An uncluttered plunger, really

Every once in awhile, I’m truly impressed by what a product can do. The first time I used the Shazam application on my iPhone, I was in disbelief for hours (to this day, if someone told me magic is involved in its operation, I wouldn’t be surprised). I had a similar reaction when I saw a demonstration at the National Association of Professional Organizer’s conference of the new Rubbermaid Clean and Dry Plunger (yes, you just read that correctly, I was impressed by a toilet plunger … and you probably will be, too):

I didn’t over-sell that, right? The plunger has a NeverWet coating on it that prevents anything — water, bacteria, whatever else is in your toilet — from sticking to it. (NeverWet is like Rain-X on steroids, because it repels even more than water.) Which means that after you plunge your toilet, you can’t drip dirty water onto your floor or spread germs to the area where you store your plunger. Oils from your hands can destroy the NeverWet coating, so you can’t touch the plunger, but I’m not really sure that is something people usually do, anyway.

I’ll be honest, I never expected to be dazzled by a toilet plunger, but life is interesting that way. As far as uncluttered home maintenance products go, a plunger that doesn’t drip toilet water through my bathroom or spread germs is an advancement I can support.

And, once again, it should go without saying, but Rubbermaid did not pay me or give me anything to write this post. I sincerely just think it’s awesome.

36 Comments for “An uncluttered plunger, really”

  1. posted by Anne on

    Well, that certainly makes me think of yogurt a different way!

  2. posted by cng on

    It would be great if they could invent a toilet brush with the same properties.

  3. posted by JS on

    Are you not concerned about the chemicals that went into that amazing coating? It can’t be exactly a natural product…

  4. posted by Lisa on

    hey, isn’t that a unitasker!! ;)

  5. posted by Terri H. on

    Hm, I bet it also doesn’t leave black marks on the inside of the toilet bowl like our current one does!!!

  6. posted by SMB on

    Already sold out on Amazon!

    Personally the chemicals involved in the creation of the coating don’t scare me as much as spreading nasty toilet bacteria all over my bathroom floor.

  7. posted by Ryan on

    I like the PlungeMAX better for two reasons. 1. Folds up for easier storage and 2. more power (in fact be carful not to push too hard).

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obi.....tterer-20/

  8. posted by Bree on

    Personally, we don’t have much luck with the traditional-shaped plunger with our newer elongated bowl Toto toilet, so no matter how clean it is, the Rubbermaid wouldn’t be effective.

    We’ve been using the Oxo toilet plunger with the cover:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obi.....tterer-20/. What little drippage there is gets contained inside the cover.

  9. posted by j on

    In a recent plumbing adventure, I found the following advise tremendously helpful – - and I used a basic old plunger

    Warm the plunger in bucket of hot water to make it pliable before you start
    Pour about a pint of very hot water into the toilet – - along with some dishwashing detergent – - and let stand at least five minutes to loosen things up
    Plunge purposefully – - one or two “good” plunges work better than a flurry of activity

  10. posted by Henave on

    I love it!! @cng- they need to get on the ball and make the toilet cleaning brush for sure- wow!

  11. posted by Wendy on

    This solves a problem I don’t have. I don’t drip dirty water or touch the plunger directly with my basic one. After plunging, I clean it over the toilet. I use either a spray cleaner or pour one. I have cleaning cloths under the sink already and just use one to clean, one to dry and use the dry one to wrap the clean one up for laundry basket.

    Toilet brush that didn’t drip would be nicer…

  12. posted by April on

    That makes me nervous. They didn’t actually plunge anything so I wonder what happens when its used. Sometimes you have to touch a plunger when they fold up like they do. And if it does bend or fold, what happens to the coating. Will it flake off? If it does, what is that adding to our water supply. I don’t think this should be on the market.

  13. posted by Scarlet on

    Although I’m fascinated by the coating, I have never had good luck with a cup plunger. Flange plungers have always worked best for me. In fact, in looking up what the different types were called, I read that cup plungers aren’t recommended for toilets in the first place–they’re for use against a flat surface, like sinks or bathtubs. I’ve never had to plunge those myself.

    Plus, I’m sharing a little bit in others’ paranoia about what this coating is. But maybe if they came out with a flange version, I’d give it a shot.

  14. posted by Karen on

    Honestly, being worried about chemicals on a plastic toilet plunger is silly. It’s a toilet plunger. Are you going to eat out of the plunger? Store food in it? Let your child play with it? (I sincerely hope not). While I probably won’t go out and buy this, as we have a perfectly working plunger, if I have to replace my plunger, this would be an option I’d consider.

    Unless you never, ever use any chemical cleaners at all, don’t take artificial hormones, or medications that you excrete in urine, you can worry about what this is product is “adding to the water supply.”

  15. Avatar of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @April — Just click on the link provided in the article from NeverWet, it explains exactly what is in their product.

  16. posted by Rosemary on

    Now this is where I get really confused! Is American plumbing really that bad that you all own toilet plungers and actually have to use them????

    The only people I know with toilet plungers are plumbers or those with little people who are inclined to flush things. My parents never owned one, my in-laws never owned one, we’ve never owned one….I’ve never even seen one used.

    Signed,
    A very confused Australian
    (Australia’s claim to fame is that the half-flush toilet was invented here. Almost all of us have them these days, they work well.)

  17. posted by Laura on

    My kids give my plunger a workout. They have no idea what a “courtesy flush” is.

    The trick to using the plunger is to make sure you push it straight down to the hole, with air in the plunger. Push hard, pull up **just a bit** and push down again. The pressure will suck all that yuck right down. I usually swish the plunger in the new water then spray with Lysol. I haven’t had any plumbing or germ problems.

  18. posted by GreyQueen on

    This Brit is now seriously-worried about American plumbing. I’ve been running my own household for 30 years and have never had to plunge a toilet in my life, nor have my parents before me. Yet the previous posts make it sound like a regular occurance in people’s lives……..

  19. posted by Brian (Shadowfoot) on

    I’ve never had to use a toilet plunger in the UK or in New Zealand. We don’t even own one here. I’ve had to use them in the US. The problem is with the US toilet design and the excessive amount of water sitting in the bowl. Change that and you won’t need this unitasker.

  20. posted by HonkyTonkFoodie on

    It is discussions like these that make me glad we went to an incinerating toilet last year: http://incinolet.com/

  21. Avatar of

    posted by writing all the time on

    I’m with Wendy. The plunger isn’t used at my house for anything but plunging. We don’t eat in the area where the plunger is kept, the tool shed. Nor do we touch it with anything but a hand that is immediately washed.

    It seems like overkill to me, and really nothing more than taking advantage of anti-germ hysteria.

  22. posted by Jimbo on

    I find that a high fiber diet and the low flow toilets create problems. I never had a problem with the old toilets.

  23. posted by Shalin on

    Yay for advancements in material science! :-D

  24. posted by Visty on

    It looks interesting, but it sounds like it would be more fun to go to Australia and buy one of their big-holed toilets. While sightseeing, of course. Maybe the toilet plunger people have the American toilet designer people in their back pockets?

  25. posted by NYC_apartment_dweller on

    You know what would be cool? If they had this coating on the INSIDE of the toilet of public bathrooms (or even private ones). There is nothing I hate more than opening a stall door and seeing….stuff….sticking to the toilet. Ugh.

    @Jimbo – I LOATHE the newer low flow toilets! I can’t remember which stupid politician passed that one into law.

    @HonkyTonkFoode – I am checking out the INCINERATING TOILET now. Someday I am getting a place “in the middle of nowhere” but I always thought composting toilets were disgusting. This may be the solution!

  26. posted by Erin on

    Have never needed a plunger.

    Commenting to clarify why people would be concerned about the materials used to make the plunger. None of us are going to eat of off it, but its made somewhere and used by typical consumers. That isn’t a closed loop. People are tired of the “its all safe until proven otherwise” mentality that has yielded us all kinds of problems and yet we don’t learn.

  27. posted by A on

    Wow – I’ve needed a plunger in nearly every apartment I’ve had for the last 22 years, and I’ve always heard the plumbing in Europe is bad! (Maybe it’s just hot water for showers, though. I’ve never been overseas, sadly.) I live in New England – the housing stock tends to be old compared to some areas of the US and in many cases the plumbing has not been upgraded. It doesn’t mean I need it every day – more like once a year – but it’s a necessity nonetheless!

  28. posted by Michael on

    Far better than any plunger is a big bucket. Fill it with about 3 gallons or more of very hot water, and pour it in, all at once. Clog gone, every time.

  29. posted by Mary on

    American toilets are very different to those found in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. I was around 30 when I went to Hawaii, and was glad I had been “warned” about US toilets – that such a volume of water can whoosh so quickly down such a tiny hole is slightly scary to observe the first time. The thought of having to deal with a blockage is overwhelming! And I recall a clip shown by Clive James (over a decade ago) of an American toilet-training video, in which children were being told they didn’t need to be afraid of the toilet; it had me bewildered until I saw such a toilet myself.
    I’ll admit, if I needed to use a plunger, I would be very tempted by this one. (But here, in Australia, I’d call a plumber.)

  30. posted by Laetitia in Australia on

    I visited the USA back in the late 90s. In the house where I was staying we had a supply of cheap and nasty wire coat-hangers to break up blockages (which went straight in the bin after use). Being from Australia, we were appalled by USA plumbing and the idea of sucking out the water (through a tiny hole) before having the new water come in. And the amount of water sitting in the bowl! Don’t get me started on all the horror of that.

    For those who are unfamiliar with Australian / NZ / UK toilet bowls, water from the cistern comes down and pushes the waste out through a (large diameter) S-bend pipe. Consequently, no-one I know in these countries actually has a plunger.

    Mind you, the UK flush mechanism (grab a handle and pull – several times often) is also pretty bad as it often doesn’t work. And then there’s the European bowls with a little shelf (so you can see if you should be getting a bowel check-up?) – ergh! I once considered writing a travelogue titled “Your Country’s Fine (I hate your plumbing)”.

  31. posted by GreyQueen on

    Hi Laetitia, if you have to crank the handle on a UK toilet cistern more than once, you need a new mechanism inside the cistern as this is an indication that it’s worn out and on it’s way to failure. Fascinating to learn about US sani-ware. I’ve never been to the USA so it wasn’t something I’d ever considered. Our toilets have outlets big enough to get a slender arm part-way down (should you want to), immediately followed by a “U-bend” in the pipework to prevent odours coming back up. I have a 6 litre capacity cistern fitted with several plastic bottles to displace almost half of that by volume and the toilet flushes just fine. Mind you, a hazard of our wide-throated toilets is that some foolish people treat them as wet trashcans and that some small children stuff soft toys into them. I don’t imagine extracting Teddy from the toilet is a regular gig for a US plumber :)

    PS The showers are a lot better than they were a few years ago……..

  32. posted by gypsy packer on

    Some low-flow toilets will choke on just about anything. Our problems in the US are created by menstrual supplies, wound in half a roll of TP and flushed, or by stoners who flush pill bottles, pipes, and baggies if a police officer stops anywhere on the block.
    I want a composter when I retire.

  33. posted by Anita on

    The only reason I ever plunge my toilet is the rare mishap with the flushable litter my cats use. Maybe twice a year, the litter would form a clump rather break apart, and the toilet needs plunging.

    But I have to say, my Dollar Store plunger has been doing the job just fine for years. After plunging, I flush the toilet and rinse the plunger that way. And when I deep-clean the bathroom, I use a disinfectant spray on the plunger and dry it with the same cloth that I use on the bathroom floor.

    I see absolutely no reason to spend 15 times as much for a “self-cleaning” plunger when it takes so little time/effort to maintain my current one.

  34. posted by romney on

    I’ve got to 39 and only had to use a plunger once. Yup, I’m in the UK. I wonder why your toilets are so bad. Has no one been abroad and seen the better toilets available?

  35. posted by Vanessa on

    I’ve had to plunge at least once or twice a year in every apartment or house I’ve ever lived in. Horror!

  36. posted by Tan on

    I live in the U.S. and haven’t owned a plunger for years. What I do when I have a clog is I use a toilet cleaning brush. I pump it up and down the hole and the vortex that is created from that action pushes the clog through.

Comments are closed.