Don't ever submit
to your curiosity when it urges you to investigate the effects of half a bottle of washing up liquid
emptied into the cistern
of a toilet
; this is one situation where acting upon your primitive aggression is not such a great idea. Now, I know most of you would never dream
of doing something so foolish
, but nevertheless there is the possiblity that some of you may find yourselves gripped, as I was, by the need to experiment. To save you all a lot of hassle
, I'm going to tell you what happens.
First of all, you lift the lid from the cistern and discharge a copious
amount of washing up liquid into the water
therein. Then, giggling with excitment
(well, I was), you activate the flushing mechanism
and as one would expect the water in the bowl foams up a great deal and it's all very hilarious.
You laugh for a while and then, your thirst for entertainment temporarily sated
, you flush the toilet again to dispose of the foam. However, contrary to your intentions, the foam
not only remains exactly where it is, it gets even foamier
. You flush once more, and again the level of foamage grows yet more severe. At this point in the procedure
will begin to take on a mildly concerned tone. Another flush and the bubbles start to leak out from under the lid of the cistern; at this point you realise you may have done something a little dumb
Determining to diagnose the cause of this inconvenience, you lift the lid of the cistern again. To your horror
, you realise that the turbulence occuring in the water each time the cistern refills serves to replenish
. What's more, the foam will continue to expand, like some B-movie monstrosity
, invading the bathroom floor and climbing
up the wall behind the cistern. This phenomenon
is of course pants-shittingly funny
, but also damned awkard
to put a stop to, which is why I recommend you never try it.
If having read this, you simply must
try it out, I promise
you that you will find yourself in the situation predicted
here. If you're at a loss with regard to what to do about it, just flush
the toilet and once the cistern is empty use a towel
or something to jam the ballcock
valve (yes, that's what it's called) in place thus preventing the cistern from refilling; then clean up what foam you can and leave it for a day or so. Doesn't sound like such a huge deal, but when you live with five people all sharing one bathroom
, it is.
sort of person might see this as an ideal practical joke
, but I wouldn't condone that sort of malicious
behaviour at all.
Maylith, a wiser soul than myself, has suggested a better way of cleaning up this mess - "Do NOT flush your toilet. Empty your kitchen garbage bin out, and fill it with a few gallons of water. Pouring said water (fairly strongly) into the bowl of the toilet will cause the toilet to gravity flush. Most toilets will not then refill themselves. Then you can clean the tank out at your leisure without worrying about jostling the ballcock dam while you are cleaning the cistern. (At least... I'm pretty sure the gravity flush also empties the cistern... I'll have to test that one of these days. ;-)"
karma debt provides a chemical solution to the problem - "yo, add vinegar, it'll get rid of the suds."