What If You Flush A Clorox Toilet Wand
The short answer is you’ll want to retrieve it with a snake, stiff wire, or a wet vac/shop vac.
If you’ve never flushed anything down the toilet you didn’t mean to then you’ve never lived. In fact, one of the most common calls we get for toilets is where someone’s accidentally flushed something down the toilet. Usually, it’s blocks or kids’ toys, a washcloth, or a Clorox Toilet Wand. The toilet wands seem to make their way to being flushed because the release accidentally gets hit when you flush or because someone cleaning with the wand doesn’t realize that they are not flushable. In the event that you do accidentally flush a Clorox Toilet wand, you will want to make every effort to retrieve it. Even if it looks like water is flowing down as you flush, they actually can get stuck in the trap of your toilet and cause clogs later on after you’re trying to flush a number two. This will only make matters worse.
How Do Clorox Toilet Wands Get Flushed
First of all, they get flushed easily because the mechanism that holds onto the scrubber is very easy to release. With just the slip of your thumb, you can easily release the end in the trash, so it’s designed to take little effort. The second reason they get flushed is because of the nature of the scrubber, as you start to brush with them, they become softer and can separate from a plastic insert that holds the scrubber. It’s likely that Clorox designed the Toilet Wand to be so fragile that it starts to disintegrate before you can have a chance to scrub two toilets. And perhaps the third reason they accidentally get flushed is that people think because they are falling apart and so soft that they will just easily go down. That’s hardly the case though.
The Reason You Don’t Want To Flush
With all of the objects in the universe, there are only a couple of items in your home that are made to be flushed down your toilet, human waste, and toilet paper. Under normal conditions, these items do not cause clogs, and it’s only when people start substituting things for toilet paper that we so clog. The main culprit in the design of other paper products not being flushable is that they do not break down so easily compared to toilet paper. Paper towels are designed to stay together more so than toilet paper because of how they are used for cleaning. The same is true for the Clorox Toilet Wands. They are designed to stay together and be used for scrubbing when wet, and the fibers in the scrubber portion do not break down in the water at all. They essentially are like flushing a giant hairball down the toilet, which can act as a filter that catches anything following and can cause a clog.
Methods to Remove a Toilet Wand
Luckily removing a flushed Toilet Wand, and checking if one got stuck in your toilet can be one and the same. You can use one of these methods to recover a flushed Toilet Wand without too much trouble.
Using a Drain Snake
If you have a drain snake you can use it to push through a drain. These drain snakes are usually not too expensive for consumer-grade ones and can be found at big box stores like Lowes or ordered online. They are designed to be very flexible, and capable of bending 180 degrees as you push through the drain trap portion of your toilet with little effort. The good thing is if you’re finished cleaning your toilet, the cleanup of the drain should be pretty easy. But what if you don’t have a drain snake?
Using a Wire
If you have stiff wire, bail wire, or a coat hanger, you can fashion a hook at the end and start pushing down in the drain, after you get a foot or so in you’ll be exiting out of the toilet trap and into the drain flange. At this point, the diameter of the drain system opens up considerably and there aren’t any more hard turns. You’re basically in the clear if you get that far because it either pushed all the way through just then, or the flush flushed it all the way through, or else when you pull the wire back out the Toilet Wand will be at the hook on the end. But what if you don’t have a wire?
Using a Shop Vac
Most shop vacs are wet and dry vacuums meaning they are designed to suck water as well as dirt. Most of these style vacs start in the $50 range and are handy to have for these and other types of messy clean-ups that a normal household carpet vac can’t handle. If you get most of the water out of the bowl before trying to vacuum however you can use one of those types of vacs in a pinch. Just make sure you clean and dry out the dust collector portion of your vacuum so it doesn’t cause problems later when using or storing.
If All Else Fails
If you don’t have anything listed above, and you for sure have a clog, it’s going to be best to call a plumber. You may be handy and be able to work through unbolting a toilet and turning it on its side and fishing out the Toilet Wand from underneath. This type of job is something you will want to have experience with because you can cause old supply shut-off valves to break, you can also ruin a wax seal, or potentially break your toilet, so proceed with caution.
South End Plumbing specializes in toilet repair so remember, we are just a click away. We also specialize in leak detection – give us a call! South End Plumbing is one of the only companies that will give you a free estimate. Call us at 704-919-1722 or fill out the form online to schedule a visit.