I Tried a Toilet Bowl Powder Cleaner for the First Time — and I May Never Switch Back to Liquid

published Jun 17, 2022
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Cleaning the toilet is one of the most dreaded — but incredibly important! — cleaning tasks I do weekly, along with a deeper cleaning done every other week (or when I’m bogged down, once a month). It’s something I prioritize because a dirty bowl can become a welcoming place for bacteria and viruses to reside, and quite honestly, it’s just downright gross to look at.

When it comes to the products I use to clean my toilet bowl, I almost always reach for a liquid cleaner. The occasional all-in-one toilet cleaning system might find its way into my cart, but I always return to the tried-and-true liquid cleaner purely out of habit and familiarity. 

That being said, as a cleaning and organizing editor, I’m always on the lookout for something new and noteworthy that can improve my home, or, at the very least, give it a better shine than before. When I recently ran out of my normal cleaner, I headed to my local Target for a refill. Scanning the aisle, I noticed that there are a lot of options out there and it could be time for me to explore a new one.

Credit: Stephanie Nguyen

Toilet bowl cleaners come in several different forms, such as liquids, gel, tablets, powders, and all-in-one systems that come complete with a wand, a disposable cleaning head that attaches to it, and a storage device to hold it all together. While each has its own perks, the liquid form is the most commonly seen one on the market. In the mood to try something new, I looked around and wound up reaching for the Seventh Generation Zero Plastic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Powder.

For starters, the packaging is what caught my eye (and the fact that it barely takes up the full height of the shelf). The sleek and compact steel canister is encased in white and made of recycled materials. According to the package description, it’s easily recyclable too. Other key facts that stood out: It’s Leaping Bunny certified, plastic-free, septic tank safe, and bleach-free. Plus, I’ve never used a powder toilet bowl cleaner before, and I wanted to see if the results were different.

The Seventh Generation Zero Plastic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Powder is relatively small — holding just 12.3 ounces of concentrated, water-activated powder, compared to a liquid cleaner that can hold 24 fluid ounces. I imagine that this would be great for small or shared spaces. While it does cost a little more than the other options — it’s $9.99 —  it also lasts longer (it can be used up to 22 times, the packaging states).

When cleaning day came, I sprinkled a decent amount of the powder into the bowl. I let it sit and watched it foam for about a minute. It foams well and has little to no smell — it’s fragrance-free — which is ideal for sensitive noses (like mine!). I then proceeded to scrub away — and it does a great job of cleaning. After a flush, I was able to see the results: a clean bowl.

While the overall clean is very similar to my current go-to liquid cleaner, I really enjoyed the satisfaction of watching this one bubble up and foam. The lack of scent is also a plus — and it didn’t diminish the overall cleanliness of the bowl. I also liked that it would never lead to staining. Some liquid cleaners contain dyes, which can stain your bowl — and the seat, if you’re not careful. (Have you experienced the dreaded blue dye streaks before?)

Someone who’s looking for a compact cleaner that doesn’t contain dyes, is odorless, and easy to use will enjoy this one for sure.

Would I buy it again? Yes! This small canister holds a mighty punch, and it’s definitely a duplicate purchase I would make in the future. We’ll see how long this one will last me in the meantime.