paper towels = clogged toilet. Help!

I’m an idiot.

I flushed a few paper towels down the toilet, and now it’s stuck (fortunately, the toilet was empty). The water can drain (slowly), so it’s not completely stuck.

Anyway, I’ve tried using my plunger several times, to no avail. Any bright ideas on how to clear it up (before I call a plumber)?

Why is it that when I am cleaning up a spill with paper towels, they fall apart too quickly. When I actually want them to break apart easily, they’re like sheets of steel.

Toilet plunging 101. Allow the bowl to fill. Lower the plunger into the water vertically to catch the air. Seat the snout of the plunger into the discharge area of the bowl. With one smooth motion, push down forcefully, and stop. Remove the plunger and repeat if necessary. Insider tip, the plungers which have a bell shaped top and a tapering lower portion seal better, and plunge more effectively. Too many folk just annoy the water in the bowl owing to ineffective technique. Trust me-when you do property maintenance for absentee landlords, and have day-care centers as clients, you obtain your PhD in potties. :smiley:

I have always plunged the bowl repeatedly without loosing the seal made by the plunger. It seems to force water back and forth through the trap and break up the clog.

Go to Home Depot and look for the most dangerous stuff you can find. Usually the bottles are themselves wrapped in a second plastic bag and there’s warning lables all over it. It’s close to pure sulfuric acid and will make short work of a few paper towels.

Use a wire hanger…stretch it out and see if you can reach the clog.

Are you sure nothing else got in there? Got kids in the house? Something may be in the drain that normal toilet paper and feces could get around but around which the paper towels became stuck.

I don’t think it’s a good idea to put drain cleaner in the toilet. I think it decays the seals or something.

If you can’t unclog it and it doesn’t dissipate of it’s own accord within a few hours, call the plumber.

Uh… this is a bad idea. If you were to actually read all the no-nos on a bottle of industrial strength drain cleaner, you’d see that “do not put this stuff down a toilet” is prominently displayed. Try plunging the toilet properly (danceswithcats uses my method), if that doesn’t help, try the wire-clothes-hanger method discribed by Cillasi. If your only problem is really paper towels, then some combination of these two procedures should take care of it. And, please, leave the sulfuric acid on the shelf.

Chicken! bok bok bok bok

Get a toilet auger. They are available in 3 foot or 6 foot lengths, and cost anywhere from $10 (cheap 3 foot) to $50 (good 6 foot). It’s the same idea as a coat hanger, but it is designed for the job. It has a foot that is padded so it won’t scratch the toilet bowl, and a handle on the top so you can turn it easily. Here are some:

This happened to my friend last year. He had to get a new toilet. The plumber was quite perplexed as to how a wire hanger got caught in the bowl…

They can forecast your future while you’re waiting for it to unclog - oh you said AUGER!