The Ecowarrior’s Guide To Green Ways To Unclog A Toilet
It can be mortifying to drop a load that will not flush. If it happens at home, it becomes a disaster because someone has to be persuaded to fix this blockage. There are chemical methods available only if one can ignore inhaling nasty chemicals and long-term, accumulated environmental damage. So give three cheers for green ways to unclog a toilet they are the cheapest methods.
For lucky people, the floater might park like an ocean liner in a private bay. Resist the urge to plant a cocktail flag in it or hide it with paper, this will worsen the blockage.
But if a person is down on his luck, he faces a bowl that threatens to overflow. Turn off the inlet. If the toilet is missing this feature, whip off the cistern lid and push the circular rubber seal down to prevent water escaping. Do not stress at this stage, cistern water is the same as the kitchen tap water.
A plunger is what ‘real men’ go for. It can be dirty work. Ease the plunger’s cup into position to cover the outlet completely. Gently press it towards the hole. Let the air from the cup of plunger escape. Slowly pull and push a few times to ensure a good seal, and then thrust the plunger up and down quite quickly for about 20 seconds. It is a real art.
If anyone does not have or cannot face a plunger, the greenest ingredient they will ever find is patience. As moisture slowly penetrates the solids they will become softer. It is best to try the following suggestions in sequence unless someone is feeling very brave or has a strong stomach.
The ‘tap trick’ usually dislodges the culprit. Give a solid kick to the backside of the bowl. Do not break a foot or the bowl itself. Take a deep breath first and maybe dream up a ‘Plan B’ in the form of lots of absorbent, washable or recyclable cloths. Flush now and hope it works.
The next step is hot water. Pour a large bucket of hot water into the bowl, quickly and without splashing. Sometimes people put half a cup of dishwasher detergent into the bowl first, leave it to soak for 10 minutes and follow that up with hot water.
A lot of people try vinegar and baking soda (bicarbonate of soda). One cup of each ingredient clears blocked drains. Use the vinegar first and then pause for a couple of minutes. Perhaps it is wise to let the level in the bowl subside beforehand, so the mixture is less diluted.
Now for the messier green tips; rubber gloves or a toilet snake. Either way these will get to grips with the problem. There is no need to explain how to use the rubber gloves. People can buy snakes cheaply at their hardware stores and they are easy to use. A snake bores a hole in the offending item. It may need to be drilled a couple of times.
People may not feel like heroes after succeeding in meeting such challenges. If bragging does not console them, they could take comfort from the fact that they are now bona fide green plumbers Markham warriors.