I Used a Dishwasher Tablet to Clean My Toilet — Here’s How It Went

updated Oct 10, 2021
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Credit: Kitchn

Warning: There are photos of a toilet bowl in this post. Yes, I realize this is a food site and that many of you might not be here for bathroom content (hence the warning!). But when I heard that you could use a dishwasher detergent tablet (the kitchen-related part of this story!) to clean a toilet, I had to try it.

See, I had recently learned that you can use a dishwasher detergent tablet to successfully (and easily!) clean the inside of an oven. Then Kitchn covered a few other ways to use dishwasher tablets around the house and I was inter-es-ted!

Credit: Lisa Freedman

My house is more than 270 years and, while the toilet is obviously not that old, it often seems like it. Because we get this ridiculously stubborn orange ring where the water level hits the bowl. I’ve tried everything — I’ve even let vinegar-soaked rags sit on the ring — and nothing seems to work. And while the rest of the toilet is clean, this orange ring just makes the whole thing look dirty.

Obviously, dishwasher tablets are designed to tackle hard water and remove stains, so it makes sense that they’d get the job done inside my toilet bowl. I’d read that you can just drop the tablet in, let it dissolve, and then start scrubbing. I did that and didn’t get the results I was looking for. So I went back to our story about cleaning an oven with a dishwasher tablet, and instantly knew I’d need to take my efforts a bit deeper. Meaning, umm, I’d have to reach into the bowl.

I pulled on a glove and dunked my hand in. Once the corner of the tablet was wet, I was able to easily go around the ring and “erase” it. Honestly, it was simple as that! I couldn’t believe it — especially considering that this ring has been here forever and that nothing else has ever worked.

Credit: Lisa Freedman

The ring didn’t come out completely, but it’s at least 100 times better than it was before. And now that the stain is pretty much gone, I don’t have to worry about it. It’s been more than a month and regular cleaning seems to be enough to keep the ring from coming back. If it ever does return, though (say, maybe while we’re away on a hypothetical vacation), I’ll know how to combat it!

Do you use dishwasher tablets in any surprising ways? Tell us in the comments below!