Toilet bowl cleaners and freshners

We seem to live in a society that is fastidious with having a toilet that smells like roses and is blue as the Mediterranean Sea! From bowl fresheners and blu blocks in the cistern it is amazing what lengths we will go to achieve this sense of being out in a field of flowers overlooking a beautiful blue sea in our bathrooms.

The thing is that with a little elbow grease and by taking the seat off to get rid of the uric acid that is hiding under it your toilet won't smell. It is the uric acid and yes some lurgies in the bowl that create the smell but if cleaned properly these can be easily eliminated.

The other problem with this craze of bowl fresheners and blu blocks is that while we may feel like we are out in nature when using the bathroom what are we actually doing to the environment each time we flush?

Some common chemicals found in toilet cleaners include chlorine, ammonia and hydrochloric acid as ingredients, all of which are highly corrosive and can shorten the lifespan of the valve in the cistern. Additionally, while these agents kill bad bacteria,they also kill helpful bacteria further along the system that can assist in breaking down our waste. Chlorine can react with other organic substances in the environment and generate hazardous compounds such as furans and dioxins.

Another chemical that may be found in toilet cleaning products, used mainlyin chemical toilets for camping and RV’s, is formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a carcinogenic also shown to cause mutations in animals.

We researched some popular toilet products and found these other environmentally damaging ingredients:

  • Diethylene glycol monobutyl ether – volatile organic compounds harmful to aquatic organisms
  • Sodium dichloroisocyanurate – very toxic to aquatic organisms – may cause long-term damage in the environment
  • Chlorinated phenols – respiratory and circulatory toxins
  • Triclosan – a cumulative toxin, primarily used for anti-bacterial purposes, but can also damage plant, animal and aquatic life.

Many of the de-scaling ingredients used in toilet cleaners are based on petrochemicals, i.e. crude oil.

Often these chemicals are not removed at sewage treatment facilities.

The big problem with identifying environmental toxins in your toilet cleaner is in many countries, companies are not required to disclose all of the components. Some products may also be tested on animals while in development. 

In addition to all the chemicals, there’s the plastics and packaging for these products; particularly the plastic cages used in rim blocks. The cages are used once, then thrown away – multiply that by millions of people who use these products and it becomes quite a substantial amount of non-biodegradable waste. 

So our advice is to grab your Ultra Bathroom Glove and clean all areas around the screws and clean the seat really well. Then with your glove run it several times around the rim of the toilet then dry off with a Star Polish cloth. And don't forget to screw the seat back on!

If you want your toilet to smell of flowers pop an essential oil in a spritzer bottle and have a little spray when you go in and then when you leave, better for you and better for the environment!

The team at Ha-Ra

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