Is TikTok's Hack For Cleaning Your Toilet With A Bar Of Soap Safe?

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Cleaning the toilet is a gross task that nobody likes to do, but keeping up with regular maintenance can reduce the ick factor and prevent major messes from accumulating. If you have your own bathroom, you may only need to clean once per week, but families who share a toilet should aim to clean the bowl every few days and wipe down the surface parts as often as possible. One way to prolong the time between cleanings is to put something directly in the tank that will wash away the crud, remove stains, and keep mold from building up. Some people might opt for bleach blue tablets, but brand names can cost over $26 for a pack of only six tablets (via Amazon).  

In an effort to help people save money while sanitizing their toilets, TikTok user @arpitachawlaa released a handy hack that has now garnered over 126,500 likes and 583 comments. The TikTok video in question uses bar soap and another simple item that's been under — or, preferably, over — our noses for years. But could the hack actually work? And is it safe for your plumbing? Learn the truth about this TikTok hack and whether it's a bright idea or a total wipeout.

Could bar soap be the simple solution?

Before we can dive into whether or not you should try this hack, what is it? According to the steps in the TikTok video, start by cutting off the edge and ear loops of a disposable face mask at one end. Once the edge is removed, you can separate the layers to form a pouch. Drop a piece of standard bar soap into the pouch — a used soap that's become small and flimsy could be perfect for this! Using a rubber band or the ear loop you cut off earlier, tie off the open end of the pouch with the soap inside. Finally, use the remaining attached ear loop to hang the soap satchel inside the tank. If you don't have any disposable face masks at home, you could also place the bar soap in a hair net, cheesecloth, or another porous material, as long as it has some way to hook onto the tank.

In theory, every time you flush, the soapy water will clean the toilet's internal plumbing and wash out the bowl. According to the Centers for Disease Control, soapy water is actually quite effective at removing mold from hard surfaces, like the inside of your toilet tank. This hack might make sense from a cleaning standpoint; however, it overlooks some important things.

Not such a good idea

The viral TikTok hack isn't such a good idea if you want to take care of your plumbing. We all know how flimsy disposable paper masks can be while just wearing them around the grocery store. Let it soak in water for days on end, and the face mask is bound to disintegrate and break apart in the tank. If this happens, the mask layers, rubber band, and ear loop strings could easily get clogged in the toilet mechanics. If it wraps around the fill valve or flapper valve in your toilet tank, water will build up and spill into the overflow tube, wasting resources and racking up your water bill. Eventually, the overflow tube could also get clogged, and toilet water could flood your bathroom. 

Of course, that's just a surface issue. If the soggy mask pieces happen to lodge themselves deeper into the valves and plumbing tubes, you could have a more serious problem on your hands. If you can't see the mask and use pliers to remove it from beneath the flapper valve, you'll likely have to call a professional plumber to fix your toilet. In the end, this TikTok hack could end up costing you a lot more than standard bleach toilet tablets.