Insulated Toilet Tanks and Bleach

Dear NH,
I just had my toilet tank insulated. Can I still use toilet tank cleaner tablets with bleach?
KDB from Fort Wayne, IN

No, it would be unwise. The high concentration of bleach in tank-type chemical cleaners may wreak havoc with the insulating material. Over time it will become brittle and eventually begin to fall apart. The bleach may even cause the adhesive to loosen!

I am no fan of using any sort of bleach in the toilet tank since it will also degrade both the flapper and the seal between the tank and bowl. The flapper will begin to curl and stop sealing properly. Not a difficult repair but nevertheless annoying.

The seal, however, is another matter. First, it will become hard and brittle. The damage is silent, but one day, you'll put some pressure on the tank, causing it to move slightly. Instead of the seal allowing this little movement, it will crack. And, oh boy, the next time you flush, you will feel a chill around your ankles!

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I can understand the fascination with blue water in the toilet. I think it's rather pretty, sort of like sailing the South Seas! But it offers little in the way of improved hygiene. After all, when you clean the toilet, what part do you think matters most? Is it the inside of the bowl that no one touches or the rim/seat? Case closed.

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