We once paid a plumber $350 to plunge a clogged toilet on New Year's Day. Since then we've learned how to deal with it ourselves. Toilets clog. It's a fact of toilet life. But there are things you can do short of calling for help. Prevention is key: as we've said before, don't use harsh chemicals like Draino, even in the toilet. Instead, pour a half cup of baking soda down the drain once a month followed by the same amount of white distilled vinegar. Let sit 15 minutes and then flush with boiling water. Or, as reader Kristin recommends, get into the habit of pouring the leftover boiling water from tea-making down the toilet. When all else fails, here's a funny primer on plunging like you mean it from ToolGirl.