To a kid, a world is their playground. Playtime can quickly turn to plumbing disaster. Your child may end getting anything from a toy car to an action figure stuck in your toilet. Luckily, there are some things you can do to remedy the situation before you need to call in an expert.
Many stuck toys will come out with some simple probing and fishing. In other scenarios, you will likely need to rid your toilet bowl of water. You may even resort to a plunger or auger to retrieve your doll or rubber ducky.
Whatever the severity of the stuck toy, it will just take some work and quick-thinking. Read on for strategies you can try to retrieve any stuck object.
Use Your Good-Old-Fashioned Hands
Though this strategy may be high on the “ick” factor, reaching into a clean toilet won’t do your hands any harm. Using your hands to dislodge the toy may be the option that offers you the most dexterity.
If reaching into the toilet seems too gross, you can always wear rubber or plastic gloves. With a toy that is towards the surface especially, you’ll have a good shot of getting it out.
If you’ve successfully pulled it out with your hands, that’s great! You can now wash the toy and your hands and call it a day. If not, you’ll want to start thinking of different tools you can use.
Find a Household Item to Fish It Out
If Lightning McQueen is still stuck in the toilet, consider using an object like a hanger or salad tongs. You may have a number of different objects sitting around your house that would work. Be creative.
You can unbend the wire of a hanger to fashion a hook-shaped end for scooping. You can also use tongs to get a good grip on the stuck object. Anything that gives you better access inside of the toilet will be helpful.
Get the Water Out of the Toilet
You certainly never want to flush your toilet because the flush will likely take the toy down with it. However, removing the water may give you a better chance of getting the toy out. This will also remedy the issue of an overflowing toilet
You can scoop the water out with a plastic cup or tupperware. Be sure to leave some water in the bowl. This will allow you to plunge the toilet if you are still unable to remove the toy.
Use a Plunger
Before using your plunger you need to make sure your stop valve behind the toilet is manually turned off. This will allow you to safely plunge without risking overflow.
To use your plunger stick it into the toilet bowl and pump up and down to create suction. You may have to keep using your plunger for a while until you see results.
The plunger very well may dislodge the toy and your problem will be solved. If not, have patience, there are still more strategies you can try.
Use an Auger
If your plunger has failed you and that plastic toy is still stuck in the toilet, try a toilet auger. If you do not own an auger, you can pick one up at your local Home Depot or hardware store. You’ll have a better shot with a good quality auger.
An auger is a long rubber or plastic pipe with a metal piece inside, a bulbous end, and a crank. To use your auger, place it in the toilet with the outer part protecting your toilet from scratching.
You’ll then need to push down and slowly turn the crank so that the bulb descends into your toilet. When you’ve reached the clog or stuck item you’ll begin to feel some resistance. To pull it out, begin to turn that handle in the opposite direction.
Again, you’ll need to have patience with the auger method. This may take a number of tries before you’re able to retrieve the toy.
Apply a De-clogging Solution
Another avenue you can use to get that toy out is to use a de-clogging solution. This is more of a last resort option as certain drain cleaners can be bad for your toilet and bad for you.
You likely already have a drain cleaner, but if not, you can find it at the store. If you are purchasing your de-clogger try to find one that is all-natural. If the drain cleaner does have harmful chemicals, use it sparingly to protect your toilet and yourself.
The solution will work to loosen up the toy and make it easier to pull out. Once you’ve applied it you will need to return to your previous methods of using your hands or tools. The drain cleaner will simply aid in the process.
Keep At It
We’ve given you a number of different strategies to get Barbie out of the toilet. Now, you’ll need to keep at it in order to be effective.
These plumbing situations can be incredibly frustrating. This is especially true when you’re also dealing with a screaming toddler wondering where their toy is.
There is no one set way that will work to retrieve an object from a toilet. You may need to spend some time experimenting to find something that works.
When to Call a Plumber
So, you’ve put in the time and effort, used different tools, and now it’s clear that you just need help. That’s okay! Some plumbing situations are beyond our control. That’s why there are experts.
Call your local plumber and explain the situation. It will definitely be an issue they’ve seen before. If it’s an issue you can’t handle alone, they likely can.
After the Toy is Out
Hurrah! The toy is finally out and you can move on. First, you’ll want to do some damage control.
Flush the toilet to ensure that it is working properly. You’ll then want to make sure you clean up the bathroom as you’ll likely have some water on the floor.
Don’t forget about you! Make sure to wash off and even change into new clothes if needed. Being a caregiver isn’t easy, but you made it through another disaster.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I do if I have a plastic object stuck in my toilet?
To get a plastic object out of your toilet you might first want to use your hands to dislodge it. If that doesn’t work, try using a plunger or toilet auger. You might also try removing excess water with a cup.
What do I do if a toy car is flushed down the toilet?
If a child flushed an object down the toilet it may have gone all the way down into the sewage. However, it may still be in your pipes. You’ll need to test to see if you can fish it out.
You’ll also need to be on high alert for future clogs. You might even want to test out to see if you have a clogged toilet on your hands. You can do this by flushing down large amounts of toilet paper. Be careful with this one. You might just want to call a plumber.