What Happened to the Works Toilet Bowl Cleaner?

Written by

Paulk Webb


Freddie J. Hagopian

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what happened to the works toilet bowl cleaner

What happened to The Works toilet bowl cleaner indicates the stringent standards the US government applies to products containing hazardous chemicals.

The Works toilet bowl cleaner shortage results from a recent US government regulation limiting the hazardous chemical content of toilet cleaners.

Owing to recent US EPA regulation, The Works’ previous content of 20% hydrochloric acid was reduced to only 9.5 % which resulted in the discontinued production of the product for the market.

About the Works Toilet Bowl Cleaner


1. History

The Works toilet bowl cleaner began as a formula created in a garage in Waterloo, Indiana 50 years ago. Its outstanding potency in removing hard water stains in Indiana and its surrounding areas built up its reputation for quality and performance.

At that time, The Works was just made available in plastic bottles and sold from car trunks while distributed house-to-house. Its humble beginnings started the success story that carried on throughout its 50 years of quality and performance.

2. The Works formula

Just like any other toilet cleaning products, the active ingredient in The Works toilet bowl cleaner is hydrochloric acid.

The Works comes in 2 variations, a thick formula in a plastic bottle and boxed tablets.

3. What happened to this toilet bowl cleaner?

The product’s unavailability was not caused by production or market forces. Based on scientific studies, the original 20% hydrochloric acid (HCl) content of The Works posed dangers making it too toxic for the environment.

Recent studies have found that hydrochloric acid, as a PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl) substance, is toxic to both human and animal health. Contamination of the environment from PFAS thus became a global environmental concern resulting in the regulation of the chemical.

For that reason per US EPA regulation, The Works with 20% HCl content was discontinued and the company had to stop making the banned formulation.

The Works cleaner recall from the market stemmed from this enforced regulation and company compliance. What stores sell The Works toilet bowl cleaner products thus became nil.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why can’t I find The Works toilet bowl cleaner?

The main reason for The Works’ unavailability is its pullout from the market. However, this only affected the 20% HCl formulation. The Works cleaner recall of the product took place while undergoing change in its formulation for market availability.

Do they still make The Works toilet bowl cleaner?

Yes, The Works company still manufactures the liquid, thick formula with 9.5% HCl content and its counterpart in tablets. Both still provide that classic clean of The Works. You can find its products in various sizes, including 24 oz, 32 oz., and more.

Make sure you follow the instructions on how to use the specific type of The Works cleaning product to remove what stains your toilet bowl.

Where to buy The Works toilet bowl cleaner near me?

If The Works seems out of stock everywhere near you, try checking first Walmart and Dollar General for availability. Ace’s and Amazon’s websites don’t currently offer it.

What is comparable to The Works toilet bowl cleaner?

Toilet bowl cleaners containing mild acids such as acetic, citric, and hypochlorous (chlorine bleach) acid can be used effectively for toilet cleaning.

Cleaners containing strong acids, including hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid, can also be effective but need caution.


One who has The Works toilet bowl cleaner used for cleaning surely knows how good the product is. For that peace of mind in toilet hygiene, what happened to The Works toilet bowl cleaner need not be your worry.

The US government’s regulation resulted in its recall in the market. The reformulated Works toilet bowl cleaner has now become available at online sellers like Walmart and Dollar General.

Your continued patronage of The Works and similar cleaning products promote a green environment where human and animal lives get protected.

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