This is not a paid review. This is my own personal opinion of a product that I am sure will remain on my "best finds of 2009" list.
First of all, let me say that we have very hard water, which I'm sure had a bearing on the problem. We have some rust, but the primary cause of the hardness is magnesium and calcium. Over time, a toilet that was brand new in 1994 became badly stained. A significant portion of the problem was the use of one of those blue tank tablets that was used for several years while I was off at grad school. I would have no qualms about telling you what brand did this, if I knew, but I don't. The first picture below shows the toilet when it was scrubbed as well as possible. You can see the permanent dark blue ring and general dingy-ness of the porcelain below the water line. Note there are striped stains above the water line.
I worked really hard to try to remove these stains. I tried several kinds of cleaners, including The Works liquid and gel, Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner for Tough Stains, Iron-Out Tabs, CLR, Scrubbing Bubbles, Comet, Ajax, Zud, pure Clorox, and baking soda. Nothing was making much impression. I just couldn't resign myself to such a dirty-looking toilet. I mean, I'm certainly not a neatnik, but when I do clean, I like the results to be satisfying!
I decided to work my way through some choices on the supermarket shelf to see if anything would help. Around November 1, 2008, The Works Bleach Automatic Toilet Bowl Tabs were on sale. Since I like their liquid toilet cleaning products, I thought it would be a good thing to try. The next picture was taken six weeks later, after one tab (placed in the tank) application. You can see how much the blue stain has already faded.
The active ingredient in the product is trichloro-s-triazinetrione, which is a very strong oxidizing agent. One needs to not touch the tabs, and wash even after handling the packets. They claim each tab will last 11 weeks, but my experience has been about half of that. The next picture was taken today, March 22, 2009. As you can see, the only remaining stains are some of the stripes above the water line, but even those are fading. I am very impressed. In addition, the tabs are cleaning up the mineral deposits on the inside of the tank. Perhaps when this is all removed the tabs will last longer.
Although these are a little pricey at a regular price of $3.99 for two tabs, using them has cut down on how often I need to use liquid cleaner on the bowl. With the removal of the terrible stains and the reduced need for toilet bowl cleaners, I think this product is very worthwhile.
I have written a number of reviews on Shared Reviews. Here are some of the bathroom cleaning products I have reviewed.
Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner for Tough Stains
The Works- thick formula toilet bowl cleaner
Zud Heavy Duty Cleanser (for rust stains)
Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Cleaner
CLR Kitchen and Bathroom Cleaner
The Works- bleach automatic tabs
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