A toilet clogged up with tampons can be problematic to deal with and it is a common occurrence.
This is because most tampons are advertised as biodegradable and as such, can be flushed down the toilet. But evidently, tampons tend to easily clog the toilet thereby creating a problem in the plumbing system.
If your toilet is clogged with tampons and it’s not draining, don’t panic. Below are tips to help fix the issue without the need for a plumber.
The most effective way to fix a toilet clogged with tampons is to manually remove the tampons. This will keep your plumbing from becoming severely damaged. For this process, you will need a couple of materials which include a plumber snake, a pair of long rubber gloves that are long enough to cover at least your forearm, and a bucket for disposal of wastes. The steps involved in this process are highlighted below.
Assemble the materials needed for this process which are listed above.
Put on your rubber gloves and prepare to insert the plumber’s snake into the toilet’s drain.
Plunge the plumber snake into the toilet bowl through the toilet drain and keep inserting it till you feel resistance. This might indicate that the plumber snake is in contact with the tampon.
Turn the handle of the plumber snake in a clockwise direction to ensure that the tampon clogging the toilet is hooked to the plumber snake
Pull the plumber snake out if you feel you’ve caught the tampon.
Insert the plumber snake again into the drain to look for another tampon clogging the toilet. Do this till you no longer feel any resistance as you insert the snake down the drain.
The tampons clogging your toilet may be broken into bits by the plumber’s snake. If you feel resistance but no pieces of a tampon are coming out of the drain, flush the toilet. Any leftover fragments should be flushed down the toilet.
If you’ve tried the above steps and still didn’t get any result, you can try this other method. It should be used as the last option as it can be a bit hard for some people to fix the toilet after this procedure as it involves detaching the toilet. Here, you not only need a pair of gloves and a snake, but you also need an adjustable wrench and a bucket for waste disposal.
It is important to first cut off the water supply to the toilet by closing the water pipe supplying the toilet or the main water supply valve usually at the back of the toilet.
Empty the toilet bowl. Remove all the water in the bowl by using a cup to empty the water into a bucket. You can also make use of a sponge to soak up the water from the bowl. This is important to prevent leakage of water from the toilet bowl, which can mess up the whole area.
Detach the toilet from the floor by using the adjustable wrench to remove the bolts holding it in place.
Remove the toilet from its current location and transfer it away from the office. You should be able to see past the tramway by now. You might also reach into the drain with your hand and search for the tampons clogging the toilet.
If you can’t feel with your hand, reach down the drainpipe with your plumber snake to get the objects that are far down the pipe.
Once you find the tampons, retrieve them with your plumber snake.
Once you’ve removed all the tampons clogging the toilet, you can then fix the toilet back to its place by realigning it and screwing the bolt to the floor to hold the toilet in place.
Restore the water supply to the toilet and try flushing and see if it’s draining all right without a problem.
If you are having trouble fixing the toilet back in place after removing it, it is advisable to call a plumber to prevent leaks from under the toilet, and other complications that might arise from it.
Plungers are made to remove any clog that might be blocking your drains and pipes. But in the case of a toilet being clogged with tampons, the toilet plunger won’t work as it will only make it worse by pushing the tampons further down the pipe thereby making the process of unclogging the toilet more difficult.
You might be wondering why something as small as a tampon can easily clog a toilet. Well, this is because tampons are made to absorb and retain liquid thereby making them increase significantly in size when they come in contact with liquid, especially when you flush them down the toilet.
Also, tampons aren’t as biodegradable as advertised, so they can take up to 6 months to degrade or break down in the plumbing system. As a result, they can accumulate and block off your plumbing system. Interestingly, a single tampon is enough to clog up your plumbing system
While there are many claims out there that tampons can be flushed because they are biodegradable, it is not advisable to flush them down the toilet. Tampons take months to degrade and they have a high tendency of clogging your toilet due to their expansion in size on getting in contact with water.
Wrapping or placing a tampon in something and throwing it in the garbage is the most appropriate and considerate way of getting rid of it. Toss the tampon after wrapping it in toilet paper or a facial tissue for discretion.
You can also buy tiny bags to wrap tampons in before throwing them away. Rather than lugging your deposit through the bathroom, many public restrooms have little metal containers hanging on the stall wall. Ensure to discard the tampon applicator in the same manner. You can throw it away in the wrapper it came in.
Push the tampon further down by pouring more water. This is simply to drive the tampon down the drain to the main sewer, which is less likely to clog.
Watch out for signs of toilet blockage which can include
This is what you are likely to notice if the toilet has been clogged. The toilet will drain slower than usual and also there will be backflow and/or overflow of water in the toilet while flushing.
Gurgling sounds coming from your pipes should never be ignored as it’s a sign of the toilet being clogged and blocked. They arise as a result of trapped air as a result of the blockade.
One of the most unpleasant aspects of having a toilet or drain problem in your house is the horrible odor it can produce. This is a dead indicator that your system is clogged in some way.
It’s one of the clearest indicators that something is wrong. When a clog forms, it traps other debris that tries to flow through, and it begins to decompose, emitting a foul odor.
A single tampon can clog a toilet. Although the problem may not be as extensive as that caused by other accumulated items, the tampon’s inherent ability to absorb liquids and expand might form a blockage in your drain pipe, which one will need to clear with a plumber snake.
It would save you money and energy and also be beneficial to your plumbing system if you only flush human waste and toilet paper in your toilet.
Even when the manufacturer of a product claims their product is flushable, you might want to make it a rule in your family not to flush anything else. Some manufacturers claim that their products are flushable; however, just because something is small enough to go down the drain doesn’t guarantee it won’t cause a blockage. Some of the other items that are known to clog up a toilet include
- Small toys
- Personal hygiene items like cotton balls, swabs, q tips, bandages, condoms, or dental floss.
- Baby wipes
- Grease or drain cleaner
- Oil and grease, etc.
If you don’t feel comfortable carrying out these methods to unclog your toilet clogged with tampons, there is always an option to call a plumber to help you fix it.
In most circumstances, it is less expensive than renovating your plumbing system and eliminates any potential safety hazards.
However, it is important to understand that tampons shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, they should rather be disposed of appropriately in the garbage.
Amos Christen graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from Drexel University — Philadelphia, PA. Since 2003, Amos has worked with top interior design professionals in this area, including architects and interior/graphic/lighting designers. As a skilled interior designer, Amos Christen is highly versed in fine arts and crafts and uses that to supplement his main area of expertise. He often publishes articles related to home décor on several websites, including Sprucetoilets.com, Sprucebathroom.com, and Mybesuitedhome.com. He also contributes to leading interior design magazines.