Toy Stuck in the Toilet? Here’s the Old School Solution Part 2 of 2

If you’ve got a toy stuck in the toilet (or anything else), and you have tried a closet auger with no success, the next step is to pull the toilet.  This isn’t as hard as you may think as long as you follow these step by step instructions.

By the way, if you haven’t already read it, you may want to checkout Part 1 of this lesson before you go much further:

Before you get started you need to have a few supplies.  Here’s what you need: a new wax ring (you can get one at any hardware store), an adjustable wrench, a putty knife, a pair of needle nose pliers, a pair of Channel Lock type pliers, a flashlight.  It might also be helpful to get a small inspection mirror from an auto parts store, but you may not need this.

OK let’s get started:

-Plunge the toilet and flush a few times to clean it out. Be patient, if there is a lot of toilet paper blocking the toilet you may need to plunge and flush for a little while to get the gross stuff out. (Sometimes, even after lots of plunging his may not be possible depending on the size and shape of the toy. If not, this is going to be ugly.)

-Turn the water off to the toilet

-Flush the toilet and hold the handle down to get all the water possible out of the tank

-Plunge the bowl to get as much water out as possible.  If this isn’t possible just go to the next step

-Get some rubber gloves and a sponge and soak the rest of the water out of the tank and bowl. (If you weren’t able to plunge the bowl clear this will be the worst part of the whole job.)

-Disconnect the water line where it connects to the tank.

-Pop off the plastic bolt covers with a putty knife (if there are covers).  Pay attention to how amy washers and spacers arte situated.

-Remove the nuts (pay attention to how any washers are situated).

-Rock the toilet back and forth a little and pull it up and off the floor.

-Now lean the toilet back onto the tank (carefully) so you can see inside the bottom.

-If you can see the toy, try to remove it.  Your needle nose or Channel Lock pliers might come in handy here.

-If you can’t get it out try using a closet auger to push it backwards from the bottom. If you don’t know what a closet auger is, it’s a special tool to unclog toilets.  You can get one at most hardware stores.

-Sometimes, if you can’t see what’s blocking the toilet, it helps to use a little mirror to look up inside the toilet (you can get one at the auto parts store)

-Once you get the toy (or whatever) out, scrape all the old wax off both the bowl and the floor flange with your putty knife.

-Put a new wax ring down and carefully replace the toilet, making sure to get the bolts lined up.

_Push the toilet down with a slightly twisting motion to squeeze the wax until it rests solidly on the floor.

-Now put the nuts and washers back the way they were. Be careful to tighten the nuts evenly and slowly so you don’t crack the china

-Next, connect the water back up and test everything for leaks.

_Flush some wadded up toilet paper through a few times to make sure everything works.

-Finally, pat yourself on the back, you just saved a good bit of money.

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99 comments to Toy Stuck in the Toilet? Here’s the Old School Solution Part 2 of 2

  • Brandi hughed

    Ok so my 3 year old put a thing of deodorant in the toilet and flushed it now it’s backed up my dad took the toilet off and he said he didn’t see anything what do I do

    • Bryan

      Hi Brandi,
      Questions and suggestions:
      1- Is there water standing in the pipe the toilet connects to? If so, the deodorant might have made it through the toilet and is causing a problem in the piping. (This is probably not the case, so don’t freak out). If there isn’t any water standing in the pipe, it’s a good idea to pour a bucket of water through just to make sure.
      2- Did your Dad lay the toilet back and look in the bottom to see if the deodorant was visible?
      3- Have you tried using a closet auger (snake made for a toilet)? The best thing to do if you have looked in the bottom and don’t see anything is to try to run the auger through while the toilet is pulled up. That way you can know for sure if there’s anything blocking the toilet drain.
      4-If you can’t see anything and the drain pipe seems to be clear, you can try running the toilet auger backwards from the bottom while the toilet is pulled up. Just be careful and don’t go crazy when the auger head is about through or you could scratch up the bowl. It won’t hurt the function but it will look ugly.
      5- Finally, you can try getting a little inspection mirror with a telescoping handle that will fit into the opening on bottom of the toilet. You can find these at most auto parts stores and some hardware/Home Depot type stores too. This will help you look for the deodorant where your eyes can’t see.

      I know this sounds like a lot to try. That’s one reason plumbers seem to charge a lot, there’s a lot to know and even a simple job can get complex. But don’t worry, if your Dad can pull and reset a toilet, he can probably handle the rest of this too.

      Good Luck and let me know how it goes.


  • J6Crew

    Help! My two sets of twins consipired against us and thought it would be fun to flush a set of plastic toy keys. Should I try a hangar, snake, Bulb, or Closet Auger? Thanks for your time. Plumbers go around $150-$225 in NoVa for these types of jobs!

    • BTS

      Wow. Did you say 2 sets of twins? Cool. I have 4 sons but they were each “solo”.

      As for your plastic keys, I would try a coat hanger with a little hook bent in the ens first. If that doesn’t work, a Closet Auger with the end spread out a little might get them out.

      If neither of those work, you might need to pull the toilet to make sure you get them. The risk you take in trying to retrieve them is that you could push them into the drain line where they could cause a more expensive blockage that would require the services of an actual plumber.

      Let us know how it turns out.



  • Amy

    My daughter accidentally dropped the cylinder toilet paper holder (plastic) in the toilet. As I tried to get it out it just got sucked back further. The toilet flushes but does not flush completely so I know it’s back there somewhere. Will the closet auger work for this? Thanks!

    • BTS

      You might get lucky but, chances Are, you may need to pull the toilet up to get that one. Yo might try a coat hanger with a small hook bent in the end first.
      Good Luck,

  • Cassie

    Hello Brian,

    My mom brought home one of those bar things on the metal wire that hang on the rim of the toilet bowl to keep the toilet clean, and then a couple days later she said when she went to flush the toilet it fell in. Now my toilet over flows. when we use the plunger the water slowly goes down. Do you know if we can fix this without having to call a plummer?

  • Sandy


    I just wanted to say THANK YOU for writing this “how-to.” My 2 toddlers flushed a mini ball down the toilet (didnt know then) and my husband was plunging and using an auger and the water just wouldnt go all the way down UNTIL I was reading off your instructions to him and amazing…the ball was retrieved (without us having to call a plumber and without it going into my pipes ) Thank you again for wisdom…it was very much appreciated.

  • Krystina

    I need help! My son flushed a whole onion down the toilet yesterday and after plunging it a few times, there is still nothing coming up. If I use a toilet auger, as mentioned before, won’t it just push the onion into the pipes further down and get stuck there?

  • valerie

    hi my 3 yr old flushed a toilet bowl freshner and now it seems to be a little backed up. i stuck my hand in and was able to feel but not pull it up. do my question is will the auger work? does the auger pull it up or pudh it fown? btw im a single mommy..oh and now i stick my hand in and dont feel anything

  • PeterPhoenix

    Hello Bryan, I think that my son has dropped some toys into the toilet, I bought 6′ Ridgid auger and went thru the toilet multiple times. The auger goes hard in on spots and I need to turn the handle and push down in order to progress. I don’t think that removing the toilet is an option since the toilet was put first and tiles after then grouted. It is most likely that I will break a tile if I try to pull it out and I don’t have any spare tiles.
    So I got one toy out but the toilets is still not flushing completely right and I think there is more down there. Do you have any suggestions on what would be my next step in this case. I tried running the auger again about 15 times but nothing

  • kathie

    Here’s something a little different for you – while tidying the washroom I had the “concentrator” attachment of my hair dryer in hand while flushing. Guess what fell in the toilet and got flushed! I couldn’t believe it would go as far in as it did. It went in round-end first and wasn’t very wide on the other end so it fit perfectly, unfortunately. We couldn’t be sure how far it went, and my husband is handy, but this was scary. I just happened on your website after doing a search for help and I read my husband the instructions you have on your website. He decided he would try it, and, voila! Turned the toilet upside down, used the auger in reverse direction, and out popped the concentrator attachment. Saved us a bunch of money in about an hour. Had he not read your instructions he felt we were going to be forced to hire a plumber. Thanks for doing these informative articles. We love the way your write. Actually had us chuckling while we felt we were in a grim situation.

  • Mary

    I have no idea what is in the toilet. Tried everything–plunging, augaring, pulling the toilet, augering again. Cannot get it out. No resistance with the auger but the toilet is blocked. SOMETHING is in there–hasn’t come out. (we know it is in there cuz the toilet has been backing up periodically for years and LATELY on a daily basis.

  • Sabrina

    Hi I accidentally flushed down plastic piece thats from a packaging it’s like a square flexible plastic from a shaving pack it’s not from te shaver but from the packageing of it what’s the best solution now my toilet keeps gets clog after every use of a waste flush Pleaee answer please thank you

  • Krissy

    Hi! We acidentally flushed a 2″ x .5″ votive candle down our toilet (just the wax piece, not the holder). It went right down and seems to be working fine. Should I be worried? Should I try anything just in case?


  • Erin

    My son flushed a rock (i don’t know what size) down the toilet. It worked when he first did it but by the next morning it was not flushing right. We called a plumber and they said we need to just get a whole new toilet a rock will shatter it. Is this true or could we try to snack it or take the toilet off and look for it?

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