Vertex Mechanical’s HVAC, Plumbing & Electrical Blog


How to Clean a Toilet Plunger and Where to Store It

Your plunger does a nasty, dirty job — it makes perfect sense that you need to know how to clean your toilet plunger. To clean a toilet plunger, you need to submerge it in a disinfecting liquid to kill the germs and bacteria on the surface. Bleach, toilet bowl cleaner, and apple cider vinegar can all do the trick. After that, rinse it off in the bowl — and then figure out where to store your toilet plunger.

Even though everyone needs to know how to plunge a toilet and clean the plunger, we don’t love talking about it. This isn’t a first date conversation, and you probably don’t want to bring it up around the water cooler, either.

As a full-service plumbing company, we’ve seen more toilets than you can shake a stick at (both clogged and unclogged). Let us give you some advice on the right liquids to disinfect a toilet plunger — and where to store the toilet plunger once you’re done.

What to Use to Clean a Toilet Plunger

how to clean a toilet plunger

After clearing a clogged toilet, your plunger will be crawling with some nefarious bacteria like E.Coli and Salmonella.

You need some serious germ-busting power and you need it now! Good news: it couldn’t be easier. These are the best disinfecting chemicals to clean your toilet plunger:

Apple cider vinegar being used to clean a toilet plunger

  • Chlorine bleach is one of the most potent germ-killing liquids on the market. A simple splash of bleach in water is enough to annihilate germs like E.Coli and Salmonella. The only real downside: bleach leaves behind its’ signature unpleasant aroma.
  • Any anti-bacterial toilet bowl cleaner can also do the trick. Most of these are made using either chlorine or oxygen bleach, but in a far less concentrated amount. You will likely need to use several squirts or capfuls of detergent to achieve the same result. Big upside: you probably already keep the cleaner in your bathroom.
  • Apple cider vinegar can also be used to clean a toilet plunger. If you prefer to do your cleaning organically, this all-natural acid can do the trick. You’ll want to dump in enough apple cider vinegar that it is 50/50 with the water.

Steps to Clean Your Toilet Plunger:

  1. After your toilet bowl is unclogged, pour your disinfecting liquid into the bowl to mix with the water.
  2. Vigorously swirl the plunger head around in the bowl, making sure the disinfecting mixture reaches up into the plunger itself.
  3. Flush the liquid down the toilet.
  4. Rinse the plunger in the fresh water, and voila, you’re done!

Where to Store Your Toilet Plunger

Now that your plunger is clean, you need to put it away — but where?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to where and how to store your toilet plunger. There are those who like to keep it close-at-hand in the bathroom. Most often, you’ll find it sitting right next to the toilet.

A clean plunger being stored next to a toilet

Then, there are other people who prefer not to advertise their toilet plunger to guests, instead preferring to keep it hidden from view. We’re not shy, but frankly, we’re in that second camp. You should store your toilet plunger somewhere you can get to it easily, but nobody else will come into contact with it. After all, even though your plunger has been disinfected, it’s still kind of gross!

Best Places to Store a Toilet Plunger:

  • The garage
  • Indoor utility closets (next to the water heater)
  • The basement
  • An unused bedroom or bathroom closet
  • The mudroom

Frequent Toilet Clogs — Sign of Bigger Plumbing Problems

If you find yourself plunging the toilet more often than normal, it can be a sign of underlying plumbing problems. Generally speaking, we see two plumbing root causes responsible for frequent toilet clogs.

A frequent toilet clog

  • Blocked Toilet Rim Holes. Evaporated sediment from hard water partially blocks the toilet rim holes, limiting flushing power. This naturally happens to toilets exposed to hard water as they get older. Replacing the toilet is often your best bet.
  • Blocked Sewer Line. Frequent toilet clogs can also be a warning sign of a blocked sewer line, one of the most serious plumbing disasters possible. A sewer line is the underground piping that connects your home’s plumbing to the public sewer system. A blockage in this crucial piece of plumbing prevents your toilets and drains from draining waste — one of the first signs is unexplained toilet clogs.

If you’ve noticed a pattern of frequent, unexplained toilet clogs, don’t ignore it. You might be seeing the first signs of a serious plumbing disaster.

Vertex Mechanical is the local plumbing company that you can trust. We will diagnose the issue — and find the most cost-effective solution. If you’re concerned, contact us today.

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