But is it safe to use the toilet bowl cleaner on your sink? The short answer is “no” because the toilet cleaner contains toxic properties such as bleach and hydrochloric acid, which are intended to counteract the stubborn stains and bacteria that are specifically found on toilet bowls. These ingredients will damage your wash in the long run.
The rest of this article will delve deeper into this topic and provide reasons why you should not use toilet cleaners on your sink or tub, alternatives to use when you run out of your usual products, and address other related issues.
Why you should avoid toilet cleaners on sinks
As already mentioned, toilet bowl cleaners are made with strong abrasives, bleach, and other ingredients that work perfectly for removing toilet bowl stains but are not ideal for the kitchen or bathroom sink.
To better understand why you should not use toilet cleaner on a sink, let’s look at the ingredients in most toilet bowl cleaners.
Ingredients in toilet bowl cleaners
The main ingredients used in the manufacture of toilet cleaners are bleach and hydrochloric acid. Below, we discuss these ingredients in detail to help you understand what makes them suitable for the toilet bowl and not suitable for other surfaces such as sinks and bathtubs. Toilet cleaners contain strong bleach, which works well to whiten the toilet bowl while killing the bacteria. This property attracts most homeowners to the idea of also using the detergent for the sink.
Although you will get the expected results, bleach will form a harmful compound if ingested. Therefore, for the sake of your health, avoid using toilet cleaners on sinks or other surfaces where you may be at risk of ingesting this harmful substance.
The hydrochloric acid in toilet cleaners is responsible for removing stains and the sparkling afterglow. This acid is highly corrosive and can cause burns to the skin if not handled carefully. In addition, like bleach, it should not be inhaled as it can damage the eyes and lungs.
How does the toilet cleaner ruin the kitchen sink?
Most kitchen sinks are made of stainless steel, which has been treated to have first-class rust-resistant properties. Since the material is so resistant, most homeowners assume that a toilet bowl cleaner will not harm, but we are here to relieve that myth. The hydrochloric acid formula used in toilet cleaners has a harsh effect on stainless steel. The strong abrasives leave scratches on repeated use. The marks may not be visible right away, but they will eventually ruin the sink.
In addition, the bleach, which is very clearly harmful to the human body, will also accumulate in the wash and cause contamination and eventually find its way to your skin or other sensitive things by washing up.
What about the bathtub? Can you use the toilet cleaner to clean the bathtub?
Given the components of the toilet cleaners, it should also be obvious that they should not be used in the bathtub. If you use it, it will get the desired cleaning results: the stains and dirt will be gone. However, the final damage to your tub can be irreversible, not to mention the risk of health concerns resulting from taking a bath in a tub that could retain some of these harsh chemicals on the surfaces.
On the bathtub itself, the tough toilet bowl cleaning ingredients are capable of ruining the color and appearance of the bathtub in general. Usually, tubs are made of tile and porcelain and these will eventually become discolored. In addition, the smooth finish of your tub will also be affected by the acidic formula in the detergent and will be eaten away by the hard acids and abrasives.
What are the alternatives to cleaning toilet bowls?
It is undeniable that most of us have at one time or another used a toilet bowl cleaner on either the sink or the bathtub. And of course, the detergent gave the desired results: the surface became sparkling clean.
The good news is that it is not too late to stop this practice. Below we provide some of the alternatives you can use on your sinks and bathtubs instead of having to use toilet bowl cleaners once you have run out of your usual cleaning products.
Most homeowners like to work with commercial cleaners, but a homemade cleaner works quite similarly on sinks, bathtubs, and other surfaces.
Vinegar is one of the most effective acidic elements you will find at home. It is mild on surfaces but very effective in removing stains and odors.
All you have to do is mix a little bit of vinegar with a quart of water in a bowl or container. (A plastic bottle is also a very useful and convenient option.) You can also add a small amount of essential antimicrobial oils to kill bacteria and leave a pleasant odor.
Another option is to use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. This combination can cause overflow and should only be used in sinks and tubs, but it is guaranteed to remove hard stains and accumulated debris on surfaces. It is also a good opportunity to clean colored teapots and coffee mugs.
Another commonly used mixture can also do the trick. All you have to do is mix 1 tablespoon liquid dishwashing detergent with half a cup of white vinegar/lime extract and a cup of clean water in the right proportions. When your mixture is ready, spread it evenly on your sink or tub and let it rest for a few minutes before rinsing it off with clean water.
Apart from these homemade solutions, you can also use a purchased detergent intended for the sink or bathtub. Usually, these are made with such mild ingredients that they will not cause scratches or discolor your surfaces, and they are far less likely to cause health-related problems.
What can you clean with toilet cleaners apart from the toilet bowl?
Although we have ruled out the use of toilet bowl cleaners on sinks and bathtubs, you can still find other cleaning tasks where it may be reasonable to use these products.
For example, you can use it to clean your bins/cans. All you have to do is mix it with a little water to dilute it, then use a brush to clean the container. While working, wear gloves to avoid touching the solution or ingesting it in any way, as it may cause a health hazard.
Can you use bleach on a sink?
Bleach is usually very corrosive, therefore it should be used with caution. This is convenient when your highest priority is to kill bacteria. But if you need to use it on a sink, you need to dilute it properly, especially for use on the white porcelain sinks.
Dilution of the mixture reduces the abrasion resistance and the chances of discoloration. While using a diluted bleach mixture, make sure that you do not let the solution rest on the sink for too long. Also, make sure that you rinse it off thoroughly with plenty of water so that you are sure not to leave any residue.