How to Properly Clean and Store Your Plunger

how to properly clean and store your plunger

Have You Ever Taken the Time to Clean Your Plunger?

If you've had to unclog a toilet recently, you know how important (and nasty) your plunger is.  After each use, knowing how to properly clean and store your plunger is necessary for maintaining cleanliness in your home.  Plungers are important tools, and safer than Drano, for dealing with toilet clogs but must be cleaned and stored correctly to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria and odors.  Fortunately, it's an easy thing to learn to do and you'll be glad for it when you need to pull it out again next time.

When determining where to store your plunger and how best to sanitize it, there are three easy steps to follow:

  1. Clean Your Plunger
  2. Store Your Plunger
  3. Evaluate Your Plunger

Following these simple steps will keep your plunger sanitary and in good working order.

Step 1: Clean Your Plunger

Your plunger should be cleaned after every use.  After using your plunger to unclog a toilet or other drain it is very important to rinse the plunger with hot water to remove any nasty debris.  To do this, you have a few options.  The easiest way is to get a bucket or container of hot water and pour it over the plunger.  This is best done over your toilet bowl so that the debris that is washed off can be flushed safely down the toilet.  Some homeowners, however, do this in their bathtub.  We do not recommend this, but for many homeowners they'll clean their plunger in the tub and then thoroughly clean their tub.

If there is noticeable nastiness still stuck to your plunger, you can use a toilet brush or an old toothbrush to scrub away the left-over debris that are stuck in the crevices.

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Step 2: Store Your Plunger

Even after being cleaned, a plunger should still be considered a bio hazard.  Avoid placing your plunger on the floor, or on any bathroom surface.  Instead, you can store your plunger in a caddy or designated holder that allows it to air dry and keeps it off the ground.  If you don't have a holder already, you can make your own by using a plastic bucket or container.

It's a good idea to add some cleaning solution into the container.  Fill it with the cleaner of your choice to reduce odor and bacteria growth.  This will keep your plunger clean and ready for use.

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Step 3: Evaluate if Your Plunger Needs to Be Replaced

Once a plunger has been put into use, it can begin to deteriorate.  The rate of deterioration depends heavily on use and the type of cleaning solutions you store it in.  What's important to look for are visual signs of deterioration.  Mold growth, breakdown of material, and when it gets just a little too nasty provide you clear indicators that it is time to get a new one.

It's also important to consider its function.  If it has begun to not work correctly, either because the handle is broken or breaking or because the suction cup cannot seal itself properly due to degradation, then it is time to replace it.  When it is time to replace, your plunger can be ordered online or found at most local hardware stores.

Consider Your Type of Plunger

Before diving in to tackling a nasty clog, consider what type of plunger you are using.  There are three main different types of plungers to choose from, and they make all the difference in how effective they are.

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Have Questions?

If you're unsure the best way to unclog a toilet or other drain like a clogged sink, or if you have questions about how to properly clean and store your plunger, our team can help.  Simply give us a call today, our master plumbers are standing by.

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