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Flushed Glasses Down Toilet: Six Methods To Retrieve Them

Having toilets around to flush waste is a critical part of every household. But sometimes things fall into the toilet that you don’t want there. If you’ve flushed glasses down the toilet, you’re in the right place to find answers.

This article provides six different ways to remove glasses flushed down the toilet.

Flushed Glasses Down Toilet

Flushed Glasses Down Toilet

To get your glasses out of the toilet, you can try these six methods:

  • Use your hands to fish them out;
  • Get a hanger to remove them;
  • Vacuum out the contents;
  • Toilet auger or snake down the drain;
  • Remove the toilet; or
  • Check the septic tank.

Use Your Hands

While this method isn’t the most pleasing, you might be able to get your glasses out with your hands. Take a close look at the toilet entrance to see if you can see any sign of your glasses. If so, use your hand to try to fish them out.

Sometimes you’ll get lucky, and the glasses will be right at the entrance. You can grab them, wash them and your hands off, and move on with your day.

Using a pair of long gloves, like common kitchen ones, can help protect your hands from the harmful things in your toilet. With or without gloves, washing your hands thoroughly after is a must.

Get a Hanger To Remove Them

Another excellent option to retrieve your glasses is using a wire hanger. You can easily bend the hanger to fit down your toilet, keeping a hook shape at the end. This way you can grab hold of the glasses flushed down the toilet and bring them back up.

You don’t want to jam the hanger too hard down the toilet. It could cause damage. It also might take the flushed glasses down the drain deeper, causing even more problems.

If you opt to use a hanger, be patient and go slow. Try to feel your way through to identify when you’ve possibly hit the glasses and bring them back up. Don’t push them down more.

Vacuum Out the Contents

If the first two methods don’t work for your flushed glasses down the toilet, there is another way to approach them. Wet vacuums can be one of the many solutions to get them out. 

Not all vacuums can handle sucking in water and other debris. So before you grab your favorite vacuum, make sure it is capable of sucking up water. These are more often used in construction applications or for exterior projects.

Start by turning off the water supply to the toilet. Then try to remove as much water from the tank as possible. You can do this with a vacuum. Cups or bowls will also work. A turkey baster or another manual suction tool can help with the last bits.

Wet Vacuum

Then turn to the toilet bowl itself. Do what you can to get all the water out. Then place the suction end of the vacuum as deep into the toilet drain opening as you can. Turn on the vacuum. With any luck, it’ll suck out the water along with your glasses.

Toilet Auger or Snake

A toilet auger is one of the best tools for unclogging toilet drains. These are commonly known as snakes. This tool has a long metal part that you put down the toilet. As it goes down, it breaks through tough deposits. Then you can pull them back up.

Some augers have hooks or another mechanism at the ends to help retrieve items. These hooks can grab your glasses and bring them back up from the toilet drain. 

While not the cheapest options, there are also models with cameras. Some professional plumbers have these, and they can be of great help.

There is a substantial risk in using an auger or snake. As the primary function is to break up deposits, not retrieve them, they might push your glasses deeper into the drain. This action can make the problem even worse. So use caution when sticking an auger down the drain where your glasses are.

Remove the Toilet

This method might seem like a serious burden, but it’s probably easier than you think. Removing the toilet can give you a clear line of sight into areas of the toilet and drain that are otherwise hidden.

In many cases, glasses and other objects can get stuck in these areas. So taking the time to remove the toilet can get the item out. This method is great for those expensive glasses. You don’t want to have to pay to replace them. It’s also a good way to ensure you don’t push them deeper down.

How To Remove the Toilet

  1. To remove the toilet, start by shutting off the water. Then empty the tank and toilet bowl of all the water you can. It’s best to avoid flushing so the glasses don’t get carried down with the water.
  2. Once the water is turned off and is out of the toilet, you can unscrew the nuts on either side of the toilet’s base. These are the only things holding on most toilets. Take them off and set them in a safe location.
  3. Then lift the toilet. Be prepared for bits of water and potentially some leftover waste to escape. Having old towels around is a great idea.
  4. Then you can set the toilet down on its side. Inspect the toilet opening on both ends, along with the drain. Use a flashlight, your hands, a hanger, or whatever else you can think of to see if you can locate and fish out your glasses.
  5. Hopefully, you’ll find them right away. Then you can reinstall the toilet and be on your way. 

It might be a good time to replace the toilet flange or wax ring if they show signs of age. The wax ring commonly breaks down over time and can cause leaks. Why not replace it since you have the toilet off already?

How To Remove the Toilet

Check the Septic Tank

This final step isn’t possible for many people. If you’re hooked up to a municipal sewage line, as many homes are, the chances of recovering when you’ve accidentally flushed glasses down the toilet are slim. They’ll be somewhere in a vast network of drain pipes, nearly impossible to locate.

On the other hand, some homes use an independent closed system located on their property. These use large tanks, known as septic tanks, to collect and break down the waste that’s flushed down your toilet.

If you have a septic tank, the glasses might have made their way to the tank. You might be able to retrieve them from there.

Words of Caution About Septic Tank Retrieval

However, this is a considerable hassle and requires someone to open your septic tank and fish through a large amount of waste to locate and retrieve the glasses. It is best to have a professional tackle this, and they’ll likely charge more than the usual cost of having a septic tank pumped. 

Unless there is something incredibly unique about these glasses, it’s probably not worth it to sift through your septic tank to find them.

But in those cases where you’re willing to try absolutely everything to get your flashed glasses down the toilet back, you can look to the septic tank as the last resort.

Wrap Up

There are many ways for you to get back items like glasses that you’ve accidentally flushed down the toilet. First, try using your hands or a hanger to get them out. If that doesn’t work, grab a toilet auger or wet vac to see if they can do it.

The last idea is to remove the toilet and see if you can get the glasses back that way. And when all else fails, it might be possible to get them from the septic tank, if you have one.

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