Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz, Poof: Can Alka-Seltzer Dissolve Poop?
If you're a subscriber to PoopNews, you know that Dave sends out an occasional poop story that is not posted on the site. The most recent story, by DukeOfPoop(Tim), described a protagonist confronted by a monster poo that clogged the toilet. The Duke, of course, had no plunger available. After searching his house, our hero found Alka-Seltzer. He poured it in the toilet and allowed it to do its thing -- and do its thing it did. As the author put it: "I went back with a towel and the Alka-Seltzer and dumped the whole thing into the toilet. By the time it was done fizzing, the poo was a brown pea soup and it flushed down easy."
Being the curious person I am, I asked Dave if one could really bust up a poo with Alka-Seltzer. Dave had no idea, and suggested I do an experiment.
So I made a special trip to the store and bought twenty-four tablets of extra strength Alka-Seltzer for $5.49. Since I had an afternoon job that day, I needed to get lunch. The only restaurant close enough that I could easily afford was KFC. I remembered a previous KFC experience; but I tend to give a lot of second (and fifth) chances. So I went in.
I decided that I would need a relatively large log to efficiently test the Alka-Seltzer out. I ordered ten boneless wings (sweet and spicy), the Snacker combo, and a large side of macaroni and cheese. I hadn't been to KFC since my unpleasant experience a while back -- I had forgotten how tasty those boneless wings are. And that mac and cheese... amazing!
I went to work, did my relatively easy job (with relatively easy pay), and got home about eleven. I went straight to the crapper, which is, unfortunately, a low-flow, and proceeded to lay a log of 1.5 inches in diameter and nine inches in length. A smaller chunk, about 1" x 1.5", was also in the bowl. It seemed to be a log of suitable size, so I began the experiment.
- Procure Alka-Seltzer and toilet.
- Take dump.
- If toilet is low-flow, add enough water to cover log, unless doing so will cause toilet to flush.
- Unwrap all tablets.
- Place tablets in water around poop.
- Watch and wait.
- Record observations.
So I was now at step three. Since, as I mentioned earlier, my toilet is a low-flow, I added some water, but I could not fully cover the poo. But I dumped in the Alka-Seltzer anyway. It immediately began foaming. I watched. The clear water became sufficiently brown, and brown bubbles soon obscured my view of the poop.
About five minutes later, the process was finished. I observed the following:
- The water was completely brown.
- The small chunk had decreased in size to about 0.5" x 1" inches.
- The large log was not visible.
- There were small flakes of poo in the water.
I think it's possible that the large log may have gone through the trap when I was adding more water. But I don't think it flushed all the way, though. Nevertheless, despite the fact that I am not sure what happened to it, I can conclude the following:
- Alka-Seltzer CANNOT dissolve an entire piece of poo.
- But it can make the log smaller -- and thus easier to flush.
Bottom line, can Alka-Seltzer completely bust up a poo? I don't think so. But if you have a clogged toilet and no plunger, it may be able to save you from otherwise-certain humiliation. I suggest all PoopReporters go buy some Alka-Seltzer this weekend and try it for themselves.