“ Brand: Harpic / Type: Bathroom & Toilet Cleaner / Category: Cleaning & Disinfectant „
Cleaning the toilets is probably amongst my most hated of household chores - it's the one thing that I'd more than happily pay someone else to do but, as I don't mind the rest of the household chores I don't quite feel justified in employing a cleaner! I'm always on the lookout for things that will help make the job easier and more pleasant. The water in our area is fairly hard and, as such, limescale build up can be an issue. Products which deal with this effectively are few and far between and so, when I see a new product that claims superior powers against limescale or stains, particularly if it's cheaper than my friend Cillit Bang toilet cleaner I'll give it a go. Unfortunately, this is one product that I won't be trying EVER again.
Harpic have long been associated with bleaches and toilet cleaners and I've never really had much of an opinion about them. I'll happily buy Harpic bleach and so, on seeing this new product, Harpic Stain Guard, I decided it had to be tried.
Harpic Stain Guard claims to clean and disinfect the toilet and to prevent new stains (which a little asterisk tells you mean limescale stains) sticking and building up in the bowl. It's meant to last for up to 150 flushes meaning less scrubbing. Um, right....
Rarely do I read the instructions on products like this but this time I did. Why I bothered I'm not sure. The instructions told me to squirt the product under the rim (as usual), leave for 60 minutes, brush, reapply, leave for 15 mins then flush. I wasn't taken by this "dual application" thing but, in the spirit of fairness thought I'd give it a go, at least on the first use as I suspected that this was the only way that there would be enough product left for the "prevention" bits of the claim.
I squirted the bleach as directed. This wasn't overly successful. The cleaner is much thinner than I'd anticipated and although this meant that it was fairly easy to get under the rim it was also easy to miss and get it up the top edge sides of the toilet. Not an issue I thought, this is a cleaning product and I want my whole loo cleaned.
The cleaner smells awful - it reminds me of the cheap industrial cleaning products often used by councils in their toilets, very chemical and not at all pleasant. I was glad that I'd tried this upstairs first as the thought of someone calling on me and smelling this from the cloakroom would not have created the impression that I would like. The smell lingers long after you've got rid of the product and resulted in me opening the windows for quite a while to get the smell out. On smell alone I would not buy this again.
Unfortunately that's the least of the issues.
The cleaner itself is bright blue (that bright blue of, you guessed it, industrial cleaners!). Again I thought, not a problem, who cares what colour the cleaner is? Um, actually I've refined my opinion: I care what colour it is. You see, I left this, as instructed for 1 hour - OK, I may have been a few seconds over, but certainly no more than a minute or two. On returning to the toilet the blue colour of the cleaner was sticking all around the bowl and I immediately thought that this was going to be good - clearly the product had good coverage. And then I brushed... the blue colour did not come off. My toilet had turned from white to white with big blue streaks. Not only did the colour not come off, nor did the small limescale deposits that had built over the week (yes, just a week), nor without vigorous scrubbing did a deposit that I can only assume came from my husband (ladies just wouldn't leave such a mark!). To be honest, just using the brush without any product at all would have been as effective, less smelly and wouldn't have left me with a blue loo.
With the feeling that I had nothing to lose I applied the cleaner again for the remaining 15 minutes, returned, again to a blue loo, and flushed. Product still visible, toilet still stained blue (although not dirty as my earlier vigorous scrubbing had dealt with that) and me under-impressed.
I had to scrub again to lessen the blue discolouration rather defeating the object of less work and a product that protects your sanitary wear.
And still the smell lingered.
I don't have a special toilet bowl and the product says it's suitable for every type save stainless steel so it should have been alright. I used it as per the instructions. It just doesn't work and arguably does more damage. I certainly wouldn't use this product in any toilet that might be used by anyone other than my immediate household - it would be embarrassing and make it look as though the toilet needed a good clean.
Given it's ability to stain ceramic I'd be very wary of spilling this, carpets and other floor coverings will certainly not recover (although one could argue that that is the case for all bleaches).
There's also, in my opinion, a safety issue with the bottle and one which might cause you to inadvertently spill the product. The product does come with a safety cap, as it should but this only stays on if you manage to get the final turn in. Trouble is, it looks like the cap is on before you reach this point and so, if like me, you don't double check, you could well find yourself in a pickle. Of course this is also a major issue for anyone with children. Bleaches and cleaning products should always be kept out of sight and reach of children but there's always that once... let's hope that your once is not with this product.
So, ineffective, staining and with a repugnant smell. NOT RECOMMENDED.
A stainguard that helps prevent new stains from sticking and building up in your toilet bowl / Protects for up to 150 flushes.