Back to Help Center

Extend the Life of Your Toilet Between Plumbing Visits

Here are a few tips to help prevent toilet clog.  But if you need immediate plumbing service, we can help you find a plumber in your zip code.

There’s nothing more important in your house than your toilet, and there’s nothing more aggravating than a broken toilet.  When plumbing breaks down, there’s usually nothing to do but call a licensed plumber, but here are a few tips for ensuring that your toilets last longer between fixes and unclogs.

First of all, never use your toilet as a trash can.  Only two things belong in your toilet, and that’s bodily waste, and toilet paper.  Your toilet is not a garbage disposal, or even a garbage pail.  Dropping common bathroom detritus such as tissues, Q-tips, paper towels, or hair clippings down the toilet can build up and eventually cause a clog.  Toilet paper is especially designed to break up in the water, which is why it’s so bad at mopping up messes.  Paper towels, on the other hand, are great for mopping up messes, but that strong absorbent power works against you farther down the drain. 

Be careful around your toilet, especially if you’re doing any other kind of construction or building in your bathroom.  Tell your contractor to be careful with his tools – a stray hammer or wrench and crack the bowl, and a cracked toilet bowl, while temporarily fixable, does not last long.

Don’t stand on your toilet.  This shouldn’t have to be said, but ask a plumbing contractor how many times he’s been called to fix a broken toilet because somebody stood on it.  Now ask a paramedic how many times he’s been called because somebody fell off.

Use toilet brushes with plastic bristles, as opposed to metal ones.  Metal ones can scratch the porcelain, making it impossible to get fully clean again.  Watch out for bristles that appear plastic, but are actually plastic coated metal. 

Watch your above-toilet storage space.  Tooth brushes, toys, brushes, and contact lens cases are all common toilet clog culprits.  There are certain parts of the toilet bowl that cannot easily be reached without dismantling, and that small piece of plastic could be responsible for a hefty plumbing bill.

Be careful when pouring liquids into a toilet tank or bowl.  If the liquid is too hot, and if the toilet itself is too cold, it could crack.  As a general rule, no liquids over 98.6 degrees should go in your toilet.

If you use a cleaner, don’t mix with another cleaner.  Some cleaning agents use bleach, and some use ammonia, which are extremely dangerous when mixed.  This is more of a personal health tip than a toilet tip, but it belongs here too.

Finally, if you try to clear up a clog yourself, make sure you know what you’re doing. 

Drain snakes are great at clearing out drains, but will likely scratch your toilet to death.  A toilet auger is a specially made drain snake that’s specifically made for toilets.

Remember, keep your toilet clean, and don’t abuse it, and it will last as long as the bathroom around it does.  If anything does go wrong, call your local licensed plumber to handle the problem, so you don’t make it worse.