How do I tell if my toilet cleaner is the type that damages the flapper?
August 22, 2017 10:30 AM   Subscribe

I bought a whole bunch of toilet cleaner tabs, the blue pucks you put in the tank. They were on sale for 100 pucks for $100 so I thought they'd last a couple years. But I just read online that they may damage the flapper because of the chemicals, and now I'm worried. How do I know if the cleaner I have is safe?

This is the brand I got, it's basically a no-name cheapo brand:

Perhaps if I make sure to flush every day, it won't become so concentrated that it'll damage the flapper.

Or if anyone has other ideas about what I could do with them that is toilet-safe, I'm all ears.
posted by lpctstr; to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
Flappers are cheap and not difficult to install, so maybe not a huge issue.
posted by theora55 at 10:34 AM on August 22, 2017 [12 favorites]

Agreed - you're likely looking at a $12 repair that may or may not happen, and is something that literally anyone tall enough to see into the toilet tank can do. There are a ton of tutorials on the web for what is a ridiculously simple job.

I'm voting for 'this is not worth your time to worry about'.
posted by Brockles at 10:41 AM on August 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

I am the most unskilled person in the world when it comes to household stuff, and I can replace a flapper. So really, this is no big deal. You'll know it needs to be replaced if you hear a leak. Try it and see what happens.
posted by FencingGal at 10:56 AM on August 22, 2017

Yeah, I am incompetent with household stuff, and it takes me about two minutes to replace a flapper.
posted by joyceanmachine at 11:01 AM on August 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Cleaner that has any kind of bleach in it will probably damage your flapper. If using the cleaner is worth more to you than having to replace your flapper in a couple years I'd say keep using them since, as others have stated it's almost comically easy to do.
posted by Dr. Twist at 11:19 AM on August 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

They will likely damage the flapper. It is an easy replacement.
posted by saradarlin at 12:07 PM on August 22, 2017

If you do end up replacing them, make sure you buy the chemical resistant flappers for a few extra bucks. My wife is a little overzealous with the cleaning chemicals and our original plastic flappers were corroded - I replaced them with the chem resistant ones and they've lasted years without showing any signs of chemical damage.
posted by _DB_ at 12:54 PM on August 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

I've found that flappers rot regardless of using a tank cleaner, though a bleach based cleaner may rot cheep flappers faster.
posted by Marky at 1:06 PM on August 22, 2017 [3 favorites]

You'll be able to tell when your "flapper" is starting to go - your toilet won't stop "trying to fill up" noise.

I've used Clorox bleach-pucks for 4 years at my last place and I'm about 7 years in this - no bleach-puck-associated issues at all, the rubber plug/float thinger looks great.
posted by porpoise at 11:55 PM on August 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

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