The Dangers Of Using Toilet Bowl Cleaners

There are many different types of toilet bowl cleaning products, each of which claims to remove stains and leave your bathroom hygienic and fresh. The convenience of a product that thoroughly cleans your toilet without you needing to get on your hands and knees and start scrubbing is difficult to resist. But are they safe? And if not, what dangers do they pose, both to your family, pets and the toilet itself?

DIY Natural pointed out that the main chemicals used in most toilet cleaners are hydrochloric acid and chlorine bleach, both of which are corrosive and toxic. Additionally, Plumbing by Jake stated that they can cause your bathroom fixtures and fittings, especially the gaskets and rubber seals in your toilet, to wear out sooner than they should. Some manufacturers even warn that they will void their warranty if certain toilet bowl cleaners are used. In addition to causing leaks, some cheaper, drop-in-bowl type toilet cleaners are poorly made or have parts that can break off, which could result in clogging your toilet. Any of these problems can end up being costly to fix, requiring a plumber to be called out, or in the worst-case scenario, having to replace your entire toilet.

The dangers to you and your family

Even more worrying though are the dangers to you and your loved one's health. Inhaling the ingredients of these highly toxic cleaners can cause real problems. They can burn your respiratory tract, your eyes, your skin and irritate asthma symptoms. Home Steady warned that if toilet bowl cleaner is swallowed, it can induce vomiting, pulmonary edema, or even a coma and recommended immediately contacting your emergency health services if ingested. They also advised that even though most cleaners have child-proof lids, it's still the safest option to keep all cleaners in a locked cabinet well out of the reach of small children.

Hunker further stated that if you mix a toilet cleaner that contains hydrochloric acid with household bleach, a poisonous gas called chloramine is produced that is extremely dangerous and could even prove fatal. If the bathroom is poorly ventilated or the products are used in high quantities, these dangerous effects increase. When using any chemical toilet cleaners, always open windows, and avoid mixing products unless you are 100% sure of the ingredients. In addition, ensuring your products are clearly labeled will make it less likely to mix up harmful concoctions by accident.

Toilet bowl cleaner alternatives

Nowadays, there are plenty of companies producing eco-friendly cleaners for your toilet that don't involve the use of harsh chemicals. They are better for your plumbing, kinder to the environment, and safer for your health. Big Green Smile recommended a range of organic, natural, and eco-friendly cleaners that will keep your toilet sparkling clean and smelling fresh without the need to compromise your health or the inner workings of your toilet.

Alternatively, DIY Natural shared a non-toxic method for eco-friendly toilet cleaning. All you need is a spray bottle of vinegar and a pot of baking soda with a shaker lid. Spray the vinegar all over the toilet bowl, shake plenty of baking soda on top and leave to sit for a few minutes. Scrub it with your toilet brush and flush as normal.

Our Oily House shared a great idea for homemade toilet cleaner bombs. You need 1 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup citric acid, 1 tablespoon liquid soap, 30 drops of essential oils, bath bomb molds or silicone molds, and a spray bottle. Mix the baking soda and citric acid in a bowl, add the essential oils and stir well. Put the liquid soap into the spray bottle and spray onto the dry ingredients in the bowl, just enough to moisten it, so the mixture holds together. Press it into the molds and leave it to completely dry overnight. Pop them out of the molds and store in an airtight container until needed.