Do You Use The Works Toilet Bowl Cleaner?

Often in our field we get testimonies that exemplify the work we do….this one,  from Sherrie Attilla is amazing!!

Strap yourself in when you read this story and ask yourself,

“Do I know any family that buys “The Works” toilet bowl cleaner from Sam’ s Club.

They need to read this testimony.

One of my new business associates, Corey Davis, was at his BNI Business Networking ) group in Kalamazoo, MI and at his turn, he was sharing about our awesome Green Clean Product Line

As the members went around taking their turns, Matthew Rzepka stood to give his 1 minute commercial about his CPA business and stopped and told everyone at the meeting that they really needed to listen to Corey and then shared this testimony.

He was willing to email it to Corey so everyone could hear about their family’s experience and be alerted!!!

Sherrie Attila

Matthew L. Rzepka, CPA, CFP®  Managing Partner / Owner

“…At the local Sam’s Club, my wife purchased a 4 pack, shrink wrapped, of “The Works” toilet bowl cleaner.  On the way home, in the back of our van, it tipped over, and some leaked out (about half a bottle) on the seat and the carpet because of a hole in the top of one of the bottles.  The seat, the carpet and the underlying steel were all damaged.

The final resolution: our insurance company totaled the van, because of the spill!

According to the insurance company and poison control, the fumes from the toilet bowl cleaner made the interior environment of the van permanently unsafe for anyone, especially young children, so we wouldn?t be able to drive the van any more.

The fumes also corroded any exposed metal in the van and poison control warned over time would ruin most if not all electrical connections.  After the van was cleaned and repaired to the fullest extent possible, it was still determined that eventually, the residual fumes would continue to have a chemical reaction and deteriorate anything left in the van, leaving the van completely useless and unsafe, hence the insurance companies decision to total the vehicle was made.”

Allow me to capture the languaging of this testimony:

common toilet bowl cleaner from Sam’s Club
carpet and steel damage
insurance and poison control
permanently unsafe for anyone
fumes corroded any exposed metal
fumes eventually will destroy electrical connections
residual fumes will deteriorate anything left in the van
useless and unsafe

glowing toilet flickr image credit

Karen Hanrahan ~ Wellness Educator/Nutritional Consultant/Blog Author
Nutrition, Weight Loss, and Green Clean

How do you celebrate Earth Day?
If you’re not cleaning green – what’s stopping you?

This entry was posted in Green and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to Do You Use The Works Toilet Bowl Cleaner?

  1. an explosive expose here!watch what you use folks, your family and the fishies in the deep blue sea will thank you for reading labels.there’s no more excuse for not using green.

  2. Karen Hanrahan says:

    you got it nadine!!

  3. Jeanne says:

    Who knew? That is interesting…I’m amazed that the insurance company actually totaled it out. Refreshing to know they did the right thing!

  4. Karen Hanrahan says:

    It is interesting isn’t it?

  5. That’s great, I never thought about Toilet Bowl Cleaner like that before.

  6. Hand Tools says:

    That’s great, I never thought about Toilet Bowl Cleaner like that before.

  7. Hand Tools says:

    That’s great, I never thought about Toilet Bowl Cleaner like that before.

  8. Hand Tools says:

    That’s great, I never thought about Toilet Bowl Cleaner like that before.

  9. SEO says:

    I was just thinking about Do You Use The Works Toilet Bowl Cleaner and you’ve really helped out. Thanks!

  10. SEO says:

    Good post, but have you thought about Use The Works Toilet Bowl Cleaner before?

  11. paul says:

    bunch of bs to discredit product…mother earth is a loser..

  12. Bathrooms says:

    That’s great, I never thought about Toilet Bowl Cleaner like that before.

  13. SEO says:

    Good post, but have you thought about toilet bowl before?

  14. Karen J says:

    So sorry that you couldn’t just say “I don’t agree”, without adding insults! That won’t change anyone’s mind.

  15. Pat says:

    The active ingredient in “The Works” is Lye. Lye has been on the market for a very long time now. My generation has always been warned about Lye and to be careful if using it. Lye eats through anything including metal if it can not be cleaned away and off the surface where it sits. This is why the vehicle had to be totaled. In a toliet there is water rinsing over the surface and out into either a tank or treatment plant. A big difference between the two. The manufacturers of “Green” are using this to promote their product. Common sense should tell use this is the biggest reason behind this.

    • johnny garcia says:

      “The Works” uses Hydrochloric Acid, not lye. Lye is a base and “The Works” is an acid, so they are complete opposites of each other. You could not be any further from the truth. Maybe in the future you will read the label before trying to look smart.

  16. Karen Hanrahan says:

    Not to mention the fact that Lye is animal derived.  Thanks for sharing Pat

  17. I was just thinking about Toilet Bowl Cleaner and you’ve really helped out. Thanks!

  18. Good post, but have you thought about Toilet Bowl Cleaner before?

  19. Chris says:

    Actually lye is not animal derived.

  20. Cloudy says:

    You should check the actual definition of lye – A strong caustic alkaline solution of potassium or sodium salts, obtained by leaching wood ashes. It is much used in making soap as well as its use in biodiesel (source wiktionary). It is not now nor has it ever been animal derived.If you want to be green, check the facts instead of being a parrot.

  21. Theresa says:

    If your going to dish a product then at least tell us what environmentally safe product that will clean rust off as well as The Works. And I will guarantee the good old “elbow grease” is not enough.

  22. Chris says:

    The works is 15% HCl solution, a very common but strong ionic acid. The same one that is in your stomach. The bottle should look a little more scarier, but for some cleaning jobs a strong acid is needed.Maybe you should investigate what you are going to criticize. HCl is a strong chemical and needs to be respected.

  23. Karen Hanrahan says:

    I don’t agree with you Chris.  I have never ever needed an acid for housecleaning.  I don’t feel strong chemicals need to be in the mainstream market.  The testimony in this post clearly described harm of which I found alarming.  Worth sharing

  24. Chris says:

    I agree the marketing is wrong on this product. It should be at home depot not next to regular toilet cleaners. HCl will remove mineral build up that Citric acid or acetic acid wont. I wonder how many bottles spilled. 20% HCl has a molarity of about 12, assuming 4L spilled that is about 50 moles of HCl, Iron and HCl for FeCl4, so about 12 Moles of iron consumed or about 672grams of iron. About a pound and a half of iron consumed if all the HCl went to doing that.The problem I see is that most people here equate destruction of the car with destruction of the Mother Earth. HCl is possible they least risky in terms of that, it is strong and destructive when concentrated but is quickly diluted by water or neutrallized. I would be more worried about an organic acid then this inorganic acid. Rather gruard my self against splash and contact risk then expose my self to random organic compounds and see what my body makes.

  25. Karen Hanrahan says:

    I am not the author of the testimony – I wouldn’t know re: how many bottles actually spilled. It was a speculative post. A sharing about something I found remarkably harmful.  Having an insurance agency total the car gives credibilty to the damage caused. I’d rather clean with something that is wonderfully powerful that cleans well, biodegrades and is made from a plant like soy or corn. The works in my opinion  would be better off not on the shelf of the grocery store or home depot . ‘d rather experiment with ta product that I’d not have to guard myself from splash or need a degree to decipher the label.  Do you clean using green products?  They might surprise you  – and you could do your part for Mother Earth

  26. Chris says:

    Sorry screwed up the calculations should be about half as many moles of HCl and thus half the mass of iron.

  27. chris says:

    Very doubt full that there i an organic acid that will work like HCl on mineralization. There are many cleaning products that you need to read the label to use. Mix bleach and ammonia cleaners and create a toxic gas. What green cleaning products and what are there ingredients. Splash risk are much easier to guard against. The works is not an everyday cleaner, but it is much safer then diluting muratic acid at home. I challenge you to find a cleaner that degrades quicker then HCl, as soon as there is water present it becomes H+ and Cl-.

  28. Karen Hanrahan says:

    Chris – These are the products that I personally use and sell: won’t find me ever using something caustic, or something I have to again worry about re: dilution or splash risk that is personal my preference — typically I share further information with clients interested in purchasing verses trying to proove something – hope you understand.  Were you interested in exploring a green option ?

  29. Chris says:

    I dont need you to share the information ,I can see by the msds for a few of your products that they are surfactant mixtures, good for cleaning dirt and grime, not removal of mineral deposits. I dont see a single product for removing mineral build up.Your product selection logic is like saying we cant have any sharp scissors or tools because of risk of cutting one self. They are tools for a job, some times you need to use a tool that has a bit more risk potential so you use the proper safety.What is the track record for the chemicals used in the surfactants, and there manufacture?

  30. Karen Hanrahan says:

    The choices I made re: shifting to cleaning green were from being a mom.  These products have been around originally since the 50’s and some went through reformulation in recent years. all manufactured by our company.

  31. Carpet says:

    Phew! Although, it doesn’t really surprise me that the cleaner caused such extensive damage. Toilet bowl cleaners often include hydrochloric acid, and if you’ve ever had to clean a toilet that hasn’t seen bristles for several months, you know that it can be needed!

  32. That is an amazing story … but unsurprising, when you think about it. There are innumerable warnings on those bottles about what you can’t do with the products inside … many of them do contain quite a strong acid. I wonder if another insurance company would have reacted in the same way, though? How much is it a matter of opinion?

  33. Pergolas says:

    This is quite disturbing, despite the humorous undertone. Do other toilet cleansers contain Lye?

  34. margaret necita says:

    i brought my the works toilet bowl cleaner to my daughters house to clean her ex’s bathroom so she could sell the house. well i worked and worked on this very deep crusted lime and mineral deposit and with bare hands not knowing it contained lye. when i finished it looked so great . the realtor said one customer said he would have to put in a new bathroom at 12,000 dollars and i got it clean with the works. my hands didn’t suffer a bit and the bathroom looks not good but great. now i can’t find anywhere to buy it. shop rite doesn’t sell it anymore.

  35. Evan says:

    If you put this in a bottle with little tin foil balls and shake it up, it will explode. his is called “The Works Bomb”.

  36. margaret necita says:

    i found the works in walmart. i bought the two bottles that were left. i am amazed by the reviews and how they condemn the products. maybe i am buying a lesser strength. the first bottle i bought that i got such good results was the thick formula, and this one is more liquidy. my toilets weren’t as bad as they were four months ago but i had no trouble and i still didn’t wear gloves. but i did use a toilet brush. i may not use it everytime but boy this is a winner!

  37. Brenda E. Moore says:

    Karen, I went to Dr today. I have chemical bronchitis..The dr wants to know what indegredients is in this product. The is NOT one on the bottle. Can you help me?

    • Chemical Bronchitis – that’s terrible!!

      This is what i could find:

      32 Oz.
      Eliminates stains.
      Active ingredients: Hydrocloric Acid 20% Rodine 50.1%,Perfumes .1%

      considered a hazardous substance

      Active vs inert vs regular or professional strength.
      I don’t know what you have.

      I would contact the manufacturer and ask for an MSDS sheet.

      Material Safety Data Sheet.

    • Brenda – what has your car insurance company said?

  38. Alice Groner says:

    We have very hard water, and white vinegar (left for an hour or so) works great to remove lime deposits.

  39. David says:

    I also recently had the Works spill in my truck and it melted the carpet. It also caused all the exspose metal to rust. One week later it started eating up my transmission control cable that’s running under the carpet which caused me to be unable to shift my truck into gear. I called my insurance company. I’m supposed to have an adjuster come out and look at it.

  40. Mike King says:

    Oh good lord. Hydrochloric acid, an aqueous solution of hydrogen chloride gas, though strong, is actually pretty benign in the environment. React it with ‘lime”, calcium carbonate, deposits in your toilet the by products are water, calcium chloride and carbon dioxide. Lye, sodium hydroxide, is something different altogether, if your toilet bowl cleaner is granular rather than liquid it MIGHT be lye, lye is only commonly used in “crystal” drain cleaners (Red Devil, Drano, etc.). You never want to mix cleaners, you especially do not mix hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide, releases all sorts of nasty gas, OR hydrochloric acid and chlorine (Clorox bleach), different set of gases, maybe even more toxic.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s