A toilet bowl is the last place you want to immerse your hand to retrieve a stuck object. Anything dropped in the bathroom has a chance of falling in the toilet bowl -- and at even greater risk are things meant to be purposely placed inside the toilet tank, such as toilet fresheners. A closet auger, available at most hardware and home-improvement stores, may rescue a stuck toilet freshener. Unfortunately, your hand (protected by a rubber glove, of course) may be your only option if the closet auger fails.
Don rubber gloves to protect your hands from germs and bacteria that inhabit toilet bowls. Although it is unlikely you will reach into the water, some splashing may occur.
Pull the end of the closet auger's cable down, making the loop of cable at the end as small as possible. The cable on a closet auger is affixed to the handle through a gripping ring, so the cable will not loosen.
Insert the looped end of the closet auger into the toilet. Push it down the drain hole until you feel resistance from the toilet freshener lodged inside. Do not try to force the toilet freshener further down the pipe.
Move the closet auger from side to side. Attempt to hook the loop of cable around any part of the toilet freshener. When you believe you have hooked the toilet freshener, slowly pull the auger toward you. Pulling the auger too quickly may cause you to lose your grip of the toilet freshener. However, if the toilet freshener is lodged too tightly to be pulled out slowly, a few quick tugs on the auger may dislodge it.
Insert your gloved hand into the toilet bowl if you are unable to remove the toilet freshener with an auger. Grasp the toilet freshener and dislodge it by wiggling it back and forth.
If you do not have rubber gloves, or if your rubber gloves are too short to protect your arm from touching toilet water, put your hand and arm into a plastic garbage bag before inserting it into the toilet.
Tips and warnings
- If you do not have rubber gloves, or if your rubber gloves are too short to protect your arm from touching toilet water, put your hand and arm into a plastic garbage bag before inserting it into the toilet.