This will be the most disgusting article I have posted. Don’t worry, no pictures will be offered. My problem is with cheese, and a low-flow toilet. I present some solutions.
The first time I was constipated, it was due to eating wheat grass. I didn’t juice it – I just ate the grass. Well, it turned out that increasing fibre too much will cause constipation. The fact the fibers were thread-like probably didn’t help.
My unfortunate cure was removing the nuggets with my finger. It was as horrible as it sounds. If this happens again, I’m reaching for latex gloves.
Milk of Magnesia, Magnesium Hydroxide Laxative
To clear out the remainder, I used milk of magnesia, a laxative. Milk of magnesia is magnesium hydroxide with some flavorings in water. It works by getting into your large intestine and colon, where it causes the body to draw water into the large intestine.
To use it, you follow the instructions. You drink a capful or a couple swigs, and follow it up with a glass of water. Within a day or so, you’ll have a watery bowel movement.
Magnesium Citrate Laxative
A similar laxative is magnesium citrate. This is a small bottle of liquid, and it’s heavily flavored with sucralose (generally safe for most diabetics, but it spikes some). You can find the cheapest bottle at Dollar Tree, or a $3.50 bottle at CVS.
Magnesium citrate has a secondary advantage of helping to increase the magnesium in your body. It also tastes pretty good with a half lemon and water, over ice. It tastes like Diet 7-Up, but a touch funky.
I haven’t used magcit as a laxative — I used it as a magnesium supplement in small amounts — but mag-cit is used by hospitals to force a bowel movement before sticking a fiber-optic camera up your ass, so, you know it’s good stuff.
I tried using a docusate sodium (Colace) pill, but I don’t know if it helped. It probably did, but the effect wasn’t as dramatic as milk of magnesia.
I’ve heard senna is good, but haven’t tried it. Likewise, I haven’t tried Ex-Lax.
For long term maintenance, my sister swears by Metamucil or psyllium husk.
I am a fan of occasional consumption of ground flaxseed, which is full of fiber and also helps improve your Omega-3 fatty acids. I use it as a kind of thickener to make a gel-water as a base for cocoa/chocolate drink that tastes a little like a chocolate shake. 100% cacao, a little cream, sweet, and bitter.
Last, but not least: just take a magnesium supplement. I’m taking magnesium oxide (again). The way it works is the same as the magcit or milk of magnesia — it gets into the colon and attracts water.
This is all new to me, because I never, ever had a problem with constipation. Mainly, I wasn’t eating much cheese, and it was eaten with carbs, so, I didn’t have problems.
Now that my starches are gone, the cheese seems to act like glue.
My Toilet Clogged
Constipation developed into a huge impacted stool. Well, maybe not huge, but quite large, and hard.
I was shitting a brick.
I probably shouldn’t have done it, but I pushed it out.
One flush didn’t work, so, I just left the turd snake in the bowl. I figured the lumps were hard, and letting them soak in the water would help.
Unclogging with Soap
I may have poured some soap into the water. I don’t recall, but that’s a way to break through the grease a bit.
Later in the day, I flushed, thinking it would be okay.
The bowl flooded with water.
Like an idiot, I flushed again.
Fortunately, the water level just rose. It didn’t overflow.
I got in there with a plunger, and had no luck forcing it through, or pulling it out. It was plugged up.
So, I poured in a half cup or so of some liquid soap, and let it rest.
The reason for adding soap is pretty simple. Soap combines with grease in the turd, and makes it able to soak up water. As it soaks water, it softens.
The problem is, it takes a while. The water level was not changing.
Fortunately, the next morning, the water level was lower. This meant that a small amount of water was flowing through the shit-plug. That meant fresh soap was getting all over the poop.
I flushed, hoping it would push the shit-balls through.
The water level just rose. I had to go to plan B.
Unclogging with Hot Water
I got some dishwashing detergent from the kitchen, and squeezed a quarter cup into the toilet.
This would have greater grease-cutting power, and would slowly coat the feces as the water flowed through the fecal blockage.
Then, I got out the stockpot and filled it with around a gallon of water. This was heated up until it started to simmer.
I carried the hot pot of water to the toilet, and poured it in.
The water level rose. Then, it slowly began to recede, visibly. It was working!
I repeated this process three times. The third time seemed to push through the best.
I figured the poo was now closer to the main sewer line. To avoid problems, I ran hot water into the sink.
I filled the pot with hot water from the sink, and dumped it into the toilet. While I did this, I let the hot water run down the sink, as well.
The idea was to warm up the toilet bowl and pipes, and keep heating the poop, from all directions, softening it up, breaking the clumps, and producing a kind of greasy crap soup.
Other Possible Ways to Clean the Pipes
One chemical we use is Bio-Rooter, a bacterial mixture that produces enzymes that clean the pipes. While there are numerous enzymatic cleaners, we found this stuff works for us. Plumbers sell it at some ridiculously high price.
The other chemical I like, a lot, is lye, aka, sodium hydroxide, aka Crystal Heat or Crystal Drano. Also known as Easy Off oven cleaner, or its dollar store clones.
Lye works in two ways. One, it reacts with hair, woody fibers, and fats, producing heat. The heat tends to melt the grease that causes clogs.
Two, it reacts with fats to produce soap! The soap then mixes with the remaining fat, allowing it to mix with water, which helps clean out the pipes.
Lye is considered caustic (it burns your skin), and dangerous, but it’s great for pipes. Lye dissolved in water simply mixes with the grease in the sewage pipe, turning it into soap.
So there are two distinct ways to use the lye. In high concentrations, it has a violent reaction that releases heat, melting grease and helping to unclog pipes.
In low concentrations, it just mixes with grease, and produces soap. To lower the concentration, put a tablespoon or two into the unclogged, free flowing toilet bowl, and let it dissolve. It’ll take a few minutes. Then, flush it down.
If the pipes are clean, the lye goes into the sewer system. If the pipes are not clean, and there’s globs of fat in there, the lye-water solution will pool up around the fat, and small crystals might stick to the grease, and mix to produce soap.
Is Lye Safe?
While lye can be harsh, and soaps do kill bacteria, I think they are more benign than the main “soap” we put into the drain, which is bar soap, a detergent, and dishwashing detergent. These detergents are a lot more effective at cleaning, but harsher on the environment.
Unfortunately, because lye is so caustic, and can be misused, and tends to cause problems when it lands on skin, it’s generally not used anymore. So you don’t see it at the stores sold as “lye” anymore.
Instead, you can get Crystal Heat, which is lye dyed blue, or Crystal Drano, which is also blue, but also contains bits of aluminum to prevent over-reaction.
There are also some gel lye drain openers, but, I find it easier to stick with the crystal lye. Some of the liquid drain openers are not lye, but sulfuric acid, or another acid.
The biological cleaners, I think, are the best of all. You use small amounts, diluted in water, and “seed” the drain. The bacteria feed on the grease, and multiply, spreading all over the inside of the pipe. They just take a little more planning and effort than lye.