Can Toilet Bowl Cleaner Kill You? (Must Know This To Stay Safe)

Like everyone else, I do not doubt that you have at least a toilet bowl cleaner; some people have many different types in their homes.

But because some of them have powerful smells and nature, we tend to be careful around them. 

And when you have kids and pets at home, you keep them far away to prevent any of them from ingesting it. So let us see if the toilet cleaner can kill and what quantity would do it.

Yes, toilet cleaner is a chemical that can kill you if you ever mishandle or misuse it. Although inhaling these chemicals in minor amounts will not kill you immediately, you will fall sick and, with time, probably die. If you are in such a dire situation, call 911 or request assistance from the American Association of Poison Control.

Can You Die of Toilet Cleaner Poison?

Can Toilet Bowl Cleaner Kill You

Yes, of course, you can die of toilet cleaner poisoning if you ingest it in large amounts, although even small amounts will leave you feeling hit down, and with time you might even die.

You may come in contact with toilet cleaner poisoning through accidental or intentional Ingestion, inhalation, or when it comes in contact with your eyes and skin.

Drinking toxic toilet cleaners will undoubtedly land you with chemical burns in the mouth, throat, esophagus, and stomach.

And a refusal to accept medical care can allow it to further progress and develop into long-term medical conditions.

However, if you somehow drink a toilet bowl cleaner, take enough milk to minimize the effects of the acids in your body system.

Then you can either call the emergency line or if you can move, head to the nearest emergency room.

Give a complete report of how everything happened and, more importantly, take the toilet cleaner with you there if possible.

Switching from toxic cleaners to non-toxic ones is a way to avoid life-threatening situations.

And remember that natural cleaners will also do an excellent job in cleaning; better still, they do not contain dangerous life-threatening chemicals.

Note that the table below shows toilet bowl cleaners after classifying them as either toxic or non-toxic products;

Below are the long-term effects of ingesting toxic toilet cleaners;

  1. Bleeding
  2. Seizures
  3. Loss of vision
  4. Gastrointestinal problems (causing diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea)
  5. Hypotension 
  6. Muscle weakness
  7. Kidney problem
  8. Lung/breathing problems
  9. Ataxia

As it is commonly said, prevention is better than cure. Before going through all the headaches above, why not take the wise man’s approach to prevent falling sick or dying from the effects of a toxic toilet cleaner?

Below are the preventive measures you need to follow;

  • Do not deviate from the instructions given by the manufacturer concerning how to use the toilet bowl cleaner.
  • Ensure that your toilet bowl cleaner stays far away from the reach of your children and pets.
  • If the manufacturer’s label wears out, replace it with the correct label to avoid any mistakes.
  • Protect yourself when working with or mixing the toilet cleaner.
  • Gain basic knowledge in administering first aid just in an emergency.

How Much Toilet Bowl Cleaner Will Kill You?

Ingesting a large amount of toilet bowl cleaner will kill you almost immediately. But when you ingest in small amounts, the effects may be just irritation of the mouth, throat, and at times stomach upset that, if untreated, eventually leads to a long-term medical condition.

Therefore, if you are thinking of purchasing a mild and suitable toilet bowl cleaner, look out for and avoid the following dangerous chemicals;

  • Hydrochloric acid (HCl)
  • Cetrimonium chloride (CTAC)
  • Sodium hypochlorite (bleach)
  • Sodium hydroxide (NaOH)
  • Sodium lauryl ether sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)

In addition to the above, you shouldn’t mix other cleaners like bleach with your toilet bowl cleaner as it can create a toxic gas.

Even small amounts are sufficient to form the lung-damaging chlorine gas or hydrogen sulfide that is deadly if inhaled.

If you must mix, carefully check the cleaners you are mixing and ensure they will not create a toxic gas.

To be safe, here are some of the gases you should never mix;

  • Bleach and Mildew stain remover
  • Bleach and Rubbing alcohol
  • Bleach and Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Bleach and Vinegar 
  • Bleach and Ammonia
  • Vinegar and Baking soda
  • Vinegar and Hydrogen peroxide 
  • Drain cleaners of different types

What Happens If You Inhale Toilet Cleaner?

If you inhale a toxic toilet bowl cleaner, you will experience chemical burns on your nose and throat.

And if you are dealing with a powerful cleaner, you may even suffer from brain damage.

In addition, inhaling these cleaners irritates the throat, nose, and eyes and causes coughing and difficulty breathing.

The best way to stay safe from these chemical cleaners is to wear the correct and proper safety equipment like cleaning gloves and masks.

But, suppose you are facing a scenario where you accidentally inhale the cleaner and endeavor to quickly contact the poison control hotline after calling 911 for an emergency.

The negative effect of ignoring the chemicals in your system is that it will eventually lead to a long-term medical condition. And this may even affect your internal organs like the lungs.

To receive the best medical care, call the medical professional immediately after it happens and give a complete report or detail of what happened.

Below are the symptoms of inhaling toxic toilet bowl cleaners;

  • Burning and irritation of the eyes, nose, mouth, and throat.
  • Coughing (with or without blood)
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Loss of consciousness.

What are the Symptoms of Toilet Cleaner Poisoning?

There are so many symptoms of toilet cleaner poisoning that it demands critical observation to know if you are suffering from its poison.

The following list brings to light these signs and symptoms;

  • With pains, you will feel chemical burns in the mouth, throat, nose, esophagus, and sometimes eyes and ears.
  • Skin burns and irritation with perforations at times.
  • Headache
  • Stools carrying blood.
  • Severe stomach ache and cramping.
  • Poor vision
  • Seizures
  • Nausea and vomiting with blood.
  • Reduction in blood pressure
  • Breathing challenges.
  • Blood pH change will affect the entire system of your bod
  • Collapse to coma or perhaps death.

The moment from which you notice you have come in contact with toilet cleaner poison, or any member of your family has, take action.

Rather than wait and say, ‘let’s see how this plays out, hurry and administer a first aid treatment. Below are the steps you should follow;

  • Call your local emergency number for help.
  • Call the poison control center for additional help.
  • Give detailed information about the poison, the time of Ingestion, quantity, and the age and health status of the person with the poison.
  • Take the individual away from the point of exposure. 
  • Protect his airways and make sure he is breathing and there is a pulse.
  • If the skin and eye are involved, take at least 15 minutes to wash them with enough water.
  • Never induce vomiting unless instructed to do so by a medical professional.
  • If Ingestion is the case, a medical professional may ask you about the individual milk.
  • Do not give anything by mouth, mainly when the symptoms include swallowing difficulty decreased, alertness, and vomiting.
  • Move the individual to the emergency room for further treatment.
  • Also, carry the product (toilet bowl cleaner) to the emergency room.

What Do I Do If My Baby Drinks Toilet Cleaner?

If your baby drinks toilet cleaner and you can still see some of it in your child’s mouth, tell the child to spit out the rest.

On no account should you try to make the child vomit. Then call 911 or the American Association of Poison Control Centers at (800) 222-1222.

Do this most especially if you notice any of the following symptoms;

  • Burns on lips and mouth
  • Throat pain
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness
  • Sleepiness 

And also, be prepared for anything because when you call, 911 will ask you a series of questions like;

  • How old is your child?
  • How much does your child weigh?
  • At which time did he get exposed?
  • What is your current address or location?
  • Does your child have any medical condition?
  • Is he currently on any drugs?


Yes, toilet bowl cleaners can kill if you handle them carelessly, ingest them in large quantities, or refuse to seek help from medical professionals after coming in contact with it.

Inhaling toilet cleaners will bring about terrible symptoms that may eventually lead to death, and if your baby drinks a toilet cleaner, call 911 or the poison control center.

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