Using Those Inexpensive Bleach Tablets in Your Toilet Could Be Doing More Harm Than Good

Tablets offer a convenient way to clean your toilet, but they do much more harm than good

To Bleach or Not to Bleach: Should You Use Bleach Tablets in Your Toilets?
Image: Pixabay
May 24, 2019

Using bleach tablets to clean the toilet may seem like a great way to save some cleaning time, not to mention avoiding the gloves, brush, and cleaner. But you could be doing a lot of damage to your toilet just by dropping that tablet in the water tank. Bleach tablets can slowly cause damage to the rubber seals inside your toilet, causing unexpected leaks and completely avoidable repair bills.

Caustic Cleaners, Leaking Toilets

Bleach and other cleaning tablets are caustic, meaning they break down weaker materials over time. Those bolts that hold the tank to the toilet bowl aren't very robust, nor are the the rubber gaskets between those bolts and the ceramic tank. While it may take longer for the bolts to degrade from the bleach, those rubber seals will break down very quickly. You may find yourself with rusted bolts and a leaking toilet in as little as six months, meaning you will have to have all the guts of the toilet replaced in order to stop the leaks.

Cheap Tablets, Blocked Pipes

Another potential drawback to the bleach tablets comes from cheaper ones that can break apart over time as opposed to dissolving. If a piece of the tablet breaks off, it can get sucked into the tiny passages inside the toilet and block the water flow. While it will eventually dissolve, you might notice that your toilet doesn't flush correctly for months at a time. Water might be slow to fill the drain or can even slow to a trickle.

So what should you use to clean your toilet?

If you decide to use a cleaning tablet in your toilet, it should always be placed into the toilet bowl, not in the tank. While it might be a little unsightly, there aren't any parts in the bowl that can be damaged or blocked.

Don't want to use an in-bowl tablet? A good old fashioned toilet brush and a spray cleaner every week is a great alternative!