Unclog a Toilet with a Toothbrush Dropped Inside

My mom called me since their toilet was clogged with a dropped toothbrush.  I used a snake and got it to flush but it clogged again since the toothbrush was probably still inside.

If you look at a diagram of a toilet, the toothbrush is probably lodged at the U turn at the top of the trap since it can’t get past it.  Liquids will be fine but solids will get trapped.

Searching online, some solutions include removing the toilet, draining the trap and fishing the toothbrush out or melting it with a hot piece of wire.  One unusual suggestion was to attach a balloon to a plastic pipe and inflating it.  This seemed viable and a lot less work so I tried it.  I was a little skeptical since I didn’t think the balloon would be strong enough.

I had some plastic supply line pipe used for sinks and put a balloon at the end and secured it with some duct tape.  The pipe didn’t seem long enough so I extended it with another pipe and some more duct tape.

I assumed I needed to get the balloon past the U-turn and toothbrush so I cleared the drain a second time with the snake so that it could flush.  I couldn’t get the balloon down the drain as far as I wanted but decide to inflate the balloon anyway and gave it a pull.  This worked and the toothbrush dropped down.   It seems you only need a little friction against the toothbrush to dislodge it so you only need to push the balloon as far as it can go.

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