How to Unclog a Toilet – Waging War on the Clog From Kids Toys, Rings, and Other SH*T

Tacklife Drain Auger Toilet Clog

Although you can’t count on too many things once you become a parent, you can count on a kid flushing something down the toilet that will cause a major clog. (A significant number of plumbing businesses survive on work from things kids do the toilet. True fact.) There are stretchy hairbands, wedding rings, and every possible toy from Legos to foam bath letters to mounds of Play-Doh (yes, it’s happened to us). Of course, you’re welcome to shove your hand in and try to grab the sh*t out (pun intended), but it’s often too late as the kids love watching it go bye-bye while flushing.

How To Unclog A Toilet

Regardless of whether the toilet is clogged from a child’s toy, a morning bathroom situation, or something in between, unclogging the toilet takes a little bit of know-how and the right products.

If you’d rather skip to the products you can use when you want to know how to unclog a toilet, scroll down. Otherwise, here are some hit and miss options for how to unclog a toilet without a plunger.

We cannot guarantee these techniques will work all of the time. We can guarantee they will create a f*cking mess that will have you questioning whether digging an outhouse in the backyard would be a better option.

Always turn off the water source before working on your toilet clog. The shut-off valve is the tiny oval-shaped knob on the wall or coming out of the floor behind the toilet.

  • Pour in extra water: When you have a siphon style toilet, adding more water to the toilet bowl puts pressure on the clog from the weight of the water, and the extra water may pop it loose. Or it may overflow the bowl and create a mini-flood. Fun times.
  • Baking soda and vinegar: Empty as much water from the bowl as possible. Then use a combination of two cups of vinegar to one cup of baking soda, which may work on organic materials causing a clog. It’ll foam up and look cool too, so the kids will love it. Let it sit for 30-60 minutes and then dump in extra water to see if the clog has loosened.
  • Don’t use a wire hanger: You’ll see plenty of Internet suggestions that tell you to unwind a metal clothes hanger and try to snake it through the toilet. A flexible auger (like we have listed below) will work as a toilet snake; an inflexible wire hanger will not. The siphon style toilet has multiple loops and bends in the pipe before it reaches the main sewer pipe. (You can see these bends outlined along the outside of the toilet if you want to crawl around near the back of the toilet.) An inflexible wire will just get stuck.
  • Use a 2-liter pop bottle: Empty as much water from the toilet bowl as possible. Fill a 2-liter soda bottle with water. Jam the nozzle end into the toilet drain hole and squeeze the bottle hard. Hopefully, the rush of water will knock the clog loose. Be ready for a lot of splashback, though. Like a HAZMAT level of splashback.
  • Saving an item: The chances of you being able to pull an item out of the toilet is slim, not without disassembling the toilet. For small items, like a wedding ring, if you flush, it’s probably not even going to get stuck. It’s just gone. On the other hand, children’s toys may get stuck. You’ll want an auger to try to snag it and pull it back out. If you push it farther down, it could create even a bigger problem.

Best Products For How To Unclog A Toilet

Tacklife Drain Auger

We might as well start our list of products used to unclog a toilet with a power tool. (You know why.)

This snake has a 25-foot cable that can pop loose clogs inside the toilet or other pipes inside the home. It works on pipes between 0.75 and 3 inches in diameter.

It’s powerful enough that it will clean out the majority of clogs, but it’s not overly powerful to the point that you’ll do excessive damage to the toilet and sewer pipes, and the plumber just makes the cha-ching noise over and over as he’s inspecting your work.

Buy for $100 on Amazon

 

Neiko Toilet Plunger With Aluminum Handle

When wondering how to unclog a toilet, a high quality, solid plunger will do the trick more than 99% of the time … 98% if you have kids.

You can bet your significant other is going to try to convince you to buy a little plunger that fits underneath the sink, matches the bathroom’s decor, and that won’t be noticeable.

No.

If you are ever going to stand up for yourself, this is the time. You need a big plunger to handle the worst clogged toilet problems. It’s simply physics. Do not lose this fight, or you’re going to lose your battle with a clogged toilet … and your manhood. Seriously.

Buy for $14 on Amazon

Green Gobbler Liquid Clog Remover

If you’re wondering how to unclog a toilet without a plunger, and you’re sure the clog in your toilet is organic — crap, toilet paper, or something similar — this is the solution. It’s made more for sink pipes, but it’ll work on a nasty toilet clog too.

The best solution is to pour this into the toilet bowl, let it work for a half-hour or so. If the clog is still there, try the plunger again, as the clog remover may have loosened things a bit.

It works especially well on hair clogs. Why would you have a hair clog in your toilet? We don’t want to know. But if you do, this is the answer.

Buy for $25 on Amazon

Booda Brand Drain Auger

If the power auger we listed earlier is a bit out of your budget, this hand-operated auger gives you a cheaper alternative. Its 25-foot flexible steel wire can stand up to repeated uses, and it can bend 90 degrees or more to wiggle through the bends and kinks in the siphon toilet piping.

You won’t look as cool as with the power auger, but it’s better than putting on a rubber glove and trying to jam your hand down the toilet hole. Way better.

Buy for $22 on Amazon

Samshow Toilet Dredge

We readily admit, this thing looks terrible. It looks like something you might find at that store that’s under the Interstate overpass. And we only know that because we went there for gag gifts for a friend’s bachelor party. (That’s our story, and we’re sticking to it.)

It’s a plunger of sorts, but the flexible part is made to wind inside the siphon tube, allowing you to get at a nasty clog. It’s not going to snag an item and pull it back to you like an auger might, but it tries to push the clog farther along, hopefully allowing it to wash down the sewer pipe.

We’d rely on the regular plunger first, but this is a reasonable choice as a backup before calling in a professional.

Buy for $14 on Amazon

FEIYABDF Pneumatic Toilet Dredge

Here’s another God-awful looking toilet unclogger. If your wife balks at having a large traditional plunger in the bathroom, she’s going to lose her sh*t if you try to store this where it’s visible in the bathroom. So place it in the back of the closet and only bring it out when you really need it.

Jam the equipment through the hole in the toilet bowl. Then build up air pressure in it with the included pump. Let the air go, and it hopefully with blow the clog away, down through the sewer pipe. Be prepared for some serious toilet water flying backward out of the toilet bowl.

On the plus side, at least the manufacturer is highly focused on safety. After all, the warning label that comes with it says, “Do not spray on people.” We can’t make this stuff up.

Buy for $50 on Amazon

Ultimately, if you cannot pop the clog loose, you’ll have to pull the heavy toilet out of place, working at the clog from the opposite end. This creates a giant, wet mess. And if you don’t re-seat the toilet correctly, you could have serious leaks. It may be time to call in a plumber if the toilet needs to come off the floor.

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.

Healthcare Worker and NFL Mom Gets Honored on Madden Cover

Miles Boykin Mom on Madden
(Twitter/MBoykin814)

Over the summer, Baltimore Ravens receiver Miles Boykin tweeted that his mom finally discovered he had used her credit card to pay for his Xbox live membership and that she had been paying it for the NFL player since he was in SIXTH GRADE! But, with some help from Xbox and EA Sports, he made up for it by helping his mom, a healthcare hero, become the first female to grace the cover of Madden.

Madden reigns supreme when it comes to sports video gaming (personally, I’m an NBA 2k and FIFA guy, but you can’t deny the Madden popularity over the years), even if the fabled Madden curse has become but a footnote in history thanks to Patrick Mahomes. And NFL players today, like Boykin, grew up playing Madden.

Still, it’s always funny when a professional athlete with a multi-million dollar contract has his mom paying for his Xbox live membership. He tried to intervene and take over the payments, but she said she might as well just keep picking up the tab.

Boykin appealed to Xbox for help. And they came through, in a big way.

Boykin’s mom, Felicia, is a healthcare worker, so Xbox and EA decided to help Miles show his appreciation for her. She not only received an Xbox Game Pass (so she’ll finally stop getting charged for Miles’ subscription), she also got a copy of Madden with herself on the cover, which will also go to some of her healthcare hero colleagues (along with new Xbox consoles).

Miles also takes the chance to tell his mom how much she’s meant to him and his development.

“You’ve always been there. You helped me become the man I am today and I will forever be grateful to you. I would give you the world if I could and you would still deserve better,” he said. “You not only supported my passion for football but also my second love of gaming.”

She also received a custom Xbox One controller, a pair of new Nike Air Zoom Pulses, and a pair of custom cleats for Miles to wear with her image painted on them.

It’s a great way for Miles to repay a parent, and I will now consider this the threshold for all kids going forward when it comes to recurring subscription fees.

National Museum Helps Oldest Living World War II Veteran Celebrate 111 Birthday

Lawrence Brooks and Victory Belles
(YouTube/The National WWII Museum)

As people who have the privilege of enjoying the freedom and safety of life in the US, we owe a huge amount of gratitude to veterans. Veterans sacrifice their own safety, time with their families, and sometimes their lives to ensure that we are able to live our own lives in relative safety.

Veterans are essential to the sense of security we have living in the US, and we do what we can to show how much we appreciate them. Actor Gary Sinise created a foundation to support veterans and their families in 2011 and continues to provide assistance nearly a decade later. Earlier this year, a 104-year-old veteran received over 70,000 Valentine’s Day cards, from people around the country who wanted to make his day a bit brighter. Now, the world’s oldest World War II veteran is getting the birthday celebration he deserves.

Lawrence Brooks, a veteran who served during World War II in the 91st Engineer Battalion, has been celebrating his birthday at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans since he turned 105. Due to the pandemic (what else is new), the museum had to put together a safe and socially-distanced celebration – and they absolutely did not disappoint.

According to a post they shared on Instagram, the museum arranged a performance by a vocal trio called The Victory Belles, a military flyover, a birthday cake, and nearly 10,000 birthday cards they collected from a national card drive.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

The National WWII Museum celebrated the 111th birthday of Mr. Lawrence Brooks, a New Orleans native and the oldest known U.S. veteran of World War II, at his home last Saturday. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we arranged a socially distant birthday celebration. The Victory Belles, performed a series of numbers including “Happy Birthday,” and Mr. Brooks enjoyed military plane flyovers courtesy of the @aeroshellaerobatic and @bigeasywingcaf. We additionally presented Mr. Brooks with a cake and nearly 10,000 birthday cards that were collected as a result of a national card drive. #WorldWarII #worldwar2 #WWIIVet #happybirthday #oldestlivingwwiiveteran⁠ ⁠ Click the bio link and then this image to watch the full video.

A post shared by The National WWII Museum (@wwiimuseum) on


The museum’s vice president, Peter Crean, told FOX News after last year’s celebration, “We absolutely love Mr. Brooks. We’ve told him, ‘As long as you keep having birthdays, we are going to keep having birthday parties for you here.’”

Though circumstances didn’t allow for Brooks to celebrate at the museum itself this year, Crean kept his promise by bringing the celebration to Brooks’s home. The 111-year-old smiled from his porch, surrounded by balloons, a birthday banner, and everyone who came to celebrate with him (from a safe distance). Though Brooks lost his wife Leona in 2005 to Hurricane Katrina, he is surrounded by the love of his five children, 13 grandchildren, and 22 great grandchildren.

Brooks told FOX, “I’ve started to think about not having many birthdays left. But I’m not worried about it, because God has let me live this long already. I think it’s because I’ve always liked people so much. Oh yes, I do.”

Let us throw our birthday greeting onto the ever-growing pile – happiest of birthdays Mr. Brooks, and thank you for your service.

Relationship Argument Leads Couple to $177K Lotto Win

Argument leads to lottery win
(Courtesy Virginia Lottery)

Relationships aren’t easy. There’s always going to be disagreements, arguments, and fights about those arguments. That’s a healthy part of the relationship (assuming those fights aren’t WWE-style), as ignoring problems can just make them worse. For one Virginia woman, having an argument with her boyfriend paid off with a lottery win and hopefully, they don’t argue about splitting it. because the payout was substantially more than the $1 jackpot we previously reported on.

Like, literally, in real money, not in relationship building or coming to a better understanding of each other. Chyanne Creel got into an argument with her boyfriend and they decided to go for a drive to cool off.

When they stopped for gas, she sent her boyfriend inside to buy some snacks (essential) and some lottery tickets (why not?). One of the scratch-off tickets hit the grand prize of $177,777. She won almost $200K because of this fight.

There are some important lessons we can all take away from this. She didn’t elaborate on what the fight was about. Was it about improperly loading the dishwasher? A disagreement about the distribution of household chores? Could they not come to an agreement about what to watch on Netflix?? Who knows what the magical elixir was here? So, the take away is to ignore what popular literature would tell you about not sweating “the small stuff.”

Instead, sweat it, sweat it all. Never miss a chance to argue or fight, and make sure to chase every single argument with a lottery ticket. This is a proven path to success both financially and in a relationship. Is she grinding your gears because she’s hogging the remote? Don’t hold back, because that could be what brings a massive influx of cash into your lives.

I mean, sure, she hit the big prize on odds that were greater than one in a million. So yeah, it may take some time for this path to bear fruit. But even if you don’t deliberately go searching for an argument, at least you know in the back of your head, should you find yourself in a fight, there is more than one way to make-up and get lucky.

Daughter Saves Dad’s Taco Truck With a Tweet

Twitter Taco Plea Saves Dad's Business
(Instagram/taqueriaeltoritoofficial)

The global pandemic has crushed huge swaths of the economy, decimating entire industries. Few have been hit as hard as restaurants, travel, and entertainment. We’ve lost thousands of great, independent restaurants and dive bars, the places that give communities character (along with great meals and memories). And some shops have needed some extra help to stay open in these brutal times.

One of these was a taco truck in Texas. A young woman in Texas had been checking in regularly with her dad, as his taco truck business began to slow to a crawl. One day, after hearing he had only made $6 during a 12-hour shift, she decided to try and help the best way a young person can: by posting about it on social media.

His daughter Giselle posted: “Hey Twitter!! I wouldn’t normally do this, but my dad’s taco truck business is struggling, he only sold $6 today. If you could retweet, I would appreciate you so much!!”

And retweet they did, as it quickly went viral, getting more than 10,000 RTs. And it worked, as he has had more business than he can handle.

His daughter tearfully posted a thank you after customers came in waves until he was sold out. He’s been working ferociously since, as his daughter’s plea to give her dad’s cooking a chance has been heard far and wide.

She said her dad doesn’t understand social media, but “is so grateful for everyone who is spreading the word.”

“COVID has been a nightmare for small businesses, thank you for putting a smile on his face,” she added.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Tortas Cubanas made FRESH to order 💕

A post shared by @ taqueriaeltoritoofficial on

It’s a sweet story of a daughter’s love for her dad helping save his business, but the broader takeaway is just how hard this time is on a lot of people, and the only path forward is for communities to come together to help those who need it most in any way they can.

This LEGO ‘Brickroll’ Is Never Gonna Let You Down

Lego Brickroll
(YouTube/Domy13)

The 80’s was overflowing with great music. With songs like Take On Me by a-ha, Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”, and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” still making regular appearances nearly 40 years later, it was undoubtedly a golden age of music. There was one song, however, that has withstood the test of time no matter how freaking hard we’ve tried to avoid it. Some might even say that this particular song is never gonna give us up. Of course, we’re talking about Rick Astley’s iconic “Never Gonna Give You Up”. It’s a fine song, it’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect to emerge from an era fueled by Garbage Pail Kids and cocaine.

Over time, this song transformed into its own beast. Meme culture got its sticky little hands on it, and now it’s virtually inescapable. You’ve likely heard this song way more times than you ever intended to, clicking completely unrelated links only to be hit with the ol’ “bait-and-switch”. The sweeping phenomenon known as the “Rickroll” has been going on for well over a decade, with no sign of slowing down.

Astley himself eventually accepted his meme fame, using a float to Rickroll anyone watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2008. In another live-action Rickroll, Astley showed up at a Dave Grohl show and the two proceeded to duet Astley’s inescapable song to over 60,000 fans.

Most recently, a new take on the iconic Rickroll has us conflicted. On the one hand, it’s still a Rickroll – but it’s so impressively done that we kind of love it. If we’re going for accuracy, we should clarify that it’s less of a “Rickroll”, and more of a “Brickroll”. Specifically, a LEGO Brickroll.

In his first Youtube animation, a user named Domy13 created an entirely Lego-based recreation of the iconic ‘80s music video. The detail is incredible – in fact, Domy13 was so confident in his Lego rendition’s accuracy that he even posted a side-by-side comparing his animated version to the original. Regardless of how tainted your opinion of the Astley hit may be, this video is well worth a watch.

Now do Freebird!

Cowboy-Hat-Wearin’ 94-Yr-Old Great Grandfather Conquers Water Slide

Great Grandfather Conquers Water Slide
(Facebook/michaelandmichelle.graham)

Sometimes in life, you just gotta go down a cool water slide into a pool. And if you do it when you’re in your 90s, the levels of badassery are compounded. It was a 94-year-old great-grandfather in Oklahoma who did just that, in a video that has since gone viral and, as the kids would say, “won the internet.”

It’s a cute video, as the family helps up him the ladder and cheer him on the entire way. One of the family members shared the video and said “When your 94-year-old Papa says I’m going down the water slide that means he’s going down the water slide! I love him so much and hope to be half the man he has been through his life.”

He later told the Today Show that he had some trouble explaining to his grandfather why so many people watched the video.

“I said two things that I see. One is people were really excited to see someone of your age still active and doing things. Then the other is there’s been lots of comments, how much people can see the love in the family. And that’s always been a big part of our life. He is the patriarch of the family and everybody gets together and has each other’s back.”

And you know what, he’s pretty much nailed it. It’s not the type of video that’s going to start a conversation or change the way things are done. It’s not going to cancel a celebrity or force a brand to make some serious commercial. It’s just a fun moment, captured by a family and shared with the world, to give you a smile as you scroll through your phone, working your way through another day.

The world doesn’t have enough of those short, joyous moments, so sharing them wide and far is important.

I guess if you wanted to extrapolate some sort of inherent life lesson or assigned meaning to it, you could say, when life presents you with a water slide into a pool, just enjoy the damn slide.

12 Funniest Parenting Tweets of the Week 9/18/20

Funniest Parenting Tweets Week of 9-18-2020
(Getty/Star Tribune, Twitter/simoncholland)

Few things are more hilarious than a kid saying or doing something ridiculous, mostly because they often don’t even realize just how funny they are. Even better, if the really embarrassing stuff comes from a kid that’s not yours. Fortunately for us, Twitter parents document the good, the bad, and the just plain absurd. Each week, we collect the funniest parenting tweets for you to enjoy from the comfort of your own home – any messes these kids get themselves into aren’t yours to clean up. Here they are, the 12 funniest parenting tweets of the week.

The backbone of his household

Maybe be more specific next time

I think I’d have the same reaction if I saw whatever that is

You’ve earned it

I bet he’s the coolest kid on the block

Nothing like seeing your kids push themselves to succeed

Uh, you learn something new every day

Jealous?

Sign me up

If you think you’re muted, mute yourself again

Third time’s the charm

You’re doing great

Did you miss last week’s funniest parenting tweets?

New Virtual Camp Aims To Make Gamers Healthier

Virtual Camp for Gamers
(Hybrid ATX)

Gaming. One of the most historically popular methods of leisure. Its benefits are countless: learn problem-solving and social skills, improve focus, memory, and hand-eye coordination. Don’t forget the improvement of relationships. Video games are great! But they do sometimes have negative side effects, be they controller-smashing fits of rage, or addiction, which can lead to lapses in a proper diet, exercise, and exposure to sunlight.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! Now there’s a virtual day camp called Hybrid ATX, where kids can learn healthy habits to amass alongside their gaming ones. Video games foster discipline, and that discipline can easily be used to pick up valuable life skills, according to camp founder Sam Gonzalez.

“We are going to lead by example,” said the 28-year-old Navy veteran in a recent interview. “To show that just because you play video games doesn’t mean you’re rotting your brain and you’re gonna die fat and lonely,”

(Spectrum News)

Along with a team of counselors, kids aged 11-15 can play video games while learning about proper nutrition, the importance of emotional intelligence, and ways to nurture their physical well-being under quarantine. Here you can see Sam leading a group in some jumping jacks, a perfect way to kill time during those pesky load screens.

(Spectrum News)

Hybrid ATX, whose slogan is “Building Better Gamers,” also offers kids lessons on the history and evolution of video games, and teaches them about the industry’s wide array of career opportunities. It’s an inclusive, uplifting environment, dedicated to showing kids that gaming can be a tool for positive change and growth and not just a means for saying abhorrent things to strangers on Xbox Live.

“There’s a lot of online toxicity, raging and really unhealthy behavior that happens,” Sam continued. “So we are looking at how to teach them 1) not to contribute to that, and 2) remove them from that when they see it.”

(Spectrum News)

Now if can just offer a course on showing adult Animal Crossing enthusiasts how to channel their focus into real, actual housework, we’ll be golden.

You can check out the Hybrid ATX website right here, where you can find info about a free orientation week for students!

4-Year-Old Celebrates Cancer Remission With Beautiful Photos

4-year-old beats cancer, celebrates with photoshoot
(instagram/kris_bowden)

There are so many things that we prepare for as parents. We prepare to be sleep deprived for a while, we prepare to send our kids off to school, and one day, maybe even walk them down the aisle at their wedding. One thing we don’t prepare for though (because honestly, it’s too painful to even consider), is for our kids to get sick. In March of 2020, the Bowden family faced the unimaginable – their beautiful, smiley, 4-year-old daughter Lula Beth was diagnosed with cancer.

After visiting the doctor, the family was told that Lula had a Wilms tumor on her kidney, a tumor that turned out to be football-sized. To treat the stage 2 cancer as aggressively as possible, Lula’s tumor was removed along with her kidney. Following the incredibly taxing surgery, the brave little girl faced 13 rounds of chemotherapy in just 22 weeks.

“She flawlessly got through them all and remained the light in our family,” Lula’s mom Kristin Bowden told Good Morning America. “She has not complained once and graciously completed her course.”

In just four short years, Lula has endured more than many of us will endure in our entire lives. Her strength, bravery, and positivity inspired both her family and the world. On August 28, 2020, the Bowden family got the news they’d so desperately needed – Lula was cancer-free.

To celebrate Lula’s journey and clean bill of health, Kristin Bowden, a photographer, staged a stunning photoshoot. The powerful photos have spread across social media platforms, drawing both support and congratulations from around the world.

 

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She did it!!! CANCER FREE 😭🧡😍

A post shared by Kristin Bowden (@kris_bowden) on

Lula, smiling in a brightly-colored dress fit for a queen, holds up a sign. The sign reads, “It came. We fought. I won.” In just six words, Lula tells a touching story. Her smile shows the world that her spirit is stronger and brighter than ever, even after all she’s endured.

Kristin continues to document the emotional journey, with a more recent photo celebrating the removal of Lula’s port – a tube put in place to make it easier for doctors to deliver intravenous medication and fluid.

 

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HER PORT IS OUT! She is D O N E!

A post shared by Kristin Bowden (@kris_bowden) on

Kristin shared an important reminder on Instagram, telling her followers that “No one has a free pass in this life.” Lula’s photos remind us that we are stronger than we think we are – that though we all face challenges in life, we can come out the other side, our smiles wider and brighter than ever.