Did you know you spend 1.5 years of your life in the bathroom? That is a lot of time. It's likely you don't want to spend more of your life in the bathroom fixing a clogged toilet, right? Unfortunately, if you have a toddler in the house, there is a good chance he or she will flush a toy or something else down the drain. Toilet problems can cost you time and money. Here are some suggestions on how to prevent your toddler from stopping up your toilet and a few tips on how to unclog it too!
Fold your Toilet Paper
Toilet paper is one of the most common causes of toilet clogs. Your toddler probably thinks it is fun to wad up a bunch of toilet paper and throw it into the toilet bowl. However, by teaching your toddler to fold the toilet paper rather than ball it up, you can prevent a toilet obstruction. After all, often times, a ball of toilet tissue is too big to make it past the narrow trap at the bottom of the toilet.
Avoid Flushable Wipes
Moist wipes labeled as flushable are popular for cleaning up young children. However, despite the flushable label, these wipes do not disintegrate easily and may cause clogs. For this reason, teach your toddler to put all wipes in the trash.
Unclogging your Toilet
If a rogue toy, giant ball of toilet paper, or toothbrush does manage to make its way down the drain, never fear! You can grab some rubber gloves and try one of these plumbing repair methods to unclog your toilet:
- Homemade drain cleaner: A simple drain cleaner can help remove wads of toilet paper or wipes. First, heat up a gallon of water so it is about as hot as a cup of tea. Make sure it isn't boiling because water that is too hot may crack porcelain. Next, pour one cup of baking soda and two cups of vinegar into the toilet. This solution creates a chemical reaction that can help break up any clogs. Next, put the hot water into the bowl. The heat and the pouring action should help clear the clog even more. Allow the mixture to work its magic overnight and, in the morning, you'll hopefully wake up to a happy toilet.
- Plunger: A plunger is an easy way to unclog your toilet. First, make sure there is enough water in the toilet to cover the plunger. Then, put the plunger onto the toilet trap so it forms a tight seal. Push down and then up, forcefully, up to 20 times to try to remove the congestion.
- Toilet auger: If a plunger and a drain cleaner don't do the trick, a closet auger may work. An auger has a crank and flexible cable that can fit down the drain. To remove a clog, first put the toilet auger into the toilet trap. Crank the handle and push it down until you feel an obstruction, otherwise known as the substance causing the blockage. Then, twist and push the cable to help break up the clog. Finally, remove the toilet auger and flush several times.
If none of these remedies work or if you're unsure of trying to unclog a toilet yourself, you can call in a plumbing repair professional.