It’s not unlikely for objects to get stuck in the toilet trap. Children love to throw things in the toilet and flush them away just to see what happens. Unfortunately, the foreign objects, including toys, keys, spoons, forks, rags, get stuck in the trap causing a blockage within your toilet system. Common signs of a stuck item include slow bowl water draining and baking up. Sometimes you will be lucky to see the stuck object while other times you won’t see the stuck item.
If you can see the stuck object in the toilet, the easiest way to remove it is to grab and pull it out with your hands. Fishing it out with a hooked wire hanger work. For flushable items, a plunger is the best tool. If the object is stuck deep down in the drains, use a snake or auger. In some cases, you may need to dislodge the entire toilet to remove the stuck items.
Following are details of the various methods you can use to get out toys and other stuck items in your toilet. For safety purposes, you need protective gear to cover your hands, face, or even feet. Also, do ensure the room is well ventilated.
Grab with Hand o and Pull out
Using your hands to reach, grab and pull is the quickest and easiest way to get something out of the toilet immediately after it has been flushed. This works perfectly if you can spot the object. If the object is covered with water and you can’t see it clearly, follow the steps below.
- Start by turning off the water supply to ensure no more water is flowing into the bowl.
- Remove excess water from the toilet bowl. Use a disposable container to scoop the water out or use a duster to collect and wring out until you have significantly reduced the water lever.
- Now you should see the opening to the toilet trap. Look closer at the opening to see if you can spot the foreign object in the trap. If you see it, grab a hold of it and pull it out. This may be the best-case scenario.
- You can also reach with your hand into the trap and try to feel for the object. If you feel it, reach for it, grab it, and pull it out.
Hook with Wire and Remove
If your hands cannot get dislodge the object, it means the object is deeper in the drain. This is probably the best method for items like keys, spoons or forks in the toilet trap. Simply find a strong wire and create a hook at one end. You can use a coat hanger if you have one. Gently insert the wire into the toilet drain, hook on the stuck item and pull it out.
To avoid scratching the sides of the bowl with the hanger make sure not to use a lot of force when pushing the wire inside pull or when pulling it out.I
f your hand or hook won’t collect the stuck object, then the object may be a bit deeper in the trap and calls for a more intense solution. Let’s jump into the next three courses of action.
Plunge the Toilet
Plunging is the most obvious fix for a clogged toilet but does not always work for all clogs. This method is ideal especially for rags that are stuck in your toilet. The plunger’s suction force can work two ways by either pushing the item further down into the pipe drain or by pulling it out. Either solution is great for removing the stuck item.
- Choose the right plunger for the job. That is the flange plunger or what’s otherwise known as the toilet plunger rather than the sink plunger. The flange plunger will offer more suction especially for a bent surface like the toilet trap.
- Because the plunger is bell-shaped, ensure there is enough water in the toilet bowl for an effective suction and seal.
- Set the plunger in the water inside the toilet bowl. Angle it at the mouth of the toilet trap to allow water into the cup and press over the hole to create a seal.
- Pump in a firm and steady motion being careful not to be too vigorous. Keep the plunger at that angle so as not to lose the seal.
- Plunge about five to six times and remove the plunger to see if the item has been pulled out yet. If not, keep on with the plunging.
Use an Auger or Snake
A toilet auger or snake is a plumbing tool featuring a cable and a j-shaped tube that’s inserted into the toilet to clear clogs by either pulling or pushing against an object.
The drain snake will be inserted into the toilet and works its way in the toilet to find whatever you’re looking for. Here’s a detailed guide on how you can remove the object by using a snake.
- Wear your protective gloves and hold up the snake in the right position. The cable should be at the front ready to get inside the toilet.
- Position it to get inside the drain and slowly begin cranking it in.
- Rotate the snake clockwise to unwound into the toilet drain. When you begin to feel resistance, you have arrived at your object.
- Now crank the object counterclockwise to remove the object. Move steadily so you don’t lose it in the trap again
Retrieving with a toilet/ closet auger is rather easy, especially with an electric auger. If you find this process tedious or you don’t have the auger, then you can go full-on plumber and dislodge the toilet bowl to expose the trap.
When you’ve tried everything and nothing is working, you can now uninstall your entire toilet to look inside the trap.
Note that this process is very hands-on and may need a professional.
It involves switching off the water supply to the toilet through the shutoff valve and partially disabling the toilet.
You may need to unscrew the toilet bolts and the mounting ring along with the wax ring and caulk if you had it on.
You will incur some replacement costs including a new wax ring and new mounting bolts to reseal the toilet base to the mounting ring. Even so, here’s a quick guide on what to do. The cost will be higher if you opt to hire a plumber.
- Take a screwdriver and pop up the plastic cups covering the toilet bolts. Once you have exposed the bolts holding the toilet to the floor, unwound them to lose the toilet off the ground.
- Unwound to the end using an adjustable wrench to remove the toilet completely.
- Now lift off the toilet bowl and lean it on a wall.
- Check the drain trap for your foreign object and remove it.
- Proceed to fix back the toilet. Connect the trap with the toilet bowl, take the wrench and the bolts and screw them back on using a counterclockwise motion. Keep up until it has been tightly mounted on the ground. Add the wax ring and seal with a watertight caulk sealant if you want.
Tips to Avoid Foreign Objects in the Toilet
You can see how much work it takes for you to remove objects from the toilet trap. Obviously, the work is more intense if the object is in the main pipe.
All in all, this is not the work you want to be doing. So, here are some great prevention tips you can use.
- Always keep the toilet seat cover to keep children from throwing all sorts of things in the toilet. From toys to coloring tools, hairbrush, and more
- Avoid throwing things down the toilet if it’s not toilet paper. Even sanitary towels may get stuck in the toilet trap so limit waste into the toilet to toilet paper only.
- Teach your children about the proper use of the toilet.
- Always check the toilet bowl for blockers or objects before flushing
Further Reading on Unclogging Toilets
- How to Unclog a Toilet with Poop in It-With/Without Plunger
- Will a Toilet Eventually Unclog Itself? What Happens if You Leave it Clogged?
- How to use an Auger to Unclog a Toilet + What to do if it won’t go in
- How to Unclog a Toilet with a Wire Coat Hanger
- How to use a Toilet Snake to Unclog a Toilet
- Unclogging a Toilet with Dish Soap & Hot Water
- How to Unclog Toilet With Baking Soda & Vinegar
- How to Unclog a Toilet with Bleach + Hot Water
- Using Saran Wrap to Unclog a Toilet
- How to Use Salt to Unclog a Toilet
- Tampon Clogged Toilet – How to Fix It
- How to Clean & Unclog Toilet Siphon Jets for a Stronger Flush