Toilet Cleaner Rated "Best Buy" By Ethical Consumer Magazine

Toilet Cleaner Rated

Domestos, Harpic and Cillit Bang make up the bottom three in Ethical Consumer's review of toilet cleaners. Surprised?

Fill Refill Toilet Cleaner, supplied by Heart & Compass, is a Best Buy. Fill Refill scored highly whilst offering solutions to the issue of single-use plastics, as well as receiving a best rating for animal testing.

Fil Refill manufactures all its products in its own factory in Northamptonshire and has grown out of a family business which began in 1980. It is working with the University of Northumbria on a way to enable professional laundries to wash at low temperatures without chlorine bleach or aggressive chemistry and to reduce microfibre shedding. It donates 1% of its turnover to environmental causes as part of its membership of ‘1% for the Planet’.

Splosh is a popular brand and is a Recommended Buy.


Deciding What To Buy

Firstly, does It work?

"After comparing a variety of surface disinfectants and sanitizers, we have determined that there are some safer products available with preferable health and environmental profiles and equivalent or better efficacy than the
traditional, more toxic products." - taken from the report called "Safer Products & Practices for Disinfecting & Sanitizing Surfaces"

Secondly, avoid toxic chemicals

The long and complex ingredients lists of household products often include toxic chemicals. These are bad for the environment as well as health.

Damaging ingredients in toilet cleaners

Chlorine Bleach

Toilet cleaners usually contain chlorine bleach to kill off bacteria and microbes. Many mainstream toilet cleaner makers portray the toilet bowl as one of the dirtiest places in the house and we need to use these deadly chemicals to keep ourselves safe.

Chlorine bleach (aka sodium hypochlorite) is a corrosive chemical, toxic if ingested, an eye and respiratory irritant, can irritate the lungs and eyes, and in waterways can become toxic organochlorines, compounds rarely found in nature and which can take centuries to decompose.

Generally speaking, it’s not a good idea to pee into a toilet that contains bleach. This is because ammonia in your urine reacts with the bleach, producing toxic fumes.

Also, mixing bleach with other cleaning products can cause a serious reaction. Because of this, never mix bleach with products containing ammonia or acids.

Hydrochloric Acid

No wonder products like Domestos Zero Limescale Toilet Cleaner from Unilever work! They contain up to 10 percent hydrochloric acid.

"Do not mix with bleach or other cleaner as it may result in the formation of toxic chlorine gas or heat" - extract from the back of a Domestos bottle.

Stupidly the author once, many years ago, used toilet cleaner to remove the limescale around a plughole. It corroded the stainless steel. Lesson learnt. 

According to HG Super Powerful Toilet Cleaner,
"hydrochloric acid affects the glaze of your toilet pan and makes it rough. Furthermore, hydrochloric acid gives off vapours that affect and damage the surface of stainless steel and chrome in your bathroom."

Is it using animal testing?

Although animal testing for finished household products is banned in the UK, lots of companies still use ingredients that are tested on animals. If you want avoid animal testing, we’d advise only buying from companies that ensure ingredients they source aren’t tested on animals.

The ingredients in Ecover might be good, but this popular eco-brand scored very badly because of its parent company, SC Johnson, stance towards animal testing and other matters.

Fill Refill's entire range including the toilet cleaner is certified as cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny.


Addendum - How Can You Clean Safely

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US recently published a survey study of household disinfection practices in relation to COVID-19. It found that 1 in 3 adults used chemicals or disinfectants unsafely.

Whenever you’re cleaning or disinfecting, it’s important to do so safely. Always be sure to:

  • Know the ingredients: Being aware of what’s in a product can help you avoid a potentially harmful reaction.
  • Follow the instructions: Read the instructions on the product label beforehand, noting any warnings or cautions. Carefully follow the instructions while using a product.
  • Check ventilation: On their own, many household cleaning or disinfecting products can have strong fumes. Make sure the area you’re working in has good ventilation. It may be a good idea to open a window.
  • Wear gloves: Household cleaners and disinfectants can irritate your skin, so be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands.
  • Wash your hands: Always thoroughly wash your hands after using cleaners or disinfectants.

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