Many people can’t find the time to fight the dirty toilet bowl and resort to bowl cleaning products to help keep things clean between bowl brushings. Many of the toilet bowl cleaners are simply put into the tank and without realizing it the people that use these in the tank bowl cleaners have damaged their toilets. In fact most toilet manufacturers state their warranty will be voided if in tank bowl cleaners are used. The problem stems from the bowl cleaners usually contain a bleach ingredient that immediately goes to work destroying the rubber components in the tank. This causes things to happen like flappers leaking water and wasting large amounts of water or, worse yet rubber washers to fail and start leaking water on the floor. Sometimes some of the bowl cleaning products may be sucked into the flush valve while the toilet is flushing and block the internal passages of the toilet causing it to stop flushing properly. In general the in tank bowl cleaners are bad news and should be avoided.
Fortunately there is a new generation of bowl cleaners that do not get placed directly in the tank. The Fluidmaster Flush n Sparkle, and Kaboom Scrub Free, dispensers are designed to attach to the bowl refill port of the fill valve and dispense the bowl cleaner directly into the overflow tube going to the bowl every time the toilet is flushed. This method of dispensing bypasses the rubber components in the tank and will not damage the toilets that they are used on.
The Fluidmaster Flush n Sparkle, and Kaboom Scrub Free bowl-cleaning dispensers are easy to install with the dispenser hanging inside the tank on the back wall. Both the Fluidmaster Flush n Sparkle, and Kaboom Scrub Free dispensers have 2 tubes attached to the dispenser. Inside your toilet tank there is a tube that runs from the fill valve to the overflow tube on the flush valve, this tube is removed and one of the dispenser tubes attach to the fill valve and the other attaches to the overflow tube. The tube that goes to the overflow should clip on the top of the overflow and not extend into the overflow below the water level line of the tank. The Kaboom directions do not specify this but if the tube extends too far into the overflow and below the water level it will siphon water out of the tank and down through the bowl into the drain. This will waste huge amounts of water and consume the bowl cleaner rapidly. Once installed all you have to do is add more of the bowl cleaner every 3 or, 4 months and your bowl will stay clean without voiding your toilet warranty.
The Kaboom Scrub Free has a purple plastic dispenser with a cap that unscrews. The cleaning product in Kaboom Scrub Free contains OxiClean and comes in sealed pouches containing tablets that are put into the dispenser. The dispenser has an “O-Ring” seal on the cover that degrades overtime and requires replacement. Kaboom does not supply the “O-Ring” in the refill kits so when it goes bad you will have to locate a new “O-Ring” at your local hardware store. This “O-Ring” problem coupled with the poorly written instructions involving the tube in the overflow tube cause me to give a lesser grade to the Kaboom Scrub Free bowl cleaning system.
The Fluidmaster Flush and Sparkle bowl cleaning system has a convenient refill system where a cartridge refill is used so there is an easy refill process. Each new refill cartridge comes with a new “O-Ring” seal on the cartridge eliminating worries about the sealing. Fluidmaster also offers several different products in the flush and sparkle line. There is the Fluidmaster #8100 dispenser, which has a Blue formula with its #8102 refills, the Fluidmaster #8300 dispenser, which has a Bleach formula with its #8302 refills, and the Fluidmaster #8200 dispenser, which has the Bio-Balance Septic Tank Care system with its # 8202 refills. The cartridges are interchangeable so if you want to change to a different type of cleaner any of the Fluidmaster refills will fit in your dispenser.
The Fluidmaster Flush n Sparkle Bowl cleaning System with its well-designed installation, good installation instructions, and many cleanser options is the winner of the Best Toilet Bowl Cleaner 2009. The Kaboom Scrub Free is in second place, and all the other products, which are “in tank products” that can damage your toilet come in last place. Fluidmaster Flush n Sparkle and Kaboom Scrub Free can be found at many home centers and hardware stores.