Are Drop-In Toilet Bowl Cleaners Safe?

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Are Drop-In Toilet Bowl Cleaners Safe?

It’s probably safe to say that most people do not enjoy cleaning their bathrooms. So, rather than get down on their hands and knees and scrub the revolting stains off the toilet bowl, why not just drop in a toilet bowl cleaner and call it a day? They sure make the water a beautifully clean shade of blue! Moreover, it certainly saves you cleaning time.

However, do you know how safe those toilet bowl cleaners really are?

Unfortunately, just like most things that profess convenience, drop-in toilet bowl cleaners are more trouble than they’re worth. This is because they actually cause toilet parts to wear out faster than they would with normal use. If you’re experiencing difficulties with your toilet or plumbing, give Plumbing by Jake a call at (928) 377-5910.

The Fallout from Drop-In Toilet Bowl Cleaners

Whether they turn your water blue or not, bleach-based drop-in toilet bowl cleaners are bad news. Bleach is “caustic,” which means they wear out materials over time. These materials include the rubber seals and gaskets in and around the lining of your toilet. The bolts themselves can break down too, but you’ll see issues far faster with the weaker materials that make up your toilet.

In fact, some companies like Kohler even install warning labels on their toilets that tell the buyer they’ll void their warranty if they use a drop-in toilet bowl cleaner. This is ultimately because these cleaners cause toilets to develop leaks when their parts wear out. If that happens, you’ll then need to either invest in a new toilet or replace the guts of your current one.


You can also clog your plumbing if you choose a cheaper brand of drop-in toilet bowl cleaner. This is because pieces of these cheaper brands tend to break off, becoming lodged in your pipes. You’ll then need to call in a professional to come and clear it out.

And speaking of lodging, pieces from these cheaper cleaners can also become lodged in the flush valve, which makes it more difficult or impossible to flush. You may notice when you flush that the water takes forever to fill up the tank. This can go on for months before the issue becomes serious enough to call a plumber – and when this happens, the problem is always worse.


To keep your toilet clean for as long as the cleaner says it will on its label, then it needs to emit chemicals all the time. Those chemicals do not stay trapped beneath the lid of your toilet tank either. They make their way into the very air you breathe. This is especially problematic if your bathroom is small and has poor ventilation.

And not only are these chemicals dangerous to inhale, but your pets can also get seriously sick if you forget to close the lid, and one of them drinks out of the toilet.

Taking all that into consideration, a few extra minutes to clean your toilet by hand doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?

Alternative Toilet Bowl Cleaners

Ultimately, you should avoid drop-in toilet bowl cleaners at all costs. However, if you are interested in an alternative cleaning method, there are plenty of “green” options available on the market, or you can make your own.

The best advice we can give you, though, is to never opt for a cleaner that requires you to pour it into the tank and let it sit. The longer the cleaner sits, the longer you’re breathing those chemicals in, and the more time it has to literally rot your toilet from the inside out. Clean the bowl only, not the tank.

Many folks use a combination of baking soda and vinegar to clean their toilets, an effective combination that gets your toilet shiny and clean without the hassle of plumbing concerns.

Having Trouble with Your Toilet? Call Plumbing By Jake!

Perhaps you know first-hand the kind of havoc one of these toilet cleaners can wreak because you’re experiencing problems right now with your toilet. If this is the case, give Plumbing by Jake a call at (928) 377-5910 anytime, day or night. Our experienced team is available round the clock to get you the help you need.

You can also submit your information to us using the contact form on our website if it’s not an emergency. Our team will then schedule a service call for you that works with your schedule.

At Plumbing by Jake, we offer all our customers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all our repairs and labor. We serve several locations throughout Arizona, so if you’re experiencing a plumbing emergency (and toilet issues would qualify!), then don’t delay – call us now!