Fill Your Toilet With Ice Cubes Before Cleaning It. Here's Why

Let's be honest, cleaning the toilet is nobody's favorite job. It's icky both icky and tricky. If you've ever applied toilet bowl cleaner, liquid, or powder, only to come back to find it all sunk to the bottom drain, and the rest of your toilet bowl none the cleaner? One easy toilet cleaning hack is to simply add ice to the equation. The solid ice prevents the cleaners from immediately slipping and gives the products time to actually clean and sanitize the surface, rather than just hitting the water line and dissolving. That means you get to spend less time working the product into the toilet bowl, which means less time doing this unpleasant but very necessary task. 

Why not just top up the toilet bowl with water? Just like your bathtub, your toilet has a trap that automatically drains when the set water level is exceeded. Even if you pour in a whole gallon of water, the toilet will almost immediately empty itself, making this method useless for prolonging cleaning products on your toilet bowl's surface. Ice on the other hand is a solid, so it won't immediately raise the water level, at least not until it melts afterward. 

How to use ice in the toilet

One way to try this method is to simply put a pile of ice in your toilet until it's at your desired height. Then, just add your favorite liquid or powder toilet cleaning product to the sides of the ice. Once the products have had adequate time to clean and sanitize, just flush the ice down the toilet and scrub as usual, or scrub with the ice still in the bowl and then flush afterward. The latter method has the advantage of using ice's abrasion against the bowl to dislodge any mildew, mineral buildup, or other icky bits, but be cautious about loose toilet ice cubes flying out as you scrub. 

Another method that amplifies the abrasive cleaning power of ice is to plug up the water with a sponge to prevent the ice from going down the drain, as seen in the video above. Add a layer of ice, followed by a toilet bowl cleaner. Then, with gloved hands, use the ice almost as a pumice stone to clean the toilet bowl, pushing it to reach every nook and cranny, even that pesky line under the rim of the bowl. When you're satisfied, remove the sponge from the drain, flush, and give everything a final once-over with the sponge. Be sure to sanitize the gloves and sponge after, and only use them for toilet cleaning in the future to prevent cross-contamination. 

Are there any risks to putting ice in the toilet?

Worried about damaging your toilet's plumbing system by adding ice? Don't stress! It's perfectly safe to add ice cubes to your toilet bowl. Even if you flush it down before it's fully melted, most ice cubes aren't any bigger than the usual solids in the toilet. Don't add heavy blocks or jagged slabs of ice, as this could damage the finish of your toilet bowl. 

The more troubling aspect of this cleaning trend we found was people using ice and multiple cleaning products to make what are literally described as toilet soup ASMR videos. Content creators stack liquids, powders, toilet cleaning bombs, and ice into the same basin before scrubbing it into a thick lather. This looks super satisfying, but because there is a great risk of creating toxic fumes when combining any household cleaning products, it is important to use one single toilet cleaning solution with this ice method. Even products that claim to be safe and natural, like The Pink Stuff foaming toilet cleaner, contain ingredients like citric acid, and when mixed with bleach, can make chlorine gas.