If Your Bathroom Stinks, Grab An Empty Plastic Bottle And Do This

Few things are more unappealing than a smelly bathroom, and try though you may to deliver a fresh, sanitary powder room, the daily happenings in the bathroom can sabotage any hopes of a clean and welcoming scent. If you have tried every possible way to deodorize your smelly bathroom without any luck, you may be barking up the wrong tree — but never fear! A humble plastic bottle, otherwise destined for the recycling facility, could be the unlikely hero of this story.

Regularly cleaning your bathroom, spritzing air fresheners, and emptying the trash can religiously help to eliminate some of the culpable bathroom odors, but if you aren't cleaning the toilet frequently, you will never achieve the desired results. If you think that scrubbing the toilet bowl every day is your destiny, you may want to think again. This hack alleges that all you need for a perpetually clean (and fresh-smelling) toilet is a plastic bottle filled with a toilet-safe cleaner and correctly positioned in your toilet tank.

How to create your toilet bowl cleaner

For the proposed toilet cleaning hack, you will need a plastic bottle, a sharp pin, and a toilet-safe cleaning solution. Any plastic bottle will do, but avoid using one larger than a quart in capacity, as it may not fit in the tank. Clean the bottle thoroughly so it is free from any remnants of its former contents. Remove the cap from the bottle and fill it with a liquid cleaning solution that is safe for use in the toilet, leaving an inch or two of room at the top, and screw the bottle cap back on tightly. Next, you will flip the bottle upside down, consolidating the liquid at the top of the bottle and leaving enough of a fluid-free void to poke multiple holes in the side of the bottle with a pin (roughly an inch from the bottle's base). Be careful not to cut yourself when puncturing the bottle.

Remove the toilet tank lid, place the bottle in the toilet tank — right side up — and return the lid. With every flush, a small amount of the toilet cleaner should flow out of the bottle, refreshing the cleanliness of the toilet bowl, as well as lending a fresher smell to the bathroom. If you find that the bottle is too light and floating around in the toilet tank, you can add a handful of small rocks inside the bottle to weigh it down and prevent it from moving. 

Cautions and considerations

While this easy hack may simplify maintaining a clean toilet, you should take some precautions, as there are certain ingredients that should never be put inside the toilet tank. Bleach, for example, is a corrosive substance that can damage the functional parts responsible for keeping the toilet flushing normally. White vinegar is likely a safe ingredient to fill your tank-cleaning plastic bottle with, but be wary about putting just any cleaning solution inside the bottle.

All this being said, some plumbers warn against adding anything to a toilet's tank. Their argument? The toilet tank is designed to be filled with water (not cleaning chemicals) and requires its full capacity of water to work properly (not the full capacity minus the volume of a plastic bottle). A bottle that begins to float around in the tank could also disrupt important parts of the toilet — like the flapper, float, or fill valve — if it gets in the way. Before you commit to this way of repurposing plastic water bottles, do some research and make an informed decision about whether it is suitable for your bathroom.