This Is What Happens When You Put Dish Soap In Your Toilet

If you like to keep your bathroom in pristine condition — or just want to clean up the grime on a regular basis — then you might be eager to take advantage of everything from hardcore bleach to easy-breezy essential oils. You might also keep your eyes open for clever cleaning tips and tricks. That's why you may have seen a seemingly handy hack that buzzed around the internet back in 2020. Edinburgh News explains that one social media user took to the Mums Who Clean Facebook group to post about using dish soap to clean her toilet. Writing that "for years," she's been adding "a big squeeze" of the liquid "in the toilet tank compartment" three times a week or so, she claims that it makes "every flush ... fresh," and results in "clean-smelling bubbles," as well as a toilet that "always looks clean."

Apartment Therapy adds that dish soap can apparently help to unclog a toilet, noting that you should add half a cup of dish soap or more to the toilet bowl (yes, they suggest the bowl and not the tank), and leave it where it is while you go and get around a gallon of hot (not boiling) water. Add the water to the bowl after the soap and leave the two to do their unclogging magic. 

While that sounds simple, why does this supposedly work? On top of that, should you even be doing it in the first place? Read on to find out!

Is putting dish soap in your toilet good or bad?

Before you try putting dish soap in your toilet, there are a few things that you should know. For instance, Apartment Therapy breaks down why this hack is effective, noting that the soap is just doing its job — that is, attacking whatever is in your toilet the same way it goes after anything on dirty dishes.

However, when the tip was shared on Facebook, News.com.au reported that others brought up potential problems with using dish soap in a toilet; one person said that there might be some eco-issues, while someone else admitted that while the trick worked for them, they did end up with "bubbles everywhere." Beyond that, the NZ Herald pointed out that another person on FB warned others that this "ruins your system ... so don't do it." Another person added more detail, writing that "the rubber/seals in your toilet cistern can break down when anything else but water is used in there."

So, is using dish soap in your toilet a good or bad idea? Well, Peter Daly, the CEO of Master Plumbers, explained to News.com.au that "it's safest to use cleaning products specifically designed for flush toilets," which means that dish soap isn't ideal. As for the eco-issues, Daly added, "We recommend that consumers always consider the environment when choosing cleaning products and its packaging." In that case, maybe it's best to leave the dish soap in the kitchen.