Can Toilet Bowl Cleaner Kill You? (Keep Your Family Safe)

Can toilet bowl cleaner kill you

If you’re like most families, you have various cleaners for your bathroom. After all, without them, how can you keep your family safe from germs and bacteria? But, it’s hard to shake off the fear that your kids or pets might get into some bad chemicals. If ingested, can toilet bowl cleaner kill you??

Toilet bowl cleaner is a toxic chemical and can kill you if not used correctly. Inhaling small amounts of toilet bowl cleaner is not likely to kill you, but it could make you very sick. If you or someone you know has swallowed toilet bowl cleaner, seek medical attention immediately.

Obviously, you want to keep your bathroom clean without the threat of death, so how can you balance these two out?  In this article, we’ll discuss how to keep your family safe from caustic chemicals and bacteria, so you can sleep easy knowing your family is secure.

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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!

We all want to keep our families safe while also keeping our homes clean and sanitary.  It can be stressful finding the right cleaners to strike this balance. 

You can rest easy, though. We’ve found some great products for you!

Next time you need a cleaner, try one of these:

1. Surface CleanerFor kitchens and bathrooms, powered by plants, not chemicals!

2. Clean Smart – A natural disinfectant, safe for kids and pets.

3. Therapy Clean Polish – Safe for your kitchen counters and your family.

Drinking Toilet Bowl Cleaner

To start with, toilet bowls are one of the most important areas in the bathroom, and you need them to be clean. 

So, how do you keep your toilet clean and those strong chemicals out of reach of children and pets?  We’re discussing it next!

What Would Happen if You Drank Toilet Bowl Cleaner?

Drinking even a small amount of toilet bowl cleaner will lead to drain cleaner poisoning.  This can be lethal in large amounts, and in small amounts, you may end up with chemical burns and other problems. 

Common symptoms of drain cleaner poisoning include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Blood in stool 
  • Chemical burns in the mouth, throat, esophagus, and stomach lining
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Collapse and loss of consciousness
  • Severe drooling and mouth pain

If you see anyone displaying these symptoms, or if you suspect someone may have drank toilet bowl cleaner, you should get them to an emergency room as soon as possible.

Likewise, if you are concerned your pet may have been poisoned, take them to their vet immediately.

Is Toilet Cleaner Poisonous?

Toilet bowl cleaner is poisonous unless you’ve specifically bought a non-toxic brand.  They contain dangerous detergents, as well as phenol and isopropyl alcohol.  Combined, these can cause severe issues if ingested. 

While these ingredients make it easy to clean your toilet bowl, they can cause severe issues to the body if they are accidentally consumed.

If you think someone has consumed toilet cleaner, call 911 or the poison control hotline (1-800-222-1222) immediately. 

How Much Toilet Bowl Cleaner Is Lethal?

Toilet bowl cleaner can be lethal in large amounts.  That being said, even small amounts can lead to chemical burns to the mouth and digestive tract and can cause long-term damage.  

Additionally, mixing toilet bowl cleaner with certain other cleaners, such as bleach, can form toxic gas. 

Even small amounts of each cleaner are needed to form hydrogen sulfide, which is deadly if inhaled.  

Be sure to check your cleaners carefully before mixing to avoid accidentally producing poison gas. 

You might also enjoy our post on If You Can Put Soap in the Toilet

What Are the Dangers of Toilet Bowl Cleaners?

The biggest danger of toilet bowl cleaners is accidental ingestion or inhalation.  If you’re not careful with your cleaning products, a child or a pet can accidentally get their hands on it, and a tragic accident may occur. 

Other dangers include mixing chemicals and accidentally making hydrogen sulfide, a poison gas. Toilet bowl cleaner is also highly corrosive and can cause eye and skin irritation if it touches bare skin. 

In order to keep you and your family safe, we recommend always using gloves and eye protection if you’re going to be using chemicals like toilet bowl cleaner. 

Additionally, when not in use, chemicals should stay in a cabinet with a lock and out of reach of children and animals.

What Happens if You Swallow Toilet Cleaner?

If you swallow toilet cleaner, the caustic chemicals will burn your mouth, throat, esophagus, and even the stomach lining.  You should call poison control (1-800-222-1222) or go to the emergency room immediately. 

If treated in time, toilet cleaner poisoning is not deadly.  However, swallowing even a small amount can lead to long-term issues, including respiratory problems and even kidney failure. 

If in doubt, seek treatment.

Sickness and Symptoms

Now that we’ve discussed why toilet bowl cleaner is so dangerous, let’s talk a bit more about the symptoms of toilet cleaner poisoning and what to do if you or someone you care about has come in contact with the cleaner. 

Why Is Toilet Bowl Cleaner Harmful?

Toilet bowl cleaner is harmful because it contains caustic chemicals.  While these chemicals are great for removing limescale and dirt from your toilet, it is very harsh on the body.

This is why it’s so important to use and store your cleaners properly.  Only use these cleaners in an open area with proper ventilation. 

Once you’re done with them, ensure they are locked and out of reach of children and pets.

Can Toilet Bowl Cleaner Make You Sick?

Toilet bowl cleaner can make you very sick if ingested or inhaled.  The chemicals that make it such an effective cleaning solution can irritate the skin and eyes if contact is made. 

If swallowed, toilet bowl cleaner can cause kidney problems, bleeding, burns to the mouth and throat, and more.

To protect yourself, be sure always to wear the proper equipment when cleaning with heavy-duty chemicals!

Is Bathroom Cleaner Poisonous?

Bathroom cleaners are generally poisonous. So unless you happen to be using all-natural, non-toxic cleaners, it’s safe to assume that your bathroom cleaner isn’t safe for human consumption. 

If you’re worried about having toxic chemicals in your bathroom, consider getting yourself a natural cleaner instead. 

You can also make your own bathroom cleaner using baking soda and vinegar or borax

What Are Common Toilet Cleaner Poisoning Symptoms?

The most common symptom of toilet cleaner poisoning is chemical burns to the mouth and throat.  You may also suffer from bleeding issues, kidney problems, and more.  If you find yourself with any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. 

In order to minimize chemical exposure, be sure to properly close and lock away your cleaning chemicals when not in use. 

You should also be sure to use the proper protection when cleaning, including gloves and goggles. 

You might also enjoy our post on If Vinegar Damages Toilet Bowls

Toilet Cleaner Acid Side Effects?

The most common side effects of being exposed to toilet cleaner acids are chemical burns to the skin.  If the acid was ingested, you could expect to see excessive drooling, burns and pain in the mouth and throat, and eventual loss of consciousness. 

If you or someone else is experiencing these symptoms, see a doctor immediately. 

While these injuries may not be life-threatening, they can leave long-term effects if not resolved professionally. 

Inhaling Cleaning Products

First, we talked about how to spot harmful toilet bowl cleaners. Then we discussed the side effects and symptoms of toilet bowl cleaner poisoning. 

Next, we’re going to go over what happens if you inhale this caustic chemical.  Spoilers: It’s not good, and you shouldn’t do it.

What Happens if You Inhale Cleaning Products?

If you inhale cleaning products, you will experience chemical burns in the nose and throat.  You may also give yourself brain damage depending on the type of product inhaled. 

Those toxic fumes will also cause coughing, irritated throats, eyes, and noses and can cause difficulty breathing. 

If you’re cleaning with these chemicals, you should be wearing the proper safety equipment, including a mask

What Do You Do if You Inhaled a Toilet Bowl Cleaner?

If you inhaled a toilet bowl cleaner and you’re feeling any burning or other concerning symptoms, immediately call 911, get to an emergency room, or contact the poison control hotline (1-800-222-1222)  for further instructions. 

If you have chemical burns, it’s vital to get assessed as soon as possible.  Allowing the chemicals to sit in your lungs can lead to long-term medical issues and breathing problems. 

What Are the Symptoms of Chemical Inhalation?

The symptoms of chemical inhalation include difficulty breathing, coughing (with or without blood), loss of consciousness, and irritation and burning of the eyes, throat, mouth, and nose. 

Suppose you or someone in your family has inhaled chemicals and are showing any of these signs.

In that case, it’s incredibly important to be checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible to avoid long-term damage to the lungs. 

What Do You Do if You Inhale Toxic Chemicals?

If you’ve inhaled toxic chemicals, contact a medical professional and seek medical attention immediately.  The longer the chemicals are in your body, the more damage they can do. 

If you’re unable to get to an emergency room, call poison control (1-800-222-1222) or 911 for help. 

Make sure you inform emergency services of the circumstances to they can take proper precautions against the chemicals.

Drinking Cleaning Products

We’ve all been warned not to drink cleaning products (looking at you, tide pod eaters), but do you know why? 

I’ll give you a hint. It’s not because you’ll burp bubbles after!  Let’s talk about why drinking chemicals is bad for you. 

What Happens if You Drink Toilet Cleaning Products?

If you drink toilet cleaning products that have toxic chemicals in them, you’ll at least end up with chemical burns in your mouth, throat, esophagus, and stomach.  If it’s not treated, there can be long-term issues. 

Some long term issues include:

  • Kidney problems
  • Lung/breathing issues
  • Bleeding
  • Vision loss
  • Seizures
  • Hypotension
  • Gastrointestinal issues (including diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea)
  • Muscle weakness
  • Ataxia

What to Do if You Drank Toilet Bowl Cleaner?

If you drank toilet bowl cleaner, call 911, poison control (1-800-222-1222) or go immediately to your nearest emergency room (bring the chemicals with you, if possible, or know what chemicals you ingested, it’ll help the medical staff provide the correct treatment.)

One way to avoid this potential catastrophe is to purchase non-toxic cleaners whenever possible. 

Natural cleaners still do a great job cleaning your toilet and other surfaces but don’t contain caustic chemicals. 

What to Do if You Accidentally Drank Some Toilet Bowl Cleaner?

If you accidentally drank some toilet bowl cleaner, contact poison control  (1-800-222-1222)  immediately.  They may tell you to drink milk to alleviate some of the acids in the cleaner.  

Then, go to the nearest emergency room for evaluation.  You may need to have your stomach pumped to avoid digesting all those chemicals. 

Of course, we’re not medical professionals, so our best advice is to see a doctor ASAP!

What Happens if You Drink Mr. Clean?

If you drink Mr. Clean, the acid in the cleaner will burn your mouth, throat, and esophagus.  You should contact poison control (1-800-222-1222) immediately to find out how to proceed. 

Mr. Clean is great for many cleaning problems, but it does have a long list of side effects and issues that can arise from drinking it. 

This is just one more reason always to lock your chemicals when you’re not using them!

Related Questions

What Is the Treatment for Toilet Bowl Cleaner Poisoning?

If someone has been poisoned by a toilet bowl cleaner, immediately contact 911 or poison control  (1-800-222-1222).  You should also immediately remove the affected person from the exposure area.  If the cleaner got into the eyes or skin, flush with water for at least 15 minutes.

NEVER induce vomiting after ingesting cleaner unless it’s specifically been instructed by a medical professional.  Instead, get the person to an emergency room as soon as possible. 

If you can, bring the bottle or the information and amount ingested with you. 

What Happens if You Get Toilet Bowl Cleaner on Your Skin?

If you get toilet bowl cleaner on your skin, it can cause burns and irritation.  To mitigate this, immediately flush the exposed area with water for at least 15 minutes.  You can apply ointment after flushing the area if needed. 

If you end up with chemical burns, be sure to have them checked by a doctor to avoid infections. 

If you’re not sure exactly what to do after exposure, don’t hesitate to call poison control  (1-800-222-1222) for further instructions. 

What Cleaning Products Can Kill You if Ingested?

Any cleaning products that contain acids or other caustic chemicals can kill you if you ingest enough or if you do not seek medical treatment quickly after.  If you’re concerned you ingested a toxic cleaning product, contact poison control (1-800-222-1222) immediately for instructions. 

Common toxic cleaners include:

  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Bleach
  • Drain cleaner
  • Ammonia
  • Oven Cleaner

This is not a comprehensive list, so if you’re not sure if your cleaning products are toxic, be sure to check the labels. 

If you think you’ve been exposed to or ingested these chemicals, always seek a medical professional immediately.

Final Thoughts

Toilet bowl cleaner is great for its intended purpose, cleaning toilet bowls. But unfortunately, when they’re misused, improperly stored, or accidentally ingested or inhaled, they can cause much grief. 

If you’re ever unsure whether or not you’ve ingested one of these products, contact poison control or a medical professional.

We hope this article opened your mind to the dangers of these products and helped you learn how to use and store them safely!

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