“What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done?” A friend of mine asked me as we ate lunch.
I knew the answer right away, but it was too ugly to say out loud – I once grabbed a key from the toilet bowl with my bare hands! I was in a hurry and couldn’t think of a better solution, so I just grabbed it.
That’s how I started researching how to remove an object from the toilet trap.
If you don’t want to make the same mistake I did, check out our tips on removing a stuck item from your toilet. We prepared six solutions for you, and none of them includes grabbing anything with your hands exposed.
6 Ways to Remove an Object From the Toilet Trap
Taking something out of the toilet trap sounds terrible, but it’s easier than you think. Here are six ways to do it.
Solution 1: Wear Rubber Gloves and Then Use Your Hands
The first solution is easy because it suggests that the object is close enough to reach it with your hand. All it takes is to slip on a pair of gloves and slowly go for what’s stuck in the toilet trap.
Before you do that, remember to drain water from the toilet. Take a small plastic cup and a sponge to collect water and pour it into a bucket.
When you remove all the remaining water, bend over and stretch your hand to grab the missing object. If you can’t see it, stick your fingers in the toilet trap and wiggle to find it. Grab the thing with two fingers and pull it out.
Solution 2: Make a Wire Hook
If the item you’re looking for goes deep down the trap, you can’t take it out with your fingers. The next solution is to make a wire hook.
If you don’t have a long piece of wire at home, try a metal coat hanger. Use long nose pliers to bend one end of the wire and insert the hook in the toilet bowl. Rotate it as it goes deeper, but be gentle because you might scratch or even break the drain pipe.
When you reach your object, you will probably hear the hook clinging onto it. After that, you can start pulling out the wire gradually.
Solution 3: Use a Toilet Plunger
A toilet plunger is also a good tool to remove an object from the toilet’s outlet. You need to leave water in the bowl this time as it’s the only way for the toilet plunger to form a seal and create enough pressure.
Insert the plunger and place it against the entrance of the toilet trap. Then, you must push it up and down several times to create a vacuum. Now you can lift the plunger and hope that it will drag the object out.
Keep in mind that plungers sometimes work in the opposite direction, so they might also push an item further down the drains. If you are trying to get back an important object, perhaps you should use a different method.
Solution 4: Try With a Toilet Auger or a Drain Snake
A toilet auger is the advanced version of the metal hook. Instead of a hook, it has a flexible wire that can reach any position in the toilet trap.
Hold it firmly and start turning the handle clockwise. When you do that, the wire rotates and bites into an object. You will feel that the drill is stuck, so you can pull it out with the embedded item – do it by turning the handle counterclockwise.
Solution 5: Use a Water Vacuum
If you have a wet/dry vacuum cleaner, you can use it to remove an object from the trap. Our suggestion is to take out the dry dust bag before starting because it saves the bag from getting dirty or wet.
Now you can plug it in the bowl and insert the hose into the toilet trap, but remember to push as long as it reaches the object you’re looking for. After that, turn on suction to start collecting water from the trap.
When the vacuum sucks up the object, you will hear unusual sounds coming from the hose. It’s time to shut down the cleaner and remove the hose from the toilet bowl. Open the vacuum lid and take the object out.
Solution 6: Remove the Toilet Bowl
Sometimes the problem escalates, and you can’t do anything else but remove the toilet bowl to take out the missing object. This task is more complicated, so make sure to follow these steps:
- Close the water supply line by turning the shutoff valve clockwise
- Remove the supply hose that leads water from the valve to the tank
- Unscrew the bolts from beneath the toilet tank and remove it
- Unscrew the bolts from the toilet base and remove the bowl from the flange
- Place the bowl on the ground horizontally
- Look through the bottom of the bowl to find the object
- Remove the object from the toilet trap
- Re-install the bowl by placing it back on the flange
- Connect the tank and the water supply hose
- Open the water supply line by turning the shutoff valve counterclockwise
Why It’s Called the Toilet Trap?
As the name suggests, the toilet trap plays a unique role – it traps things that come in its way. The actual name of this toilet part is the S-trap, as its shape resembles the letter S.
It contains water all the time, thus creating a seal to prevent sewer gases from entering your home. But besides taming water and gasses, the S-trap also traps objects falling into the bowl.
How to Prevent Objects From Falling Into the Bowl?
Everybody throws objects in the toilet bowl accidentally, but there are several ways to prevent it.
First of all, do not through anything else in it but toilet paper. Put a trash bin next to the toilet and throw waste in it. Secondly, you should keep the toilet seat cover closed when not in use.
And thirdly, try to explain to your kids that they shouldn’t throw toys and other objects in the toilet. That’s not the simplest thing to do, but it doesn’t hurt to try.
The Bottom Line
When you throw something in the toilet, it will probably stay stuck in the S-trap and make a clogged toilet.
If you are lucky, you can take it out with your hands or with a wire hook. You can also use a toilet auger, a plunger, a wet vacuum, or even remove the toilet bowl to remove the missing object.
We explained each solution in great detail, so feel free to use them. Once you’re done, remember to prevent things from falling into the bowl – it’s much easier than taking them out.
Where does the name s-trap come from?
A toilet trap looks like the letter S. Its shape helps the trap keep water in the bowl and bad odors out of your bathroom. However, the S-trap also traps objects that fall into it and leads to a clogged toilet. The only thing that goes through it easily is toilet paper.