Not every clog requires a visit from the plumber. In fact, many pesky clogs can be cleared using a very simple tool that every household should have: the plunger. But one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to plungers. So if you’re serious about utilizing the humble plunger as your first line of defense in the battle against clogs, here’s what you’ll need to know when choosing the right tool for the job.
Sink Plunger: this is your standard plunger. It typically has a red rubber cup on the end and is what most people think of when they think plunger. But it’s not going to work well in all situations. It’s called a sink plunger because it’s best suited for a flat surface, like a sink, where it can lay flat and create the suction necessary to dislodge the clog.
Toilet Plunger (aka Flange Plunger): this design has an extension or flange that sticks out below the traditional cup. This flange fits into the toilet drain opening in order to create the suction needed when plunging a toilet. Often this flange will fold up into the cup, making it ideal for sinks as well as toilets.
Accordion Plunger: this is a less common design, but a powerful tool for toilet clogs. Instead of a cup, it has a accordion shape which allows for greater pressure. It’s not as easy to use as other plungers, but is a great tool if you need that added pressure.
Whatever plungers you decide to keep around the house, remember to replace them if you notice any cracks in the rubber cap because that will mean you’re not getting the suction you need. You’ll also want to sanitize your plunger after every use with either chlorine bleach (just a splash of bleach in water) or apple cider vinegar (50-50 with water).