What a Plumber Thinks of This Viral TikTok Hack for Cleaning Your Toilet

published Jan 21, 2021
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Cleaning the toilet bowl is probably not the most popular chore on your to-do list. But what if there were an easier way to get the job done, without all the scrubbing? According to this viral TikTok video, there is.

All you’ll need to make it happen are two things you probably already have on hand: a face mask and bar soap.  Here’s how it works.

How to Clean Your Toilet with a Face Mask, According to TikTok

Cut the ends off one side of your surgical mask and tuck your bar soap inside of it. Secure the open mask closed with the ear strings you cut off. Then, use the other ear strings to hang the soap-mask-satchel in the tank of the toilet bowl. And voila! You’ll get soapy water in your toilet bowl every time you flush.

Sounds good (and easy!) in theory, right? We checked in with Paul Abrams, a plumbing expert and representative from Roto-Rooter Services, to get his opinion on this hack.

What a Professional Plumber Thinks of This Toilet-Cleaning Hack

According to Abrams, an ordinary bar of soap placed inside a mask, a net, or any other porous material should be a perfectly safe way to keep a toilet bowl clean when you flush it. But there are a few caveats to consider.

First, keep in mind anytime you introduce a foreign object into a toilet tank, you run the risk of it getting in the way of moving parts inside the tank. 

“By now, we all know how fragile disposable masks are,” Abrams says. “If a string breaks, the mask could get tangled around the fill valve and prevent it from turning off, forcing water into the overflow tube and wasting it. Or it could get caught beneath the flapper valve and allow for a continuous, water-wasting leak that could adversely affect your water bill.” 

There’s also a small risk, Abrams says, that the entire mask could get sucked down into the valve seat beneath the flapper valve, where it could prevent the flapper from sealing, ultimately allowing the free flow of tank water into the bowl. Not only is that scenario a waste of water; it’s also hard to fix. If you can’t remove the mask with a long set of needle-nose pliers, you’d probably end up needing the help of a plumber to disassemble the toilet and remove it.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion? While this could work, there are better, safer methods than what this TikTok hack proposes.

In conclusion? While this could work, there are better, safer methods than what this TikTok hack proposes. Abrams suggests investing products specifically designed for cleaning a toilet when you flush it. Instead, Abrams suggests investing products specifically designed for cleaning a toilet when you flush it.