Cleaning the toilet isn’t the most fun chore you’d want to complete regularly, yet this essential facility must be kept in usable conditions at all times.
Rather than buy more than one cleaning product, many homeowners prefer a single bleach.
There’s a reason for that – bleaches kill two birds:
- they sanitize the toilet
- and eliminate stains in one sweep.
Hence, Is It Safe to Leave Bleach in the Toilet Overnight?
Yes, certainly. There’s nothing remotely risky about it provided you use the right amount of the bleach. I’ve done it more than once – unintentionally – and the only observable effect was a mild choking sensation from chlorine fumes (that familiar pungent odor you find in a recently-cleaned swimming pool).
These fumes normally get worse with the increasing amount of bleach, meaning you should keep the bleach to a minimum. Nonetheless, leaving your toilet to soak in bleach overnight is a perfect way to ensure thorough cleaning. Don’t flush the toilet in the meantime. Flushing the bleach prematurely can increase the fumes that should be reduced in the first place.
Still, it is worth mentioning that most bleach manufacturers don’t recommend leaving their bleaching agents in the toilet overnight. Neither do they explicitly discourage it.
But How Long Should Be Your ‘Overnight?’
Overnight describes any period lasting the entire night, about 12 hours between the evening to the morning of the following day.
However, when it comes to bleaching your toilet, ‘overnight’ is used to simply mean ‘reasonably long enough’ until the next day.
So, you can effectively let the bleach work on the toilet bowl for any length of time you wish until the following morning.
In fact, overnight is the most preferable duration because that’s probably the only part of the day when the facility is least used.
The result may not be pleasant if you let the bleach sit on your toilet for days or weeks, say, while you are on a vacation.
The Amount of the Bleach Matters
You need to get it right. Start by reading the application guide provided by the manufacturer.
Whether you plan to leave the toilet soaking for the entire night or the whole of the next day until the evening, you better start with a small amount of bleach, NOT a whole cup!
Bleaching agents work best at a ratio of 1:10 (bleach to water ratio).
I would advise anyone to start with a few ounces and progress a little to find what works for their toilet if it’s severely stained.
It’s fair to ask – how much is too much and what happens if too much is left on the toilet overnight?
Well, “excess bleach” would mean a very high amount of chlorine in a very small amount of water.
Anything that exceeds the aforementioned ratio of 1:10 is too much.
More precisely, never use more than half a cup of the bleaching agent. Also, remember to use fresh and clean water to mix the two.
Flush the toilet before sprinkling it there.
Many toilet bleach makers recommend a waiting time anywhere between 6 – 30 minutes, but they aren’t entirely against the overnight idea.
You don’t want to use excess bleach on your toilet because the results could see you replace the bowl.
Excess bleach left to sit on the bowl for too long will remove all the stains as you want but may leave its marks as well.
The worst affected part by the burn is the plumbing. The harsh bleach is known to break down the joints of the plumbing and cause them to leak.
NEVER Leave Chlorine Tablets in Your Toilet Overnight
All toilet bleaches fall in two broad categories – the liquid group (the likes of Clorox) and the tablet group (chlorine tablets used in pools, for example).
All these come with chlorine as their main bleaching agent but in varying quantities.
Pool tablets may appeal to some homeowners as a better and faster way to clean the toilet because of their high chlorine content, but that’s the exact reason why you should think twice before putting them in your toilet.
There’s nothing wrong with dropping a single tablet in the tank, but it should never stay there overnight.
The huge amounts of chlorine in these tablets will certainly devastate the surfaces of the tank and emit intolerable fumes the entire night. Anything between 6 – 10 minutes sounds reasonable.
But, just how bad could things turn out if you leave a whole tablet in the tank overnight? Oftentimes, the worst-affected parts are the gaskets and seals.
The harsh bleach disintegrates the soft parts of these components, causing them to leak.
Perhaps the scariest part is that a typical warranty DOESN’T COVER damages inflicted by in-tank cleaners.
What About Clorox? Is It OK to Pour It in The Toilet Tank? Can It Stay There Overnight?
Yes, you can clean the tank with Clorox and yes, it can be left there overnight very much the same you’d do with the bowl but remember to use the right amount.
In fact, Clorox is highly recommended if you are struggling to get rid of that familiar slimy yuck normally left behind when you drain the tank that hasn’t been cleaned for years.
Start by draining the tank, then proceed to spray (or pour) your Clorox and a tiny amount of clean fresh water before letting the mixture settle for up to 30 minutes.
Thereafter, flush the mixture and stand there to admire your sparkling clean tank.
So I Should Always Bleach My Toilet (at least not overnight), Right?
If your toilet is prone to accumulate stains, yes.
However, most things tend to work best when they are applied in moderation, bleaching your toilet is no different – go slow on it. You may bleach your toilet once in a while with the right amount of your favorite bleach.
Also, beware of the side effects associated with long-term exposure to bleaches.
Other than the destruction they unleash on the toilet system when used inappropriately, they also have harmful effects on the bodies of everyone else at home.
No one, especially small children, should inhale the irritating fumes emanating from the bleach for extended periods.
Not only do they cause prolonged nasal irritation but also damages the lungs. If you use too much of these agents daily, they will eventually take a toll on your eyes and skin, leaving them red and dry
Fortunately, you don’t even need to use commercial bleaches to have a stain-free toilet. Vinegar — a readily available cleaner and deodorizer – does the trick safely.
Chances are you already have a bottle of this substance in your kitchen, so you don’t need to spend money to get that much-needed sparkle.
Secondly, vinegar won’t harm your toilet’s components. Just pour 3 cups of vinegar on the surface of the toilet and let it stay there for about 30 minutes and flush it down thereafter.
Is it safe to leave bleach in the toilet overnight?
There’s nothing remotely risky about it, and nothing bad will happen to your cherished toilet provided you use the right amount of the bleaching agent.