Get Up To $175 In The Clorox Bowl Cleaner Class Action

You can get up to $175 if you bought, used, or suffered property damage from using Clorox Automatic Toilet Bowl cleaners, thanks to a class action settlement.

The lawsuit claims that while the package says the cleaner “does not harm plumbing,” the tablets cause the rubber and plastic parts in the tank to corrode. Eventually the tank could fail or the seals aren’t tight anymore, according to the suit. Clorox denies these claims and says the tablets are safe when used properly, but has settled to end the legal battle.

You’re eligible to file for a piece of the settlement if you used the tablets between Dec 13, 2002, to Sep 15, 2010. There are two payout classes: you can claim less than $30 of damage, or you can get up to $175 if you provide explanation and proof of the damage.

The filing deadline is Jan. 28, 2011. Claim forms and more info are available at CATBCsettlement.com.

Clorox Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner (CATBC) Class Action Lawsuit Settlement [TopClassActions]

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  1. TheMonkeyKing says:

    hmmm. I had a seal fail but I thought it was 40 year old tank and fittings were to blame. Wow, I guess I must have been wrong.

    • Julia789 says:

      Same here, and all the inside components.

      What about the blue ones without bleach, wonder if those create the same problems?

      I am going to use those disinfectants that clip inside the bowl now, instead of the tank ones.

  2. SkokieGuy says:

    I had the seal mechanism fail, my toilet leaks continuously, and it’s only 2 years old. I couldn’t figure out how a new product could fail so badly. Thanks a lot Clorox.

    • cyberpenguin says:

      We had the same problem with toilets in a new house. Had to replace the flush mechanism after 2 years.

      We stopped using the Clorox tablets and haven’t had any problems for 7 years.

      • DidIDoThat says:

        I had that same problem along with a new black colored bacteria that grows wildly fast in the bowl.

        • cassiopia1177 says:

          You too??? I thought we had some mutant issues in our water or something. Replaced the entire ‘guts’ of the toilet this year, and had done it two years before too.

  3. Ihaveasmartpuppy says:

    Aha, we had to replace a toilet last winter because so many parts were failing. Yup, I used those tablets.

  4. MercuryPDX says:

    Well this is great to hear about AFTER I replaced the toilet. :)

    After replacing the guts of my toilet three times, I suspected that the tank drop-in cleaners had somehow screwed up the innards and stopped using them altogether.

  5. Marlin says:

    Yea bleach and other chems are not good to put IN the water tank of the toilet.

    You can put them in the bowl but not above that.

    • Jfielder says:

      What if we like to put pee in the water tank… as in “upper decking” someone… is that acceptable?

  6. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Upon using this product recently, my toilet water would turn pink. I tried to find what might cause this, and the only thing I could find via the internet was due to rust. One of the toilets is less that 2 yrs old, and the other is at least 5-10, but both had the same symptoms, so rust seemed an unlikely cause. I did suspect it was the tablets, but thought it might have been due to bleach mixed with other chemicals in our tap water.

    So this is the cause? I’m still in disbelief.

    • maddypilar says:

      Is your tank flapper pink or red? I had to replace 3 flappers because they eroded and broke, probably due to the tablets. Maybe yours was leaching color.

  7. partofme says:

    So I’ve bought these for a few years now… but I’ve always rented and never had a failure. I could probably technically make a claim (they explicitly state that purchase price is applicable damages), but I’ve never been liable for any real damages that might occur. On the other hand, in the aggregate, I pay more rent for the increased likelihood of failure (theoretically). Should this kind of argument (one that most companies would be plenty happy to make if it helped them) dissuade my guilty feelings about never being liable for actual damages it might have caused? I need the consumerist hive mind…

  8. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    I use the Kaboom bleach tablets in the little holder to keep the bleach from interacting with the tank parts. It hooks inline to the water piping coming from the valve and deposits into the tube that mixes with water going into the bowl.

    Worked great for about a year, replacing every 3 – 5 months based on usage and then the toilet bowls developed an orange ring around the water line that just refused to bleach out. Now I’m back to scrubbing.

    I miss those blue tablets everyone seemed to have while I was a kid. Smelled so nice. Are they safe to use? I pass by them on the shelf on the market and wonder but I don’t want to take chances. Clearly this class action shows that just because the label says “safe” doesn’t actually mean “safe”.

  9. Angus99 says:

    As someone who had to avail himself of the services of a plumber this very weekend due to failure of a feed pipe, I can confidently state that $175 would only have covered the time it took him to walk from his truck in my driveway, to my front door.

  10. Daverson says:

    I never use that type of bowl cleaner because my dogs both drink out of the toilet. (Yeah, I know: Close the lid, but that doesn’t work – they’ve both learned how to flick the lid open with their muzzles.)

  11. MFfan310 says:

    I don’t use in-tank toilet cleaner. The three largest toilet makers in the US (American Standard, Kohler, and TOTO) specifically warn people not to use in-tank cleaners in the setup manual. They also say that these cleaners will void your toilet warranty, and TOTO actually recommends a specific brand of in-bowl toilet bowl cleaner (Green Works; ironically also a Clorox product) for their “Sanagloss” toilets.

    Always read the manual, even for something as relatively simple as a toilet.

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      I’ll admit to not RTFM, but I can’t recall if I’ve ever went toilet shopping. That is, toilet shopping for a toilet I expected to take home with me.

      (Flashback:
      Bud: “Excuse me here Dad, but a toilet is a toilet.”
      Al: “Bud, the toilets of today aren’t worthy of the name. They come in designer colors and they’re too low. And when you flush them, they make this little weak, almost apologetic sound. Not the Ferguson. It only comes in white. And when you flush it, BA-WOOSH! That’s a man’s flush, Bud. A Ferguson says, ‘I’m a toilet. Sit down and give me your best shot.'”)

  12. MacRtst says:

    I used these several times. I had a seal fail, in a new house. The tank randomly refills now.

  13. I wumbo. You wumbo. He- she- me... wumbo. Wumbo; Wumboing; We'll have thee wumbo; Wumborama; Wumbology; the study of Wumbo. says:

    I like Scrubbing Bubbles toilet cleaner.

    • Snaptastic says:

      I tried that Scrubbing bubbles gel thingy before–but ended up with a giant misshapen blue booger that wouldn’t dissolve after a few months (it was stuck where the water can’t miss it) and had to practically be scraped out.

  14. tungstencoil says:

    I stopped using them after they rotted through three seals in about 6 or 8 months. I finally figured out the correlation between these crappy tablets and my plumbing fail. Luckily, it was minor damage.

  15. MaytagRepairman says:

    Interesting. I’ve been using those pucks in a 25 year-old toilet that would “run” occasionally. Just replaced the flapper this weekend. Spent an extra dollar to get one with a 5-year warranty that was chlorine resistant. Wonder what I am in for next.

  16. paleck says:

    This explains why am I looking at replacing my toilet now. It leaks continuously into the bowl continuously and the floater mechanism to shut-off the water flow no longer functions.

  17. Red Cat Linux says:

    Shit, that happened to me too. I had to replace the tank flapper in every toilet in the house. Twice. I eventually figured it had to be the flush tablets and stopped using them.

    One toilet had to be replaced outright, since I could never get a tank seal to fit right again. I just said screw it then and replaced two more toilets. I got rid of the last one a couple years ago.

  18. Julia789 says:

    This explains a LOT in my house! I use these tablets a lot. Have to continuously replace all the mechanisms inside the toilet, every year it seemed like. They were all corroded. I thought it was just cheap parts.

  19. Dragon Tiger says:

    Haven’t had to replace any seals, but I replaced the rubber flapper last week and the rubber was rubbing off on my hands like it was ink. Looks like I have to find another product.

  20. cgskitters says:

    Every toilet I used the Clorox tabs in I have had to replace the seals. I switched to some other brand not sure what it is called get it at Costco and have had no problems.

  21. osiris73 says:

    Add me to the list of people who are saying, “Huh! That’s why my flap valve and rubber components got brittle so quickly. I’ve been replacing the hardware with more and more expensive pieces hoping they’d last longer. Of course now I feel like an idiot for assuming that the tablets were safe for use. *sigh*

  22. Benzona says:

    Shit I have those in two toilets right now.

  23. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    I’m the lone person who has never had an issue. But, I am glad to know this so I won’t use them anymore.

  24. UltimateOutsider says:

    I actually thought this was common knowledge that they damaged the rubber parts. I’ve probably replaced a dozen flappers in my lifetime as a result of these and products like them.

    Worse yet, though, is the fact that the house we live in now was on the market for 6 months before we bought it. The previous owners left some tablets in all the toilet tanks and over time as the water levels dropped and the chemical concentration increased, water leaked from the tanks into the bowls and now every one of our toilet bowls has these permanent yellow streaks in them. We’ve tried everything to get them out, but one day may simply have to replace the bowls. All 3 of them.

  25. markmark says:

    Don’t most new toilets have a sticker in the take advising you NOT to use this product?

    • Red Cat Linux says:

      I don’t recall seeing that when I bought toilets to replace the 40 year old ones.

      I assure you, however…. the 40 year old toilets carry no such warning.

    • gman863 says:

      Yes, and new toilet warranties are void if in tank cleaning products (tablets, Ty-D-Bowl, etc.) are used.

      Just remodeled the hallway bathroom and actually read the Kohler warranty book.

  26. TurboWagon00 says:

    Those look suspiciously like pool chlorine tablets… I wonder what the markup was on them (normally get a 25# bucket for about $50)

  27. Jane_Gage says:

    I don’t beach my teeth and I don’t bleach the bowl that recieves my urine/feces. I somehow think I’ll come out ahead and so will the water table.

  28. elysse says:

    I didn’t realize this was a Clorox-specific issue! I know I’ve had to replace all the rubber gaskets and one float in my house’s 3 toilets, but I thought that was just what using bleach tabs in the tank would do over time.

  29. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    THIS THIS THIS! These things ate through the flapper in my apartment’s toilet bowl to the point that the chain came undone because it went THROUGH the rubber! EWWW.

  30. mcgyver210 says:

    We also replaced two toilets due too many seal failures & we also used to used the tablets. The new toilets cost about $500.00 each & had long term warranties with specific instructions not to use any drop-in products or it would void warranty

  31. nocturnaljames says:

    I’ve used these for about 10 years, never any problems with any of my toilets. They do a good job of keeping them clean. Could it be your old crappy toilet is to blame, not the cleaner?

    • MaytagRepairman says:

      I tend to agree. You would think in this day and age we could make a toilet that could withstand these pucks.

  32. gman863 says:

    If I have bright white bleach spots on my ass from a massive #2 water splash, does it count as a class-action claim?

  33. Willow16 says:

    We use these because we have a two stage water filter that removes chlorine from the household water but the toilets need the chlorine (without the filter, our water tastes terrible). Anyone have a recommendation for something that would help with that?

  34. snarkysniff says:

    It does eat the flaps for sure, I even had a plumber tell me not to use them anymore… Ive went through a lot of flaps I for sure will not use them anymore now.

  35. lordargent says:

    I switched to using kaboom (it attaches to the line that feeds the bowl, so the cleaning material bypasses the tank)