Ask LH: What’s The Most Effective Place To Position Toilet Cleaners?

Dear Lifehacker, I have a strange but real question: What is the optimal location to position toilet cubes or other cleaners on the side of toilets? Do they do anything other than change the colour of the water blue? Are the ones you stick to the side of the bowl any better than the hanging caged ones? Thanks, Toilet Trauma

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Dear TT,

That blue colour is caused by the bleach in cleaning products which acts as a disinfectant. While part of the appeal is related to aesthetics, the vibrant colour does serve a purpose. It also lets you know when it’s time to get a replacement.

When it comes to optimum positioning, the answer depends on your toilet and the product you’re using. Some toilets only flush from the rear, while others dispense water all around the rim of the bowl. If you have the former type of toilet, we imagine it would be more effective to fix the cleaner at the rear near the source of the water. Otherwise, reading the packaging is usually a pretty safe bet — if the product requires specific positioning to clean effectively, this will surely be mentioned in the instructions.

Discovering which cleaning product is the most effective is going to require some trial and error. We normally direct these types of questions to the relevant CHOICE study. However, this is an area that the consumer advocacy group doesn’t appear to have explored in much detail. Go figure. In a wider bathroom cleaners investigation that included toilet products, CHOICE found that price is no indicator of performance. Otherwise, there doesn’t seem to be much difference between the fixed and hanging varieties.

We’re clearly out of our depth here, so we’re going to pass the bowl over to our readers. Are there any toilet cleaners you swear by? Have you tried any products that conclusively failed to deliver? Share your recommendations in the comments section below.


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