Best Toilet Bowl Cleaner

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Updated June 1, 2023

Choosing the best toilet bowl cleaner to work alongside the best toilet brush could mean the difference between clogged, grimy toilets, and a spotless shine. Our evaluation focused on ingredients, application methods, cleaning quality, and ability to kill most germs and bacteria. When it comes to cleaning solutions, this is one of the necessary bathroom essentials you must purchase.

After more than 13 hours of research, our top pick goes to the Lysol Clean and Fresh Toilet Bowl Cleaner. It delivers an excellent clean using a thick gel that clings to your toilet bowl, sitting and loosening grime before a light scrub. An angled bottle dispenser also helps you hit hard-to-reach areas. Keep reading our Top 7 List of the Best Toilet Bowl Cleaners to learn more about the Lysol Clean and Fresh Toilet Bowl Cleaner and six others that made the cut.

Top 7 Best Toilet Bowl Cleaner Compared

 #1  Lysol Clean & Fresh Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Award: Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: This toilet bowl cleaner blitzes through grime and dirt using a gel application that kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria. It is an excellent choice if you want a quick clean with not a lot of heavy scrubbing.

  • Best quality
  • Gel-based formula
  • Angled bottle spout
  • Scrubbing needed
  • Strong smell
  • May temporarily discolor toilet if left to sit too long

Our favorite feature is its cling gel application, which sticks on the sides of your toilet bowl, preventing run-off. It does a great job of soaking and creating a light lather, which penetrates and powers out grime pretty easily. In our research, light toilet ring stains and discoloration were quickly lifted after brushing and we were delighted with the results.

Thanks to an angled and pointed bottle spout, you can reach the dreaded underside of the toilet rim. It also has a pleasant scent that freshens and deodorizes, with blissful names such as “Ocean Fresh Scent.” Unlike other toilet bowl cleaners, the scent isn’t too overpowering and faded away after several hours. A toilet cleaner is one of the best bathroom essentials to keep things germ free.

Another popular cleaning product from Lysol in the Lysol Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner. It kills 99.9% of bathroom bacteria and removes the toughest stains in seconds.

 #2  Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Award: Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: This toilet bowl cleaner smashes through dirt and grime with a strong clinging gel and powerful bleach formula. This is a great all-purpose toilet bowl cleaner with a focus on eliminating odors.

  • Excellent at eliminating odors
  • Kills 99% of bacteria
  • Clinging gel
  • May irritate skin
  • Strong smell

Aside from the “Clorox” name, we really like its wide nozzle for easy dispensing, thin enough to hit hard-to-reach areas, including the underside of the toilet rim. Unlike some formulas, its clinging gel remains on the sides and does not drip. Plus, it is non-abrasive so that it won’t scratch up your porcelain or septic tank.

Our research showed awesome work cutting through hardened mineral deposits, which builds up over time. Application is straightforward – simply let it sit for five minutes before scrubbing the bowl with a brush and flushing it once or twice for a sparkling clean. Our only complaint is a slightly overpowering smell. The best mop will help keep the floor area clean.

 #3  Scrubbing Bubbles Fresh Brush Toilet Cleaning System

Award: Best Budget

WHY WE LIKE IT: This toilet cleaner brightens your commode with scrubbing, flushable pads, and a brush wand. It is an excellent choice if you hate scrubbing.

  • Most hygienic
  • Well designed brush wand
  • Good for light cleanings
  • Lack of scrubbing power
  • Turns water dark quickly
  • Pads fall apart easily

Scrubbing toilets with these flushable pads is really easy. Simply attach the disposable pad to a curved brush wand, dip it into the water to activate the cleaner, and scrub to your heart’s content. Once it is used, a push-button press releases the pad into the toilet to flush. Its brush wand is really easy to grip, with a curved handle to reach your toilet rim’s underside.

Each box includes 20 refills, which is suitable for several months of use on a bi-weekly cleaning schedule. Though it does an excellent job of cleaning, we wish the pads held up better with heavier scrubbing. We recommend using these for more frequent, light cleaning. You can also use the best cleaning cloths to clean things in your bathroom like the best lighted makeup mirror.

 #4  Enzytabs Septic Tank System Treatment

Award: Best for Septic System

WHY WE LIKE IT: This nifty septic tank cleaner features a plant-based formula in tablet form with a 4-month supply. It is handy if you want to prevent clogs and kill bacteria.

  • Convenient tablet formula
  • One tablet good for 1500 gallons
  • Biodegradable
  • Some users reported broken tablets
  • Hard to tell if it makes a difference

This septic tank cleaner uses an effervescent tab, which is added to your septic tank once a month. We love this formula, which dissolves and “frizzes” instantly to break down grease, fat, and starch before flushing. It even cuts into cellulose, which is a common toilet tissue ingredient.

Because this pick is a tablet, it is pre-measured, so you will never over-apply it if used correctly. Each tablet treats up to 1,500 gallons (roughly the average amount of water flushed per month). It is also made using plant-based ingredients, phosphate-free, and biodegradable, so it is safe to use on all plumbing systems. It should be safe if you splash it on your best shower curtain or best shower curtain liner.

 #5  Vanish Scrubbing Bubbles Drop-Ins

Award: Best Tablet

WHY WE LIKE IT: These toilet cleaner feature tablets which are dropped into your tank to clean and deodorize it. It is the perfect option for those who hate scrubbing with a brush and splashing water everywhere.

  • No scrubbing required
  • Lasts up to 4 weeks
  • Good at removing limescale stains
  • Strong smell
  • Many users reported tablets dissolving in 1 week
  • Leaves blue dye behind

These tablets do an excellent job of canceling out hard water stains. It promises to keep your toilet bowl stain-free for up to 3 months. We also love how well it deodorizes, leaving a soapy, flowery scent. Our only complaint is that it is slightly overwhelming at first (but for good reason), but doesn’t linger after flushing.

The application of this product is very easy, only needing to drop the tablet on the top corner of the tank before letting it sit for 10 minutes. It is safe to use on all plumbing and septic systems. Speaking of tanks, if you are still using a water tank heating system, you should learn about the best tankless water heater.

 #6  Don Aslett’s Foam n Flush Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Award: Best Odorless

WHY WE LIKE IT: This toilet bowl cleaner features an eco-friendly foam formula. It is a great cleaner for people who hate strong fumes and heavy scrubbing.

  • 100% organic formula
  • Clings and cleans well
  • Bio-degradable
  • Does not foam much
  • Odorless
  • No angled dispenser

Thanks to its foam, it only needs to sit for five minutes before a light scrubbing and rinsing. It clings really well on the sides of the bowl to concentrate on hard water stains and hardened mineral deposits without dripping. We advise using it once a week to prevent buildup.

We love the fact that this toilet bowl cleaner is bio-degradable and safe for the environment. It does not contain any harmful chemicals such as chlorine and bleach, which could irritate the skin. Don’t blink – it is still capable of cutting through the thickest stains, as we saw in our research.

 #7  Green Works Toilet Bowl Cleaner

We’re sorry, this product is temporarily out of stock

Award: Best Eco-friendly

WHY WE LIKE IT: This eco-friendly toilet bowl cleaner leaves bowls shining with a plant-derived, bleach-free formula. It is an excellent choice if you prefer not to breathe in or use chemicals.

  • 100% natural
  • Pet and child-friendly
  • Made by Clorox
  • Not good on hard water stains
  • Leak-prone bottle
  • Green dye may cause light stains

This toilet bowl cleaner uses a thick, light green gel to penetrate through mineral deposits and grime deeply. It works best when it sits for 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing off. Like our #1 and #2 picks, it also uses a wide spout to squirt the gel, with an angled tip to reach the underside of your toilet rim.

Thanks to its bio-ingredients, which include essential oils and filtered water, it does not give an overpowering scent like other brands. It does not contain bleach, which may burn or aggravate skin, including permanent eye damage if not used properly. We feel really comfortable using this around pets and children. We have to keep everything germ-free, even the best toilet paper holder. All surfaces.

How We Decided

Choosing the best toilet bowl cleaner keeps your pooper free of bacteria and deodorized, making it a joy for you and guests to use.

In determining the toilet bowl cleaner to buy that will keep your toilet clean, one should consider its application method, ingredients, and cleaning quality. If you prefer heavy scrubbing to concentrate on tough stains, then the Lysol Clean and Fresh and Clorox Toilet cleaner with its thick gels is a great cleaning product and your best bet. If you hate scrubbing, opt for the Enzytabs or Scrubbing Bubbles tablets for optimal cleaning power without the stress of getting your hands involved. Note, gel-based formulas do a deeper clean than drop-in tablets, so you may be sacrificing cleaning quality for convenience.

If you have pets or children around the house, a bio-degradable plant-based formula like the Don Aslett’s Foam and Flush or Green Works toilet bowl cleaner is a great bet. These do not contain chemicals, which could cause irritation.

Another popular option that just missed this list is the chlorine-free toilet bowl cleaner from Seventh Generation. But, if your worst nightmare is cleaning and scrubbing your toilet, you might want to check out Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaners.

Best Toilet Cleaner Buying Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Application
    Toilet cleaners come with different application types. Drop-in tablets are best if you hate scrubbing, as it is designed to dissolve and cut hardened mineral and grime upon contract. Others, like the Scrubbing Bubbles Fresh Brush, make it easy to scrub and quickly dispose of so that you do not have to clean and re-use dirty toilet brushes, which become breeding grounds for bacteria over time.
  2. Antimicrobial Formula
    Antimicrobial formulas help to prevent bad odors, maintaining a fresh smell. This is particularly useful for large households with 10-plus daily visits to the toilet.
  3. Ingredient (Natural vs Chemical)
    If you have pets or small children or an avid recycler, you may opt for plant-based formulas or bio-degradable pads that break down instantly in water to prevent toilets from clogging. Natural toilet bowl cleaners also generally tend to produce less fumes, which may irritate the eyes and skin.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner FAQs

Can you put toilet bowl cleaner in the tank?

Yes, toilet bowl cleaners can do a great job of cleaning tanks. We recommend using foam, which clings to the bottom and sides to release buildup hard water stain and deposits before rinsing. They work well with deeper cleans.
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