Next to your toilet, there might be sitting a plunger, or if you’re concerned with the appearance, you might have it tucked away in a cabinet somewhere. Most of us have probably been forced to use one at one time or another. Did you know though, that even though it is a very simple design, there is a correct and incorrect way to use a plunger?

The first mistake that some do, and one that is the most dangerous, is that they put down chemicals to break up the clog, and then start plunging. Never do this! You could cause the chemicals to splash back up on you and cause serious burns.

You also don’t want to start plunging right away when your toilet is flooded, since it might overflow and leak bacteria-laden water onto your floor. Instead, let it sit a few minutes with the water supply turned off so the water level can get lower. If the water doesn’t drain away on its own, it might be better to scoop some out.

Make sure that the cup of the plunger is completely covered with water and that there is a seal over the drain before you start plunging to be the most effective.

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