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Mythbusters: How Not to Clean Your Toilet

When it comes to cleaning your toilet, who doesn’t want to take a shortcut?

We’re all for working smarter and not harder, but we also want to make sure that what you’re using to clean your toilet will actually clean it – and not cause any damage to it!

Read on as we debunk some myths on effective commode-cleaning hacks.

Myth #1: You can use soda to clean your toilet. A quick Google search will turn up tons of articles on this alleged hack – using Coca-Cola in particular – but we don’t recommend it. While the acids in soda might remove some rust stains, don’t dump a two-liter bottle in the toilet unless you want it to get sticky.

Myth #2: A Magic Eraser in your toilet tank will remove stains. Magic Erasers are, well, magic when it comes to removing stains and marks on walls and they’ll do great at removing soap scum as well. But they won’t work their magic in your toilet tank. You need to actually pick them up and do the scrubbing yourself for them to be effective, so tossing one in your tank won’t do anything. It could even damage the toilet’s flushing mechanics.

Myth #3: You can put Fabuloso in your toilet tank to keep it smelling fresh. This hack gained steam on TikTok last year. Fabuloso is an all-purpose cleaner that is known for its fresh scent and ability to remove dirt, grease and grime from a variety of hard surfaces in the home. You can clean the toilet using this product by pouring a little into the bowl and scrubbing clean.

But we don't recommend placing Fabuloso or any other all-purpose cleaner in the back of the toilet tank. Such cleaners can be corrosive and may degrade the rubber gasket and seal in your tank. This can lead to leaks and cause your toilet to run, which can spike your water bill. Additionally, having a chemical like this continually run through the toilet is dangerous if you have animals who like to take an occasional drink from the bowl. They shouldn’t be ingesting these chemicals should not be ingested.

Myth #4: You can use Drano in your toilet. Most professional plumbers strongly advise against using Drano and any other drain cleaning chemical solutions of the sort. The chemical reaction that occurs in your toilet, drain, or plumbing heats up very hot, inflicting damage on the lining of your plumbing.

Additionally, Drano doesn’t always work. If you have standing water, use Drano, and it is not effective, you’ll then have a fixture full of hazardous chemicals. This makes it more difficult to clear away the obstruction.

So How Should You Clean Your Toilet?

Are there any cleaning hacks that do work? Yes! While you can buy toilet bowl cleaner at the grocery store, you can also use some common household products to get your toilet looking like new!

You can make your own hard water stain remover by combining equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture over the area you want to clean, and let it sit. Then scrub it with a toilet bowl brush or another scrubbing brush. If you still can’t remove the stain, try pouring the solution into a small bowl and adding baking soda to make a paste.

That should do it. When you’re done, rinse the area, then wipe it dry completely so stains don’t reappear.

Another homemade solution you can try: Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Just don’t store this combination in a closed container because carbon dioxide could build up and cause a leak or an explosion.