How Blue Tablets Could Really Be Damaging Your Toilet

A clean bathroom is a blue bathroom — at least, that's what the toilet bowl tells us, right? Maybe you're prepping to have family over and all you have time for is a quick drop of a toilet tablet in each bathroom. Set it and forget it, and you have a sparkling clean throne for your guests in no time (highlighted, of course, by the bright blue toilet water). Or maybe scrubbing the toilet bowl is the bane of your existence, so you've stuck to the same Clorox tablets since your college apartment days.

But, unfortunately, some things are just too good to be true, including the convenience of drop-in toilet tablets. According to the plumbing pros, your handy self-cleaning toilet tablets may be doing more damage than you realize. PipeWrench Plumbing warns against the chemical side effects of using these toilet tablets. Since you don't properly vent the room like you would using a traditional cleaner, you run the risk of inhaling toxic fumes because the tablet is trapped in a closed tank with no open window.

As if the physical side effects weren't enough to get you scrubbing on your hands and knees, these blue discs might be eating away at your plumbing system, too.

Toilet tablets may be eating away at your plumbing

While the cleaning effect of blue tablets is undisputed, many plumbers warn against their regular use in favor of sticking with some more traditional cleaning techniques. One plumber wrote into The Washington Post, warning homeowners and renters alike to skip the bleach tablets for a whole slew of reasons. He explains that the blue hue can hide any lime or iron buildup, which may cause it to mix with the bleach tablets and turn to a gel that may clog the jets in your toilet. He also says "a strong bleach tablet so close to the rubber flapper will degrade it, which eventually will cause water to leak from the tank."

According to the North Carolina Consumers Council, these tiny rubber pieces, found in between the tank and bolts, can break down from the bleach in as little as six months of use. Cheaper tablets can also break up and get lodged inside the tank, ultimately clogging your pipes. So, if your toilet's been flushing a little funkily and you regularly use bleach tablets, you may want to call a plumber — and invest in a good scrub brush instead.