There are few things worse than the awful panic of watching the toilet water begin to rise when you flush the toilet. As you wrack your brain for what could be lodged in there, you realize that your toilet freshener is missing and is probably stuck in your toilet. Now you'll have to figure out how to dislodge it from the toilet without making a complete mess, breaking the toilet or clogging the plumbing even more.
Shut Off the Water Supply
Anytime you flush your toilet and see the water levels rising, your first instinct should be to turn off the water supply. Do this by looking under the toilet tank and locating a small knob on a metal pipe. Turn it tightly clockwise and you should hear the water flow come to a stop in the pipes.
Before you begin to work on retrieving the toilet freshener that's stuck in your toilet, lay down some old towels around the base of the toilet. This will help to keep the area dry and reduce the risk of water damage if the toilet overflows. If your toilet is still making the flushing sound, remove the top of the toilet tank and manually close the rubber flap that would usually trap the water in the tank. Since you cut off the water supply, the tank shouldn't fill with water.
Remove the Stuck Toilet Freshener
Evaluate the blockage by first looking at the bottom of the toilet bowl. If you can see the toilet freshener wedged in the bottom of the bowl, locate some rubber gloves and put them on. Keep in mind that the toilet water you're dealing with is more than likely dirty, so it's important to wear rubber gloves. Stick your gloved hand into the bottom of the toilet and feel around for the freshener. Once you've found it, wiggle it free and pull it out.
If trying to remove it by hand doesn't work, use a toilet plunger on the clog. It may take more than one attempt to successfully unclog the toilet. If after several attempts it doesn't work, you can try using a toilet auger or snake.
Use a Toilet Auger
The best kind of toilet auger to try is the crank version so you can retrieve the stuck toilet freshener instead of pushing it down further into the plumbing. You first need to empty the toilet bowl of water before inserting the toilet auger. Once the auger is inserted into the drain hole, begin cranking the handle. Keep cranking until the toilet freshener comes out. If this approach still doesn't give you results, you're probably running out of the easier options.
When all else fails, the next step may be to remove the toilet altogether for further in-depth retrieval. This can be more complicated and may lead to damaging the toilet as well as the plumbing. If you're uncertain about your plumbing skills, you might consider calling in a professional so you don't unintentionally compound the problem.
Taking on the role of the household's 'handyman' was a natural path for me. Watching my dad as a child be able to fix anything made me want to be just like him. Now with a toolbox of my own I tackle any task that my home throws my way. If the task can be accomplished with my own two hands, I have never been the type to hire someone else to do it. There is nothing more satisfying than staring at your completed project while you brush some dirt from your hands.