How to un-funk a toilet.


Behold! The one appliance in your home that you absolutely cannot do without. Well, you can, you just don’t want to. ‘Outhouses’ are downright unsanitary. You could use the ‘shovel and hole’ method but that’s not really practical if you live in colder climes. There’s the new fad of composting toilets but if you’re like me, you’re not at all that interested in finding out what your own poo smells like when it’s lit on fire.

So, how much do you know about this modern marvel?

  • Did you know that Thomas Crapper did not in fact invent the toilet? He invented the ballcock. Stop giggling: It’s the floaty bit underneath the lid of the tank.
  • Did you know that the bend, underneath the tank and behind the part where you make your deposit, typically in an S, U, J, or P shape, is so shaped because it acts as a seal against sewer gases?
  • Did you know that toilet is commonly believed to be invented by Sir John Harington, a courtier of Elizabeth I?

With the exception of our first home, my wife and I have been strangely fortunate to live in other places with at least two toilets. As our family grew, the need for two toilets became paramount.

People need to poop. Kids, they need to twice as much. 

It should be common knowledge by now that my family and I are now Florida residents.

The home we are living in is rather modern. That is to say, there are no ‘old school’ toilets (the kind that have a more round bowl where the water line stops an inch or three away from the lip of the bowl). That’s right, we have the water-saver Jobbies that are more stretched out as far as the bowl goes and it only gives you enough water to wisk your poo poo away.


Here’s the science: soap is capable of breaking down fats. That’s why it’s so good at cleaning food off of pans and plates. Your poo? Chocked full of fats. You put liquid soap on poo and the poo will break down given enough time.

As it can be imagined, the shape of this newer potty is a bit of a problem for my youngest child. She is currently the smallest of the family and because of that, her little booty isn’t big enough to sit comfortably where your booty-hole needs to be positioned in order to ensure the maximum wisking of poo.

Obviously this results in toilets clogs. Not full blown ‘that water ain’t goin’ nowhere and I’m afraid that if I depress the handle one more time I will be covered in shit that isn’t mine’ clogs. But lazy, almost petulant clogs. The kind that still takes the water away but the toilet definitely isn’t doing so for your benefit.

Since toilet maintenance live underneath the umbrella of my responsibilities, I have discovered the ‘soap trick’.

  1. Get the liquid soap. If you don’t have any on site, go to the store and get some. Nothing fancy. Whatever is the cheapest will work
  2. Empty the contents of the soap into the offending toilet. Try and do so with the intent of covering the contraband.
  3. Wait. This is the hard part. The longer you wait, the more likely this will work. if you do not wait long enough, you will skip to step four and see the error of your ways. Your left hand will start moving of it’s own accord. It will go to your formerly luxurious mane of hair, now balding and greying, in an attempt to remove what little hair has managed to hang on by it’s fingernails. After your hand realizes how futile that was, it will then curl itself into a fist and start shaking at the Heavens. When it realizes that it’s owner, you, don’t really believe in that type of thing, it will rotate so that the back of the hand is facing the toilet, and the following configuration will emerge.

This is what happens if you don’t wait long enough.

The following day you will engage step 4.

You WILL NOT do it a minute sooner.

It’s rather simple: get the biggest pot you have at your disposal, fill it full of water, and boil the fuck out of that water.

As the water is being boiled, assess your path to the toilet. Is there shit in the way? How far away is it? Do you need to put running shoes on?  After you have completed that, the water should be ready.

Put on your oven mitts, turn off the stove, grab the pot with both hands (because ‘safety first’) and haul ass to the water closet with the funked up toilet. When you arrive at your destination, empty the contents of said pot into the other pot.

You will not be disappointed. 



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