieLazarchicWeber on May 24, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    I will stop using bleach in the toilet, thanks for the (Q) tip!    

  33. kristenwestfall on May 24, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Thanks so much for your tips! And I love that Qtips is a sponsor:)

  34. AnnetteMorris on May 24, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Thank you for what you do Miss Heather!  I love your blog and appreciate the lessons I’ve learned.

  35. cmay61 on May 24, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Love your tips!  Include me in the didn’t think or realize about bleach and urine (because it’s has ammonia in it).  Thanks for the heads-up.  I wouldn’t mind winning either!

  36. smeelia on May 24, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Great tips. Thanks!

  37. CrystalStorms on May 24, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Thanks for the great tips.  I really enjoyed the reference to not needing a sterile toilet : )

  38. Karen o on May 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Thanks for the great tips:-) this is my first time on your site and I love it!! Thanks:-)

  39. Jamie0831 on May 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    I would love to win, thanks!

  40. Psuke on May 24, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Wow, I never thought of the ammonia in urine before, certainly not in reference to using bleach to clean. Especially if one is a water-conservation enthusiast!  I haven’t used bleach to clean in forever myself, but I’ll mention it to folks I know that do…

  41. esrliverman on May 24, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    I hadn’t thought about bleach combining with the ammonia in urine before. Now I’m mortified by the thought of people suggesting bleach or bleach-based cleaners for the toilet bowl! Thank goodness for vinegar!

  42. RitaAnnW on May 24, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    I use Q tips for everything.  They really help in some hard to get to cleaning situations. My youngest son had borrowed my blender when he moved away to be near his college.  He brought it back with crud in between the buttons and I used to Q tips to get all the particles out of the sides of the buttons.  Thank you for all your wonderful articles.  MS

  43. CMarie on May 24, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    $50 gift card to what?  Whatever, I’m in!  As always, thanks for all your great tips.

  44. landerson731 on May 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    I love q-tips too!

  45. caanan.tully on May 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Hadn’t thought of using Q-tips for the hard to reach toilet places. Thanks!

  46. CassandraCraig on May 24, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Never thought about the ammonia in urine combining with bleach–thanks for that tip! : )

  47. Machelle on May 24, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    I love Q-tips!  I have tried every bargain brand, but always come back to original Q-tips!

  48. Katherine on May 24, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Hey, Thursday is my bathroom cleaning day! Thanks for the tips. 🙂

  49. J on May 24, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Q-Tips are amazingly useful. They don’t fall apart on me like the off-brands. >_>

  50. idahojill on May 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Thanks for the useful tips!

  51. Austin on May 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    What a great tip–Thank you!!

  52. stipplequilt on May 24, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Always enjoy your tips, thanks for sharing!

  53. JulieP on May 24, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Absolutely LOVE all the tips but this one ROCKS

  54. Amy Bounds on May 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Thank you for the great tips

  55. DianaK on May 24, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    That’s a great tip.  Some many ways to use Q-tips that I don’t even think of.  Thank you!

  56. MrsWorcester on May 24, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Yay I love gift cards! Q-tips are one of my favorite household items, and not just for cleaning. I use them to smudge eyeliner or remove mascara that got crazy, and to clean up around nails when nail polish gets crazy. Best thing ever!

  57. MelissaQ on May 24, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Really do learn a lot from following your blog.  Thanks!

  58. ANBiddy on May 24, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Q-tips are so helpful when it comes to cleaning! Thanks! 🙂

  59. skrkdale on May 24, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Q-tips are good for so many cleaning jobs.  Thanks for sharing so many great ideas through your blog with us.

  60. M J Wilson on May 24, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Thanks for the Q-Tip tips!

  61. stinkilidi on May 24, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I LOVE Q-tips, and i did not know about the amonia thing! Thanks!

  62. Laura on May 24, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Maybe Q-Tip will make longer ones so we don’t have to get too close using them on the toilet!  Like the swabs the dr uses when doing a throat culture! Yuck.  Anyways, I never thought about urine having ammonia in it either!  Hmmm wonder why so many toilet cleaners contain bleach…maybe they never thought of urine having ammonia either.

  63. Jessa on May 24, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    I use q-tips to clean under the jets in the tub. They work wonders!

  64. zzipper on May 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Don’t forget to take some Q-tips to the kitchen.  Oh so helpful to grab onto grease and just toss it out.  My griddler always looks brand new when I am done with it.

  65. ElizabethSchmelzenbach on May 24, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Good tips! Thanks!

  66. SarahMaximiek on May 24, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I had a horrible experience once in which I practically had to tackle a coworker from adding ammonia to a bleach filled pail to mop the floor.  You know, to make it cleaner.  *shudder* 

  67. elishap on May 24, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Great idea to use Q-tips in the bathroom for those hard to reach areas! I especially can use the warning against mixing bleach and urine — didn’t know! My boys LOVE to make messes in the bathroom (wish I had a live-in cleaning gnome that lived in my bathroom and cleaned everyday).

  68. Marjorie on May 24, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    great tip. with a house full of boys this is good to know

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