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Unplugging the Toilet: Someone has to do it

March 3, 2010

Taking Care of Your Business

I must warn you, this is going to be a crappy column. An icky, dirty, disgusting, bodily function type column. Not the kind of thing you want to read over toast. And certainly not anything you would find in Vogue or Cosmo. Although I have to say, I can imagine the headline: Make Your Man Flush with the Hottest Toilet Techniques Ever.

Anyway, the reality is that at some point – maybe at many points – your toilet will get clogged. And like everything else you undertake in life, you can either fake your way through, or you can achieve mastery.

The case for mastery is simple: You don’t want to spend a second longer with your face in your bowl than you have to.

But before I get to the how-to, why not just call a plumber? Two reasons: 1) Do you want to pay an hourly fee of over $100 for something you can fix in under five minutes; 2) Do you want your plumber to see that side of you? The inside.

Well, if you’re like me, no to both.

So here’s how to achieve mastery over your commode:

1. First, always have two plungers in your home. One for sinks, one for toilets. Need I say more. Also, purchase a plunger with a molded cup – the type that has an extra bulge at the bottom. You’ll get more clog-dislodging suction.
2. Don’t keep flushing. This is a clear rookie move. If your toilet is truly clogged, it will run over, and then what was once icky, but contained, will be icky and on the loose, so to speak.
3. If your toilet is running over, lift the tank lid, pull up the float (the large bulb-like part) to stop water from flowing in, and push the flapper back over the hole.
4. Begin by smearing a small amount of petroleum jelly around the rim of the plunger. Yes, I know. But you’ll thank me later – it will give you even more suction.
5. If there is no water in the toilet, add some. Water creates a better seal.
6. Once you have your seal, work your toilets-only, molded cup plunger up and down vigorously at least a dozen or so times without breaking the seal. This is true mastery and, hey, not that hard to do. 
7. Then, quickly remove the plunger.
a. If the water disappears – you are done. Assure your success by pouring several buckets of water into the bowl one at a time, flushing in between.
b. If your toilet remains clogged, don’t give up, Grasshopper. Unclogging may take several tries, so plunge on, plunge off.
8. Never use a chemical drain cleaner in the toilet. You don’t want to risk having to plunge through dangerous chemicals.

I admit it. I’d have probably preferred to write the Make Your Man Flush article. But I truly believe that women need to know how to unclog for themselves. We all need to learn how to take care of our own crap.

  1. July 13, 2010 12:41 am

    this post is very usefull thx!

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