What to Do When Something Big (Or Important!) Gets Flushed Down the Toilet

You’ve probably been in this scenario if you don’t have kids: you flush the toilet, and as you move your hand, you accidentally knock something off into the toilet, and you stand there helplessly as you watch it go down the drain.

You’ve probably been in this scenario if you do have kids: “Hey, Mommy! Daddy! Look what I just did?” You come up the stairs to find your preschooler in the bathroom. “What, honey?” you ask. “I just flushed Mr. Tibbets (her beloved teddy bear) down the toilet!” Your mouth falls open, speechless.

If you haven’t had either one of these scenarios, then this article will prepare you for how to retrieve items from the toilet that should never have been flushed. Jay Mechanical, the best HVAC company in Essex, offers the best plumbing services. From plumbing repair to plumbing pipe installation, we’ve got you covered. Contact us when you need assistance with any plumbing problems today!


  • Safety first. You’ll want to turn off the water supply to the toilet. This should just be a switch behind the toilet that you turn. This will prevent any accidental overflow and a whoosh of your hand as well.
  • Close the flapper (the toilet component on the chain). Then Jay Mechanical in Essex recommends that you put on rubber gloves.
  • Reach into the toilet trap. Hopefully, the object is stuck in the toilet trap, which is the curved part of your toilet that leads to the drainpipe where all of your waste goes when you flush. Try to loosen the object if you can feel it.
  • Next, try a plunger. Hopefully, you have a better plunger than one from the dollar store because you’re going to need a plunger that can seal off the hole. These toilet plungers are identified by their flange on the bottom. Plumber pro tip: if you heat up the plunger first by running it under hot water, you’ll loosen up the rubber. This will yield a better seal, which also gives you a better chance of retrieving your precious object. Jay Mechanical in Essex warns that this task may not be an easy one, especially if the object is wedged in good. You’ll want to plunge with the plunger at least 20 times, possibly more, in an effort to dislodge the toy and pull it up toward you.
  • If that doesn’t work, then it’s time to bring your A-game. Empty the toilet tank and basin of water. Then go and buy (if you don’t have one already), a snake that is made of steel and has a crank handle. The snake hooks the object, and then you yank hard. Be careful. You’ll need to make sure you have the right snake, as some snakes are designed to dislodge and not retrieve, which would mean your precious object will go down the drain instead of up it. Keep cranking away until the object appears, as it may be hard to wriggle it out.
  • The object appears! If you can see the object, Jay Mechanical in Essex recommends to simply grab it, and voila! You’re done. Crisis averted. Mission accomplished.
  • Wash the object. You’ll definitely want to sanitize the object, especially if it’s a plush toy, before restoring it to its happy owner.
  • Turn back on the water supply to your toilet, and then test and make sure it works.


If none of these DIY options work, you’ll need to call in the experts, Jay Mechanical in Essex, for help. The next step would involve removing the toilet itself, specialty plumbing tools, and more time and effort than you’re probably willing to spare to learn how to do all this. Rest assured, if your precious object has not been flushed all the way down into your drainage plumbing pipes, we will retrieve it.

At Jay Mechanical in Essex, we can help you with all of your plumbing repairs or pipe replacement needs, from clogged toilets and sinks to leaking faucets and a sump pump failure. Our plumbers are fully licensed and insured, so you can rest assured you are getting top-notch plumbing service at the best price. Give us a call today!