Can You Use Toilet Bowl Cleaner In The Shower?

Toilet bowl cleaners should not be used to clean showers because they contain hydrochloric acid and bleach, which may harm shower surfaces and your health. There are other safe options to clean showers, such as vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide for stubborn stains. 

The toilet and shower are essential sanitary facilities in every home. They are used daily and are prone to contamination. Cleaning these facilities is usually time and energy-intensive because their neatness directly impacts our general health.

Toilet bowl cleaners are often mistaken for an easy way to clean sinks. While it can clean your toilet bowls, it isn’t designed for showers. In this article, we’ll show you how to avoid dangerous chemicals by using alternatives to toilet cleaners and teach you how to clean your bathroom correctly.

can you use toilet bowl cleaner in the shower

Can You Use Toilet Bowl Cleaners In The Shower?

Toilet bowls and showers are made of two different kinds of materials. While the toilet bowl is made of porcelain, showers and baths can be acrylic, fiberglass, enameled cast iron, plastics, and marbles. They do not have porcelain covering for protection, which affects how they should be treated or cleaned. 

Toilet bowl cleaners contain three active agents – hydrochloric acid, ammonia, and bleach, which are highly corrosive in their operation and emit harmful substances into the atmosphere. Combining these three compounds in toilet bowl cleaners makes them harmful to your shower surfaces and you. 

On average, toilet bowl cleaners are meant to be left on for about 15 minutes. However, this is too much time for it to damage tile surfaces, handling features, bathtubs, and others as they begin to break down immediately. If you must use toilet bowl cleaners, endeavor to clean and rinse them off immediately. The active substances in toilet bowl cleaners, applications, and side effects are outlined below.

Hydrochloric Acid

Hydrochloric acid dissolves stains on a toilet and leaves a clean, sparkly afterglow without any damage because it is made of porcelain material resistant to the acid. However, the acid is highly corrosive and should be handled with utmost caution since it may cause severe burns if it comes into contact with the skin. It also emits fumes harmful to the lungs and the throat and can damage the shower if used for too long because the materials used aren’t acid-resistant.


Bleach’s primary role is to kill germs and whiten toilet surfaces.  However, like hydrochloric acid, bleach is corrosive, which makes them too strong for shower surfaces. For humans, bleach causes skin irritation when touched and respiratory issues when inhaled. Constant exposure to bleach may lead to severe diseases such as asthma, and nose or throat cancer. 


Ammonia is a common active component in toilet bowl cleansers because of its disinfecting properties. It works well for removing stains, mold, and mildew. In contrast to bleach, ammonia-based cleaners have a weaker base but can harm shower surfaces. Like bleach, ammonia may create a residue in your shower that collects more debris and discolor the tile grout over time.

What You Should Use To Clean Showers And Bathtubs

What You Should Use To Clean Showers And Bathtubs

Instead of using a toilet bowl cleaner, here are three methods to clean your shower and bathtubs.

Method 1:  Use Water Mixed With Vinegar

Vinegar is an acid, but it’s far milder than the acids found in toilet cleaners.  A simple combination of equal parts water and table vinegar is a cost-effective and non-damaging at-home alternative to toilet bowl cleaners. A water and vinegar solution will remove soap scum, grime buildup, and most stains from shower tiles and grout. Vinegar is also a natural deodorizer, making your shower smell fresh.

Method 2: Clean The Shower With Vinegar And Baking Soda

When vinegar and baking soda are combined, a paste is created that can efficiently and safely clean your shower, especially if the grout is unclean. Unlike aggressive toilet bowl cleaners, these two basic substances can remove stains from shower tiles without discoloring them or damaging other things in the shower.

Here are steps to use this solution:

Step 1: Mix Baking Soda and Vinegar

Pour about half a cup of baking soda into a mixing bowl, add a cup of vinegar and mix thoroughly.

Step 2: Apply The Solution And Scrub

Using a sponge, apply the solution to the floor and scrub thoroughly. Make sure that hard-to-reach surfaces are covered.

Step 3: Leave to Sit

Let it sit undisturbed for about five minutes.

Step 4: Rinse And Repeat The Process

Rinse with warm water and air dry. Repeat this process for all other surfaces within the shower area. 

Note: Preferably repeat this process weekly. The mild nature of the mixture will keep your shower clean and safe.

Removing Tough Stains In The Shower

For stains that linger and are proving hard to clean, combine baking soda and hydrogen peroxide in a ratio of 2:1. Scrub at the spot of the stain and cover it with the paste for about 45 minutes. Rinse it off as normal and you’re done. If this doesn’t work, apply more paste and rinse until the stain is gone.

FAQs About Using Toilet Bowl Cleaner In The Shower

How do I make a homemade bathroom cleaner?

To make your own homemade bathroom cleaner, mix some warm water and baking soda in a spray bottle. Add about 2 tablespoons of castile soap and 2 tablespoons of essential oils to the mix. Then shake the bottle gently. Voila! Your homemade bathroom cleaner is ready for us. 

How Do I Remove Rust Stain From My Bathtub?

Follow these simple steps to remove even the most stubborn rust stain from your bathtub. Powder the rusting area with borax. Rub with a half-cut lemon until the spot becomes pasty and let the stain sit for about 20 minutes. Rinse it off and wipe it down with a clean piece of rag. Repeat this process until the rust is gone.

What Can I Use Instead Of Tub Cleaner?

You can clean and disinfect the interior of your tub using a DIY mixture of white vinegar and baking soda.

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