Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz, Poof: Can Alka-Seltzer Dissolve Poop?

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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.

    Procedure
  1. Procure Alka-Seltzer and toilet.
  2. Take dump.
  3. If toilet is low-flow, add enough water to cover log, unless doing so will cause toilet to flush.
  4. Unwrap all tablets.
  5. Place tablets in water around poop.
  6. Watch and wait.
  7. 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.

40 Comments on "Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz, Poof: Can Alka-Seltzer Dissolve Poop?"

doniker's picture
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It has been my experience that excessive toilet paper usage is responsable for most bowl clogs.
I always flush after the first 2 wipes.

So the question is, does Alka Seltzer dissolve paper?

Logjam's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points
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KOC. Great effort for the cause of science. I do have a couple of questions, however. You speculated whether the nine incher may have gone down the tubes when you added the water. But didn’t you observe AFTER adding the water that the water didn't entirely cover it? If so, then when would the big bugger have slipped away? Is it possible that the Alka-Seltzer dissolved entirely the short piece and reduced the long one to near nothing? Also a point of clarification. Was the "small chunk" in the bowl also yours or an orphaned turd?

I think you should do this again and report back. This would give you an excuse to sample more of those amazing wings.

Logjam

AssBlaster2000's picture
PoopReport of the Year Awardj 1000+ points
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KOC does it poop Mythbusters style!!! Awesome.

I love the mac and cheese at KFC too.

Doniker makes a good point, though, about the paper. Did you wipe, KOC? Or are you game for a second experiment?

Double Flush's picture
k 500+ points
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Awesome idea, and very smart really. I'd still have to double flush though, cause that;s just me. I can see alka-seltzer dissolving a little bit, but it would take A LOT to dissolve it all, and more water and a low-flow holds.

Does Alka Seltzer dissolve paper? I would assume so. Most toilet paper is designed to more or less totally fall apart once it's in moving water, i.e. a flush. I assume alka-seltzer would speed the process.

I too encourage you to try it again. I'd be very interested in what happens the second time around.

_______
"Double the flush, double the fun" --The Amazing Anus

[Insert witty banter here]

KeepOnCrappin's picture
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I did not wipe until after the experiment was completed.

The small chunk was mine as well.

I think that the log was resting just behind the bend. Why would AS dissolve a huge turd and not a small one?

Note the printer friendly option-print this page and take it to your bathroom while you run the experiment.

I asked the nice people at plbg.com to see what they thought. Their answer was basically no.


_______
"KOC -- the Cool Crapper" - Rat Droppings

"KOC -- the Cool Crapper" - Rat Droppings

Thunderbox's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points
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Doniker, your drains must me hopeless if they can`t cope with a big log (or heap of minor turds) and all the paper needed to wipe. Sounds like your builders don`t get enough slope into the drainage - obviously that cuts costs.

The voice of sanity

DungDaddy's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points
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KOC, this is a magnificant piece of poopreporting. Given the uncertainty surrounding the fate of the large turd. I would have to deem the experiment INCONCLUSIVE. Your method is very scientific, but the experiment needs to be run through more iterations.

Dave's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content Moderatora 10000+ points - Super Pooper
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I'm planning on buying some Alka-Seltzer on the way home tonight and trying this for myself. I suggest all PoopReporters do the same.

I'm guessing it isn't the chemical makeup of Alka-Seltzer that does the job as much as it is just the agitation of the water and the log to break it apart. But we'll find out...

GottaGoGirl's picture
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KOC wrote: "...I did not wipe until after the experiment was completed..."

Ewwww! I hope you didn't accidentally back into the door or sit down anywhere, in the mean time.

I think you need to do it again, but with controls: First, with JUST toilet paper in there (average number of wads). THEN, another good poop WITH toilet paper. Then compare those with your original experiment.

I'd like to try this, but my husband would probably believe that I'd gone COMPLETELY around the bend (as opposed to now, when I just have my turn-blinker on all the time).

The Big Wiper's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points
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The famous Alka-Seltzer jingle, "Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh, what a relief it is!" was turned into a joke line regarding pooping and peeing way back when I was in grade school.

Now, it's been turned into a science project with interesting results. Nice work, KOC!

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!

KeepOnCrappin's picture
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Wow, the first report of mine where nobody calls BS on it.

GGG, I stood with my pants down while I conducted the experiment. And I suggest Baking soda and vinegar. they would produce the same bubling action that alka-seltzer, I think.

The only thing regarding the chemical part of AS is that I did the experiment with extra strength, instead of normal.

Anyone going to do the experiment, I did it with EXTRA STRENGTH ALKA-SELTZER 24 TABLETS.

Doo it with 12, normal or whatever, and with paper only, poop only, and both.

My hypothesis for the paper is that itwon't work either.

_______
"KOC -- the Cool Crapper" - Rat Droppings

"KOC -- the Cool Crapper" - Rat Droppings

poopcorn's picture
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Just a few thoughts about Alka-Seltzer...If A-S dissolves poop logs in the toilet, I am not sure I would ever want to ingest A-S...I mean if it dissolves poop in a toilet then why wouldn't it dissolve poop in an intestine? With that in mind, I think we all know that dissolved/liquid poop=watery feces which always =diarrhea. We also know that A-S does not cause diarrhea. I also ask myself (and you) why someone (the Duke of Poop) had a whole box of A-S in the house but no plunger? I mean, A-S is used to relieve stomach problems usually from food, so a person with A-S probably expects to have some complications on the water closet. My advice: If you have the need to buy a giant box of A-S, you better pick up a plunger while you are out too so that you don't have to end up throwing the A-S in the toilet. Overall though, quite an intriging experiment.

sharty mcfly's picture
l 100+ points
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even if alka seltzer can't destroy a log, i bet there are other household items that could most certainly mutilate a log, such as say drano. alka seltzer would not be my frist second or even third choice, but i suppose that maybe it may do the jod, but i just have my doubts that it would be so destructive, great report, good scientific method, now we just need to repeat with a control.

yours in time,

Sharty Mcfly

the log of hazzard's picture
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........I.........um........no comment

Some are born crappy, some achieve crappiness, and some have crapiness thrusted upon them. (Do NOT be the last one)

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ points
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You can ingest Alka Seltzer because of your stomache not having the same type of lining as your small and large intestine. Also, I would think it's neutralized by the time the stomach contents proceed to the duodenum.

Just a guest.
_______
.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

George Eliot Butterz's picture
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I'm not convinced by this proposition. I am DEFINITELY going to try it though just for the sheer fuck of it.

I can't imagine that AS will be able to reduce my humdingers to any form of manageable stool. I will let you know how I progress though.


_______
You can't polish a turd

Dave's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content Moderatora 10000+ points - Super Pooper
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I tried it this morning. I had a really solid, really dense sinker, about three inches long and an inch in diameter. I dropped in ten or twelve Alka's. And... nothing. Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a dense sinker it still is. The water remained clear, the poop remained whole.

My conclusions: the Alka-Seltzer turd buster may only work in certain circumstances. I imagine it has to be a floater, so the bubble action occurs below the poop and has a chance to agitate it. (My Alka's were resting on the poop or beside it, but not under it.) And I think it has to be a relatively loose poop, because I don't think the bubbles are strong enough to break apart a dense one.

I'll wait until I have a poop meeting those circumstances, and I'll try again.

GottaGoGirl's picture
i 2000+ points
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Dave, I wonder what would happen if you put the Alka-Seltzer in the toilet a minute or so BEFORE you pooped, DURING the fizzing action. Maybe that would catalyze things.

The Dumpster's picture
i 2000+ points
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Here's an alternative: Pour a half-liter bottle of Coca-Cola into the commode and let it stand overnight. The next morning, you will wake up with a flushable mush.

If that's too gross an experiment, simply put a chunk of ground beef into a glass of coke and leave it overnight. The Coke will dissolve the meat.

Years and years ago, I was a deputy coroner. We used to keep a couple of large plastic bottles of Coke in the trunk of the car, because it is the best thing in the world for getting human blood off the highway after an accident.

Think about that next time you partake of "the pause that refreshes"!

_______
Send all your money to Bilgepump, or to Dave!

KeepOnCrappin's picture
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Yeah, but wont coke leave a line around the bowl? And I heard coke can be a spermicide. Is that true?

I ran my experiment again, even went to KFC. But they were out of boneless wings. Arghh.
I got exactly the same result. But the bubbles were a lot bigger and there were actually a lot of bubbles at the top.

I think Dave is right. The bubbles have to be under it in order to make it bust up. But, GGG, the bubles only last about 3 minutes. If you drop in your AS and you take a minute or three to force out your log, no more AS.

And did anyone run the test with TP?

_______
"KOC -- the Cool Crapper" - Rat Droppings

"KOC -- the Cool Crapper" - Rat Droppings

Poopgirl's picture
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I will use AlkaSeltzer in that situation from now on.
Poop on!

-Poopgirl

Poop on!

-Poopgirl

healthy 1's picture
j 1000+ points
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I tried this experiment this morning. I have a high flush toilet. I did a firm sinker, about 7" long and 1 1/2 inches thick. I tropped 12 AS in. The AS did nothing to disolve my log.

I did find out that earth worms are attracted to AS, and AS causes compost to decompose faster.

I think the consistency of the turd has alot to do with the disolving properties. This experiment should be tried on a softer turd.
_______
Jammin' lo'flo's since 1977.

"Two percent of the population think; three percent of the population think they think, and 95 percent of the population would rather die than think."

Fart Poopie's picture
j 1000+ points
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KOC, where did you hear that Coke is a spermicide? Who tried this? How did they... apply it? Was it a Coke douche (that sounds like it would burn like hell)? How stoned did that group of people have to be to think they should test this idea?
It sounds ridiculous to me. :-)

Anonymous Coward's picture
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OMG, WTF, just stumbled in here on my way to dinner..ROFLMAO,..experiments and a new use for coca-cola..NOW, YOU SCIENTIFIC GUYS WITH MICROSCOPES, use your own "sample", then add a couple of drops of the coke to it ,and then report back to us.. THANKS , i needed a good laugh.signed.."she's a poopie, shes a poopie...mammafartsalot

Anonymous Coward's picture
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Tried it, and just about everything else...doesn't seem to work. :( :( :( My roommate is going to be back any minute now and the toilet is still clogged.
As a last resort I just poured a 2 liter bottle of Coke into the toilet...I'll let it sit for a while and see what happens.

Queen of Sharts's picture
m 1+ points - Newb
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Oh, this is supposed to help clogs? I agree that it's usually all the toilet paper, not the shit that clogs toilets... and Alka-Seltzer seems too expensive to put into the toilet. Why not try baking soda instead? Then again, if your toilet's plugged it's probably all the TP, not the shit. I would think baking soda would be a cheaper alternative, though.


_______
Don't be playin' with the Queen of Sharts

Don't be playin' with the Queen of Sharts

Toots N. McCrack's picture
l 100+ points
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Bleach works ok in this shituation too. Often that was the only thing I had at my disposal when dealing with the ancient clog-prone toilet at my old job. It has to "soak" for a while, tho'. This would actually happen quite often if my co-workers didn't suffiecietnly break apart the ginormous turds of the gorillas we worked with before flushing. Or, tried to empty their 8 toilet buckets entirely and use only one flush at the end! Not pleasant....
No TP necessarry for them to stop things up....


_______
'Hey that sounds pretty nasty, how about a courtesy flush over there?' (AP1)

'Hey that sounds pretty nasty, how about a courtesy flush over there?' (AP1)

PowerButt!'s picture
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I managed quite a whopper last night... The toilet flushes, no problemo... the monster dump is heretofore unaffected, perched merrily over the hole, oblivious to to water streaming over and under it. Turd bridge. Solid. Dense as that thing my brother married. Hubby estimates it as 2 in diameter, 8 inches long.

Don't think for a second that I'm stupid enough to even try TP in the same hole as that thing. I insist on a home with 2 toilets.

I just tried the AS trick. While it didn't manage to dissolve it enough to get it down the hole (it would have to break it in the middle, really) I can say that a box of AS equalls about 24 hours of just water soakage.

I've just poured a can of Coke on top of the probelm... the mingled smells are very strange... and I'll report success as soon as I know what it is.

At least the Coke will prevent hubby from taking a picture. He's very proud of me. :S

SamDamnit's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points
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I'm going to have to try this out myself.
_______
SamDamnit!
The Emir of Crapistan

SamDamnit!
The Emir of Crapistan

imjustakid's picture
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uhm i dont even remember how
i got to this site but are theze
all adults on here?? if they are
thats the funniest thing ive ever
read in my life. shit experiments..
wow. verrryyyy interesting yet
extremely disgusting..aha aha aha.
but on a more positive note, id say
you guyz are pretty entertaining :]

strange shitter's picture
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I eat fiber. I exercise. I don't know what it is- but shit doesn't flush right. and, even if it goes down- it gets stuck somewhere out of sight. If the next user of the toilet pees- they don't know what's going on. if the next person poops -they think they caused the clog. something in my shit just doesn't dissolve. I will try coke. It sound like AS doesn't so shit- no pun intended. It sounds like bleach might work. am I the only healthy person with shit that just doesn't dissolve??

Anonymous Coward's picture
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wow nice stealing some one elses whole project..., originated off science buddies

Mrs. Mad Crapper's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points
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Why did you use all 24 tabs? Why did you even try this experiment if you were unsure where the large turd was? I think we need to do another experiment.
_______
Earth, insane asylum for the universe.

Earth, insane asylum for the universe.

ChiliKahKah's picture
j 1000+ points
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Next time add diet coke and a whole tube of mentos and see what happens to the KFC log.

Poothagoras's picture
m 1+ points - Newb
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Be sure not to flush the diet coke and mentos until it stops.

Every poop is not to be told to every body.

Anonymous Coward's picture
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have a monster on my toillet, over 2 inches width, lenght undetermined

going for lye

N. Deep Shitt's picture
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Okay, you guys. I have a similar problem, but it already flushed, but the water now only goes down slowly. Do you think the Alka Seltzer would work in this case? I really think the poop is stuck somewhere in the trap, probably not too far down. So, what would happen if I left the Alka Seltzer in over night? Would that hurt the toilet bowl?

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ points
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N. Deep Shitt.....If you have poo in the trap the best thing you can do is just give the commode a good plunging. Use a funnel cap plunger, the ones that look like the end of a child"s suction cup dart aren't worth a shit by comparison.


_______
Eat chilies and feel the burn!!

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

Powersoak's picture
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I wonder what would happen with denture cleaning tablets?

Anonymous's picture
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After flushing,he had dumped a big load. Tried 1/4 c. dishwashing liquid. no go. Then I tried baking soda and water because the water level dropped. No go twice. Then he tried the gallon water. No go. I will try Cocola next time since it will clean your cement driveway.