Plumbers are warning against the cleaning hack that could be damaging your toilet

Experts weigh in on the toilet cleaning tip that has divided the internet

Have you tried the fabric softener hack?

Cleaning the toilet and keeping it smelling sweet are two of the trickiest (and potentially most unpleasant) chores in the house. But the latest hot cleaning tip promises to keep your loo smelling freshly cleaned all day, thanks to a fabric softener hack.

Related: Wave goodbye to limescale with the £1.49 toilet cleaning hack dazzling the internet.

Sadie's Professional Cleaning Services, from the U.S., shared its 'exclusive cleaning tip' with its followers on Instagram.

'Pour a cup of laundry detergent or fabric softener in the tank of the toilet,' explained the caption. 'The detergent will sink to the bottom and remain in the tank. Each time you flush, a sweet aroma will be released in the tank, and the whole bathroom will smell amazing.'

The post claims that the fabric softener won't damage the toilet or septic system. The post soon went viral, but it has split opinion online.

A post shared by Sadie’s Pro Cleaning (@sadiesprocleaning) (opens in new tab)

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Fans have praised the idea and have used the hack on their own toilets, while critics argue that the detergent will clog, and even damage pipes before long.

'I'm giving it a go! They’re experts and I'm sure they know what they're talking about!' one person wrote.

'I do it and mines always been fine,' added another.

bathroom with white tiles on wall and plant

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

 However, the fabric softener hack has drawn its fair share of critics, questioning the safety of the tip.

'I'm a plumber and would never recommend this to people,' said one member of the Facebook group Mrs Hinch Made Me Do It. (opens in new tab)

When asked why by another user, the plumber responded: 'It can have the same effect as pouring cooking grease down your drain!'

'In truth, the reason softener helps our clothes feel softer is that it leaves a film of chemicals on our clothing. That’s what we’re putting down our drains! Even if its labelled as 'safe' it may be okay for one use, but not excessive use over time,' she added.

What the experts say

bathroom with frame on wall and flower on vase

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

We decided to put an end to the debate once and for all and see what the experts have to say about this hack. And surprise, surprise they're not fans.

'We’ve all seen the mess fabric softener can leave in a washing machine drawer. Over time it leaves a sticky film, which can coagulate and block your washing machine,' says Izzy Shulman, director at Plumbers4U (opens in new tab). 'If added to a toilet this means it may build-up and stick somewhere in your drainage.'

Something else you should bare in mind is what impact flushing fabric condition through your toilet could have on the environment. 'Some fabric conditioners may even contain toxic ingredients like benzyl acetate and ethanol. So from an environmental perspective, putting these directly into a toilet tank isn’t going to be good for the water ecosystem,' explains Izzy.

Related: Wave goodbye to limescale with the £1.49 toilet cleaning hack dazzling the internet

Instead of testing out the toilet hack, Izzy instead recommends using products specifically designed for flush toilets.