By: Martianne Stanger
Let’s talk poop. Or rather poop clearing.
I know. Gross. But at the risk of sharing too much information, humor me (and maybe yourself!) while I explain the debacle that happened in our bathroom the other day, as well as the magic that cleared it up. Or, if you’re squeamish about literal potty talk, just skip to the end to read about a simple and effective way I discovered to clear a killer commode clog!
How bad was the clog? Seemingly impenetrable is a descriptor that comes to mind.
You see, the other day one of my children deposited a B.M. bigger than any child should be able to produce into our toilet and followed it by more t.p. than it should take to wipe one little heiney. Because that child is at an “independent” potty stage, I was unaware of what was happening until I heard a call from behind the closed bathroom door that there was “a problem.”
Of course, that call came just as I was corralling everyone to hop into the car to go to an appointment. So, after one quick attempt to unblock the toilet, I simply closed the lid, opened a window and let it be.
My intent was to conquer the commode upon our return.
Unfortunately, when we got home, things got worse before they got better.
I was helping my youngest into the house, when another child ran by me to go potty. That child had to go — badly — and before I had a chance to explain that the “big kid potty” was out of commission and that our toddler’s training potty might be the better one to use, my darling let out a relieved sigh.
My sweet child was so proud to have made it to the seat without having a potty accident.
I, on the other hand, was chagrined. I could not muster more than a weak smile to celebrate my darling’s joy.
Why? Because my “big kid” with an “emergency” had neglected to notice the seat was already in a state of stopped up mess. Now, both fresh Number One and Number Two were deposited right atop the pre-existing clog that no one but my gotta-go kid could have missed.
It was evident that the commode calamity that had begun in the morning before we left the house was getting worse, not better, upon our return.
Now, I’ll spare you most of the stomach-curdling details of how I spent the next three hours periodically sloshing sewage about my bathroom between caring for my kiddoes and attending to other household needs. However, I will say it involved a plunger, boiling hot water and a Mommy-temper that was, unfortunately, beginning to spill over just as our toilet bowl was as I wondered what the plumber bill would be since none of my usual clog-clearing tricks were working.
And, yes, I did just say “usual.” For with one child who has extraordinary poops (and, more recently, “Am I Clean?” wiping issues), I have faced more than my fair share of clogged toilets. In doing so, I have long since learned that there are few clogs that cannot be cleared with a combination of patience, pots of boiled water and some well-timed plunging.
This time, though, was different. My efforts seemed in vain. Nothing was budging the morning’s B.M. mess of one child complicated by the effects of the afternoon’s emergency potty run of another child.
That is nothing until I discovered a new magic ingredient: DISH SOAP!
I had nothing to lose, so I squirted the entire inner rim of the toilet bowl with dish soap and let it sit while a hopeful, hand-washed me made dinner.
In the interim my husband came home and, seeing that the toilet was clogged, commandeered a plunger. Before I could stop him and tell him about the soap, he learned about it himself.
We now had a bubbly bathroom mess. (For the record: I don’t suggest mixing vigorous plunging with the magic ingredient of dish soap!)
As my husband mopped up, I brought him up to speed on my afternoon of Me vs. the Mammoth Mess in the Seat and asked him to bear with me as I boiled one last pot of water and tested a new trick. He agreed.
We added another pot of hot water to the commode just before sitting down to dinner and, when dinner was over, I met with victory!
The seemingly impenetrable had been penetrated. The yuck in the bowl was at a lower, more manageable level. I gave it a plunge and heard the satisfying whoosh of a clog clearing in the pipes. Then, I made a few test flushes to make sure the clog had really been washed away, before noticing a wonderful side effect of the dish soap: Our toilet bowl was cleaner than I have ever seen it after dealing with a clog. Sure, it still needed further cleaning and disinfecting, but as some consolation to me for hours of clog-clearing, the aftermath of our the day’s disaster was hardly as ghastly as what I have been faced with after easier-to-clear clogs in the past.
So, please, learn from I can now laugh about. The next time you are faced with a toilet clog that won’t quit, try this:
- Squirt some dish soap into the bowl. Let it sit while you boil a big pot of water.
- Carefully pour the boiling water into the bowl (slowly, so you don’t inadvertently cause gross splashing).
- Wait while the dish soap and hot water do their work.
- Repeat with more hot water when the level in the bowl will allow it.
- Once the water level in the bowl is low enough to give a good plunge, do so.
- Repeat as necessary.
Here’s hoping your days ahead are not too full of poop. But, if they are, you now know what to do 🙂