Can You Put Laundry Detergent in the Toilet Tank?

Toilet tanks often get limescale and mineral deposits due to hard water inside the tank, and they need proper cleaning and maintenance to keep the plumbing fixture in good condition.

Can You Put Laundry Detergent in the Toilet Tank? You should not put laundry detergent in the toilet tank because it can damage the tank components, is not safe for the septic system, and fragrances attract mold and bacteria. The bubbles interrupt the flushing system, clog the pipes, and some chemicals are not soluble in water and settle down at the bottom. Add vinegar or baking soda with laundry detergent to clean the toilet without damaging its components.

People often argue or discuss whether you should put laundry detergents in the toilet tanks or not for cleaning and removing mineral deposits. Professionals recommend avoiding the laundry detergents inside the toilet tanks because different chemicals are used in the manufacturing. 

Why you should not put laundry detergent in the toilet tank?

It is better not to put laundry detergents in the toilet tank because of the following reasons. 

Damage to the tank components

Laundry detergents have chemicals that can work to remove the stains from the clothes, but these chemicals can damage the components inside the tank.

It may contain bleach that can corrode the rubber seal and flapper and affect the functioning of the plumbing fixture.

The soapy film on the lever chain and flapper causes the components to worn-out soon. You have to spend money repairing or selecting new tank components if you excessively use them inside the toilet tank to fix the problems.

Therefore, professionals recommend using cleaners formulated only for toilet tanks because the components inside them can deteriorate over time with the chemicals in the detergents.

Not safe for septic system

Some laundry detergents contain harsh chemical agents, such as benzyl acetate, phosphate, bleach, and ethanol, which are not safe for the septic system and environment.

These chemicals can kill the natural bacteria inside the septic tanks and damage the water treatment system. In addition, the phosphate chemical causes the outbreak of green and blue algae, which is not safe for the environment and ecosystem.

Surfactants are the essential ingredient in these cleaning products that can cause damage to the septic tanks and the plumbing system.

Surfactants are biodegradable, which break down in the water, but many ingredients in laundry cleaning products and dishwasher tablets are not biodegradable and pollute the septic system. 

They can affect the organisms that work to break down the waste products and treat the wastewater to use again. For this reason, people avoid using these products inside toilet tanks for a better and safe septic system. 

Causes mold and bacteria growth

Mold and bacteria can grow in moist and smelly places. Laundry detergents contain fragrances to make the clothes smell fresh and pleasing.

These fragrances are used to suppress the odor of chemicals and surfactants used in manufacturing. However, these fragrances can contain some hazardous chemicals that are not safe for the plumbing fixture and the environment.

The fragrance can attract mold, bacteria, and fungi to grow inside the toilet tank and affect the toilet’s working.

Mold and bacteria can grow and cause a smell inside the fixture instead of cleaning and reducing stingy odors. I used these detergents a couple of times in my toilet tank and observed mold and bacteria growing on its edges and corners.

Therefore, long-term use of these fragrance-containing cleaning agents leads to a different problem, and I stopped using them to clean or reduce odors from my plumbing fixture.

Bubbles interrupt the flushing

Bubbles form inside the water when you add any detergent or soap because a thin water layer is sandwiched between two layers or films of detergent.

The fatty acids inside the soap or laundry products react with the water ions and create bubbles, which float over the water due to the lower surface tension of the water.

These bubbles interrupt the flushing system when you press the lever of the flushing handle because they are floating over the water. It also affects the water pressure to send the waste into the drain pipes or sewage because the bubbles form on the top and disrupt the water flow.

Clogging in the drain pipes

Clogging is a severe problem inside the toilet drain pipes because it causes bacteria and germs to spread all over the bathroom surface and increases the smell in this place.

Laundry detergents contain essential oils, such as palm oil and petroleum ingredients, which are not completely soluble in water and can remain at the bottom.

A thin film will form around the washer, seal, and other components, which causes clogging in the toilet and drain pipes.

You have to call a plumber to solve this problem if the components are not working or the drains are clogged because of excessive chemical cleaners use.

Not soluble in water

They are available in liquid, powder, and solid form and need different conditions to dissolve in water. Most of the chemicals are hydrophobic and hard to dissolve in water.

Liquid detergents dissolve well in all water temperatures, while solid and powder forms require warm or lukewarm water to dissolve well.

The powder and solid cleaning products do not dissolve well inside the tank because the water in it is cold, depending on the outside weather or the lake from which the main water supply is coming.

This causes the chemicals to settle down without dissolving and cause damage to the tank surface. They start building on the bottom surface, and it becomes difficult to remove the chemical buildup or the film from the tank surface.

Why do some people put laundry detergent in the toilet tank?

Some people use laundry detergents inside toilet tanks because of the following reasons.

Reduce the smell inside the tank

These cleaning products contain chemicals and fragrances that can reduce the smell in the tank due to mold, limescale deposits, and standing water.

Every time you press the handle to flush the waste, water with detergent comes out of the tank and removes the smell and germs from the toilet bowl.

The detergent sits in the tank bottom, and a pleasing aroma will spread with every flush. Some people choose this technique to minimize the smell in the plumbing fixture, while others think it will damage the toilet.

However, excessive use of any chemical cleaner is not safe for toilet components and the plumbing system.

Keep the tank clean

It can clean the toilet tank and the bowl because the chemicals inside it are formulated to remove stains from clothes and other fabrics.

You can pour a cup of laundry detergent inside the tank and scrub it with a soft brush to remove the water stains and mineral deposits.

Professionals recommend not using these cleaning products more often; however, people use them after 30-40 days and clean the detergent and the tank properly instead of leaving it inside the tank for a long time to avoid any damage.

Pleasing odor in the bathroom

The bathroom can smell bad because of different reasons, such as the urine scale inside the bowl, mold inside the tank, and germs and bacteria accumulation in the plumbing fixture.

People use laundry cleaners to refresh the bathroom atmosphere with a pleasant aroma spread when you flush the urine or other waste. The toilet area will smell refreshing when someone enters the bathroom.

What can you mix with laundry detergent to reduce the smell and clean the toilet tank?

Mix vinegar and baking soda with laundry detergent to create a homemade and better cleaning product. People either mix vinegar with these cleaners or baking soda with the detergent.

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and removes germs, mold, and bacteria, while the detergent can remove stains and keep the plumbing fixture clean.

The solution can reduce the smell inside the toilet bowl and tank and make the bathroom environment fresh and germs-free.

Baking soda mixed with laundry detergent can also reduce the odor and suborn stains from the toilet bowl and tank surface to make the plumbing fixture look new.

Read the label or instructions on the packing before mixing and applying any cleaning product on the toilet tank to prevent damage. 

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