The Works Toilet Bowl Cleaner Spills in Van. Vehicle Declared Totaled.

Sherrie Attilla, from Michigan, an admired and  fellow sales leader shared the commentary below.  Apparently at a BNI Networking meeting someone was touting the benefits of cleaning green, someone else in the meeting seconded those benefits by sharing a really amazing experience of his van declared completely totaled after a spill of the chemical toilet bowl cleaning product known as  “The Works”

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.  If so, 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, a CPA 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 Mother Earth here 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

Consider a safe, green and effective scouring paste to clean your toilet instead.

glowing toilet flickr image credit

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

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32 Responses to The Works Toilet Bowl Cleaner Spills in Van. Vehicle Declared Totaled.

  1. Scare story and toilet. The link is working!

  2. Mistie McDonald says:

    Ok so unfair!!
    This is the stuff I use in my house because it doesnt bother my asthma at all..
    Welp looks like I”ll be makin my own cleaner’s from now on!…

  3. chem student says:

    Common sense says that when the liquid chemical is cleaned up and the van aired out, it would be perfectly safe.

    I’m not a lawyer, but this blatent falsehood looks like libel to me.

    • Brenda E. Moore says:

      You are so wrong, I am facing this now in my eat my seats up after it spilled, and also the carpet and it smells awful…it has been aired out. By the way, I have chemical bronchitis from it. It needs to be controlled or taken off the market.

  4. chem student says:

    Falsehoods do not “move the conversation forward” “in a positive way”.


  5. Jane McCleary says:

    I also bought some of THE WORKS….I dont know if above true or not, but the one I bought, the lid did come off in the wallmart sack. I did not notice it, until after I had taken the container out of sack, gone across my living room carpet into the bathroom. When I came back to kitchen, I noticed the sack was getting a hole eaten through it…yikes, the blue-green stuff was in the bottom…upon further inspection, I noticed that drips from the container went into my carpet….literally melted little holes in carpet. Now, if this crap does not clean toilets, nothing will.

  6. Andrea A. says:

    I ♥ The Works Toilet cleaner!! It is the ONLY cleaner that will clean the hard water and rust stains out of my toilets. I have tried all the cleaners, including the expensive “green” cleaners, that claim to clean hard water and rust stains and none of them actually work. Use Common sense, folks. Check the caps on the bottles in the store before you buy them to make sure they are tight. Many cleaner screw top lids come loose. Who puts a bag with a cleaning agent on an upholstered seat?? Jane, this crap will definitely clean your toilets!!

  7. Kara R. says:

    Hello: What’s not being got? Of course, I am certain, most people want to be able to “clean green” and to be able to afford to clean green. However, the Fact is that there are NO products that clean away hard water stains like “The Works”. I agree, it is common sense to check all toxic cleaning products before leaving the store. You check your eggs to see if they are cracked or not, right? At least most of us do. Than why not check toxic products for safety? Also, no one wants a brown toilet, period. I suppose I would like to believe that where possible that people Are using “green” cleaning products in their homes. But again, how many people can pay the large amount of money Most all of the “green” products cost? Let’s face it – in the recent “Great Recession” it’s even more difficult to save the planet!! Again, not that people “don’t get it” – it – is just not that simple and neither are Most people. Toxins are a part of life and if we use our god given Brains we can act in a responsible manner. Keep ourselves and our planet as safe as possible. And until people can afford home improvement loans, (or whatever), to replace old rusty pipes without being taken to the cleaners, or the government finds the means to afford people cleaner water every where “The Works” – will continue to be utilized. : ) Go Green Planet!!

  8. Melissa says:

    Please read the label carefully. Make sure there is NO bleach in the toilet first!!! I accidently mixed the two and now I am wheezing and coughing up gunk and have all doors and windows opened in the middle of winter. It may clean your toilet, but it will clog your lungs.

  9. Brenda E. Moore says:

    I purchased 2 bottles of The Works yesterday, Jan. 1, 2011, at Walmart in Pascagoula, MS…When I got home one of the bottle lids was loose and spilled on everything in the bag. I just cleaned it up, then went to my SUV, and on my back seat it was soaked, and my seats where coming apart. I reported to Walmart, filled out report. Now, I can’t use the SUV at this time..I am horase this morning..I wonder if it is from the fumes in the car. I am going to insurance company Monday. I just hope someone can do something about the situation. Sherrie Attila, if you see this, please email me..

  10. Brad says:

    They just need to put a big label on it that reads ” DO NOT BUY IF YOU ARE A IDIOT. ” Problem solved.
    The Works has an active ingredient of hydrochloric acid. Do your research before you buy the products. If you do not know the proper way to handle it the don’t buy it.
    But to be honest this is the best cleaner there is on the market, especially if you have well water.

  11. Anonymous says:

    If people cannot figure out for themselves that hydrogen chloride turns into hydrochloric acid then they should not be buying this in the first place. People these days don’t know anything and have lost all common sense. I think Works makes a good toilet bowl cleaner IF you know how to use it and how to treat its burns (which are easy to treat). And yes after that spilling a new carpet complete cleaning of the steel under it and airing out and the van would be fine but you would need to make sure that know residue or gas remains from the hydrogen chloride. But I think the companies were ripping these poor people off.

  12. cwatts says:

    The fact that there is actually this much debate over how important it is to have a clean stain free toilet vs. clean air and water is alarming. Are we really more concerned about what people may think of us if our toilets are stained than we are about harmful chemicals being introduced into our environment?

    • Appreciate the comment cwatts – I think the word “alarming” says it best. There is definitely too much concern about appearances. Out of sight mind down the drain isn’t “our problem” The environment however is shouting at us, begging us to stop.

  13. Tammy says:

    I use green products to clean my toilet bowl on an every few days basis, and once a month i give it a real good cleaning with The Works. Everything in moderation.

  14. sharon lucas says:

    I will agree that this product works wonders on rust, but i will also attest that this product is a nightmare in a car, and if anyone disagrees email me and I will be more than happy to send you pictures of what this product will do to a car interior . Bought mine at Walmart, the lid had came off, and I had 2/3 of a bottle dumped in my car in 90 degree weather. I own a brand new Enclave with 4100 miles on it, a $50,000.00 car, and after 2 months of working with my insurance company and body shop we just totaled our new car, I am sick, but relieved, that my family wont have to spend one minute in this car, never even got to change the oil once, the damage just kept coming and the insurance company gave up, beside the fact that the repair man changing parts would have to take breaks because working on it made him sick.

  15. Nancy says:

    The trouble is that many people buy cleaners not expecting them to contain potentially harmful ingredients. Several years ago, my elderly mother used this product in the toilet in her new powder room, and, contrary to the directions on the label, left it in overnight. It made a permanent ring of damage to the porcelain finish. At that time, there was no warning on the container as to the danger of this happening with ANY KIND of usage of this product. There were, however, warnings about potential harm to humans. We wrote a letter to the company notifying them of this damage and the lack of complete label warning information and received a very rude reply with them taking NO responsibility for the problem. I hope that this labeling deficiency has been corrected. This product is too dangerous to be sold without extremely strong and prominent warnings.

  16. Jimmie says:

    I checked out this product at the link you provided and nowhere did I see where it is recommened for cleaning rust stains from the toilet bowl. Matter of fact, the toilet bowl is not mentioned anywhere in that article, so how is anyone to know if it will work on rust stains. Kind of as an after thought, down in the commentary below, it does say “it will even remove rust.” They make no guarantees.

  17. CHRISTine says:

    Just got home from SAM’s club with my four pack of the works, that leaked through the box and onto the back of my new suburban. I have a double comforter in the back to protect the carpeting, it soaked through and it smells like something died in there. My carpet has turned into a pile of mush. I understand how strong it is, what I don’t understand is why they don’t have at least a foil cover under the lid. You just twist it off. The cap on one of the bottles is tilted sideways.

    • I truthfully don’t understand why a product like that is even on the market. Sorry for your circumstances now. I hope that the condition of your new vehicle doesn’t decline.

      • Amanda says:

        I’m fixing to clean my toilet with the works right now. I’ve tried vinegar, pumice stones, all the commercial stuff, and so far this does the best with the hard water. You must check your lids people!!! On food to. I’ll get home and find dish detergent all over my truck bed or the yogurt seal missing. You need to check that stuff. Anyway, I checked the paste you’re recommending and it doesn’t list its ingredients. If I’ve already tried most of the ingredients separately, unless we’re working with acids and bases, buying your product isn’t going to help me much more. Btw, HCl, the active ingredient in the Works, is also used in pool treatments. So it can better found at this time of year for a lot less, in the pool section at WalFart.

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