You’re Probably Using the Wrong Plunger (And You’re Not the Only One)

updated Mar 28, 2024
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A bathroom with mint green-colored walls and yellow tiles has a toilet, windows, and a sink

Over on Instagram, people are only learning just now that there’s more than one type of plunger and that they’ve had trouble unclogging their toilets because they’ve been using the wrong kind.

According to content creator Sidney Raz, the common cup plunger (the one you likely have at home) is meant for sinks and drains due to its design. Its rubber cup is ideal on flat surfaces where it can properly seal the drain and produce the vacuum that would clear the clog. It’s not suited for toilet use, as the bowl’s curves make it difficult for the cup to seal the duct. Raz then adds that what you want to use instead is a flange plunger.

Flange plunger (left) and cup plunger (right)

What Is a Flange Plunger?

A flange plunger is designed specially made for toilets. With its rubber flap, it can tightly seal the drain and create the vacuum necessary to clear the obstruction. As a bonus, you can also turn the flange plunger into a common one by simply folding the flap inwards. Now it works in the sink, too.

Many of his followers only realized the difference upon watching the video. “Thank you so much. Ic,” said a commenter. Another person added: “OMGOSH! Didn’t know this [and I am] in my 60s!”

And, for those who have really, really persistent toilet clogs, there’s even a third type of plunger called an accordion plunger. Its design is a bit tricky to use, but when you get the hang of it, the accordion can create a tighter seal producing a stronger suction.

So from now on, whenever you have a clog, you’ll know the best tool for the job, and this SteadMax Rubber Toilet plunger is an ideal pick.