It’s a question that’s likely crossed everyone’s mind at one time or another: How do you prepare toilets for long-term absence?
Whether you’re going on vacation, moving out of your home, or just want to make sure your toilet is clean and fresh for the next person who uses it, there are a few key things you need to know.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the process step by step.
Steps to Prepare a Toilet for Long Vacation
If you’re going on a long vacation, follow these steps to prepare your toilet for the long break:
Flush Your Toilet
Don’t be in a hurry and leave your toilet unflushed. If you have waste or urine in your toilet, flush it properly with clean water. Toilet waste or urine will give off a harmful and awful odor after a long time if left unflushed.
Aside from the unhealthy odor, they will also create an unsightly toilet ring that may be difficult to remove. Once you’ve flushed your toilet properly, move on to the next step.
Clean Your Toilet
Since you won’t be using your toilet for a long time, it’s better to give it a clean-up before the vacation.
If the inside of the toilet tank is dirty, the dirt may clog some mechanisms inside the tank. The same thing applies to the toilet bowl, dirt may clog the inlet jets and siphon jet.
You may even come back to see stains and rings on your toilet if you leave it dirty before the vacation. After giving your toilet a perfect cleanup, move on to the next step.
Shut All the Water Supply Valves
This is one of the most important things to do when you’re preparing for a long vacation. Check the water supply valves in the toilet and ensure that they are shut properly.
This eliminates unnecessary pressure on the toilet fixtures and water pipes, especially if you’ve already noticed a leak.
It’s better if you shut the main water supply valve to the house too. Shutting the main water supply valve is the best way to prevent plumbing failures like pipe bursts or leakages.
It also eliminates the risk of flooding your home in case an appliance or fixture malfunctions.
You wouldn’t want to come back from your vacation to see your house flooded with water.
Put Some Baking Soda in Your Toilet Bowl
If you still have some water in your toilet bowl, give your toilet one last flush before the vacation. Even though this water is clean, you don’t leave your toilet that way. Over time, stagnant water in the toilet bowl can give out a weird smell.
Add some baking soda to the water in your toilet bowl. That way, you won’t have to deal with a smelly toilet when you come back home from your vacation.
If you’re going on a long vacation, add just a cap of bleach in the toilet – too much is bad. This way, your toilet will stay clean and fresh till you’re back. Also, cover your toilet bowl tightly with a Saran Wrap, this will prevent the water in the bowl from drying.
The water in your bowl forms a seal that stops harmful odors from coming out from the drain pipe. If this water dries up, sewer odors will escape and this is harmful.
Add Antifreeze to the Water in the Bowl
As seen in the previous step, it’s a bad idea to completely remove water from the bowl. Therefore, don’t attempt to use a plunger to remove the water in your toilet bowl. However, if you live in a cold region, the water in the bowl can freeze if left for a long time.
Adding antifreeze to the water in the toilet bowl can prevent the water from freezing. There are different types of antifreeze products out there, which include car antifreeze (coolant) and marine antifreeze. Marine antifreeze is the best, coolant, on the other hand, can contaminate your sewage system.
Before adding antifreeze to your toilet bowl, make sure to read the instruction label carefully. This will enable you to know the right amount of antifreeze to add to your toilet.
Unplug or Turn Off Any Electric Toilet Fixture or Appliance
If you have any electric appliances or fixtures in your toilet, unplug them before going on a vacation.
If they are connected directly to the power main, then switch off the main power switch to turn them off.
Doing this will not only save you from unforeseen disasters but also save you some money on damages and utility bills.
However, we don’t recommend that you turn off the water heater completely before going on vacation.
If your water heater has a vacation mode, switch it on to adjust the temperature accordingly. If yours doesn’t have the vacation mode, lower the temperature to save energy – and cost.
Do I Need to Prepare if Vacation is Short?
If your vacation is short and you’ll be gone for only a few days, you don’t need to do much in terms of preparing your toilet.
Just ensure that the water supply valves are shut and there are no water leaks in the toilet. These two simple things will help prevent any disaster while you’re away.
Should I Leave Toilet Lid Open or Closed When Going on Vacation?
Leaving the lid open is a bad idea, doing so will allow dust, odor, and other things to enter your toilet.
If you have pets at home, leaving the lid open can also give your furry friends easy access to your toilet.
It’s best to close the lid and put a Saran Wrap over the entire toilet bowl. This will help keep your toilet clean and fresh while you’re away.
In short, taking some time to prepare your toilet before going on vacation can save you a lot of headaches – and money – when you come back home.
By following the simple steps above, you can be sure that your toilet will be clean and fresh, and you won’t have to deal with any nasty surprises.