Right, to clear things up right from the off, Fabuloso is not a person. He’s not, for instance, a tiny Italian escapologist we’re planning on shutting in a cistern to test his powers.
No, Fabuloso is a very useful cleaning liquid that can be used in a number of less than pristine scenarios, all round the home.
The slogan the company goes with is “fill your home with joy”, which may or may not be over-promising, depending really on how ecstatic a clean home makes you feel.
More to the point, will it fill your toilet with joy? Let’s flush out the truth.
Why Has the Question Come Up?
It all started on social media, just like so many phenomena nowadays. A TikTok clip showed somebody putting a perforated bottle of Fabuloso in a toilet cistern, resting on the bottom.
The idea was that with the bottle holes allowing a little cleaner out a time, every flush would be full of great smelling Fabuloso freshness, and the toilet bowl would be kept clean. This effect then appears on the clip to last for at least a week.
OK, so what, you might be thinking. Why is that a big deal? Mainly because, at the time of writing, that clip has had over 33 million viewers, and, in the age of believing any old stuff that one happens to bump into on the internet, it’s gained traction.
So, what’s the truth in this case? Let’s find out.
What Does Fabuloso Do to a Toilet?
OK, so here’s the plus part. Fabuloso does impart a nice smell with each flush, so that’s all good. It will help a little bit with keeping the bowl clean too. That’s it for the positives.
Here’s the downside. Fabuloso will, unfortunately, attack some parts of the toilet that you’d really rather were left alone.
Prominent examples include the rubber and plastic components that Fabuloso corrodes and eventually damages so much that they will need replacing.
There are bits in your toilet that need special care because they’re a little prone to damage. Fabuloso doesn’t mean to wreck them. It can’t help it. This is because it’s a general-purpose cleaner that is formulated for tackling stains all around the house, not for specialist work like in a toilet.
It contains certain corrosive elements that will work terrifically well on a kitchen surface for instance but will be all too caustic in certain environments. Like Frankie Boyle being booked for a kids’ party.
Don’t panic though if you’ve gone and put some in there. It’s not like it’ll lay waste to your toilet straight away. It’s more likely to do its damage gradually, over the course of some time.
So, if you’ve gone for the hack, just don’t go for it again and your toilet will forgive you in time.
Other Consequences of Using Fabuloso in Your Toilet
It’s not just that Fabuloso will do your toilet’s vulnerable bits harm. There are other things to bear in mind too.
Reduced flush power
Because you’re got a big bottle in your cistern, taking up space that water would take, you’ve got a bit of a problem. This is because that water is what goes into the flush. Less water available: less of a flush.
Not wonderful for the environment
Fabuloso contains a number of chemicals that won’t have fish leaping out of the water with joy, including the snappily named sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate.
It’s by no means the most harmful cleaner around, but it’s safe to say that it does the ecosphere no massive favours.
For a kinder approach altogether, consider something plant-based and harmful chemical free, like this option from Ecover.
Not good on stains
As we’ve said, it will make your toilet smell nice with every flush, but don’t be tempted to think that it will be super-effective at getting rid of stains and hard water marks.
Just doing the bottle-in-cistern hack won’t mean that you never have to scrub at unsightly marks on your toilet bowl again. These will remain part of your bathroom cleaning regimen, so don’t get rid of that toilet brush yet.
What Are Some Better Options?
So, you can go down the plant-based product route, or you might want to try one of these homemade ideas.
1. Scrub recipe
Mix ½ cup of bicarbonate of soda with 1 cup of white vinegar and ½ teaspoon of tea tree oil. This will give you scouring power and antibacterial properties too, so is an excellent mixture for toilet bowl cleaning.
2. Spray recipe
For cleaning power you can spray and leave on to do its thing, simply do this: put ¼ cup of white vinegar or lemon juice into a spray bottle and fill up with water.
Then spray all around the inside of the bowl and the acid will merrily work its way through stubborn stains and deposits.
Then go back to the scene of the grime and give it a good wipe around with a soft scourer.
For extra effectiveness, add bicarbonate of soda: shake it on in a flour shaker or something similar.
3. Toilet bomb recipe
OK, this one’s for when you fancy a bit of a project. It’s a little time-consuming, but it’s a very productive way to spend 20 minutes or so, and is a great thing to keep children busy with for a little while. Do supervise though.
Mix together the following ingredients: ½ cup each of bicarbonate of soda, citric acid and cornstarch.
Add a tiny amount of water (use a spray bottle and give it a light squirt) then squidge everything together. Add more water (easy does it though) if it’s too dry to hold together. When you have a dough-like consistency, add 25 drops of essential oil.
You now need to put them in a mould. If you have an Easter egg mould this will be ideal. Failing that, a large deep bowl measuring spoon will do.
Pack the mixture in then turn out onto baking parchment to dry. They will take a day or so to firm up properly, after which point you can store them in an air-tight jar or tin.
When you want to use, pop one in your toilet bowl and wait for the ensuing fizzing to die down. When things are calm, give it a flush. You’ll love the results, and all super-natural, harmless and cheap.
A Fresh Approach
So, it turns out that using Fabuloso is, though hugely widely known, a hack that is simply too good to be true.
The great news is that there are other easy-to-adopt approaches you can use that do work extremely well, while giving your toilet the care it needs.
Yes, when it comes to keeping your toilet terrific you can resort to bog standard cleaners and good luck to you.
However, those in the know will treat certain household products as their number one (and number two) choice.
Martin’s life revolves around films, dogs and food, but rarely all at the same time. At least two out of these three like to give clothes and furniture a hard time, and Martin enjoys discovering and writing about new ways to stop them doing their worst.