What are the ingredients of an ordinary toilet cleaner like Harpic?

- 5 minutes read time
What are the ingredients of an ordinary toilet cleaner like Harpic?


Sparkling clean toilet but what about your health?

When we buy ordinary toilet cleaners like Harpic, Presto, Lysol, Domex or Sani fresh, we expect them to clean! However, what about the dangerous components that might cause us harm if inhaled, or touched? Let us not forget about how they also contribute to household air pollution!

Household air pollution? Bizarre, right? You must be wondering what the correlation is between ordinary toilet cleaners and air pollution! You will think twice before purchasing these after reading the following, especially if you have low immunity or sensitive skin.

What are the ingredients of an ordinary toilet cleaner like Harpic?

Here are the components of the Harpic toilet cleaner according to their packaging. They do not even hide the chemicals they are using and many of us still buy this product, strange!


1. Hydrochloric Acid (HCl)

2. Hydroxy Ethyl Oleylamine

3. Cetyl Trimethyl Ammonium Chloride

4. Methylacrylamidoproplyl Trimethylammonium Chloride

5. Methyl Salicylate

6. Butylated Hydroxy Toluene

7. Acid Blue 80 (C.I.:61585)

8. Acid Red 52 (C.I.:45100)

9. Deionized Water

Do you believe that these complex-named chemicals are something you should be using daily and can come in contact with your skin? Do you know the harmful impact of these chemicals? Well, do not worry! We are here to break this down for you in simple words.

1) Hydrochloric Acid (HCl)

To get rid of dirt and grime, toilet bowl cleaners use hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid is referred to as muriatic acid in ordinary cleaning products, the primary purpose of it is to clean concrete by peeling away the outermost layer.

Why is it harmful?

The standard toilet cleaner contains approximately 10.5% HCl. This substance is awfully corrosive to metals and eats through cotton, rayon, and mortar. Additionally, since hydrochloric acid (HCl) corrodes human tissues, coming into contact with it can cause skin burns, and harm the eyes & skin irreparably, and other internal organs such as the lungs.1

2) HydroxyEthyl Oleylamine

Generally, the primary purpose of HydroxyEthyl Oleylamine is to thicken the HCl-based cleaner. It is a non-ionic surfactant that primarily serves as an acid thickener and viscosifier, providing wetting, foam, emulsification, and corrosion inhibition.2

Why is it harmful?

It can cause severe skin burns and eye damage when it comes in contact, and it can also cause respiratory irritation. Most importantly it is very toxic to aquatic life in the long run.3 Harpic's ingredients are harmful to aquatic life and have a long-lasting impact on the water bodies into which the wash water is discharged.


3) Cetyl Trimethyl Ammonium Chloride (CTAC)

Cetyl Trimethyl Ammonium Chloride is also known as Cetrimonium chloride, a surfactant and emulsifier which helps in mixing two or more liquids that otherwise would not mix. It also acts as a thickener

Why is it harmful?

It can cause severe eye irritation. Moreover, it is extremely dangerous when swallowed. It can cause harmful effects on the skin, skin allergies and immunotoxicity too.4

4) Methylacrylamidoproplyl Trimethylammonium Chloride (MTAC)

Methylacrylamidoproplyl Trimethylammonium Chloride is another surfactant which is used in an ordinary toilet cleaner liquid.

Why is it harmful?

It can cause sensitization or skin allergies, moreover, it can irritate the respiratory tract and can cause organ-specific toxicity. This substance is very harmful to aquatic life with long-lasting effects on the water bodies into which the wash water is discharged.5

5) Methyl Salicylate

The main function of Methyl Salicylate is to alter the scent of a product to produce a pleasant aroma or fragrance that is released into the air while or after use.

Why is it harmful?

It can cause redness and swelling in the affected area. Severe skin burning, rashes, skin itching, and blister formation can happen when coming in contact with it. It can interfere with eye vision if it comes in contact with the eye.6

Are there any alternatives?


We know after reading this information, you would be shocked and would like to search for an alternative. So as to protect your health, the environment and aquatic life, too. Now is the time to ditch these harsh chemical-laden bathroom cleaning products!

Ohh, no! Wait! You do not need to rush to Google or Youtube to search “how to make natural toilet cleaner at home”! We have formulated a natural toilet cleaner liquid, so you don’t have to!

Switch to Born Good’s Eco-friendly toilet bowl cleaner liquid which is a plant-powered solution to protect you and your family from harsh chemicals and their harmful effects. Filled with the goodness of nature and free from pollutants like chlorine, bleach, and other harsh chemicals.


Here's the detailed list of our ingredients (which is clearly mentioned on our website, too!):



Glycerine derived from Soyabean, Palm or Coconut oil

To provide lubrication on the surface

Enzyme Based Surfactant derived from Non-GMO bacteria found in soil

To break down stains

C18 Palmitic Surfactant derived from organic compounds

To enhance viscosity

Hypo-Allergenic Fragrance derived from essential oils

For fragrance

Potassium Sorbate & Sodium Benzoate derived from inorganic salts        

Food Preservatives to prevent fungal, viral, mold, yeast or bacterial growth

C-10 - C-12 Alkyl polyglucoside derived from natural oils and starch

Reduces surface tension of oil stains and solubilizes them in water for easy removal

Cocoamidopropyl Betain derived from coconut oil

Germicide that stops stains from re-depositing

Water derived from natural sources


We decided to avoid complicating our packaging and chose to mention only the key ingredients on our labels and add a QR code which directs you to our website where you can find the detailed ingredients list.

Our toilet cleaner liquid is 100% non-toxic, cruelty-free, hypoallergenic, eco-friendly and most importantly a USDA-certified product. It is super safe for your skin, will not produce any toxic fumes, makes your bathroom smell fresh and kills 99.99% of bacteria.

P.S: Once you start using Born Good’s Eco-friendly toilet bowl cleaner, there is no looking back!

So, what are you holding out for? Go and grab our toilet bowl cleaner right away.


1. https://wwwn.cdc.gov/TSP/MMG/MMGDetails.aspx?mmgid=758&toxid=147 

2. https://www.atamanchemicals.com/oleyl-amine-2-eo_u24499/

3. https://www.geneseo.edu/sites/default/files/sites/chemstockroom/SDS/331/Oleylamine.pdf

4. https://echa.europa.eu/substance-information/-/substanceinfo/100.003.571

5. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/3-Acrylamidopropyl_trimethylammonium-Chloride#section=GHS-Classification

6. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/source/hsdb/1935#section=Non-Human-Toxicity-Excerpts-(Complete)

1 comment

Love this article. Please can your team write more details on harsh chemicals used in other household products from popular brands like Surf Excel for laundry, Vim & Exo for dishwashing, Lizol for floor cleaning.

It is not possible for layman to understand harmful effects by googling information on each mentioned (or unmentioned) ingredients in these products.

This will serve dual purpose of educating consumers and also, draw them to eco-friendly brand like yours. I’ll be happy to spread the word.

Himanshu Jain

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